Finding your own style is such a simple concept, yet probably one of the hardest things to achieve if you are fashion conscious. Please don’t take this as the end all be all to finding out what you like to wear because there are unlimited possibilities to discover and explore fashion. Leave all of your preconceived notions at the door. Finding more about yourself requires an open mind and any hang-ups about a certain style will inhibit you from reaching your fashion destination.
Experiment. This is by far the most expensive way, but you’ll never learn without trying. Find a good store with a reputable return policy and if you see something that strikes your fancy and fits into your budget, go for it. Its fun to go from business casual to goth ninja to Americana. Don’t immediately put off a certain style without trying it because it may be the coolest thing since sliced bread. There is never a dull moment when experimenting and after all, fashion is supposed to be fun.
Browse. Go into stores and feel the fabrics. It sounds a little weird and you might look ridiculous feeling up clothing, but it will give you a grasp of how the piece of clothing will lay on your body. This will give you a leg up shopping online, instead of questioning what oxford cloth feels like you will know. Fashion forums are an excellent source for exposure to fashion—serving as a guide towards your fashion nirvana. I got my start on Reddit’s /r/malefashionadvice and I highly recommend it for beginners (they also have a section for developing your own personal style). Other such outlets for fashion are styleforum.net, superfuture.com, and askandyaboutclothes.com; however, these sites tend be less accepting of beginners.
Patience. When I first started caring about what I wore I bought so many clothes that I thought were cool, only to realize two months later that I’m never going to wear them again. Start slow and pace yourself. The rise of fast fashion has made finding your style ten times easier. If you have ever been in an H&M, you’d be surprised how inexpensive some of the clothing is. Now, you get what you pay for, but it is easy to buy a piece and decide whether you love it or hate it at a small price.
Confidence. People will notice that you’re changing what you wear. Some might compliment you, some might make homophobic slurs. Be confident in what you are wearing and be proud that you’re learning something about your clothing desires. You owe it to yourself to look good, and no one else.
Perception. This point makes the confidence part sound invalid—but used correctly—I think it plays a major role in finding yourself. Perception is how you want others to view you. So, if you want people to take you seriously at a business meeting, wear a suit. If you want to look like you’re going to the gym, you wear athletic shorts and an old t-shirt. The point is to consider using clothing as an extension of your personality.
The exploration of oneself should be fun; it should be a journey that will take as long as it needs to. Even if you do find what you truly love, never stop growing. Continue to experiment with higher quality goods or maybe even take a chance on a random Kickstarter campaign. At the end of the day though, its just clothes.