Fashion is different for everyone. Everyone partakes in it for different reasons and that's okay.
The ﬁrst step towards improving your looks is to pay attention. Not just to yourself or your friends, but to other people as well; start noticing how people look and what clothes do for them. Absorb knowledge and build a visual reference library in your head (or on your computer). Notice the shapes, lines, colors, and proportions of what you see. Don't worry if you don't have the vocabulary to explain what you're looking at or why you like it. The main goal is to pay attention to the details.
Now be honest: firstly, about yourself. Are you tall? Do you have broad hips? Do you have a short torso? Are your shoulders deﬁned? Then make the same honest appraisal of others. Is he stocky? Are her legs really long? Does he have really built arms? Does she have a less curvy frame?
You'll start to notice patterns. Tall people tend to wear a lot of "fashion" items more easily. Some types of sleeves don't ﬂatter people with rounder shoulders. A deﬁned waist tends to make everyone look thinner. Fine woven wool garments tend to make outﬁts more dressy. Now see how some of these patterns can apply to your own body.
Think of this in the abstract—this categorical analysis of dressing avoids any mention of rules, anything about spending money, anything about how "X" ought to ﬁt in such a "Y" way because "Z" is totally hipster/brah/prep/etc. You don't have to read fashion magazines all the time or open up a card at Barneys; that's not the point. The goal isn't to conform to someone else's sense of style, but to develop your own. Whether you had never tried dressing yourself before or if you're some super trend-conscious person, you are ultimately rewarded for all this work with autonomy and self-control over your fashion sense. You stop wearing what you think you ought to wear and you begin wearing what you know you should be wearing.
First of all, remember that /fa/ is a board on 4chan. Follow advice, but don't listen to everything some anonymous person on the internet says. You want to develop your own understanding of fashion over time.
Developing a personal style involves more than putting together outfits, looking good, following brands, and spending money. Keep this in mind.
The number one thing to develop personal style is going to stores or places in real life that have clothes and trying them on. Honestly that's how you learn to dress well, see what works with your body and find your style. You don't learn how to compose cool outfits by browsing tumblr, you learn by experimenting with what works and what doesn't in real life.
By this point, you should have learned to be honest with yourself. So think: are there certain features that you can improve? Could you lose some weight? Do you need to clean up your skin? Does your hair fit your face?
Because fashion is not just about the clothes you wear—it's also about your general image and how you carry yourself. As designer Rick Owens once said, "Working out is modern couture. No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body. Buy less clothes and go the gym instead." The clothes you wear won't matter if you don't have the body and the confidence to pull it off. So constantly work to improve yourself. Stay healthy, lose weight if you need to, and be aware of what works with your face and body type. Work on your social skills; learn to be confident with whatever you wear.
By improving on your weaknesses, you create a solid foundation on which to build your personal style. It takes time to truly develop your tastes—so while you should be cautious with how much money you spend, there's no reason not to consciously improve your body and your looks. You're born into your genetic lot, but you have the power to make the most of it. Don't settle for mediocrity.
You must also ask yourself, honestly, what you want out of fashion at this point in your life. Whether or not you're aware of it, the way you dress sends a message to others. Do you just want to look presentable? Do you aim to impress girls (or guys)? Were you inspired by celebrities or Tumblr, or do you want to look like a high fashion god? How important is fashion to your lifestyle?
No matter how you approach fashion, always keep an open mind. Don't look down on others for seeing it differently—that isn't a /fa/ mentality. Just present yourself with confidence and accept others for their views.
Now go buy some clothes. Don't be an infograph slave or bite off more than you can chew, but educate yourself on various styles and trends. It's important to be careful with your purchases. Don't buy something just because the internet told you to, and don't buy something just because you like it—buy a piece of clothing because you love it. This way, you will have more money to spend on individual pieces (even if you're poor), instead of having a closet full of cheap clothing, half of which you hardly wear.
So spend carefully, educate yourself on style, fit, fabrics, and designers, and buy what you love. (Lil B loves you.)
Nearly all outfits are based on one particular idea the wearer has in his/her mind. Such ideas could be something as specific as "I want to look like a gopnik" or something much more abstract like "I want to make an outfit that has a tight silhouette which slowly extends into a heavy silhouette into the bottom and use color/texture to help guide the viewers eyes." By this thought, outfits should be evaluated by how they translate this mental idea into a visual outfit. Not all ideas, however, are consciously decided by the wearer and more often than not they do this almost subconsciously. However, consciously decided or not, these ideas are usually implicitly hinted at by how the different elements of an outfit work together. A keen visual eye is needed in order to decipher how these work together and once deciphered an outfit can then be evaluated in its own terms. If one particular element does not help push forward this idea the wearer has in his/her mind, then it is bad in that regard. Conversely, outfits that are good are outfits that are unified - where each and every element works to push that certain mental idea. When this unity is achieved, nothing in the outfit seems superfluous and everything works together to deliver this tightly packaged visual experience. Building outfits is as much of an art as is painting. The only difference is that building outfits is a necessity for every living person.
So, when evaluating outfits as well as building outfits, keep this idea of harmony in mind. I'm sure you can agree that nearly all of your favorite outfits work in this regard. This guide cannot, however, teach you how to gain this ability to evaluate outfits. However, keeping this idea of harmony in mind when you see people walking down the street or someone posting in a WAYWT thread and trying to do this step-by-step can allow you to develop his visual experience.
Basic Posting Guidelines
This applies to long time posters as well as newfags.
1. Small questions should be posted in the Fuccboi General threads. These are /fa/'s version of QTDDTOTs or "Questions that Don't Deserve their Own Thread" threads. There's almost always one up, so use the catalog to find it and use it for minor questions. If someone starts a thread with a basic or stupid question, direct them to the sticky or fuccboi general and suggest they delete their thread.
2. /fa/ is not your barber. Chances are we'll tell you to get a hy or to cut everything off because we really don't care. If you still want advice, post it in a hair general, make a hair general, or post it in the fuccboi general.
3. Keep threads on topic. Avoid posting /soc/ content or other unrelated threads on /fa/. This includes snapchat threads, tinder/okaycupid threads, etc. Likewise, asking if something is /fa/ does not make the post board-related (e.g. "Are Tacos /fa/?" "Is Batman /fa/?")
4. Quality of posts: detailed and constructive criticism in WAYWT threads is always preferable to buzzwords or simple insults. Likewise, one word ratings contribute almost no value to WAYWT threads. Feel free to be critical, but put some thought into it.
5. Persistent harassment of posters should be reported as off topic. Don't start threads to single out and insult individual posters. The posting of personal information or doxing should also be reported.
6. Support and post original content. Take pictures of clothes you own, provide measurements, talk about how things fit, post your diy projects, etc. This goes double for WAYWT threads. Go ahead and post a fit. You'll probably be insulted, but that's part of the board culture.
7. But if you post a fit in a WAYWT, take a decent photo. It doesn't matter if it's full-body or a series of detailed closeups that covers everything, but at least make sure we can see what the hell you're wearing. Low light, fuzzy pictures, and dirty mirrors all suck. Also: try and include your feet in the pic. Shoes are important to an outfit. We don't care about your face.
8. When a girl posts a pic in a waywt thread, don't be such a thirsty cunt. That's one of the reasons we can't have nice things.
9. Don't post if you are underage. Turn off your computer and go outside. Of course most underage posters are going to disregard this completely. That's okay. But know that you are young and inexperienced and many board regulars will take every chance they get to report you if they find out how old you are. So try to act like an adult and do not ever trip.