flatlay of fashion moodboard

How to Create Your Signature Look and a Style That Supersedes Trends

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The late French designer Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion comes and goes, but style is forever.” Truer words have never been spoken.

Fashion introduces us to so many trends to try, but we only get to enjoy them for a short time. The resurgence of the fanny pack (or belt bag) in 2018, for example, was a cute and practical fashion trend. However, when you look through fashion magazines and Instagram today, the fanny pack is nowhere to be seen. The fashion world has replaced it with the ‘90s shoulder bag trend instead (and who knows how long that will last?).

Style, on the other hand, is resilient enough to outlast the fashion calendar. It is not dictated by the fashion world. It is the way you decide to express yourself. You can invest in a little black dress today and still get to wear it 10 years later without feeling like you are still rocking an old trend.

So if you want to create a signature look that is solid and consistent, the best thing to do is to focus more on style rather than fashion because the style will always supersede the trends. 

Building your fashion aesthetic is not an easy task, but with the right tips, it can be done!

But before you learn how to create a signature look, it’s helpful to know about a signature look first and what to do before you start to reinvent your style.

What is a signature look?

A signature look refers to the way that one decides to showcase their style in an outfit. It is also the fashion aesthetic that all your friends and family know you by. 

If one of your friends is out shopping and texts you a picture of a leopard print coat or a navy blue sweater vest and captions it with, “this is so you!”, then that’s a good indication that that particular item or style plays into your signature look, whether you fully realize it or not. Or if you watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, then you are all too familiar with Becky’s signature style, as she’s known as “The Girl in the Green Scarf.”

A perfect example of a signature look that did not go unnoticed by lovers of classic style is Audrey Hepburn’s chic personal style. The fashion icon and actress had recognizable signature looks that made her popular. Her classic cropped pixie pants, boatneck blouses, black turtlenecks, and feminine flats are what made up her signature look or uniform.

Related: Classic Style Tips to Steal from Audrey Hepburn’s Outfits | Recreating 5 Timeless Looks

Why should you create a signature look?

Saves you money: Trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends can get ridiculously expensive. These trends only last for a season (or a second), and trying to keep up with trends means that you will be buying new clothes quite often.

However, when you follow your own style rules, you will stay on budget. Why? Because you will only make thoughtful purchasing decisions! Whenever you decide to stock up your wardrobe, you will only buy clothing items that match your signature look, regardless of what’s in fashion at the moment.

You will look truly fashionable: Having a clear definition of your style not only positions you as a stylish woman (not just a trendy one), but you will be recognized for your coherent fashion aesthetic. Taking the time to develop a signature look usually means mixing and matching styles, prints, and colors. So having a signature look makes you look more interesting too!

An organized closet: There is nothing more stressful than having a closet full of clothes that you don’t wear! A lot of women can all agree that digging through a jungle of clothes every morning makes getting dressed up difficult. However, by having a signature look, you will no longer have to sift through an accumulation of clothing that does not align with your style.

How to start

Get style inspiration

One of the most exciting parts of planning a signature look is creating a fashion mood board. It’s a go-to way to organize your fashion ideas!

You can get some style inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and of course, magazines. Put together images of your favorite style icons and try to find similarities or a common denominator. You should also pick which outfits from them you would love to emulate in real life.

Another perfect way of making a mood board for your signature look is by choosing the right words to describe your new style. These words could be preppy, modest fashion, business casual, artsy fashion, athleisure, or vintage. 

Study fashion icons

A great way to create your signature style is to study those who went before you. Look up style icons or reference your favorites to see what it is you like about them and exactly what their signature look was.

Is it Grace Kelly and her perfectly wavy hair? Jane Birkin and her straw basket bag? Audrey Hepburn and her cropped pants? Jackie O and her sunglasses and pearls? Dianna Ross and her statement curls? Is there anything from your favorite style icons that you would like to incorporate into your own signature look?

Know your body

The key to nailing a good signature look is by dressing up in clothes that flatter your body type. Whether you have a rectangle-shaped body or an hourglass-shaped body, it’s important to pick styles that highlight the best features of your shape.

Keep your best clothes

Now that you have finished making your mood board, it is time to keep clothes that will align with your signature look. The item or style that you love could and wear again and again could very well be your signature look, whether that’s a crisp go-to pair of jeans that fit you like a glove, the striped shirt, or the black blazer that elevates any outfit.

Look at your best outfit pictures

Make a folder in your phone gallery called “my best looks” and add all your top 5 style moments in it. This will help you discover what your signature style could be!

Add some basic wardrobe essentials

If your closet is mostly filled with trendy clothes rather than classic pieces, now is the perfect time to start from scratch. You need to include reliable staples that can live in your closet for a long time. These basic wardrobe pieces are like blank canvases that you can project your style onto.

Test your style formula

To make sure that you have picked the right signature look, you need to test your style formula. Take some pictures of your outfits and evaluate whether it goes with the fashion mood board you created. 

Don’t wear too many accessories

Accessories like a belt, handbags, earrings, sunglasses are a great way to instantly freshen up a basic outfit. But it is best to not overwhelm your look with too many accessories.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to mastering the art of accessorizing is “less is more.” Choose a few signature accessories that not only go well with your style but will also work perfectly with the outfit you are wearing.

Rock hairstyles that complement your outfit

A chic ensemble is not complete without a sleek hairstyle. If you look at many fashion icons, you will notice that they have (or had) a go-to hairstyle that complemented their look. Audrey Hepburn’s elegant up-do matched perfectly with her chic style while Diana Ross’s head-turning curls paired well with her bold outfits.

If you want to take your style to the next level, find a hair color and cut that can refine your overall look!

Don’t go overboard with brand logos

There is a misconception that wearing a designer monogrammed outfit from head-to-toe is a cheat code to a stylish look. You can put on an ensemble stamped with the iconic LV, and still look a bit tacky. Why? Because of the way it has been styled.

It is best to incorporate the logos tastefully in your looks. For example, you can accessorize a minimalistic outfit with an attention-grabbing LV bag.

Additionally, try to avoid mixing different designers in your outfit. It can potentially come across as “trying too hard” if you’re showcasing everything at once- such as Chanel earrings, a Gucci Belt, and an LV bag for example.

Incorporate classic patterns in your look

Your signature style would not be complete if you didn’t incorporate classy patterns! Houndstooth, stripes, and polka dots will surely make your outfit stand out and add a dose of elegance to every look.

Wear a bold red lip

There is nothing more effortlessly glamourous than a bold red lip. Cherry-hue lips just scream “confident.”  You can never go wrong with one swipe of red lipstick to create a statement look!

Follow a color scheme

Pick a color scheme that represents your personality. It is also important to choose colors that can work well with other colors in your closet. These colors include neutrals like white, black, and grey.

Whether you are tired of having fashion outfit regrets, want to elevate your style, or find a look that best represents you, knowing how to create a signature look is the best way to improve your fashion goals!

Knowing how to create a capsule wardrobe is also an excellent way to refine your signature look. Don’t know how? Follow these easy tips!

Up next: What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.