A person's personal style is roughly equivalent to his or her fashion sense. Some people are highly conscious of their style, which may be detailed and planned out, including certain brands, patterns, and designers. Other people simply have an emergent style, which they may not be able to articulate, but which they subconsciously use to select clothing. A person's sense of style is often related to his or her social groups, interests, and age, and often to other individual factors as well.
People who are interested in fashion and clothing often take great pride in personal fashion. These people are likely to have a constantly evolving sense of style. Sometimes, people with a highly developed personal style document items of clothing or other items they find inspirational and use these records to help develop their personal tastes. A fashion designer, for instance, may keep such a record and use it to work on future lines of clothing that reflect his or her personal design ethos.
On the other hand, many people cannot verbally isolate their personal style without significant thought. Most people have preferences for certain colors, patterns, or categories of clothing, but some may select entire wardrobes that are remarkably thematic based on these preferences without even knowing it. Those who are close to a person without an articulated style may be able to easily point out the consistencies within his or her wardrobe, and this may be considered a personal style.
Clothing is one of the most common ways in which people express themselves, and so a person's fashion sense may be directly related to his or her life and social groups. This is why certain manners of dress are so closely associated with certain attitudes, particularly for young people. Groups that are particularly concerned with separation from the rest of their peers will tend to have radically divergent forms of dress, such as people who wore punk clothing when punk was still highly controversial. Even within these social groups, though, there are still elements of personal taste in the clothing selected.
Other factors that dictate personal style can include hair styling and coloring, make up, accessories, facial expressions and other mannerisms. Having a personal style may not be very important to a person, but a large number of first impressions are made from clothing and self-presentation. Many people consider personal fashion sense to be very revealing about personality. People who are conscious of their sense of style are often capable of altering that fashion sense to achieve positive results when it is required for social or personal reasons. This can be valuable in so many important situations that being mindful of personal fashion tendencies can be considered a social skill.