Many years ago I was at a friend’s house and I was sitting on a chair in the sunshine. And I remember distinctly thinking ‘How do I feel in what I wear?’ and ‘What would I wear today if I could wear anything?’
I can’t recall much more about that conversation with myself except that I wanted to wear a pale grey silk shirt and cream linen trousers (that didn’t crease!).
However I do remember quite distinctly the thoughts I had about the effects that clothing has on me.
Clothing makes you look a certain way, gives you a style.
And then clothing also makes you feel a certain way too.
This was the start of me realising just how journaling can improve your fashion style.
So I wrote down these thoughts in my diary.
A few years later and I was journaling.
And I was writing about my clothes and I came back to these feelings that I had around ‘How do I feel in what I wear?’ and ‘What would I wear today that would make me feel great?’
The feeling that I had when I was writing was very positive and optimistic.
And not only that but it helped me understand what I was thinking and also developed my thoughts.
And one of those thoughts was that my style, my own personal style, comes from within me.
First understand that style comes from within
What do I mean by saying that style comes from within?
Well style is an outer expression of the inner you.
How you think and what you think is expressed externally in what you wear and how you look.
Whether you realise it or not.
And whether you care or not.
So the thoughts inside me, the voice bubbling up, the enthusiasm I get when I see or wear clothes that I love. All of that contribute towards my own style. And those voices contribute towards your own style too.
The difference between fashion and style
To be clear, fashion and style are different. But intertwined.
Fashion fades, style is eternalYves Saint Laurent
“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.”Iris Apfel
Fashion is what other people suggest you should wear that describes how they feel about life.
And style is about what you want to wear to describe yourself and how you feel about life.
But fashion is also useful because it gives you a whole range of ideas to chose from. Ideas that are constantly regenerated each season to give us a fresh way of looking at yourself. So fashion comes and goes quite quickly, whereas style endures. That’s what the two quotes above were telling us.
In this blog post we’ll talk about fashion in relation to your personal style ie your fashion style, which is your own personal style. And what I mean when I type that is that your style endures but your fashion can change. Your style is constant, and each season you can pick and choose from the current ‘fashion’ to create new and interesting outfits to wear.
So you don’t create a style and then rigidly stick to it, stuck with it for the rest of your life. No! The evolving nature of style plays a really important role in your mental well being and is vitally important.
The reason that style is so vitally important for you is that it is a visual form of self expression. Blocking self expression is a form of blocking your emotions and blocking emotions is bad for your health.
This self expression links you to your inner you.
Journaling links you to the inner you
Sometimes we say, ‘I don’t know’.
We say, ‘I don’t know’ about many things.
Where you want to live. What you want to eat. Whether to invite the neighbours round for a meal. What you want for your birthday.
What you want to wear.
In fact we do know. The I don’t know phrase just means, ‘I am not willing to make a decision right now’, or ‘I am unable to make a decision right now’.
If you do want to know something then ask yourself by journaling about it.
‘How do I want to look?’
Try this now. Get a sheet of paper, or better still a journal, and a pen.
And write about how you want to look.
Give yourself five minutes and just write.
Think your own thoughts.
What comes up for you?
Your personal fashion style comes from within
“Personal Style comes from within. It’s when the woman, her individuality and spirit come through. She uses clothes to express who she is and how she feels.”Donna Karan
Your personal style comes from within. When you say things like, ‘I don’t know what to wear today’ what you are essentially saying is, ‘I don’t know how to be today’, or ‘I don’t know how I want to turn up in my life today’.
The trick is to learn how to tap into the inner you and pull out what is in there, to connect with what is in there. And this is where journaling can help.
How journaling helps mental processing
What is it about journaling that is so helpful?
Is it the speed at which we write?
Is it the hand/brain connection, something about the feelings created when those two engage?
Is it the fact that journaling is a space for self expression? A very free space where you are free to think your own thoughts and develop your own ideas or solve problems?
It is probably all of those criteria and more. I’ve written about what exactly happens when we write here.
Briefly, when we journal we release creativity and sharpen the brain.
Read on for how can you release creativity and sharpen your brain.
Personal style is individuality and that comes from inside you
Try these simple journaling prompts to trigger your inner individuality, release creativity and sharpen your brain.
- Which do you prefer, trousers or a dress and why?
- In relation to clothes I feel most comfortable when I am wearing ……
- If I could dress like anyone it would be ….
- I feel my best when I wear …..
- A fashion style that I would like to try is ….
- Something I wear that I don’t actually like is …..
- I would describe my personal style as …..
- One thing that I would like to change about my personal style is ….
- One thing that I love about my personal style is …..
- Describe how the way that you look differs from the way your friends look and journal about how you feel about that.
How journaling can improve your fashion style
So, now that you know that journaling helps mental processing and links you to the inner you.
And now that you know that personal style is an outer expression of the inner you and that it is how you want to show up in the world.
You can put them together: use journaling to access your inner thoughts and emotions and, by accessing yourself, understand who you are and how you want to ‘be’ in this world.
Style is describing who you are
Style is describing who you are and journaling is one of the ways that you can engage with the descriptive process.
Try these fashion style journaling prompts for yourself:
Journaling prompts to describe your style
- It is a warm day. You are on holiday, in fact it is the first day of your summer holiday. You are going somewhere nice for the day.
Where are you going?
Who are you going with?
Describe the feelings you have about this scenario.
Now, journal about what you are wearing. Write about how you feel in your outfit. Journal about all the details.
- You are going out for lunch. You are meeting a friend who you haven’t seen for a while. You are secretly attracted to him/her. You know nothing will ever happen between the two of you, but you want to look your best and are really looking forward to lunch.
What do you choose to wear? It doesn’t have to be something that currently exists in your wardrobe, it could be anything, real or imaginary.
Imagine yourself getting dressed into this outfit. How do you feel as you are getting dressed?
Visualise yourself arrive at the restaurant and being seated at your table? How do you feel in your clothes? Your lunch date arrives. You order a drink. He/She compliments you on your outfit. How do you feel?
Visualise the lunch itself, the courses you have, the restaurant environment.
How do you feel, what difference does your outfit make to the way that you feel about the day?
The lunch over, you leave and arrive home. How do you feel about yourself?
What have you just learned about yourself?
I hope that in either or both of these scenarios you have learned something new about yourself. Either you have learned something about what you want to wear, or maybe something about yourself that you haven’t considered before, like how you want to live your life.
Go through your answers and ask yourself:
Journal about the clothes you chose to wear in this scenario. Are they clothes that already exist or are they new clothes that I don’t currently own?
Would I like to wear these clothes more?
How do they reflect my character?
What did I like about them?
Did anything surprise me about what I wore?
Then, turning to what you actually wrote, ask yourself:
What did I say, write or think that surprised me? Why did it surprise me? What does that tell me about myself?
Write down what you enjoyed about the exercises.
Then write down what you didn’t enjoy about the exercises.
Then journal around why you think you thought these thoughts.
I hope that this has been a really useful exercise for you. I also hope that you can see how journaling and personal style are a vital form of self expression and how much journaling can help you to find your own fashion style. We’d love to invite you to check out our Wardrobe Journaling course. Wardrobe Journaling is a short course designed for any woman who wants to reflect on what she wears, why she wears it and who she wants to be. Click on the link here and you can register your name for when doors open again. We’d love to welcome you in to Wardrobe Journaling.
If you enjoyed this post we have others on journaling about your style, or Wardrobe Journaling as we call it and you can read a few here:
Wardrobe Journaling: Do clothes make you feel different?
How to love yourself better by asking: How do I feel about my clothes today?
Learning to love yourself and what you wear by journaling