By Pat Light
If you are like me, your style has changed as you have passed through different stages of life. What I wore as a young mom was very different to what I wore mid-career and what I wore mid-career has changed drastically as I entered retirement. My style confusion was compounded by a health and fitness transformation, at 61, and I came out the other side of that 36 lbs lighter, with muscle I never imagined I could develop. So, entering a new stage of life, with a new body I am still getting used to, how did I decide what my new style was?
3 Word Method
The 3 Word Method has been popularized by Allison Borstein a California based stylist (@allisonbornstein). The 3 Word Method essentially helps you to distill your style to three adjectives. Don’t worry we all have style, and it is usually lurking in your closet. The 3 Word method not only will help you identify your style, but help you cultivate your style going forward.
You can find your first style word by going through your existing cloths and pulling out the clothes you wear most often. It helps to pull them out and lay them on you bed to look at them without the noise of all the other clothes in your closet and drawers. Remember, these are not your favourite things, but the things you wear most often. When I did this, I found that the clothes I wore the most were unfussy. For example, I have a lot of different styles of black or blue jeans, with white jeans in the summer. My tops were either cotton or linen one colour t-shirts, oversized sweaters, or long shirts. I had a few blazers left over from suits I wore to work. Anything with a pattern was usually two colour such as black and while or blue and white. The only thing that differed from this trend were my shoes which seemed a bit more edgy, with patterns, colours, and adornments (buckles and studs), but in general I would say my clothes represented a classic style with a nod to comfy. So, my first word is Classic.
The next step is to identify your aspirational word, essentially what do you want your style to be. You can find this by using Pinterest and identify styles that appeal to you, or by following people on Instagram who’s styles appeal to you. When I look at the styles I liked on my Pinterest boards, I see that same classic style in the clothes I wear more often, but that I am also pulled towards a bit of edginess, much like my shoes. Edginess doesn’t have to be full on punk, but can be added in small bits like a statement coat or shoes, at least for me that is what I am drawn to. Maybe you are drawn to a romantic look with ruffles or a boho look even though you don’t see this in your current wardrobe. So, my second word is Edgy.
The third word is your emotional word, how do you want to feel? Feeling words could be sophisticated, rebellious, glamourous, playful, casual. These feeling words are defined by you, one person’s glamorous can be different from another. I must admit my feeling word is a combination of wanting to feel relevant, in that I don’t want to blend into the background, but also a little cool, a mature cool. So, I am choosing Cool as my third word.
In the photos below, you can see how I interpret my 3 words for my own style. Black and white, classic, raw edge cropped jeans and waistcoat, edgy, and I feel appropriately cool for 63. So now that you have your three words, you can start to curate your wardrobe by pulling pieces of clothing together that reflect your three words. We will talk about curating your wardrobe in the next newsletter.