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How to Find Your Personal Style—And Better the Planet in the Process

Finding your personal style can be difficult. These tips will help you do so in a way that betters the planet *and* your bank account.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

With a massive influx in new micro-trends blowing up every couple weeks (hello, coastal grandmother style and three-piece swimsuits!), it's hard to pinpoint what we actually like and what we like only because it's trendy. Maybe last week you were totally into the avant-basic aesthetic. But this week, you're all about the model-off-duty look.

While it's fun to see how fashion has evolved over the years, trends are now changing at a rapid pace that's much harder to keep up with. An article of clothing that we all thought was super cute just a year ago may now be "tacky." This isn't just harmful to our wallets, but also to the environment.

The average American generates around 82 pounds of textile waste each year. This adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from just the U.S. alone. While some clothing is recycled or donated, the majority winds up in landfills where it can take hundreds of years to decompose. During that time, they're releasing harmful greenhouse gases, such as methane.

Why Should You Find Your Personal Style?

When it comes to fashion, there are very few things that can beat having your own unique sense of style. When you're confident in what you like and how you dress, you're doing good for both yourself and the planet.

Finding your personal style means you won't always be participating in every fad, just because it's cool in that moment. When you know what you're into, you'll only buy what you truly need and love. Having your own sense of style ultimately keeps fast fashion out of landfills and more money in your pocket.

If you've yet to find your own sense of style, don't worry! Style is an adventure, and you're the explorer. Here are some tips that will help you develop your personal style without having to buy more.

Tips for Finding Your Personal Style

1. Shop Your Own Closet

Begin evaluating your closet to see which items you typically gravitate toward. Do you like wearing comfy, casual clothes, or do you lean more into dresses and skirts? Is your closet monochromatic, or do you love a pop of color?

Pinpoint which clothes make you feel good and why. Amongst all the trendy pieces you might have, you'll be able to find a common pattern that'll lead you to your personal style.

2. Wear What You Love

Be more conscious about the outfits you decide to put on. Take a picture of what you decide to wear each day and think about why you like these pieces and how they work together.

After compiling a couple days or weeks worth of outfit photos, you'll have a better idea of which kind of clothing you really like. That also makes it easier to rid your closet of anything that doesn't make you feel good. (Here's a guide on how to get rid of old clothes responsibly.)

3. Window Shop

When you're making the rounds through your favorite stores or online, see which articles of clothing you instantly fall in love with and have the urge to purchase right away. But here's the catch: don't buy them.

Snap a quick picture on your phone or keep it in the back of your mind for a couple of weeks. After some time has passed, look back on those items and see if you still feel the same way.

You might be surprised to find that a lot of the time, the spark isn't there anymore. If it is, see if you can find something similar from a local or online thrift store before buying new.

4. Get Inspired

After discovering which kinds of clothing you actually enjoy wearing, start finding other people whose style you really admire. Whether you're looking at celebrity street style pictures or scrolling through Pinterest, you're sure to find inspiration on how to pair pieces together that you already own.

5. Dress for Yourself

Social media has certainly warped our way of thinking when it comes to how we dress. Think about what makes you truly feel like yourself, and embrace it. If there's a piece in the back of your closet that you've wanted to try but are unsure of how it'll look, go for it!

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