This is me! Three easy steps to help you identify your style
'I don't really know what I'm looking for.'
This is how many of the conversations I have with you will start, and that's okay, because with over seven years of experience helping brides choose the perfect wedding accessories for them, the tools and techniques I've developed will help you move from 'I don't know...' to 'this is me, and this is exactly the style of accessory I'm looking for.'
So, grab yourself a pen and paper, somewhere quiet to sit and make notes, and follow my three easy tips, so you too can look as immense as super stylish bride Francesca on her wedding day...
(And yes, those are a pair of delicious plum boots with gold buttons - this girl knows her style alright!) Image © Wild Things Wed
Step 1: Steal their style
Who's your style icon? Go ahead and write their name down. For me I'm going to say Prince.
Next, consider what it is you love about their style. This tends to fall into a few categories, you'll either love that their style is predominantly ground breaking and cool, or that it's elegant and timeless, that it's feminine, sexy, courageous, or eye catching, I'm going to say that I loved Prince's style for being *sexy and courageous.
Next think about for you, what your style icon's best look was. If you could steal a single element from that look, what would it be and why?
I adored Prince the most when he embraced his femininity, *contrasted free flowing lines with sharp tailoring, and used colour to maximum effect. And if I could steal a single element from one of his most memorable looks, it would be the contrast between the decadence of his high necked, frilled shirt, and the more traditional tailored trench coat (albeit in a shade of vivid violet!)
Take a while to think about your style icon's signature look, identify what it is you love about it and make notes.
Step 2: Picture this
Look around your home at the artwork you hang on your walls. You'll be surprised (but you really shouldn't be) what your choice of art says about your sense of style.
Take these pieces currently hanging in my hall. What do they tell you about my sense of style? What elements do you think appeal to me?
The butterfly piece without a doubt speaks to the part of me that *loves nature. I'm in my element when I'm outdoors on a warm summers day, listening to bees buzzing, watching butterflies flitting, and spotting which of my garden planting is taking it's chance to shine. It also says something about how I *favour colour. You'll never find me wearing beige, or grey, or any kind of neutral tones, and rarely will I wear a 'little black dress' for a night out. Weather soft pastel tones, or full on neon brights, I'm fully wedded to colour, and I think the butterfly art reflects that about me. Finally I think the fact that I've chosen a big, eye catching, exotic butterfly, points to my being swayed towards *bold, statement designs.
The second piece of artwork is a piece attributed to the elusive street artist Banksy. What insight does this piece give me about my style blueprint? I'd say it says that I like to feel a bit *non-conformist in my style choices; that I don't think something has to look conventionally 'pretty', or traditional, or play to the norm, to be an attractive piece of work worthy of a place on my wall where I will look at it day in, day out.
Take a look at the pictures you have hanging on your walls. Are they mainly family photos? If so, then you'll be someone with a desire to see sentimental tokens reflected in your style choices. 'This was my mum's veil...This is is my Nan's fave flower...my garter was made by my sister-in-law.'
Have you chosen to display art from Klimpt's gold period in your front room? Are you drawn to the gilding in his work? This may well mean you prefer warmer tones, or like to see metallic accents in the detailing on your clothing.
Does Monet's soft, romantic iconically impressionist work float your boat? If so, you can take it that you lean towards a softer, more traditional style, with fluid lines and natural tones.
Write down what you think the images you've chosen to frame and hang around your home say about your style.
Step 3: Be true to you
Take a moment to think about what you'd wear on a night out. Make a note of the things that you consider your style 'standards.' Always wear heels / flats? Make a note. Always wear a bold lip? Make a note. Always want to wear something contemporary? Make a note. Never wear chunky jewellery? Make a note. Always choose silver over gold? Make a note.
One of the first discussions I have with brides when they contact me to discuss having a bespoke hair accessory designed, is around how they like to dress up for a night out. This obviously varies slightly based on the occasion - opening night at one of Manchester's hottest new bars will be different from a family meal at a local pub, but generally, by the end of this conversation we'll have found out if she leans towards wearing traditional, well cut, timeless items, over the latest fresh off the catwalk trends. If she prefers a statement look over understated, or neutrals over colour. Whether she thinks she would be a magpie in another life, and even if she prefers a nude lip shade over a bright red.
I record all of these pointers to use when I'm brainstorming hair accessory designs with my clients. And by using these techniques I'm already confident that I know what style elements will make your hearts beat a little faster. But the thing that always amazes me is how many of you, once we've done this little bit of homework and identified your triggers will say 'Oh! I knew that I liked that, but didn't know I could have it for my wedding.'
Well, what I want you to take away from this exercise is that you can.
Don't you dare ditch your personal sense of style because you didn't think what you liked was 'bridal' enough!
Trust me when I tell you that there are suppliers out there who get you and who are ready to use the style must haves that you've identified using my three steps, to help you create a wedding day look that you'll still adore when you look back at it in years to come. And if you can't find them, click on contact and I'll point you in the right direction.
By the end of this exercise you should have a written record of the following:
1. Who your style icon(s) is / are and what it is you love about their most iconic looks. You don't have to stick to one person! Jot down a few and try to see if there's some common ground.
2. What kind of artwork you have around the home and what you think it says about your style.
3. A list of your style standards when you dress up for an occasion
For me, if I look back at my findings I can see what my style markers are and start using those when making choices about the look I want to create for a special occasion:
* I like a look that is sexy and courageous.
* I like the impact contrast has on a look.
* I like to use bursts of colour and the forms found in nature to capture attention.
* I like bold, statement, non-conformist style elements.
* When dressing up I go for fit over fashion; will always opt to wear a statement accessory, and really feel as though I haven't made an effort if I don't wear colour.
If you use these three tools to build a picture of the style markers that make your heart sing you'll soon have a formula that helps you avoid the 'I have no idea' moments when putting together your wedding day look. And if you need extra guidance, or an informal video chat to hold your hand through the process, just click contact and let's start nailing your style!
'Fashion is what you're offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose." - Lauren Hutton