Developing a Personal Style, Pt. 3: LIFESTYLE

To kick off the new year, I have created a 3-part series about developing a personal style. You can see part 1, about finding your favorite colors, here, and part 2, about finding your favorite silhouettes, here.

Welcome to the last segment of the “Developing a Personal Style” series! Now that you have a better sense of your favorite colors and your favorite outfit styles, it is time to apply it to your life.

First, you must analyze your lifestyle. What types of clothing do you use the most? If you mostly need casual clothing, then it doesn’t make sense for 50% of your clothing to be fancy dresses. Heavily inspired by into mind‘s post, I made a pie chart of my lifestyle.

My Lifestyle // blog.leahsprague.com

Now, when building a wardrobe, you can make sure that you are buying exactly what you need and like!

 

For bonus points, you can build a minimalist capsule wardrobe. It should be easy (well, easier!) now that you know what colors and styles you like and your lifestyle to find the minimum pieces that you need for a season. Check out Un-Fancy’s amazing explanation of how to build a capsule wardrobe here.

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Developing a Personal Style, Pt. 2: SILHOUETTES

To kick off the new year, I have created a 3-part series about developing a personal style. You can see part 1, about finding your favorite colors, here.

Now that you understand what colors and images you are drawn to, it is time to make things a little more concrete and find specific outfits you like.

Please let me be clear before we begin: I am NOT saying that you should always stick to exactly the same colors and types of clothing. Rather, I am saying that these exercises will help you better understand what you like and what works on you to help you better develop your unique style. If you come across a nice top that is not in your range of favorite styles or colors, go for it!

It is time to go back to Pinterest, this time looking specifically for your favorite type of outfits. Notice the similarities in the types of outfits; that is what you are naturally drawn to.

As I was sifting through all my pins, I noticed that most of them were of pretty, but also extremely difficult to wear, dresses. Pinterest is place where dream red carpet gowns or the crazy styles you wish you could pull off are kept, but it is important to push those aside when looking for realistic examples. Also – most of the people in the photos I have pinned are wearing 4 inch heels… also not something I can realistically do.

Flowy Top + Tight Jeans // blog.leahsprague.com

I would either make a list or make a visual representation (like I have with these side-by-side photos) of what types of outfits you like. These can be the building blocks of what makes your style unique. Yes, anyone can wear a skater skirt. But would that skater skirt be their go-to item, something that they wear on a regular basis? Not necessarily.

Midi Skirt // blog.leahsprague.com Open Peacoat + Skinny Jeans // blog.leahsprague.com Patterned Pant + Basic Top // blog.leahsprague.comSkater Skirt + Tucked Shirt // blog.leahsprague.com

Statement Necklace // blog.leahsprague.com Sweater + Collar // blog.leahsprague.com
Good luck, and tune in next Friday for the last installment of developing your personal style!

Developing a Personal Style, Pt. 1: COLOR

Happy 2015 everyone!

To kick off the new year, I have created a 3-part series about developing a personal style. This series is heavily inspired by into mind, an incredible blog I recently stumbled upon that offers advice on how to live a minimalist lifestyle. An important part of minimalism that into-mind focuses on is quality over quantity. To apply this to our lives, we must really understand ourselves. Each piece of clothing in your wardrobe, for example, must serve a purpose and be a color, fit, and style that you really love. Into-mind offers advice on how to hone your sense of style and color so that the pieces you own are exactly what you need and love!

I am going to organize the steps to develop a personal style slightly differently from into mind (see her posts here, here, and here), by going from abstract to more concrete. The first step is my favorite, finding your favorite colors! It may sound silly (shouldn’t everyone have a favorite color?) but you’ll be surprised. This post will help you create a mood board to pinpoint your exact favorite shades.

Mood Board // blog.leahsprague.com

The first step is to gather all the images and designs that you like. Don’t bother thinking about why you like it, whether because of its color or shapes, just save it. I am a big Pinterest fan, so I scrolled through almost all my pins, “open in a new tab”-ing all my favorite photos. I saved everything from my favorite outfits to color combinations I liked to patterns I thought were interesting. In all, I think I gathered close to about 50 images.

Next, it is time to compile all the images. Into-mind suggests that you print out all the photos so you can really see them and play around with all the images, which is definitely ideal, but I didn’t want to waste that much ink so I just did it on an InDesign document. I recommend InDesign instead of Photoshop because the layers can be extremely annoying with so many images! I made my document gigantic to give me a lot of space: 100×30 inches.

I organized all the images by color, starting from blacks,  grays, and whites on the left to my favorite bright colors on the right side. However, you can organize the images however you feel is best; by mood, individual color, color scheme, type of image, whatever. I recommend first putting the images into sort of piles (like below) and then putting them nicely together later. Embrace the messiness – this isn’t supposed to be a neat and orderly color inspiration board!

How to Make a Mood Board // blog.leahsprague.com

Once I organized the images, I exported the InDesign document to a .jpeg, put it on a Photoshop document and used the eyedropper tool to take out my favorite colors. Because I had all my favorite images organized by color, it was super easy to see what colors I liked best overall.

Each time I found the exact color I wanted, I used my brush tool to “save” it by stamping a big dot of that color near where I found it. Soon, I had my top 16 colors. You can pick more or fewer colors if you want, but I chose 16 because 1, I like so many colors and 2, it is such an easy number!

Mood Board Colors // blog.leahsprague.com

 Here are some close ups of my mood board:

Dark Colors Mood Board // blog.leahsprague

Light Colors Mood Board // blog.leahsprague

Now it is time to organize the colors that you have found into a nice table (see, it makes sense to have 16 colors, doesn’t it!) And there you have it – your favorite colors! I found that my favorite colors mix and match quite easily, and hopefully yours do, too. I think that they naturally should because you will be drawn to similar color schemes.

My Colors // blog.leahsprague.com

 

Stop by next Friday for part 2!