Defining Your Personal Style

People often ask me what is the latest trend they should be looking out for, or the “color of the season.” I could easily tell you what is coming out this fall or what to look for in 2 years (because that’s when they usually start forecasting).  I’ll do you one better, I’ll help you define your style. We often hear that someone is a victim of trends, but we never hear that they are a victim of style.

Let’s dive deeper into the problem with shopping trends. Say the new hip trend is chaps.  Yes, these, and being that it’s in Elle magazine, it’s a must for the fall.


You’ll take one in each color!


Here’s the issue, one, those are hideous, and two, when those go out of trend, you’ll be left wondering why you spent all that money on those chaps, and all that money on cream to recover from them as well.

So where do you begin? Let’s define YOUR style. Your style starts right in the mirror with YOU. Think of it like a tree.



The roots – the foundation of your style, are your knowledge of your style.

This is really just knowing you – your shape, your budget, your coloring, and even your personality and how you think.

For example, I have boiled down my style to eccentric and sophisticated. Now, I’m not always wearing heels, but I know what I like and it helps me filter what I like on me versus what I like, but I know would look good on someone else for their style.

The trunk – which is 70% of your closet, is your staple pieces.

Those are quality pieces that will stay in your closet for years. They fit you well, they are so you, and classic items. Some staple pieces include a trench or a really good coat, dark denim or black jeans, a crisp white button up, classic black pumps (get a good pair that don’t kill those feet), a Little Black Dress. You’ll find that everything else you get builds around this core!

The Leaves – which are 30% of your closet, are the trend.

Just like the leaves change with seasons, so does this part of your wardrobe, though now you know your style, you have your staples, and you can use trend as fillers. Now that you know your style though, you will filter the trends. If you are an apple tree, you are not going to try to grow oranges. Just like your style, you aren’t going to try to wear the highlighter colors that came out, if you have red hair, it just isn’t you.

So here are some practical tools to help you build your style and shop for the fall:

1) Build your style tree. Make a visual if you want. Pinterest is great for that!

2) Find a tailor! Most stores you shop at are building 5 styles of that item for millions of women, so it’s not going to fit you perfectly (which should relieve you of feeling bad when nothing fits right! It is not just you!). Hint: Use Yelp! to find one you like.

3) When you do shop, don’t just look at your “problem area” when you try something on. It will give you a distorted perspective of the item (Everything will look big!). Look at all of you in the mirror, it helps!

4) Have fun and try something new! Don’t take yourself too seriously!


Happy Fall Shopping!!







Jessica Pisani is a long-distance member of Capital City Church.  She’s Dennis and Donna Pisani’s second daughter and currently lives and works in New York City.  She is a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design (a la Tim Gunn and Project Runway) and has her own personal styling business.  You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram @jesspisani


Author: beautifulyou

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  1. i WISH 70% of my closet fit the description of staple. Sigh. Ok – I need to get back out there (haaaaaaate shopping). Thanks for the GREAT advice, Jess. And, I will try not to look at my…um…trouble areas…I will celebrate the good ones (as soon as I find them) and then I’m going to Starbucks! #JESShelpwhenwillubebackintown lol.

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  2. LOVE this and how you made it SO simple to understand…definitely have all my percentages whacked out! Gonna do some closet reorg and come to NYC to go shopping!
    Great post Jess!

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