This post was written by Beth Anderson
Do you want to stop random buying and begin to shop with a purpose? I can help you with that!
So let’s get real. Our style is a personal reflection of who we are as individuals, yet often we struggle with truly owning it. We search magazines trying to emulate someone else’s image, but this only leaves us confused and lost. We stand in our closets for hours, disgusted because we have nothing to wear. Worst of all, we look at trends and think we can rock them just because they look good on other people.
I have 3 Steps that will help you find your style and own it. Once you get a real grasp of these, you will be able to decide what wardrobe will be the best choice for you.
Let’s start with Step #1: Dig deep into your background, your history, your past.
I remember very clearly being in 6th grade back in the 70’s. Everyone was wearing Jordache jeans to school…everyone except me. Brooke Shields had managed to convince every 12-year-old girl that “nothing comes between”…whatever. It was a really good marketing campaign and girls my age bought into it. So here was the problem: my mom wouldn’t let me wear jeans. I begged and I begged her to buy me those jeans. Nope, she was not having it. Little did I know back then that my mom was shaping my style for the future. Her refusal to allow me to follow a trend, conform to the idea that those jeans were going to make me popular and spend money on something that was going to be out of style in a year…WOW! Thank you, mom. Job well done.
Fast forward to my college years at the University of Michigan. It was the 80’s. Everyone was dressing like Madonna. Funny thing about that…Madonna had just dropped out of U of M to pursue her career. Now the entire campus was layering multiple bracelets and wearing boy toy belts, tutus, and scarves tied around their heads. Seriously? I was having NO part of that. Yes, I cut my hair super short, spiked the top and dyed part of it blue, but I wasn’t going to buy into the crazy trends of that era. I went to the Duran Duran concerts in a white tee shirt, jeans and my hair looked damn awesome!
Obviously, your life experiences have an impact on where you are now with your style. My mom taught me back in elementary school to keep things simple and classy. I lived this throughout my life and I still live it today. I don’t buy into fads or trends because I feel like it’s a waste of money. If I can’t get at least a full season and possibly three out of a piece of clothing, then what’s the point of spending the money? I developed my style over time. So let me ask you this one question…
Can you think back over your lifetime and pinpoint your style? It’s ok to be broad with this. Did you go with the flow, did you follow the crowd, did you try to make a statement or did you just want to blend in? All these steps paved how we chose what we wear now. Think about it. Maybe old habits die hard and need to.
Step #2: Your environment
Let me clearly define “environment” for you.
Geographically: State, Country, large city, a small suburb, etc.
Climate: Do you live where the temperature is fairly steady year round or does it fluctuate with the seasons?
Living: Your work situation and your home life.
Without a doubt, the environment with which you live plays a HUGE role in how you dress. I live in Oklahoma so I’ve got to have clothes in my closet for ice storms and 100 degree days. With such a large variance in temperature due to the seasons here, I have to set up my wardrobe to rotate. I work from home, from an office and I travel for consulting. My children are grown, but I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. All these things have contributed to what I wore and what I wear now. The environment basically controls your style. It’s OK, it’s just something we have to deal with.
Step #3: Your passions
So this is where I get a bit philosophical. Bear with me for a minute.
Have you ever been wandering through a department store when “BAM”, a piece of clothing literally jumps out at you? I’ve been styling people long enough that clothing jumps out at me saying “This would be perfect for Jill” or “Kelsey would look great in this”. But the truth of the matter is that I know it has happened to you. You are drawn to a certain style of clothing. You can’t deny it. If you’re like me, you will walk right past hundreds of garments when all of the sudden you see something that will catch your eye and sing to you.
I have a girlfriend who always wears peasant blouses and cowboy boots because it’s her style and she owns it. Now she owns a multi-million dollar company and other women are dressing like her. Yep…it’s the Madonna syndrome. I’m telling you right now, she OWNS her style. So, step up and take notice of those items of clothing that are speaking to you when you’re shopping. Even if you don’t buy it, take a picture of it. I promise you that pretty soon your photos in your smartphone will be showing you what your style is. It’s your passion that draws you to these particular garments without you even realizing it.
I CHALLENGE you to do this the next 25 times you go shopping. Take those photos! Then when you can schedule your virtual style consultation, you will already be beyond prepared to talk to me about your capsule wardrobe. Also, build a Pinterest board full of photos based on your favorite styles. I promise you will start to see a pattern. I’ve built my own personal style Pinterest board and I love adding to it!
If you are looking to shape your style, you’re going to have to take some time for personal reflection. I know, this can be a bit painful, but you can do it! Start small. Take time and reflect on who you are. Ask yourself: what do you like? What draws you in when you’re shopping? What does your lifestyle require?
Need more help?
I’ve put together a quick checklist, Owning Your Style: An Essential Checklist, to help you evaluate your unique style. It’s available for you to download and will give you access to my free Resource Library. It will help you on your journey to find your style and own it.
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I’d love to hear which of my 3 Steps has had the most impact on your personal style. Have you started a Pinterest board, yet? Please comment below with a link to your Personal Style Pinterest board so I can visit and follow it! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Check out my ebook “How to Curate and Cultivate Your Dream Wardrobe” to learn more about building your perfect closet. My 168 YEAR-ROUND OUTFITS EBOOK will show you how to start a basic wardrobe with essential classic pieces to make year-round outfits.
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