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Let me ask you, has there ever been a time where there was so much of everything and I mean, everything? It feels like the world wants you to have everything for your personal style, try this, try that, buy, and buy, and buy. Latest this, latest that, the trendiest trends, and so on. Honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming. Why don’t you consider keeping things simple by choosing to find your personal style with slow fashion?
Listen, it’s actually wonderful that you have the ability the choose whatever personal style you want and create endless creative possibilities. The only thing tricky about all of this is separating what the fashion mega-conglomerates market to you and what you really want to fill out your personal style with.
Slow fashion is reliability. It’s about you. Not what anybody says. Those latest trends, designs, “newly discovered” fabrics, and whatever else will always be there and they will keep on hounding you to “be cool”, you have to wear this. Listen, who you are as a person will always be unique and special. This article was written specifically for you, to help you discover just have incredibly comforting it is to have your own personal style.
If at any point during your read, you get confused or you have questions. Please contact us with your personal style questions. Type it in the comments section. We’re here. We will respond.
Personal Style 101
Put simply, it’s about self-expression. The clothes that you wear, their colors, and the personal style accessories you choose. They’re collections of ideas that best represent you and the joy you get from wearing an attire that you feel reflects who you are – Aka your personal style.
Personal style is about intention. It’s being more mindful because you understand and know for yourself what makes you feel confident, comfortable, and stylish. Having this ability to express yourself with confidence makes the whole experience of buying outfits, engaging and fun.
Imagine, the wealth of creative potential without having the burden of needing to fit it, needing to wear the “latest and greatest.” You’re just you. And that’s not a bad thing. Later on, as you read this article, you will discover 8 tips that will dramatically help you with your personal style.
Most of these tips have personally helped me save money and just enjoy myself shopping without this stress, this burden of having to look a certain way. I can pass by a display and in seconds, I know if that is for me or now. No stress, just enjoying myself. I’m just me, and that’s ok.
Now, although interchangeable, please don’t confuse “style” and “fashion.”
Here are the differences between the two:
- What is currently being marketing a.k.a. the latest & greatest
- A style refers to what was “in” or what was “popular” during a given period for example in the 60s, it was hippie style, then it was all denim, to now athleisure to Tech wear, and whatever the latest “new” style is. It can also include your own personal style
And, of course, you have what I like to call Timeless Classics that regardless of ethnicity or complexion, they go great of anybody such as:
- A floral dress goes very well on a woman
- Your classic black suit with a pocket square goes very, very well on a man
Slow Fashion 101
Slow fashion is about you. A personal style journey that speaks not merely of relatability and self-expression meaning the clothes you wear, the colors, and so on but contentment from the type of fabric you pick, and how durable they are – serves as a kind of timeline that shows how much you’ve changed over the years.
Yes, it’s a bit cheesy but what most don’t realize is that slow fashion or personal style is not only about you and the self-gratification that comes with it, but it gives you the power to avoid this drug of consumerism and allows you to get off this hamster wheel of never-ending “latest” trends.
Slow fashion or a personal style isn’t complicated. Embracing who you are and celebrating it proudly speaks volumes that you don’t need to have a certain look to be happy or to be noticed. And best of all, it’s sustainable and ethical.
At the time of writing this article, this is where we are in the fashion industry:
- Gone are the days of seasonal trends
- Fast fashion is all about mass-replicating recent
- high-fashion designs
- catwalk trends
- and the latest accessories at fashion shows
- Appearing at retail stores usually within a month or two
- Relatively more affordable than high-end fashion stores
- Targeted towards millennials
- Zara is an example of fast fashion
- Ultra-fast mass production of fashionable items
- Turnovers for these fashionable items are often less than 2 weeks
- No physical store. Most are online retailers:
- Shein the largest online fashion retailer can sometimes have over 600,000 products. Again, let me repeat, that’s “over 600,000” products. 600,000 plus…
- Gen Z (most) has gone absolutely bananas for these
- Cheaper than fast fashion stores like Zara
The vast majority of people do not have a personal style. Most of them are just wearing graphic tees and shorts. Way, way too people are trend chasers and the people who should be wearing them don’t feel “comfortable” in them. These fast fashion and ultra-fast fashion are just adding serious amounts of carbon footprint.
Imagine plastic, the plastic problem that we have globally.
Tons and tons of unused or thrown-away then-latest fashion clothes. I do not mean to villainize anybody. I just wish people would develop their own personal style so that super mega-conglomerates like Shein, Zara, and others will adjust strategies or expectations, making our world environmentally friendly, especially for our neighbors of the sea, land, and air.
