The best tip I’ve come across when it comes to defining your personal style is to follow the “three word method” – an approach popularized by TikTok creator, Allison Bornstein. Strategists and creatives have been using this approach when presenting client work for decades. It works for companies, people and experiences, but the idea of turning this lens on myself has taken on a whole new meaning for me recently.
Once you’ve used the three-word method to define your personal style, these words act as a filter that makes it easier to decide which design elements to bring into your home and which garments to add to your wardrobe. It’s about finding the unique core elements that drive you. Once you get to know your personal sense of style, I think it’s easier to move through life as yourself – with more confidence and less to compare yourself to others.
Today I’m sharing the three words that define my personal style right now, plus a few prompts to help you define your own.
Defining my personal style with the three word method
When I look at the things I saved on Tumblr so many years ago I found that I still like many of them. There is something about classic, timeless elements and simplicity that has always appealed to me, and it comes through in both my home design and my choice of clothing. Classic isn’t always “in” in terms of what’s trendiest at any given time, but it certainly never goes out of style.
This is where the sense of modernity comes in. There is always an element of what I put together that doesn’t quite “match”. I like to include a bit of a twist in the process of designing both rooms in my home and outfits.
My classic sense of style has always leaned into preppy territory. My interpretation of preppy elements has changed over the years, but they have been at the forefront of my mind for a long time. They are what my lizard brain desires and what I am instinctively drawn to.
Questions to help you define your personal style
If you’re struggling to define your own three personal style words, I’d encourage you to give it some thought. As a starting point, I’ve put together a list of prompts below to help you get curious and become more familiar with your own style preferences. Allison Bornstein is also a great resource on this topic, especially when it comes to fashion!
- If money were no object, what would my home look like? What would my wardrobe look like?
- What kind of clothes do I wear most often each week?
- What kind of decor items do I find myself most drawn to?
- What outfit would I wear if I were to take myself out to dinner?
- What do I like to spend time doing when no one is watching?
Here’s to exploring and celebrating our personal sense of style in our own way every single day.