Forget about New York Fashion Week or the big runway shows in Paris, London, and Milan. The major fashion trends happen as a part of everyday life. In other words, what’s happening in “street style” is far more influential than what’s happening on the catwalks.
Attaining an eye-catching personal street style can seem daunting, though. Is it possible for a non-celebrity to own a look so riveting that it turns strangers’ heads? Can an average human being suddenly become elevated to an influencer-level street style guru? Of course. And it’s being done all the time.
In fact, you could be just a season or two away from mastering street style apparel. You just need to take a few strategic steps to get you ready to strut your stuff. Try implementing a few of the following street style tips to give your inner fashionista a lift.
1. Invest in some quality basic items you can love for years.
One of the biggest misconceptions about street style is that it’s 100% eclectic. It’s not. Many street style staples fall into the category of classic items, like high-end leather boots or lightweight cashmere sweaters.
Investing in long-wearing, well-constructed items that will stick around for the long haul makes sense. Not only can you rely on them, but you can anchor more unusual garments with traditional clothing and footwear.
2. Hunt your local vintage clothing stores.
If you follow fashion at all, you’ve surely noticed that styles always circle back. How many times have skinny jeans made a resurgence? Or crop tops? But you don’t have to wait until styles return to add them to your street wear. Instead, visit antique malls and online vintage clothing shops.
When you hunt and peck through closet classics from decades’ past, you’ll find a range of interesting pieces to choose from. You’ll also do your part to keep fabulous clothing out of landfills. Upcycling could potentially become a part of your stellar street style.
3. Keep tabs on hot street style from other countries.
You might not live in Asia or eastern Europe. That doesn’t mean you can’t get ideas from the street style popular right not in those areas of the world. Every so often, take time to browse through street style outfits popping up globally.
When you find images you like—or that intrigue you—add them to an inspiro board. For instance, you could create a document that’s just inspirational street style photos. Or, you could start a “street collection” album on your smartphone. The point is to give you a direction for what you wear tomorrow.
4. Try something new once in a while.
A huge part of developing a signature street style is being willing to spice up your look now and then. That may mean buying and wearing clothes that you wouldn’t normally consider. Even if you’re not fully convinced they’ll work with your vibe, take the chance.
For example, you might be hesitant to wear a long, sweeper jacket that’s trimmed in at the waist but balloons outward along the upper sleeves. Yet you never know how it will feel to be in this type of garment until you try it on. So head to your nearest department store. You could be pleasantly surprised by what you see in the dressing room mirror.
5. Pair clothing pieces that don’t seem to match.
Street style has a rhythm all its own, which is what makes it magical and unpredictable. Basically, you can toss out the rulebook in any way you want.
Every so often, raid your closet to see if you’ve missed out on some fantastically unusual pairings. If you’ve never tried to marry seemingly disparate apparel items before, you’re in for a treat. A good place to start is to pick your favorite shoe and find its most opposite clothing partner. Vans with a mini dress? Why in the world not?
6. Keep your hairstyle in mind for a complete street style appearance.
Street style isn’t just about the fabrics you wear. It’s also the way you style your hair—or the way you don’t style it at all. Case in point: An unkempt hairdo can switch up the visual appeal of any outfit in a flash.
Plan to play around with a range of hairstyles based on the overall mood of your street style choices. If you have long hair, try an updo versus leaving your tresses straight and blunt. You can evoke a lot of emotion by how you treat and arrange your hair. (Bonus points for adding color in intriguing ways or giving a wow-worthy wig a go.)
7. Add accessories for splashes of color, layers, and textures.
Not every street style look requires accessories such as hats, scarves, necklaces, and belts. But the more you investigate the most appealing street style looks, the more you’ll notice that many street style masters make use of accessorizing whenever possible.
The trick is to avoid going overboard unless your street style is gaudy-everything. Usually, just three accessories is enough to max-out your preferred fashion overtone. Sometimes, all you need is one accessory, though, to bring everything together.
8. Give designs and patterns a chance.
Maybe you’re all about neutrals. That’s your street style of the moment, and it works. However, you owe it to yourself to occasionally add a bold twist in the form of an interesting pattern to one of your pieces.
Geometric designs, stripes, florals, and odd combinations add lots of character to street style wear. No need to choose ones you hate, either. Street style is all about being true to you! Look for patterning that makes you feel motivated or inspired.
Say it out loud: “Street style is my style.” Keep that thought as your guiding mantra as you rev up your personalized look—and quite possibly encourage others to follow suit.