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Fashion as self-expression? Here’s a five-step guide to creating personal style

Fashion as self-expression? Here’s a five-step guide to creating personal style

Over time, we get to understand that there is more to fashion and style. We get to realize that it isn’t just about buying the trendiest clothes or getting the most expensive accessories. It becomes personal/personified – it becomes more about who we are, and what we are comfortable with. Fashion came about due to the desire by some people to be unique. They wore clothes and used things that appealed to other people, who then went ahead to get their own.

Every individual gets to that point where they get confused about what their style is. This was the case for Ify, who had to reach out to Dolapo for advice on how to recognize her own style.

“Dear Dolapo, 

How has it been? Heard you made quite the appearance at Tina’s birthday party looking all natural with no make-up on! I have been seeing your posts too on Socials and I think you are doing well. 

So, there is something I’d like to share with you. 

Lately I have been confused about my style – The clothes I wear, how I wear them and how it makes me feel. 

Growing up I was always told to cover up nicely: a pair of Jean, a baggy shirt, and a scarf. A combo that I think is cool and I am super comfortable in it. 

Stepping into womanhood, it’s like I have to follow the latest fashion trend in order to look “chic, classy, stylish and presentable” but it doesn’t feel right at all. I mean, clothes are meant to be just clothes, right?

Most times, after dressing up it feels like I am denying myself the ability to fully express.

So, the question is: is fashion supposed to be a form of self expression?

Dolapo smiled as she read the note that Ify sent to her. As a fashion enthusiast, it is an issue she recognizes and can relate so well due to her own past struggles with discovering her own style. She grabbed her pad and started typing a response….”

The clothes you wear are much more meaningful than simply what you look like, but they are one of the greatest ways to truly express yourself to the world. When you wear something cute and fancy it makes you feel good about yourself. It’s self-knowledge and self-confidence expressed through what you choose to wear. 

As a form of expression, fashion can make us feel empowered and more in touch with our inner self.

It is okay to feel out of touch or confused about what your style is. The best thing to do is to create an authentic style that is for YOU alone.

What is a personal style?

In the fashion world, “style” is usually shorthand for “personal style”. Style refers to a person’s particular way of expressing themselves—whether that’s through clothing, writing style, or a style of architecture. or the way an individual expresses themselves through aesthetic choices such as their clothing, accessories, hairstyle, and the way they put an outfit together.

Personal style is about developing a sense of self rather than simply absorbing trends. 

Below is a guide to creating a personal style;


Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Hey girl, Hop on – we are going on a journey!

Look through your closet/wardrobe, what are your favorite items in your closet/wardrobe? What clothes do you feel most comfortable in? Pull these clothes out and think about why they make you feel good. Figure out what they have in common.


Photo by Arianna Jadé from Pexels

 When looking for fashion inspiration, start with family and friends whose style you admire. Spend time on social media and observe how friends and celebrities dress. Although the likelihood of finding a single style icon that defines you is really looowww! Most people are more of a mix, think a little Yemi Alade with a dose of Tiwa Savage plus a dash of Seyi Shay. During this search, it is important to jot down what you like about this piece or take a screenshot of the image that you are drawn too.


Photo by uncoveredlens from Pexels

Take a look at your inspiration photos and notes, look beyond the names and pay more attention to the outfits. What vibe are you getting from the looks? Are they classic, modern, casual, or traditional? Settle for the ones that you feel connected to and note them down for future references – this will help to clarify your look more. 


 A capsule wardrobe is a collection of basics that you can mix and match to create effortless looks. These are classic pieces in neutral colors that go with everything: a little black dress, a denim jacket, simple T-shirts. You might already have some of these in your closet: Keep the ones that make you feel great and replace everything else with basics that really work for you. These items may be simple, but they’ll help you show off your unique style by providing a foundation for more exciting pieces. 


Remember how you play dress up with your siblings or friends? We are applying the same technique here. Once you’ve built your capsule collection, it’s time to add unique pieces to your wardrobe that show off your style personality. This might involve some experimentation, so remember that it’s okay if you change your mind.

The fun thing about creating a personal style is that IT IS YOURS, so you can decide to make few changes once you start to feel like it isn’t working for you anymore.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below! 

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  • ‘The clothes you wear are much more meaningful than simply what you look like, but they are one of the greatest ways to truly express yourself to the world.’ So much truth.. 😍

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