Your Personal Style Matters. Here’s How To Find It With The Three-Word Method

What’s your personal style? It’s a daunting question, but one we should all be asking ourselves to make life easier. Everyone has had that moment when they look at their closet full of amazing clothes…and yet, they have nothing to wear. 

This is why we all need to define our style with the three-word method.

What is the Three-Word Method? 

@allisonbornstein6 FINDING YOUR PERSONAL STYLE! what are your 3 words… comment below!!! #FORDfortheBuilders #fashiontiktok #fyp ♬ original sound – Allison Bornstein

As with every brilliant new idea, the three-word method to finding your personal style began on TikTok. Allison Bornstein, a New York-based stylist, went to the app to share how she has found and maintained her personal style. 

The first thing you want to do when you’re defining your personal style is to go to your closet and pull out the things you wear all the time. These aren’t necessarily the items you love the most, but the ones you gravitate to every week. Then, put those clothes on the bed and ask yourself to describe the pieces as a whole. 

Find two similarities in the silhouettes, patterns, colors, and other general elements that are ‘threaded’ through the clothes and those are your first two words. These words could be:

  •  “Feminine” if your closet is full of long and flirty skirts and dresses.

  • “Structured” or “professional” if your clothes lean more toward in-office wear.

  • “Classic” if you gravitate towards the tried and true jeans and t-shirts. 

  • “Sporty” if you’re always wearing athleisure.

  • “70’s” if you’re a big Donna Sheridan fan from the looks of your clothes. 

  • “Modern” if you’re always on-trend, but never too trendy. 

  • “Elegant” if your go-to clothes look like they came off of a magazine cover. 

If you’re having a hard time finding your two words, look at celebrities whose style you admire and go off of their words. Bornstein talks about Alexa Chung and how her style could be seen as, “preppy, whimsical, and edgy.” You could also model your style after the, “sporty, demure, and opulentPrincess Diana. If you’re on the bolder side, look to Tracee Ellis Ross with her “bold, colorful, and exaggerated” clothes. Finding celebrities whose fashion senses you connect to can help you then find and define your own style. 

Then, for the third word, think about your dream style and find a word that describes that. These words could be balletcore (tulle skirts, cardigans, and high buns) or indie sleaze (neon tights and dark, loose clothes), or the ever-popular coastal grandmother (billowy shirts, long dresses, and cool colors). 

Now that you know what you’re comfortable with and what you want in terms of clothes, you can use these three words as a guide when you’re shopping and you’ll never have to make a return again (fingers crossed).

How to Find Your Personal Style with the Three-Word Method

The biggest thing to keep in mind when you’re using the three-word method is that the three words aren’t something permanent and they don’t define you. I naturally gravitate towards clothes that are sporty and fitted right now. I am not an athlete, I just like to be comfortable. When you’re finding your three words, you might be surprised what words you choose.

Keep in mind that this method shouldn’t make you feel unstylish or “less than” other fashion icons, it’s meant to help make your closet reflect your true self and make getting dressed easier every day. 

Be as specific as you can when you’re figuring out your style. While ‘classic’ and ‘casual’ are great words, go further. Is it casual like jeans and a t-shirt, or casual like a nap dress? Once you’ve narrowed your words down as much as you can, be honest. You might not like the words you come up with when you see the similarities of your clothes, but try to be as honest as possible about them. Also, be honest about the clothes you actually wear – I promise, you’ll find cute clothes that fit into your style. Finally, be creative! When you’re figuring out your dream wardrobe and style, be as creative as you want to be. Look up style icons, create a mood board, look up style words on Pinterest, and explore styles you might not know how to wear but they interest you. This is your wardrobe and your clothes — you can wear whatever you want. 

Finally, have a shopping strategy. Once you have your three words down, you have a pretty good idea of the clothes you’re going to be looking for. Decide what stores you want to go to (you can even look at the stores you got your basics from and go from there — easy!). Remember, this whole process is designed to eradicate shopping stress, regrets, and stuffing our closets with things we won’t ever wear. No one has time for that anymore!


Do you know your personal style? Are you going to try to find out right now? Comment your three words below!

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