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Fashion 101: Developing Personal Style

<p>Photo by Jack Sampson</p>

Photo by Jack Sampson

Just like any other hobby or interest, getting into fashion can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have anyone in your social circles who has knowledge of it. 

If you are interested in diving into the field but don’t know where to start, I may be of some assistance. 

My name is Jack Sampson, I’m a Miami University junior studying Biology. I am by no means an expert in fashion; I am simply someone who is comfortable with how they dress and wishes to help others who are stuck because I know the struggle of developing a personal style. 

Everybody starts somewhere, so let me try to make your process easier.

This will be the start of a series of articles that give advice on developing personal style. However, we cannot begin without defining the term “personal style.” 

We can boil it down to a broad explanation: personal style is wearing clothing that you feel comfortable in. Maybe your personal style is wearing pajama pants and a baggy sweatshirt everywhere; maybe it’s wearing a three-piece suit on a daily basis. There really is no “best style” because everybody enjoys something different. 

Step 1: Prepping your closet and getting your measurements

The first step to developing a personal style is preparing your current closet for a revamp. 

Most people have those stray shirts, pants, shoes, jackets, etc. that sit on a shelf or are worn very rarely, if ever. It could be that you don’t like any of your clothing and want a clean slate. 

Whatever the case is, one cannot build a wardrobe without clearing up some space. The easiest solution: get a big trash bag or bucket, fill it with this clothing and donate it to a thrift store like Goodwill. Other clothing, if it is too valuable to simply give away for free, can be resold to make sure waste is reduced. Unless your clothing is too deteriorated to wear, it should not be thrown away. 

There is one last boring part for preparing to get new clothing: finding your measurements. 

Buying clothing that does not fit you is not fun, and some companies’ return policies are just overly complicated. A lot of clothing retailers have the exact measurements of their products listed on their websites, so if you know your own then it will save a lot of effort, time and potentially money. 

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Common measurements include sleeve length, chest length, shoulder length, inseam and waist size. I find it easy to find these by taking a garment I know fits me well and measuring all of these with a ruler or tape measure.

Photo by Jack Sampson

Step 2: Get inspired

Now it is time for the fun to start. 

This step can also go before the other, but I find it nice to have an open closet and your measurements first. 

What am I talking about? I am talking about finding inspiration, of course! 

Unless you are the next greatest clothing designer, you may not be able to just think of clothing you like out of thin air.

This is where you spend some time finding content creators or characters in media, like television shows or movies, who dress in ways that you really enjoy. It is one thing to appreciate someone’s style, but it is another to think to yourself, “I wish I was the one wearing that right now.” 

If you catch yourself with the latter in your head, you are off to a great start. I will go into more detail on this in the next article with specific examples of creators that inspire me. 

If this stresses you out at all, I urge you to give it a shot. 

I was once in your position, but with time I have been able to fill my closet with clothing that I feel looks good on me, but more importantly I have clothes that I feel comfortable in. You may not get it at first, or you could already have your closet reflecting your personal style. 

Wherever you may be in this journey, don’t be afraid to step into uncharted territory.