Personal style is something a lot of people struggle with; I always feel like it takes some practice to figure out exactly what you love/don’t love and, of course, feel comfortable in! After interviewing the amazing Laurie Brucker, Certified Image Coach and Personal Stylist back in January for our RWDRT series, I knew I wanted to dive a little deeper with her. Below, Laurie gives us her best tips (normally reserved for her clients!) on how to find your personal style and her guidelines for shopping!
What are some tips you give your clients on finding their personal style?
Give yourself a fresh start. After years and years of being told by parents, family, friends, bosses, co-workers, TV shows and magazines what you can and can’t wear or what you should and shouldn’t do, we can become bogged down and confused with the rules, thus feeling really overwhelmed when it’s time to truly identify your own personal style. A fresh start gives you the opportunity to see new possibilities, to be open to creative ideas and to allow yourself to self-express without fear, judgment or doubt. I always ask: “How do you envision the most empowered and confident you? What is she wearing? How is she walking?” Really visualize that dynamic woman. Once my clients have that vision in mind…we dress her!
Stop holding yourself back from what you like and what you want. Many times women will see an outfit and say: “Wow that is so cool!, but I could never wear that.” Or they say “I love that but it would never fit me” It’s those moments that stop us from creating more possibilities in our lives and in our wardrobes. So stop stopping yourself! Truly everything with style is possible if you only just try. My philosophy? Just try it! Why not! Love the item you try or not – you are giving yourself new knowledge of what works for you, what you like and what you don’t like. You are now starting to create your own rules by defining them yourself!
Find your style icons. Look to women who you admire for their confident style. I could be a celebrity, a sports star, or even a dynamic entrepreneur. Identify them, start an inspiration style board on Pinterest, then start to map out their outfits by the wardrobe items that they wear. Are they wearing skinny jeans and blazers or dresses with tennis kicks, or suits in bold colors? By identifying their wardrobe pieces and how they wear them you can start to get a feel for creating similar looks in your own wardrobe too. That’s a perfect place to start building and getting inspired.
Lastly – Get educated! It a valuable investment to learn from a personal stylist or image consultant, like myself. Everybody and every BODY are so different. Learning what works best for you the individual and your beautiful natural frame is going not just going to empower you but will help make getting dressed easier, more creative and confident. Just think. The more confident you are: they more style you have.
Are there different style archetypes? If so, what are they?
There are seven different style archetypes: sporty, traditional, alluring, elegant, classic, dramatic, and creative. These basic archetypes (taught by classic image consultants) are meant to help one define their style better. They give direction as to the fabrication choices, color choices, and silhouette choices that would fit an individuals’ personal style vibe. However I have found that in modern times it’s not supportive and is extremely limiting to define yourself as one versus another. Women are all multi-faceted and all of those dimensions of us can be portrayed in your style. For example, you may be a mixture of classic, elegant and creative or sporty, dramatic, and alluring. This is why is I create my clients own individual style brand as to help support their unique individuality. Instead of putting them in a singular box, I teach my clients how to let what inspires them in their life, dreams and goals, guide and inspire their style no matter what that vision looks like.
How do you determine someone’s personal style during a consultation?
What is most important to me when defining style is to find out all about my client’s life. To do that – I always set up an introductory call to discuss my clients “style story.” I will ask them questions that help determine what our next style steps are. Examples: what do you do for a living, what do you do outside of work for fun, do you have a family or are you dating? I also like to know how they are currently feeling and how they want to feel in their clothes. Then I inquire about their future and goals by asking “where do you see yourself in the next five years?” and “what do you want to see for your style?” Then I bring out the big thinker question: “How do you want to be perceived BY your style?” This is my most important factor for me to determine my clients’ style. It dictates the exciting direction we go.
Wardrobe is a tool to fuel your career dreams and your life desires! Overall these questions help shape a style vision and strategy that not only works with your every day life, career and day to day comfort level –but also pushes you past your limits to dress the YOU, you’ve always dreamed you could be.
Are there any rules or guidelines you recommend your clients follow when shopping for clothes?
Disregard the number sizing and just try on what fits. Not all brands have the same sizing numbers and truly the numbers mean nothing. For example – in some brands you may fit an 8, others a 10, and others a 6. So don’t be afraid to grab the size higher if you need or even grab the size smaller. No matter what your body shape or frame is – when your wardrobe fits: that is the secret sauce to looking and feeling slim.
Shop high and low. Invest in strong tailored staples for your wardrobe while always making room for the fast fashion creative pieces that add personality and dimension to your look.
Just try it! Don’t stop yourself by saying: “Oh that will never work on me.” If you see something you like, as crazy as it may seem or as different than you’ve ever tried before, go for it! Maybe it works? Maybe it doesn’t. But the most important part is that you gave yourself an opportunity to find new possibilities for your look.
Don’t forget to shop for statement accessories! No outfit is complete without them.
For more styling tips and advice from Laurie, make sure to follow her on Instagram :)