I'm a female in my early twenties still struggling to find my own personal style. My taste in clothing has gradually improved throughout my life, but I feel like I've hit my ceiling at this point. I'm a college student in a demanding major, leaving me with just enough time for a part-time job but I'm on a bit of a tight budget as I do like to save. My personal favorite places to shop are Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters, which aren't cheap.
Living in Southern California, shorts/jeans with flip-flops and a shirt are what I wear pretty much year round. I have a problem with this; I don't feel like I'm dressing appropriately for my age. My usual attire is very high school, partly because I prefer to dress more for comfort, and I consider myself a simple and low-maintenance girl. I mean, I'll do skinny jeans and a lace camisole with a cardigan… that's all I really know and it is flattering on me, but I feel like such a one trick pony.
I was blessed with good genetics. I'm petite and nicely proportioned (mostly hourglass shaped) and a slim athletic build, so almost everything fits me perfectly. I say 'almost,' because I did inherit my dad's linebacker shoulders and high trapezius muscles, so anything strapless is a no-go for me as they tend to accentuate my boulder shoulders.
I'm generally scared of taking risks because the thought of walking outside thinking I look fierce as hell only to later realize I looked foolish the whole time overwhelms me (which has happened on numerous occasions), and as a result, I experience frequent anxiety when I shop for new clothes. It's usually a mix of sensory overload and plenty of "Oh, this looks nice… but I'm not sure if it'll look this awesome when I wear it, and it'll probably be crumpled up in my closet." I've gone through buyer's remorse several times, purchasing articles of clothing I initially thought would be stylish, only to have no idea what to do with it. So I do have some nice stuff lying around, but they collect dust due to my ignorance with fashion. I bought a dress from H&M awhile back that was very flattering for my legs, but the top half looked awful, and I had no clue what to layer it with, etc. I felt like I looked like a housekeeper at a Holiday Inn Express.
More recently, I started following blogs and I peruse Pinterest and Pose daily to draw some inspiration. What else can I do to further expand my knowledge on the art of the looking fabulous, especially on a budget? I find that when I go out to shop, if I'm even holding anything, it's only 1-2… maybe 3 articles of clothing. My mom, sister, and lady friends end up with entire wardrobes draping over their arms within the first 10 minutes. Feeling pretty inadequate over here.
If it makes it any easier for suggestions, I enjoy a somewhat tomboy look for more casual wear, with a more feminine and classy appearance for business/date night attire. Some links for visuals:
I want to dress more like an adult without spending too much money, but I lack fashion sense. Where do I even start?