The most effective way to improve your sense of style and train your eye is to see how other people do it. What kind of clothing do they wear, what colours do they mix, what shoes do they wear with their outfits, how do they accessorise, and so on.
Assume you’re a researcher researching a foreign culture and trying to learn as much as you can about the local practises.
Use your everyday surroundings as a lab: sit in a cafe and merely observe people going by, pay special attention to your coworkers’ and friends’ attire, and check out what your fellow commuters are wearing on your train ride to work (in a non-creepy way, of course). To augment your real-life study and expose yourself to a wider spectrum of trends, use Pinterest and fashion websites.
How do art school students learn their craft? Correct: By studying and imitating other artists’ styles.
I know, I know, I’m typically all for “creating your own personal style” and rejecting other people’s rules. However, for a total beginner, mimicking others can be a very useful creative strategy because it provides you with a specific blueprint to work from. Most fashion beginners who email me express feelings of being overwhelmed and perplexed. They see the necessity for experimentation but are unsure where to begin.
My suggestion is the same every time: imitate! Choose one outfit and imitate it. Then decide what you like and don’t like about it, and repeat the process.
Find an outfit on Pinterest or a fashion blog that you could see yourself wearing for one of your typical daily activities, such as work or weekends. Then, either try on items in a store or use your own clothes to recreate the ensemble as nearly as feasible.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I talk about developing your own personal style and building your wardrobe around it a lot on INTO MIND. If you’re new to fashion, this may appear to be an insurmountable undertaking. How do you know whether you favour bright colours or neutrals, or if flowy bohemian items or fitted separates suit you best? Here’s how it works: You give it a shot.
The only way to ever get to a point where you can firmly claim, “Yes, this is my style,” is to expose yourself to a wide range of aesthetics and experiment to figure out what you like and don’t like.
Everyone you see who has a fantastic sense of style right now has gone through this phase of their lives at some point and could probably tell you a million stories about all the “awful” clothing they wore before settling on a style. You can try to speed up the procedure as a complete fashion novice, but you must still go through it.
My advice is to make it enjoyable while yet being effective. For the sake of research, actively seek out different styles, colours, and silhouettes that are outside of your usual comfort zone. To prevent becoming overwhelmed, keep the stakes low: go into stores only to try on a number of things, make mental or physical notes of what you like and don’t like, and then leave without buying anything.