Personal Style

How to Find Your Signature Style over 40 – 7 Simple Steps

Are you confused about your personal style? Do you spend hours looking through your closet trying to find something to wear, only to end up wearing something that feels just okay? A signature look is a great way to feel confident about what you wear and makes choosing an outfit for any occasion ten times easier!

Even if you were clear about your signature style when you were younger,  style evolves. As we get older, our tastes change, so it’s no surprise that once you hit 40+, you start to feel out of touch with an item of clothing you once loved. It’s normal us to want to question what’s in our closets as we age. It can be fun to explore different styles and completely reinvent your wardrobe.

Ultimately, it’s less about finding your style, and more about creating a style you love and can feel good wearing at this age and stage.

Why You Don’t Have a Signature Style?

You don’t have to be the next Helen Mirren or Audrey Hepburn to have a great style. The reason you don’t have a signature style is that you don’t either don’t know what you like or you don’t know what looks good on you anymore. I have tips on reconnecting with your taste and discovering what makes you shine! But first….

Why You Should Have A Signature Style?

Okay, so you know why you don’t have a signature style, but why does that even matter? Knowing your signature style makes life so much easier. It’s easier to put outfits together, shop, and use the pieces in your closet you already have. The more you know what you like and what looks good on you, the more confident you’ll feel.

Knowing your signature style is the base for creating a wardrobe you love. It will save you massive amounts of time and money. Instead of buying pieces you kind of like, and then never wearing them. You’ll know exactly what to buy and what to steer clear of. The pieces that worked for you years ago might not work for you now, and that’s okay.

Famous Style Icons with a Signature Style

Anna Wintour loves florals and is famous for her sleeveless floral dresses and chunky necklaces, while Elle DeGeneres is never seen in a dress but in a relaxed suit and sneakers. Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn were famous for their understated, elegant style. Beyonce is the queen of tight and fitted, while Bille Ellish has made her style big and baggy.

Some women have a color they wear so often (like black or red) that it becomes their signature color. You know you have found your personal style when someone says, That’s so Ellen, or that’s so Anna Wintour. Your unique style is instantly recognizable. It’s your brand!

Quick Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Style

Before we dive into these easy steps to help you find your signature look, I want to mention that there are no wrong answers regarding personal style. Your signature style should combine what you love and what suits you. Don’t force yourself into liking anything that doesn’t feel good or doesn’t highlight your best features. You are you. As long as you feel amazing in your skin and confident in your clothes, that’s all that matters.

Also, finding your signature style takes time. Don’t rush it, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Get into your closet and try things on. Mix and match in new ways. Shop often, if only to try on items. The more you do this, the easier finding your signature style will become.

1. Go Through Your Old Clothes

The first step is to go through all of your clothes. Pick out the pieces that you LOVE. The pieces you feel best in and constantly wear. Even if that’s just a few pieces, once you have all those pieces in front of you, try to pick out the commonalities between each. This will help you determine a few things that you like.

For example, do you own a lot of leather, or do ruffles seem to be your thing?  Is your closet full of neutrals or bright colors, or prints? Is the fit of your clothes loose and relaxed, or do you have a closet full of body con?

What about your shoes? Are they all comfort and practicality, or do you love killer heels? Is your jewelry long and dangly? Do you prefer gold or silver?  All these details give clues as to your signature style.

A through closet clean out can really help!

2. Create a Pinterest Mood Board

Pinterest is a fantastic place to find inspiration! Create a Beauty mood: anything you feel is beautiful, be it a flower, location, item, or outfit. You are creating the aesthetic you love. Once again, you will want to look for common themes throughout the pins. Maybe you notice you gravitate more toward oranges and reds rather than cool colors, or you prefer a more neutral palette. Are you saving more classic-looking styles or a lot of trendy looks? What is the mood of the places you pin? What is the common element in the items you pin?

The goal here is to start getting a feel for what you like. Once you know the look and overall vibe, you will get a better idea of how you want to dress; you can start pulling that together with pieces from your closet or making intentional purchases.

3. Define Your Style Words

You’ve created a collection of photos to define your style; how about coming up with some words? Write down as many words as possible that describe how you want to dress. Is it elegant, natural, dramatic, or funky? Keep going with that list – don’t think about it too much – just let the words flow. Then narrow it down to 5 words. It’s hard, I know, but this will help you choose items to go with your signature style since you can measure the thing against one of our style words. My style words are elegant, modern, colorful, chic.

4. Build Your Base

Now that you’ve targeted the style you want to try to stick to, the key is to start building a solid base of classic neutral pieces. These pieces will go with anything and help you make your entire wardrobe cohesive. Another common reason you can’t find anything to wear, even with a closet full of clothes, is that you don’t have enough basics.

Basics tie your outfits together. They are things like: jeans, slacks, neutral t-shirts and tanks, a plain blazer, etc. If you don’t have a solid base that works well together—you will have trouble building outfits. Once you have your base, that’s your jumping-off point where you can experiment with your personal style. Buy the best quality basics you can afford and less expensive trendy items to update your look from year to year.

5. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

You’ve heard how staying inside your comfort zone keeps you stuck. Well, it’s true in a fashion sense too! If you stick to the same old clothes you are used to, they may feel comfortable, but they will make you feel drab and boring. You’re holding yourself back from finding your true personal style.

Discovering your style will take a little bit of trial and error. Try things on. Lots of things! Work on finding a few signature pieces that are a bit outside your usual wear. Maybe a fun animal print top or a pair of wide-leg pants you’ve never tried. Experiment with different colors, shapes, and textures. You might find something you love to help you get out of your style rut. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Think of it this way. You’ve learned what to avoid, and that’s very helpful too.

6. Know Your Body Shape

Another important tip is to consider your body shape when shopping and styling clothes. Dressing for your specific body shape can make all the difference and bring out your best features. Part of having great style is knowing what flatters your unique figure.

As we age, our bodies and our taste change. That very short skirt that looked fab on us at 20 or even 30 doesn’t look the same way it used to. It’s not that you can’t wear mini skirts at 40, 50, or even 100. But you should choose pieces that compliment the body you have now, and that you feel the most confident in!

You might find that you love how certain pants look, but when you put them on, you realize that the shape of the pant isn’t very flattering on you anymore. This is where knowing how to dress for your body type comes in. Once you understand what highlights your best parts and downplay other certain parts,  you can shop accordingly and pass on everything else. My Private Stylist is a great online tool to determine your body type and the clothes that will suit you best. You can check it out here.

7. Trust Your Instincts and Be Yourself

My last tip is key. Developing an authentic personal style won’t happen if you try to copy someone else exactly. Draw style inspiration from other influencers and fashionistas, but don’t forget to add your own spin, and dress in outfits that feel fresh and fabulous to you!

Your signature style is also not reliant on trends, although some trends may fit into your personal style. Fashion and style are great ways to express yourself, have fun with it!  There is no one specific signature style rule you must follow! You’ll always be in style when your personal style truly reflects you.

8. Take My Fun Personality Quiz

Are you still confused about your signature style? I have a fast, easy, fun style personality quiz that you must take! Go through the quiz, look at the photos, and check the boxes that most closely relate to how you feel and I will analyze and send back a mini-style type report.

Remember: You can choose to redefine your style at any age. Style has no age.

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2 thoughts on “How to Find Your Signature Style over 40 – 7 Simple Steps

  1. What happens if you can’t find any outfit you LOVE anymore?

    Almost 50 and Desperately need fashion help

    1. Hi Diane, This is what I hear from so many of my readers…and why I started FAF!! Have some fun and get some ideas by poking around our site. For more in-depth tips, you might want to check out a few of my e-books. ! Welcome to my group of FAB ladies; your life is going to get fun now!!!

It's your life. Make it Fabulous!

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