The secret is in choosing the right person to emulate. For instance, there is nothing wrong with Nicki Minaj's style, I however, am not a curvy gal who can pull off her wardrobe choices. I typically make my choice first by body shape, then by personality. As much as I love Mila Kunis, Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive 2012, I don't do many simple outfits like jeans and a t-shirt, its just not my thing. So I typically try to stick with someone such as Blake Lively, who seems to put effort into every single outfit even if she just hailing a cab, which is more similar to my personality.
When finding your style icon, choose someone who consistently wears items you also like and can easily copy. My fantasy fashion icon to mimic would be Daphne Guinness, but in reality, there can only be one Daphne Guinness. Keep it down to earth and stick with a celebrity or public figure you follow on a regular basis, enough to notice a trend and stick with it.
The importance of having a fashion icon is simple, shopping becomes much easier. When you shop for an event, for instance, you can ask yourself: "What would (insert icon) wear to a gala (or birthday party, or wedding)?" Otherwise, you will end up getting extremely frustrated when shopping for pieces and you are being pulled in all different style directions to where you end up walking out of a department store with go-go boots, a pink wig and an evening gown with socks.
Trust me on this one, don't shoot for the moon, keep it as true to you as you can.