Our style isn’t just the clothes we wear. It’s our hairstyle, our makeup, the way we walk and talk and every other thing about us. However, while building your “inner style” takes time and life experiences that shape it, your outer style can literally be transformed in seconds. But forming your own style isn’t as easy as it might seem, so let’s see how you can find a style that you can proudly own and wear with confidence.

Clear out

Throughout our lives, we go through different phases of fashion and style. Before we think about what we want our style to be going forward, we first have to take a look back at how our style has evolved and more importantly – get rid of the things holding us back. To fill your closet with clothing that defines your style, you first have to make room by throwing out the things that you feel don’t define you anymore. So any clothing that you used to wear but now only throw on out of habit should go out.

Build from the ground up

We’re often drawn to details in a certain style, like accessories or the buttons on a jacket, but what you should really be looking at are the building blocks of the outfit itself, and those are the shapes, the colors and the materials. Find inspiration around you, and look closely at it: what are the actual base pieces? Are they tight or loose? How saturated are the colors? Once you have those base pieces nailed, it’s easy to build up the details. But, if you don’t have the foundation there, then your completed look will look like a hot mess.

Show your background

A beautiful way to celebrate your background or heritage is to incorporate it into your fashion style. You can celebrate your background with accessories like a headscarf, specific jewelry or makeup look. But you can also go for something that is even more personal, like finding an artist that specializes in Japanese tattoos or putting some henna decoration on your hands. What’s important here is that if you’re incorporating this into your style, you have to really have that background and understand the meaning of the symbols, because otherwise, you could make a big mistake with appropriating a culture you don’t understand.

Keep it in contrast

No matter your style, there are some universal rules of dressing that everyone should stick to, one of which is contrast; and the most important aspect of it: shape. Wearing an all-tight outfit is not only not the most flattering look, but it can look very unprofessional and risqué. On the other hand, wear a completely loose outfit and you risk looking like you’ve walked out in pajamas, while certainly losing any shape your body has. So make sure that you’re staying in the golden area by wearing a tight top and loose bottoms or vice-versa. That way, you make sure that you always look put together and perfectly effortless.

While looking at magazines, online blogs, Instagram profiles and people passing you by, it’s easy to get lost in someone else’s style and try to copy it exactly. There’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration and pointers in other people’s fashion, but don’t ever try to copy someone’s style exactly. Think about it: a personal style is made through years of personal experience and trying out different things, and you’ve had your own experience that’s completely different from theirs. Find things you like, try them out for yourself and then decide whether or not they are a good fit for what you’re trying to achieve with your style.