Finding your personal style seems like an easy feat, but start the journey and you’ll soon find it overwhelming with minimal initial reward. Since style is so intricately tied to the type of person you are, it evolves and changes as you do. The uncomfortable truth is, it can take years to cultivate and perfect your personal style. But that shouldn’t stop you from honing in on what you like and replicating that in your wardrobe.
It can seem like an arduous task, especially in a trend-crazed industry like fashion, but I promise it’s not. To help start your journey, I asked four wickedly talented stylists for advice and tips on finding your personal style.
"My journey to my personal style began in my teenage years as an act of rebellion. I experimented with opposing colors and patterns in this stage. However, my love deepened in my college years when I was able to wear clothes other than the 'required uniform.' I fell in love with aesthetics at this stage; the grunge, preppy, urban, and chic aesthetics literally stole my heart. As I developed in life, I found that my style constantly changed based on my personality and perception of life.
"If I had to describe my style right now, I would call it freedom. I freely explore all style aesthetics that excite me while staying true to my core aesthetics, or vibe as I call it; grunge, urban, chic and preppy. My style is my safe space to explore myself as a person and online shopping is my favorite destination for exploration."
Her Top Tips for Finding Your Style:
- Identify three character traits you'd like to embody.
- Find three stores that complement your body type and style desires.
- Try on everything that makes you uncomfortable! (It may surprise you!)
"I would like to attribute finding my personal style to my grandma. I grew up spending summers with her and we would always go to the mall and shop until we were absolutely tired. She also is one of the most stylish people I know and she owns it. She always gets tons of compliments when she is out and about and I've always admired that about her. I basically followed in her footsteps when it comes to my personal style.
"Throughout my childhood and adulthood, my style changed so much. I went from wearing matching plastic jewelry and Jordans to vintage jewelry and graphic tees with my favorite flats; all the way up until now my style is comfy chic. I will most definitely be wearing sneakers but I wear what is comfortable to me. Maybe that's a skirt or a jumpsuit. Then I add my own twist or edge to it. I love my style!"
Her Top Tips for Finding Your Style:
- Wear what you want! Don't worry about what other people think. Not your friends, family, or strangers. Wear what you feel comfortable in!
- Be open to trying new trends and/or starting your own! You never know who will be inspired by your style.
- Own it. People can definitely tell when you are uncomfortable with what you're wearing. So when you drape those clothes on your skin, make sure you OWN IT.
"I've always had a love for fashion but my true journey started when I was in college. It was a time that I became more expressive in my overall appearance and how I was feeling. I just felt so liberated! I would describe my style as being a girly tomboy. I love to wear heels and dress up but I also love a good t-shirt and sneakers. After my college experience came to an end, I began to take more risks with my style. I love to play around in color, stand out, but also be effortless and relaxed when needed.
"It's funny as I am talking about it, it truly makes sense that my personal style has continued to elevate and grow as I am growing into the woman that I am called to be. My style is only an expression of who I am today: I'm bold, unique, authentic, a risk-taker, and confident. My style will only continue to evolve as I evolve in this life. I'm fully embracing change and I am not afraid to step outside of the box."
Her Top Tips for Finding Your Style:
- Be authentic, be you! God makes us one of one and you should fully embrace that there is nobody like you. Your style should reflect you and only you.
- Designer is NOT style. Fashion is trendy and style is timeless. Style is your aesthetic choices: how you pull your overall look together down to the hair and outfit of choice.
- Be a risk-taker in the way that you think about your style. I truly believe that my best work with my clients has been taking risks instead of playing it safe. When you take risks with something as simple as your outfit, you naturally become more confident.
"I started off wearing my sisters' hand-me-downs but knew I wanted to dress in a way that expressed specifically who I am and what I knew looked right on me. So, I began to think about my body type and the clothing pieces that complemented my frame and found stores that sold pieces that worked for me. I started experimenting and eventually found what stuck. and what best mirrored my personality! Eventually, I started studying other body types and what pieces worked for them and began my personal styling journey, helping women dress for their body types and best express themselves."
Her Top Tips for Finding Your Style:
- Hire a stylist for an expert analysis of what style best reflects your style goals.
- Ask yourself questions about how you want to present to the world, and what clothing items best make that statement.
- Explore what clothing pieces make you feel most comfortable and like yourself.
Featured image by @tiffanystyledit/Instagram
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Courtney is a contributing writer, based in Puerto Rico by way of Tennessee. Interested in the intersection of fashion and culture, she has an affinity for fashion, empowerment, and really good tacos. Keep up with her on Instagram (@hautecourtxo).
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images