"If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything." ~Claude McKay
I was channel surfing recently and stopped on HSN to watch Hal Rubenstein selling his new line of clothes and shoes- he asked a question that I think is key to accessing your personal aesthetics- 'what sets you apart?' This is an excellent place to start if you have no clue about clothes or fashion and have never given this sort of thing much thought, but would like to start. It's also a good starting place if, like me, you're just looking for a few new ideas for your wardrobe.
Most of us have something we love- maybe for you it's the love of a certain color, a particular 'era' of fashion, a particular print, a particular item- maybe you wear a suit every day- maybe you're a fool for boots and own 50 pairs. Maybe it's a 'signature' thing- a certain color of lipstick you wear daily, or a particular piece of jewelry or type of jewelry you love. It could be a more abstract concept- only you can define what makes your heart sing.
It doesn't have to be a huge thing that sets you apart. It may be very subtle, and in fact only something that people who get to know you will notice. Or it may be huge and hard to miss. What it does need to be is something that you like in particular that you want to accentuate. It does need to be something that you can, in some way, expand upon visually to create- or add too- a cohesive 'theme' to your overall look.
Remember that you'll do it differently than anyone else will, so don't worry about choosing something unoriginal. And even if you do it to the best of your ability EXACTLY like someone else does, it's still going to be different on you-for lots of reasons. Still, I think it's important to explore what it is about it that you like and what you can do to personalize it as much as possible.
Another thing to keep in mind is to give this some time- be willing to spend a little time researching if applicable (usually it is, and it's fun, too) and let said research take you off on unexpected tangents. Have a way to collect imagery that works for you- Pinterest, a notebook, a bulletin board…and pay a little attention to it each week; as you add to it, note if there are things in particular that stand out, if you see any 'themes' developing- try to define them and make sense of it.
Keep in mind the goal is to define 'what sets you apart?' Or maybe it should be 'what would you like to set you apart, and can you make that happen, one way or another?'