Reader Ashley Did Our Personal Style Exercise…See Her Inspiration Boards and Resulting Outfit


Mamas, I'm excited.  One of our readers, Ashley (from Portland, OR) recently ran through our easy method to determine your personal style.  Ashley, a mom of a three year old and a one year old decided to create her quick-n-dirty style board on Polyvore.  But she didn't stop there.  She basically created a collage for each step of her analysis…resulting in a pretty fantastic in-depth look at determining personal style.

Keep reading below to see how Ashley figured out her personal style, and then, translated it into a super-cute outfit (babywearing, to boot!).


One of the first posts I read on Ain't No MomJeans was about finding your personal cool.  The idea was to flip through magazines as fast as you can, ripping out any page that strikes a cord.  Then, figure out what those pages have in common.  And, voila! A style is born.

Well, I actually found some time and decided to give the method a try. Since I didn't have any magazines lying around, I went to the next best source: Pinterest.

First, I scrolled through the women's fashion section, clipping images to polyvore like a crazy woman.

Personal Style Profile B

Next, I went to my polyvore account and took a closer look at all of the images I clipped.  I made a set that had the images grouped based on what they had in common.  I made one with layers…




…one with patterns:


I Feel Pretty

One grouping was of messy hair, another of denim.  These groupings were followed by chunky knits, then a swath of warm colors…

Cozy Knits and Crochet

Warm Colors



I even created a group where every model had a hand or two in her pockets. 



One Hand in my Pocket


Then I tried to understand.  My thinking went something like this:

The denim group is a no-brainer.  I love wearing jeans.  The chunky knits are probably there because I love to knit and crochet.  And I love patterns: stripes, floral, polka dot, paisley, tribal.  My favorite color is yellow, close second is orange, so duh on the warm colors.  And my naturally curly hair is a mess no matter what.  But what is with all those hands-in-pockets pictures?  Are pockets a style? And uh…unicorn lady? (see below)

Personal Style Profile


So then I started to look at the groups based on style types.

  • The layers, chunky knits, and denim are all super cozy and comfortable.  They are also full of texture.
  • I love patterns.  They keep things interesting.  And I am very attracted to floral patterns, so I think that leans toward the pretty side of things.
  • The colors are vibrant and lively
  • The models with hands in their pockets are laid back (aha!  That took some serious thought…)
  • The unicorn lady is…a little strange


 Finally I put the styles together and got: Cozy, laid-back, offbeat, princess

The next step?  Making a wish list based on my style:


Wish List Autumn 2012


Now I can just implement my style boards when I get to go shopping.  Keeping what I really like in mind will keep me from making purchases I'll regret because I never wear them.


Aaaannndd…here's a pic of Ashley in one of her cozy, laid-back, offbeat, princess outfits!  



Love, love, love this!  Ashley, I totally can see the cozy, laid-back, offbeat princess vibe you're rocking.  Thank you SO much for sharing this exercise with us!!



ps.  Did anyone else figure out their personal style?  Send us the results – we'd love to see them!




  1. Shana, I cannot believe that I missed your post back in January 2011, “An easy method to determine your personal style.” You and I did this together, and I still tear out pictures as you suggested. But the best part was seeing that picture from our days living in Spartan Village at MSU when your dad was obtaining his PhD. That picture brought back so many memories. As I recall, we loved that outfit and so did all your friends at Hannah Middle School. And look at your attitude! Perfect! xxoo

  2. On your advice, I keep tearing out catalogue pictures, and flip through them when I need inspiration. Sounds like I need some organization!

  3. I think I’ve figured out my personal style – the problem is that it has evolved and changed SO MUCH since becoming a mom a year and a half ago (and I’m pregnant again now), that I just can’t afford to get rid of the MASS of clothes in my closet that are just kind of “eh” and replace them with things I love. You know what would be awesome? A post on how to use pieces you already have and don’t really like into outfits that reflect the style you want. Most of my stuff is either young-looking (leftover from college), professional (from two years as a college professor), or preppy (from I don’t know what). And my style is much more pulled-together, cozy bohemian.

  4. Cool post!
    I did something similar a couple weeks ago after getting frustrated at the cornucopia of styles I own, but using a different method of finding a celebrity to imitate. For a second I was concerned that other people would think I was trying to be that person, but, seriously, who’s going to mistake me for a celebrity? Ha ha!
    After some research on the internet, I found celebrities who had similar body types to mine, who had a style I liked, and were photographed enough in day-to-day clothes that I’d have something to work off of. I came out with two (sometimes mistaken for each other): Natalie Portman and Keira Knightly.
    I collected a bunch of photographs of them, found common elements, and made a shopping list. So far I found a couple pieces that I really like even though I wouldn’t have picked them off the rack before. I’ve also been able to weed out a lot of clothes that look good to me at first glance in the store, but would have just added to the mayhem of my closet. When in doubt, I try to picture these celebs wearing the clothes themselves. It’s only been two weeks, but I have to admit that shopping has been more efficient and less frustrating so far. My goal is that over time, my clothing style will become more defined.

  5. Ah ha! I have that scarf…I KNEW I was stylish! ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, this was a great idea; I want to give it a shot when I have time as well. Honestly, though, Ashley’s style (and hair!) look so much like mine that I might just steal some of her ideas. Pinterest, here I come!

  6. What a great post!
    Ashley, can I ask you how’d you do that awesome hair bun? I have curly hair, looks like yours a lot and I’m struggling with it a lot. It looks awesome when freshly washed and carefully styled, but now with my 11 month old boy there’s not enough time..
    Thank you

  7. I was inspired to try this. I hit Pinterest and compiled a bunch of images that I love
    I’m kind of stuck on the analysis though. Or rather how to describe it. My take is that I like classic, fitted looks; I like girly – soft pretty colours together ( but not sugary sweet); I like colour; I like accessories; and I like patterns or detail, especially if it’s stripes or intricate/tesselating ( maths grad at work here!).
    Seems I like a lot! sigh.

  8. I just want all the moms to know that target has lots of jcrew look-a-likes for a lot less!! It’s still very hot here in Florida and I finally got a cute cheap maxi dress!! They have cute pants that look and fit like “minnie” pants…
    Love this blog btw even though my baby is 18! still get lots of great ideas!

  9. Hey! I would love to share. This is actually day two hair. For day one I slept with foam rollers in my hair to soften the curls and add volume, shine, and definition. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works! Then, on day two, I sprayed water mixed with conditioner on my hair, and pulled it up super high on my head (nearly on top). I used an ouch-less hair band, and wrapped it once. Then, on the second wrap I pulled my hair through slowly so that I could stop just before the ends got to the band. Then I scruffed the bun a bit. My hair is super thick, so it only took two wraps of a large band. For someone with thinner hair it might take more wraps. Hope this helps! It is great for limited time.

  10. ๐Ÿ˜€ I didn’t keep track. The initial clip part took around 5-10 minutes. Then I had to do something mom-related. I worked on it a little at a time. Each one took only a few minutes. So maybe one hour added all together? Didn’t seem that long since I had to break it up.

  11. Maybe classic elegant? Everything looks cut-to-figure, even the casual looks. The colors are even elegant-not so “in-your-face”. I like it!

  12. classic elegant does sound nice! Thanks! I’m currently 5 monthe pregnant with #2 and after I have the baby I can’t wait to have a massive clear out/ re think of my wardrobe!

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