The 3-Word Rule Fashion Insiders Use When Getting Dressed


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We've all been there—in a hurry but totally uninspired by the idea of putting together a fashion-forward outfit that feels true to our personal style. In moments like these, it can be easy to revert to the same old, same old. But there is actually a simple way to ensure you always look on point. You just need to get in tune with your always-fashionable self.

If outfit planning isn't your forte, there's a straightforward rule we discovered a few years ago that will prove to be a game changer for your daily style and save you so much time. In the April 2016 issue of People StyleWatch, we came across an interview with one of our favorite bloggers, Chriselle Lim. In it, she explains her go-to fashion formula: "Think about your style in three words. Mine are clean, polished, and feminine. When I don't know what to wear, I just go back to those." We love this style mantra and actually follow it, too.

Interested in testing out this idea? Well, if you're not quite sure how you'd describe your personal style, we're going to help you out. Below, we crafted a cheat sheet for you to pin or save to your camera roll. Whether it's cool or elegant, polished or relaxed, determine which adjectives resonate with you the most. As you go down the list, check off these words that best capture your fashion leanings. Eventually, you'll discover the lexicon that defines your personal style. 

Once you've come up with your list, consider these keywords when you're standing in front of your closet wondering what to wear. Think of combinations that reflect these powerful adjectives, and don't be afraid to experiment. As you continue to think about it and play with your wardrobe, you'll ultimately narrow down the top three words that truly embody you.

Below, we've come up with the three pillars we think most resonate with the Who What Wear girl. Using these three words—elevated, trend-driven, and cool—we've curated a selection of some of our favorite market picks that we believe showcase that dynamic trio.



While you should always wear whatever you love and what makes you feel the most comfortable, we tend to go for ensembles that fit within our own personal styles but are inherently elevated, trend-driven, and cool. 

This story was originally published on May 16, 2016, and has since been updated. Next, check out stylish outfit trends to try now.

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.