3.28.2013

{on finding your style}

You may know that last year, I did something that I've been wanting to do for a long time: I threw out ninety percent of the clothes in my closet. It was a huge deal for me; up until then, I'd been somewhat of a clothing hoarder, if you will. A lot of the clothes and shoes and accessories that sat there had been accumulated since high school, and I rarely threw anything out. Eventually, I realized that I had a problem. My closet was overflowing, and yet I didn't feel beautiful or confident in anything I wore. 

It was a process, but since then I've built my closet back up to something that I'm honestly proud of. I don't necessarily want the clothes that I wear to define me as a person or a woman, but we all have our own priorities and values in life, and my personal style is one of them. 

I've been asked in the past what my secret is, and before I didn't really think that I had one. Not one that was especially deep or new, anyway. When I thought about it more, however, I realized that I have shopped by one rule since starting this new project, and it's really revolutionized the way that I choose what to buy and what to keep on the rack. 

I know I've mentioned it before on this blog, but growing up, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs and clearance items. It was necessary, and I'm SO thankful that I had decent clothes to wear at all. This mindset was somewhat ingrained in me, and it was hard to shake that feeling of, well, it's a great deal so I might as well buy it, that I knew so well. When I started making decent money as an adult, I still purchased clothing off the clearance rack, even if it wasn't necessarily me. That resulted in a bloated wardrobe that wasn't cohesive at all. 

So, what's my number one shopping rule? The one that has really allowed me to define my style organically, and without making lists or writing down what I think I might love, in concept?
It really seems so obvious, doesn't it? But how many times have you seen something in a store that was kind of cute, and you might, someday wear it? And you wouldn't normally buy it, but it was on sale for (insert some random percentage here) and you just couldn't pass up the deal? I can't tell you how many times I've done that, and the result is really just something else that you've wasted money on, that will end up at Goodwill with the tags still on. 

I think by limiting yourself to items that you love (not necessarily that are your style, because I think that comes later), rather than price, you're able to create your own, perfect style. It also forces you to work with items that you may not have gotten in the past, because you didn't think it was you. Does that make sense?

In the past year, I've learned that I really love bows, that hot pink works better for me as a signature lip color, and that it's next to impossible for me to find a pair of pants that fit me really well. Among other things.

I hope it's okay with you, but I thought I would start sharing more about my personal style, for all areas of my life. Consider it my next exercise in defining who I am

21 comments:

Joelle Duff said...

I LOVE this post!!!!!!

Joelle Duff said...

Love this....so true!


Carly
www.lipglossandcrayons.com

Joelle Duff said...

I need to take this advice more often as I'm forever guilty of buying something because it's a good deal, and holding on to clothing for way too long! I think that's a big part of growing up, realizing that your closet should be about quality, not quantity :) Thanks for sharing! xo

Joelle Duff said...

this makes ME want to take that step and throw out all my old stuff. i just might do it!

Joelle Duff said...

I've been struggling with this problem recently and some days I look at my closet and think, "WHO is this girl? Why did she buy these things?" It's just like you said, it lacks cohesion because that wasn't part of the thought process in each purchase. So frustrating. Definitely going to be following this magic rule in the future :P In fact I just followed it yesterday. Found a "kinda cute" Vanessa Bruno dress and I was like "OMG it's on sale--WAIT A MINUTE" Haha :P

Yasmeen
Castle Fashion

Joelle Duff said...

I have been trying to do that dont-buy-it-if-youre-not-in-love-with-it thing and I think it's working. My husband calls me fickle-minded sometimes but when you know you truly love something, it helps define your style more. I've been also trying to not buy anything because it's on sale - it's a bad habit of mine and my husband.

xo,
janmloves.blogspot.com

Joelle Duff said...

You threw out 90% of your wardrobe?! That's super impressive! I've been trying not to buy things just because they're on sale/clearance too.


Kristina


Kristina does the Internets

Joelle Duff said...

Such great advice. If I only I was ready to purge many of my clothes....haha.

Tara
Penniless Socialite
March Group Giveaway!

Joelle Duff said...

This advice is so helpful! I am def. a clothing hoarder :(

xx Michelle



Fierce & Fashionable

Joelle Duff said...

I have the exact same rule! Lindsay (Trial by Sapphire) and I went shopping today and I put two shirts down because I didn't absolutely love them. I did end up going home with three new pieces that I love, including a polka dot skirt that I'm in love with!

Joelle Duff said...

I love it! It can be so easy to just buy things because they're inexpensive or trendy, but unless you absolutely, 100% love them, you won't wear them! Trust me, I know ;) Also, jealous that you got to go shopping with Lindsay! Sounds like fun. xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

That's definitely a good piece of advice. I won't admit that I'll stand in the dressing room, staring at myself in the mirror for 5+ minutes, just trying to decide if I love something or just like it a lot. When you're spending money, it's an important decision! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Good luck with your purge! I promise it will feel so great after. And good luck building it back it up too (but that's the fun part!) xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Ha, I don't think you'll ever be ready. Just do it! Or save up so you can start building it back up ASAP ;) xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

I did! And it was wonderful! So many of my clothes and accessories and shoes just weren't *me* and now they are!

Joelle Duff said...

Eh, fickle is better than being a hoarder, I guess? Keep going with it, and I promise you'll love your closet and your wardrobe, and you'll finally have a defined style! It's a great feeling ;)

Joelle Duff said...

Haha I'm glad you didn't get that dress! That's the trap I've fallen for a few too many times, but doing things this way is so much better. I hope you stick with it, and I promise you'll love your closet soon! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Do it! It's so much fun, and really challenges you to figure out what your style really is (though I doubt you have a problem with that!). xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

You're welcome! Good luck my dear! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Thanks Carly! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Thank you!