The Way Forward is Vegan or Green
Here’s what vegan or green products mean, they are ethical, they are environmentally friendly, and most of all, they are sustainable. Most products are made with some sort of animal material with vegan or green products, they aren’t. Vegan leather or vegan products come from a wide variety of sources from faux leather to PVC and many more.
Creating Your Own Personal Style
The first thing you must know about having your own personal style is that there’s no rulebook. However odd or unusual a piece of clothing might be if you feel comfortable in it. Do it. Wear it. If people can wear “ugly sweaters” on Christmas, why can’t you wear whatever you want? You do you
Given that, of course, you understand that there are certain establishments that won’t entertain you if you dress “inappropriately” – that’s a whole different story. but the great thing is, 97% of establishments are welcoming, they only care about you paying and not destroying their place of business.
Discovering your personal style can take a lifetime but that’s what’s great about it. Remember, personal style is individual expression through one’s choice of aesthetics, clothes, hairstyle, and accessories, and how they all come together to form an outfit that best represents you through a combination of ideas, patterns, and colors.
Your Style Will Change Over Time
Yes, this is normal. It’s 100% okay.
I’d be a little concerned if your personal style doesn’t change over the years. Change means growth. Wisdom. Knowing yourself more. As you gain more experience, your personal style improves and changes over the years. You dress up for yourself for who you are and not what some fashionistas and especially not what the fashion industry tells you to wear and be.
Personal Style Pro Tips
Mixing and matching is a fantastic way of coming up with dozens of combinations without the stress of choosing what to wear or what matches. This works into defining your personal style i.e., a collection of ideas that represent you.
Contrast is a simple but powerful way of leveling up your outfits. Color-wise, this means picking the opposite side of the spectrum when choosing an outfit so if you wanted to wear something that was orange then you would match that with an outfit that’s teal or blue green.
These are the secrets that designers and especially marketers have been using for decades. Color theory is in everything, it applies to everything from billboards about food, lingerie, movie posters, and of course, outfits.
Let me explain how color works to define an emotion or to invoke an emotion:
- If I say the word, Lust – what colors come to mind?
- If I say Spring – what color (s) come to mind?
- If I mention the color pink – what emotions come to mind? Youth? Femininity?
- What about happiness or a person that’s happy – what color comes to mind?
- What about a seductress? What color and/or outfits come to mind?
- If you wanted to seduce somebody, what color would you wear?
- What if I told you, there was this blonde teen girl that was outgoing and had a very bubbly sassy personality – what color(s) come to mind?
- What if she was serious? Doesn’t smile a lot, isn’t too fond of crowds – what colors come to mind?
- What if I told you she was a nerd? Has glasses? Hangs out at the library a lot – what color, what kind of clothes is she wearing?
- If you take a look at any of these color wheels – notice how for each color, at the opposite again, there’s another color that’s a simple example of contrast. Opposites.
- Start from your complexion and simply choose the opposite color and you’ll have a match:
- If you have a lighter complexion, pick darker colors
- If you have a darker complexion, pick lighter colors
Here’s another example:
- Notice how Dionne (Stacey Dash), she’s wearing a plaid jacket, with a red vest, and a white tee that’s called analogous meaning she picked 1 main color, and the colors beside it are what she uses to accent her whole entire outfit.
Here’s a perfect example of personal style:
- Let’s use Clueless again, here’s Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher (YouTube video link)
- Notice anything? … most of her outfits aren’t “contrast.” They’re bright and colorful. Why? Because it speaks volumes about her bubbly personality. She’s outgoing, cheerful, someone who enjoys the sun, light, playful, feminine, and passionate.
- Here’s Alicia Silverstone herself explaining her outfits (YouTube video link)
8 Tips for Finding ‘Your Style’
#1 – What’s Your Stand?
In finding your own style, you must know what your stand is meaning what’s comfortable for you and what’s not comfortable for you. I’m talking about how it’s made; do you want it fast and cheap that will most probably only last you a couple of months maybe a year if you’re lucky, or do you want something that is ethical, cruelty-free, and sustainable? Then, you want vegan products.
This is exactly why I created Cruelty Free Handbags – I believe in this, I believe that fashion does not need to come at the expense of experiments on animals or animal materials. It was very hard for me to find actual high-quality vegan handbags that assured me of their ethical practices.
Everything that we have to offer from our vegan tote bags, vegan hobo bags, vegan bucket bags, and vegan crossbody bags – was all carefully examined to assure you and us that the quality is top-tier, and we are able to make an ‘informed’ decision to cover your personal style desires.
We assure you that all of our vegan products are made from cruelty-free ‘vegan materials.’ No animal testing. Genuine customer feedback. And only high-quality durable and long-lasting vegan products.
