Have you ever looked at something on a hanger while shopping and said to yourself:
“that would never look good on me?” Or – “I love the look but I can’t pull that off!” How do you know if you didn’t try it on?
If you asked me a few years ago, (heck maybe even a year ago) what my style preferences were – I didn’t really know. I was that very same girl that passed by any piece of clothing outside of my comfort zone. I knew what I liked when I saw it and that was the extent of it.
I defined my style as simple and casual – t-shirt, jeans and sneakers kind of gal. I used to own more sneakers than I did heels and flats combined. I had a dress here and there for special occasions and some work clothes scattered throughout. Nothing really went together as an ensemble and I was trying to piece together fragmented styles from my many walks of life such as college, first job, dance gear, and some high school too. What to do with all of this “stuff”?
I was realizing more and more that I needed a fresh start (kind of like the one on the television show, What Not to Wear, but without the magical plastic MasterCard loaded with money for a new wardrobe and… without Stacy and Clinton to guide me). So now what? I can’t just throw everything out and start all over can I?
Here are some tips on how I approached it and it is still a work in progress to this day.
1. Question your clothing. Put them in a room, spotlight on it and ask “where were you on the night of June 3rd 2015?” (just kidding – kind of…) Go through all your clothes, shoes and accessories and ask yourself if you have worn it in the last 6 months or year. Take into account any seasonality but if you haven’t worn it this past spring, summer or fall – odds are you won’t again. Make hard choices to free up your space for a fresh start.
2. Remove the sentimentality. We tend to hold onto things that remind us of a wonderful memory we once had. (Keep the wedding dress!) Try to be objective and ask yourself, “if it was just an ordinary sweater or garment, would I keep it?” You should have an immediate gut answer. If you are trying to rationalize why to keep it – let it go. For example, I am holding onto the shirt that I was wearing when my husband proposed to me but I haven’t worn it since… It’s been two years….#takeyourownadvice
3. Basics are keepers. Basic shirts and cardigans are always staples. Basics are perfect for mixing and matching or just providing you with a layering option. They will never go out of style either. Inspect the items to make sure they are still in good shape, if not – then adios!
4. Transition. Slowly phase the clothes out of your closet and storage bins. If you do a one time dump of everything – you won’t have anything left to wear. Consider what you can let go in small bundles. Donate them, sell them to a second hand store, or offer them up at work to other working girls who may love your style. I always give the ladies the first dig to my gently worn attire. 🙂 Rarely do I throw items in the trash unless they are far beyond repair.
5. Love it or list it. Only purchase clothing that you LOVE not LIKE and can see a multi-purpose for. Yes, we are tempted to purchase trends because they are vibrant and beautiful, but make sure you will continue to wear it next season when it is no longer a hot item. Shop your favorite stores and check out sections you didn’t in the past or try out some new brands! For example – I wandered into a cute little store called English Market and found myself having an impromptu photo shoot on my phone. While there I also purchased a classic yet chic brooch. My first brooch! Who knew that I would find it here of all places. I can’t wait to incorporate it into my wardrobe. Be patient for something you love to find you.
6. Try everything on!! If it catches your eye – it caught your eye for a reason. Give yourself more credit and appreciate your own style savvy. Try on new cuts, bright colors, little details or try it on just because you like it. Clothing today comes in so many shapes – you just never know what may suit you. Just because you tried it on that one time by a particular brand doesn’t mean that you can’t wear it. Another brand may have the perfect cut for you and your body – keep looking. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised!
Now mix & match and try new combos you would’ve never put together before. Lay them out on your bed and set them up like it would be on your body – accessories and all. Get inspiration from magazines, friends, social media, or the world and just go for it!
I can see clearly now that I favor pieces that are more classic in style and a bit more structured in cut. I typically don’t purchase fashion fads anymore but instead try to emulate the trends with pieces I already own. Your clothes should make you feel confident and comfortable no matter what you put on. Love yourself and the skin you are in.
Thanks for stopping by and reading!
Top | Philosophy Republic Clothing, similar here (currently 60% off),
Michael Kors Anorak (c/o EN)
Bottom | Loft Boyfriend Jeans, similar here (currently 60% off)
Shoes | Steve Madden Stecy Sandal
Accessories | Banana Republic Naomi Scarf (c/o BH),
Michael Kors Jet Set Tote Bag, similar here, New York & Company Necklace (old)
Thank you English Market – New Haven for letting me take over your store for a few minutes! I had a blast and will definitely be back to visit soon.