Style Bee - Define + Streamline Toolkit 1.0



Style Bee - Closet Mission - Style Story

Even though I’m still enduring my 30 day shopping fast it’s time to begin the next phase in my closet mission. I’m calling this phase ‘Clarify and Define’ because it’s all about personal style, finding inspiration and really ironing out the ways in which my wardrobe can work harder and better for me.

Late last year a friend mentioned the Wardrobe Architect series created by Coletterie (an incredible sewing and pattern blog). I decided to take a look and was instantly drawn in by the first post of the series Making Style More Personal. I’d been struggling to find a practical approach to defining personal style and this helped me see a clear first step.

I realized that before we can begin to define our style we need to stop and reflect on how our history and experiences have defined us as individuals and how that influences our choices in what we wear. We need to understand our personal style story up until this point.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Style Story

Using fashion to tell a unique story is the basis of personal style.

Every time we put together an outfit we’re telling the world a bit about who we are. We’re suggesting that we belong to a certain demographic or socioeconomic group. We’re indicating our values, whether it’s as simple as saying ‘I care how I look.’ or ‘I don’t care how I look.’ Of course this is a very surface level, and often subconscious understanding of the story but people are reading it whenever they see us. The point we’re trying to get to on this mission is being able to tell a story that accurately represents who we are, in a way that feels great.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Style Story


A good place to begin is by asking a few questions about prominent factors in our lives. I thought this was a great exercise and it helped me recognize several influences that I hadn’t considered important before. Things like being an only child, wearing a uniform in grade school, being introverted, having artistic but very practical parents and living in Canada are huge influences on my personal style story.

1. PERSONAL HISTORY – How have your past experiences influenced the way you dress?

2. VALUES – Does your philosophy, spirituality or religion impact your style choices?

3. CULTURE – How did your upbringing affect your taste?

4. COMMUNITY – Do the people around you inspire your style?

5. FINANCES – How do your finances impact your choices?

6. LIFESTYLE – How does your day to day life influence your outfit decisions?

7. LOCATION – How does where you live impact your wardrobe?

8. BODY – How does your body image affect your style?


Feel free to download the workbook I put together with additional questions that will be a great source for insights going forward.

Style Story Workbook – Printable

Style Story Workbook – Editable PDF

So there’s my take on the first step in defining personal style! It’s certainly not a simple task and I don’t know if the process is ever truly complete, but that’s one of the great things about it! We’re people, we evolve and learn and our values and habits change with time, as should our style.

I’d love to hear which of the 8 factors above has had the strongest impact on your style story. Feel free to share in the comments below. 

Next up: My 30 day shopping fast findings! 

Leave me a comment here!

  1. cee Dwyer says:

    I find myself coming back to your website to use as a reference during my style journey, and I just want to say what an invaluable tool it has been. Thank you so much for this wonderful workbook, it’s so helpful and I can tell you put so much thought and work into it. I’ve done it once before, but decided to do it again. This time, writing down my history, the things that were most important in defining my style are: Values–of sustainability and ethical clothing, Community–being inspired by so many different people and the outfits they put together, and Body–what I’m comfortable showing definitely limits the types of things I go for.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Cee, This feedback made me so happy. I can’t tell you how much it means to know that this space and the tools offered have been helpful for you. That’s the best!

      Thank you for sharing some of your personal style story insights with us, they’re so thoughtful and meaningful! xo

  2. Rita says:

    Lifestyle, location and culture definitely affect my style. My current outfit choices are different from when I was working independently. Walking to work and having a 9 to 5 job which involves very formal public meetings is very different from working from your living room and meeting collaborators at a coffee shop (sigh, miss this). But that said, having such a job in New Zealand is very different from back in the UK. People are a lot less formal here and I notice my “European ways” are different (i.e., more formal). And overall, I know my style has been very much influenced by the way my mum and aunty brought us up. They are amazing and I am happy to have such style role models!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hey Rita, Lifestyle and work dress code are probably a big influencer for most people. I struggle with it in the opposite way since I work from home or a casual office all the time. I feel like I never have anything thats presentable for a more corporate setting. That’s awesome that you’re living in New Zealand. I would love to go there one day. Thanks for sharing a bit of your style story. It’s great to hear about how others have been influenced. My mum is from the UK originally too. Cheers!

  3. Rossana Goulart says:

    Hello Bee,
    Definitely my lifestyle influences a lot my outfit. Usually I take public transport and have to stay with the same outfit for at least half of the day, so I have to think about all theses things while I take a look to my closet. Additionally, I live in Brazil, and even in south Brazil this time of the year is extremely hot. So, its very interesting to notice how even living in Canada, like you, or in Brazil, like me, we have very similar issues about clothes, style and even have the same taste for things like these. By the way, I have been following your blog and I am loving the style that you already have, which I think is very clean and elegant, and even though your are trying to refine it, I think your style is pretty elegant.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hi Rossana, Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Sounds like you need practical and versatile clothes for the day to day. I know what you mean about the weather! Super hot temperatures are just as limiting as super cold when it comes to style options. Thanks for joining in on the closet mission! xox