#2 – Find Inspiration
We live in an age where there are literally millions upon millions of photos available online. There’s an endless stream of references available. Go to online stores. Lookup celebrities that you like or are inspired by. Movies like Clueless and Devil Wears Prada are fantastic references.
Overwhelmed? Do you want contrast (opposites), or do you want complimentary? You still apply this color theory principle when it comes to an outfit. Say, you saw a yellow checkered jacket that you like, now simply choose a complimentary or opposite color. Who says, mixing and matching are hard?
But before you do all of that, please remember, personal style, personal style, personal style. What colors do you like, what colors look good on your complexion, and are there particular patterns that you want? What about shoes or silhouettes? What about handbags?
My personal favorite is our Cruelty Free Handbags Pinterest social media page. You wouldn’t believe the number of boards that I have from every season to every occasion, to colors that I like, to patterns that I love. Checkout our Pinterest social media page and follow us.
#3 – Wardrobe Check
Time to take stock of what’s inside your wardrobe.
Go to your wardrobe, open it, and think to yourself, “is this me? Do I actually wear any of these outfits? Or am I just keeping them, just because? Which one of these was given to me as a gift by [- insert relation e.g., uncle, aunt, sister, mother, father, brother, etc. -]”
Seriously consider which ones you actually wear or have worn and which ones you haven’t touched in years. Those ones, you may want to consider donating to somebody who will use them.
My father once told me:
- “You know, outfits are great and all but sometimes as we grow older. There’s this voice, a need, somewhere in our brain that tells us… “hey, you’re older now. I want us to stop wearing this, I want to wear this instead. It’s okay. It’ll look good on us.”
- Well, the voice is right. I don’t agree though about throwing away all of your clothes. Keep all your nostalgic clothing. Those from your childhood, teens, young adulthood, and so on. “
- Keep all your clothes that have ‘sentimental’ value. Trust me, you’ll need those one day.”
May I add, keep all your sustainable items from your vegan handbags, clothes, and whatever is. Seriously, those things last for years.
#4 – Thrift Shops
I kid you not when I tell you the incredible treasures that I have found in thrift shops. The amount of randomness in thrift shops is something I will never get tired of experiencing. And they’re uncommon – most items that I find in thrift shops are items that I will never find in stores which help to make my personal style even more unique.
I even found great neckties for my brother and boss. And if you know what to look for, sometimes, you’ll find a genuine high-value item like a dress from Dolce & Gabbana. I have no idea where they get their clothes, but they’re clean, affordable, and so varied. I love the personal style randomness, makes the whole mixing and matching even more fun-er.
#5 – Large Stores
One of the reasons why I love going to large stores like Zara, H&M, Bershka, UNIQLO, and other clothing stores is that they have huge spaces where most employees leave me the heck alone!
I love the feeling of trying on outfits without some random employee hounding me or hawking me like I’m going to do something wrong. Can’t I just be left alone, browse in peace, and when I need you, I will personally come to you and say, “excuse me, I like this. Where do I pay?”
#6 – Knowing Your Body Type
Knowing what your body type is probably where ‘everything’ really starts. Regardless of body type, the principles behind color theory are still fine. Contract, complementary, and so on are all okay.
It’s just sometimes, patterns and fabrics change depending on your body type. They’re not able for a particular body type or you need to buy fabric and have it custom tailored to fit your personal style.
Please find out what your body type is then I highly suggest that you research common styles of a particular color for your body type. This will help you gauge what looks good on you.
#7 – Who’s Your Style Icon
Celebrity or not, who’s that person that whenever you see that you think to yourself, “wow! What a great outfit! I want to look like that! I love their personal style!”
Here’s how I do this; I don’t necessarily have a “style icon.” I base my personal style on my hair. I’m a brunette so, I don’t limit myself to my ethnicity. I’ll look at every person, on Pinterest (Haha, love that place), that has my hair color. I could care less what their complexion is as long as they are a brunette, female or male. I don’t care.
For example, I’m currently looking at East Asian styles. You know, K-Pop or J-Pop. I noticed that a lot of them have really pretty flowery dresses that make me want to buy them. My complexion matches with most of them and so does my hair, so I can definitely imagine looking just as they look.
And don’t get me wrong, I’ve also tried styles that I saw from people who have dark complexion. I noticed they were either wearing something conservative, but their pattern was out of this world! I still remember that violet jacket with a design pattern that I still don’t know what it’s called. All I know is, it was a fantastic personal style choice!
#8 – 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 256 outfits
This is a simple principle that I personally follow. It keeps my costs low and my outfits plenty.
