TikTok's 'Three-Word Method' Can Help You Define Your Wardrobe

Finding your style can be both fun and challenging at the same time. It might even feel overwhelming when you're trying to figure out how to style different items. However, without having a personal stylist, as many celebrities and influencers do, there are ways you can guide yourself to head in the right direction when you're trying to define and create your personal style. This could look like following style inspiration accounts, creating mood boards, or shopping around and trying different things.

Today, social media can also be a useful tool to get ideas and connect with others who are into fashion. One stylist on TikTok has found a simpler way to narrow down what works for you. Celebrity stylist Allison Bornstein shared what she calls the "three-word method" on the platform for her followers to use as a tool to help them pinpoint what they really desire for their style.

What is the 'three-word method'?

The three-word method is a simple yet effective way to navigate the frustration of trying to style your clothes, especially when you have a full closet, and it feels like you have nothing to wear. Allison Bornstein created it to help her viewers find their way around their closets. In a TikTok video, Bornstein says that overconsumption and dissatisfaction with your clothing can come from not taking the time to fully understand your style, what you like, and what you want to present to the world. The method is simple to formulate: you need to choose three adjectives to describe your current style or your style aspirations, but they don't always have to be coherent with each other.

"I've discovered that identifying a three-word recipe can really help clients unlock so many ideas and serve as a great reference point for getting dressed, editing, shopping, and evolving their style," Bornstein tells Glamour. "The combination of the three is really important because it allows for tension between words and helps people pinpoint their unique aesthetic."

Additionally, the three-word method is a way to look deeper into yourself and define who you really are, rather than just having one strict descriptor for one aesthetic only. In the midst of many trends that are coming and going, the three-word method also helps to keep you grounded in who you really are or what you really want to get out of your looks. It could also be a way to slowly build a better idea of what could become your signature style. It helps you choose individual pieces of clothing and accessories rather than just being confined to the same outfit as a whole again and again (via Russh).

How to choose your three words

Begin by looking into your closet and pull out your go-to pieces. In other words, what do you wear the most often? Lay those out to get a clear view of all of them at once. Your first word will be how you describe those pieces. Your next word will require you to look at the similarities in patterns, prints, and silhouettes. Don't worry about fixating on the specifics of them, but rather the "vibes" of what the similarities offer. Allison Bornstein mentions a t-shirt and jeans as an example in her TikTok video, stating that this could be described as "classic." If it's something baggy, the word "oversized" could be used. Lastly, the third word will be how you would describe your style aspirations or dream style. Use inspiration from other people whose style you admire, mood boards, Pinterest, or screenshots you may have saved to give you a better idea of this descriptor. Asking your friends and family to describe you can be a helpful starting point for this journey as well.

Content creator and fashion influencer Cate Kittlitz details her own experience in choosing her three words in a TikTok video. Kittlitz says that this has been a journey for her as she comes from a place of being a "shopaholic." Now, she is pursuing a more sustainable approach to finding her personal style. "This three word method is super useful when you're trying to build a wardrobe," she says in the video. "But that does not mean you have to go and throw away all the clothes that you have." Her three words are classic, timeless, and effortless finding inspiration from her style icons Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor.