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HEY.

I’m Hali. Part-time Londoner, full-time thrifter. I thrift and charity shop for looks and books. I’ll teach you how to make the most of things you already own, be stylish on a budget and how to live with less.

Saving money and the planet.

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE  (BTWYL#1)

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE (BTWYL#1)

Hey hey. This is the first post in my series called ‘Building the Wardrobe You Love’ (BTWYL). I hope to give you a comprehensive method to help you discover what you love to wear, as well as helping you get rid of things you don’t like. I used this process myself and know that it has helped me love what I have, meaning I no longer:

  1. Shop on a whim

  2. Buy trend items that I don’t actually like

  3. Shop fast fashion excessively (or at all) 

  4. Own clothes I don’t wear 

I’m going to start with how to find your personal style. This is because it will help you think more clearly about what you own, what you need and what you don’t need. It has taken me years of trial and error to fully figure out what I love wearing and what I only enjoy in theory. However, this trial and error means I can now clearly talk about the processes I went through to get a create a fab wardrobe. Sit tight, this is going to be fun -  but also methodical (there’s diagrams and everything). Let’s get into it:


STEP ONE: GET PINTEREST AND CREATE A NEW BOARD TITLED ‘PERSONAL STYLE’

Pinterest is a great way to gather all the outfits you like in one place. I also use Instagram’s ‘save’ feature to gather looks, but Pinterest is a better organisational tool.

If you’re starting from square one you may be wondering: What is my style? What do I like? Does my style have a name? Have no fear - try using the search bar to type in specific phrases such as ‘street style’, ‘fashion week’, ‘Paris fashion’, etc. Or, if you know a specific person who you’d love to emulate, type their name in plus ‘fashion’ or ‘outfits’ (e.g. ‘Alexa Chung fashion’  - Alexa’s style is very varied so this might actually be a cool place to start!).

Start saving what you like to your ‘Personal Style’ board. Don’t overthink it, you don’t have to like the whole outfit, just save anything that draws your attention. I’d say that you’d need at least 30 photos pinned before you can move on to step 2. 

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STEP TWO: GO TO YOUR BOARD AND NOTE RECURRING COLOURS, MATERIALS, BRANDS AND ITEMS

What colours do you keep going back to? Is there a lot of leather? What shoes keep popping up on your board? Grab a piece of paper and note these bits down. Check out my examples below!

If you know me, you’re probably thinking ‘ding ding ding! This is literally how Hali dresses.’ I started out basically copying outfits that I saw online until I felt confident enough to experiment a bit more. 

STEP THREE: CREATE A ‘FASHION MAP’

Once you’ve noted down all the recurring elements on your Personal Style board, it’s time to create a fashion map.

I split mine into four categories:

  1. People

  2. Brands

  3. Items I like

  4. Colours/materials/styles

    (Check it out below)

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 It doesn’t have to include pictures, but putting pictures in might be more helpful to help you create a coherent vision of how you want to dress. You could do this digitally, or, If you’re feeling extra crafty, print off some of your fave images and and stick them on your map! This would actually be a nice self-care activity if you’re feeling a little bored. 

The fashion map helps narrow down things a bit more, you’ll probably find that you could mix and match a lot of items on there and BOOM, you’ve got a blueprint of outfits you’d like to put together. 

STEP FOUR: MATCH YOUR INSPO ITEMS TO YOUR REAL ITEMS 

Get on over to your wardrobe/clothes rack/pile on the floor. What items do you have that match your Pinterest board or fashion map? Note them down. What items do you not actually own, despite them being prominent on your board? Note those down too.  

This will be really useful for the next instalment of my series, which will be about how to clear out your wardrobe. Make sure you hold onto your little notes!

HERE ARE SOME OF MY PINTEREST INSPO ITEMS IN REAL LIFE.   WHITE FRILLED BLOUSE, £5 TK MAXX/ BLACK TROUSERS, £1 CHARITY SHOP/ BLACK CLASSIC BOOTS, OFFICE  (They were a splurge, but I wear them constantly).

HERE ARE SOME OF MY PINTEREST INSPO ITEMS IN REAL LIFE. WHITE FRILLED BLOUSE, £5 TK MAXX/ BLACK TROUSERS, £1 CHARITY SHOP/ BLACK CLASSIC BOOTS, OFFICE (They were a splurge, but I wear them constantly).

STEP FIVE: IDENTIFY YOUR STAPLES

These are items that are integral to your personal style.

Up until recently, a missing item in my wardrobe was a camel overcoat. I managed to find one for £15 at a charity shop! All my outfits work perfectly with it and it is warm and practical enough for winter. 

COAT £15, CANCER RESEARCH / JUMPER, H&M / LIPSTICK, SLEEK MATTE TRANCE IN ‘DARE’.  (I wear the H&M jumper a couple of times a week, but wouldn’t recommend it as it has bobbled quite badly! Another reason to get good quality jumpers second hand.)

COAT £15, CANCER RESEARCH / JUMPER, H&M / LIPSTICK, SLEEK MATTE TRANCE IN ‘DARE’. (I wear the H&M jumper a couple of times a week, but wouldn’t recommend it as it has bobbled quite badly! Another reason to get good quality jumpers second hand.)

My other staples are: 

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A Classic Trench

Vintage St. Martin’s trench, £0 from clothes swap event

If you’re wondering why I needed to get my hands on a trench. Look at this segment of my Personal Style board. I got this one early last year for the milder seasons. It’s absolutely classic and goes with pretty much everything I own.

I specifically copied a couple of these trench coat looks last Spring

I specifically copied a couple of these trench coat looks last Spring

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High Neck Jumpers

In neutrals and black. This one was £4 in a New Look sale about 4 years ago.

More staples:

  • Black boots

  • Straight/wide leg trousers in black and grey

  • White men’s buttoned shirt

  • White trainers

  • Biker jacket

    Your staples might be things like, cute hoodies, floral dresses or black trainers!

    If you have a staple on your board that you don’t actually own, don’t worry. I’m going to cover how to shop for those items too. 


That’s all for now! I hope this was useful and helped you discover your personal style. I’d love to see your boards, so drop me a link if you feel like sharing. Watch this space for the next post where I will help you tackle a big clean out. It’ll be a great start to your New Year!

Stay stylish 

xoxox Hali
If you’d like to pin this post to your Pinterest board - make sure you have the Google Chrome Pinterest Add-On - then come back and pin one of the photos below! Or click here/here for direct links to the pins.

Bye for now!



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