You will need:
- 4 tees or blouses
- 4 jackets
- 4 skirts or pants
- 4 shoes, boots, or heels
Apply the principles of color theory.
And regardless of what fabric or design you choose; you will always have something to wear.
In fact, you will have 256 outfits to wear with just 16 pieces of clothing.
We would like to invite you to read some of our other blog posts including “What is Vegan Leather? How is it Made? Is it a Better Alternative?“, “The Best Vegan Leather Bags by Dasein Bags“, “The Best Vegan Designer Bags in 2022“, “The Best Vegan Crossbody Bags on Amazon.com“, and “Review of the Seven Greatest Vegan Purse Brands in 2022“.
Q: How did you discover your own personal style?
A: I made a comparative personal style chart. Okay, it wasn’t really a chart but just a collection of photos, by age group, for example, ages 8-12, 12-15, 15-17, 18-19, 20-21. 22-24. and 25-28. During this whole experience, I noticed that I was leaning towards darker colors. Went from graphic tees, and jeans, to more corporate, and now, a mix between athleisure and Tech wear but not gray more red, green, violet, or royal blue.
Q: How did you decide on this style?
A: As I grew older and found out more about myself. I discovered that while I love clothes. The idea of having to constantly mix and match piles and piles of clothes is just, no. I hate it. I want something stylish, but I want it quick, not 15 minutes just to decide on a shoe or belt. If you’re in your 20s or even teens. Seriously, chill. It’s okay, you’re still experimenting. You’ll figure it out eventually.
Q: What’s this “4 x 4 x 4x 4”?
A: I saw it on a YouTube video. If my memory is correct, it was targeted towards me, but I saw the thumbnail, had my friend the accountant does some numbers, and it really is 256 outfits with just 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 items. It’s great. I can literally just pick any item, totally random, and they will always match.
Pro Tip: I based it on colors, not just the fabrics and design patterns. Always color first based on what I feel comfortable in with some considerations towards my complexion and personality.
Q: How’d you, do it? These 256 outfits. . .
A: Mood boards. Hundreds of mood boards on Pinterest. Took me, a weekend. I first, studied patterns in fashion from high luxury brands like Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and so on. When I got to H&M and Zara, that’s when I really started to notice patterns in how they mix and match. It wasn’t always about complexion, someone it was more about the personality, the confidence of the person.
Personally, I love the style of East Asians and Mediterranean people. There’s a practicality to them, they’re warm, welcoming, and open. And yes, colors really matter. Design patterns and whatever else are just extra style points.
Q: What’s vegan fashion?
A: A vegan fashion product means it has no material of animal origin so if you don’t use leather, fur, silk, or wool, can you call what you wear “fashion”? 100% yes, you can still be as stylish, wearing vegan clothes or carrying vegan bags. The same as you would, wearing mainstream fashion. The difference is the positive effects on animal welfare and on the impact on the environment
Q: What’s an example of vegan fashion?
A: Native Shoes. They’re literally the seed for a new look in the design of footwear A plant-based shoe. The purest materials and earth-friendly design now sets a high bar for a new shoe fashion. An example of Native Shoes are sneakers, that are plant-based and made from pineapple and eucalyptus
Q: There are SO MANY clothes, is there a secret to choosing clothes?
A: Yes. Intuition or instinct. I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels like you’re drawn to certain colors or fabrics or patterns. It feels so comfortable and there’s naturality to it. A kind of, no effort, feel to it. It’s not like a moth being drawn to a flame but more like coming home on a cold night, to a warm and cozy blanket or comforter.
For example, I have tried all kinds of sunglasses from large ones, ovals, squares, rounds, female, male, I’ve tried them all, but you know what I’m oddly drawn to, and I feel very, very, very comfortable in. These tiny, small round and oval sunglasses. I feel so comfortable in them. And they even fit my face shape. Instinct, trust it.
Q: What are the types of vegan fashion?
A: Yeah, a lot. Did you know that natural materials can be combined with recycled plastic for fashion? They have a unique look and feel to them.
Vegan fashion is a lifestyle choice such as G&L Accessories. These are sustainable vegan accessories that use natural materials such as cork, cotton, and teak leaves and combine them with recycled materials, like plastic from used bottles. These are used to line handbags.
Q: Can a high-end brand ever be vegan?
A: Yes. Gucci! A new textile, called Demetra, is the product of years of research and will be used to create Gucci’s signature accessories. Gucci received an award for its innovative use of cruelty-free leather alternatives. Gucci created its own in-house animal-free material, drawn and crafted from 77% raw plant-based materials.