Myth: When you’re in your 20s, you’re still trying to find your personal style, so anything goes.
Truth: Not necessarily.
When you’re in your teens, it’s true that you can get away with any style. That’s because no one expects you to know who you really are just yet or what message you want to send to the world about yourself. And when you hit age 20, you don’t go from knowing nothing to knowing everything. So yes, in your 20s, you’re still searching. However, in order to appear more grown-up, you do have to have some direction.
From me, you get the truth.
In your 20s, a lot of different clothing styles will still work simply because you cannot be expected to have found yourself completely just yet. But as an adult, you’re expected to at least be looking to find yourself and your personal style. That means that the clothes you wear should have some consistency in their styles.
So, how do you go about finding your style?
Start by making a list of adjectives that you want people to use in describing you as a person. Don’t hold back. You’re not bragging or doing anything wrong. “Smart,” “intelligent,” “savvy,” “creative,” “artistic,” “edgy,” “warm,” “strong,” “powerful,” “approachable,” “youthful,” “fun,” “funky,” “ladylike,” “feminine,” “romantic,” “athletic,” and “energetic” are all great adjectives. And this can get you started; feel free to come up with your own adjectives.
Certain adjectives are a little subjective. For example, some women might use “casual” for a style adjective while other women might prefer “formal.” Some women might prefer “unique” while other women might prefer “traditional.” None of these are bad in any way as long as the adjective reflects the real you.
Once you have your adjectives, start looking at your clothes and see what they express about you. Consider how you feel when wearing them. Your classic black suit may say “smart and classy,” while your brown dress may say “smart and casual.” If smart is one of your adjectives, then that’s good. But if you find classic boring and you want to look more “unique” and “artistic,” then that classic black suit might not be right.
How do you go about finding your style?
Start by making a list of adjectives that you want people
to use in describing you as a person
When shopping, try to dress in a way that expresses those adjectives that you like about yourself. You’ll feel it and you’ll find it easier to find the right items. And when doing your shopping research, consider the styles in those stores. If a store has a lot of classic pieces and your style is classic, then you have a place to look.
Having said all of that, if you’re in your 20s, you need to try a lot of different styles. Don’t rule out too much. I hope that your list of adjectives is nice and long, so work with those even if they seem different from each other. Eventually, you’ll find what works best. As you go through this, you’ll find that your style is less “all over the place.”
I remember when I was in my 20s and I tried wearing a lot of classic pieces, especially for shul and special events. I wanted to look as glamorous as the women I knew who could wear that look. But classic is not me and I just never felt right. Only later did I realize why. Ever since I started dressing in my own style I’ve felt so much better about how I look and I’ve gotten more compliments than I ever did when I was trying to dress classic.
My personal style is what I like to call “casual chic with a twist.” I don’t like to look too formal and fussy. Even when I’m dressing for a formal event, my take on formal is still more casual and relaxed than what most other women would wear. I do like clean lines and an overall streamlined look (chic). I don’t like ruffles or tiers or bows or beading or other embellishment – I prefer to add that with my jewelry. However, I don’t want to look boring, so I like adding fun things with color, prints, jewelry, and headscarves.
Your goal at this time is to look like a grown-up without looking old and stodgy. If you look for your personal style, you will find it and you’ll look like the best possible “real you.”
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tzniut. Her jewelry pieces can be seen on Facebook (just look up Rena Mei) or in person. She also has the YouTube channel “Look your best in mitpachot,” where she does head-wrapping tutorials, and she is available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at MESAtik@gmail.com.