top of page

The "Three Words" Approach to Style

Updated: 5 days ago

Have you ever worn an outfit and thought, "This is just so NOT me!" but couldn't put your finger on why? You're wearing clothes you chose, there's something about the pieces that made you purchase them, you're comfortable, but something is just off.

You're then tempted to relegate those pieces to the back of the wardrobe, never to be worn again. It's so frustrating, right?

It's most likely a result of the pieces not playing nicely - I'm not talking about fit or style, but in fulfilling the expression of you, your essence.

So how do you learn how to express the real you through your clothes? There's a lovely way of revealing your multifaceted self through just three simple words that crosses all the archetype descriptions.

Which three words? Ah, that's up to you! But happily there's a basic formula that's pretty easy to follow called Three Words**. The first word is going to be Realistic, the second is Aspirational, and the third is Emotional.

Realistic words are pulled from what you actually have in your closet, those pieces you gravitate toward and would live in if you had to pick a uniform. The aspirational words reflect a style that you're drawn to, the ones you have on your Pinterest and mood boards that you would like to embody. The emotional words describe how you want to feel.

For instance, my three words are:

Realistic: Structured

Aspirational: Edgy

Emotional: Approachable

This plays out by my wearing clothing with built-in structure that's got a little hint of bad-assery to it, but not in a way that people might feel intimidated by me or my outfit. This outfit shows how I put those words into action:

personal stylist talking to Stacy London
Black and cream print blouse, black knit side-tie vest, black jeans, cream slides

(And yes, that's Stacy London wearing a sequined catsuit!)

or this:

personal stylist taking clothes into a dressing room
Stripey tee shirt with wool poncho, skinny jeans, and knit booties + slouchy crossbody bag

Even though "structure" implies "stiff and starchy", and "edgy" makes you think of a leather studded belt, neither outfit is harsh, uncomfortable, or boring, but they're both very true to my three words, and therefore true to me.

Once I realized my three words are my preference, it explained why brands like Free People and Lucky Brand just don't suit me! I secretly love that free-spirited, boho look but every time I buy one of their pieces, I never wear it and it's always in the donation pile within a year. That's because they're not structured nor edgy, and while very approachable, that's not enough to make up for lacking the other two elements.

Give it a try! See if you can identify your own three words, and remember, yours will be different from anyone else's. I can't wait to hear what a difference it makes in how you get dressed. I'm happy to help you with this process, though, so book a consultation with me here!


**The Three Words is a concept developed by stylist Allison Bornstein.

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page