If You Think You've Lost Your Style, DO THIS
Up until recently I felt disillusioned with my wardrobe. I strive for a capsule wardrobe and like to shop my own closet before spending money on new clothes but I felt like I needed to buy a whole new wardrobe to feel good again. Essentially, my personal style had changed but I hadn't taken the time to reevaluate my collection to see what was still relevant to me. If you're feeling like this, here's how I fixed it!
I realised that I'd been trying to curate a wardrobe based on an aesthetic that didn't really work for my lifestyle. I was collecting light-coloured pieces and long dresses that I couldn't really wear when I was walking my dog - the main reason I leave the house these days! (Isn't this the cutest picture I've ever shown you on any of my posts?)
I decided to take a good look at my lifestyle and work out what sort of outfits I needed for the different activities I do. Originally, I'd been trying to pinpoint one 'aesthetic' to gear my wardrobe towards, but actually, I love several aesthetics and some of them contradict each other! If you're like me, this might be an exercise that's worth doing to streamline your personal style.
Eventually, I discovered that there were 4 main 'pillars' to my personal style.
Wardrobe Pillar #1 - Countryside Chic
As a dog-walker, I need practical outfits that can get a little mucked up. However, I also take a lot of outfit pictures for my Instagram account on dog walks, so they need to be stylish too!
I made a Pinterest board of outfits ideas for a countryside, equestrian aesthetic and took note of the clothing items that many of those outfits had in common. I found that I already had a lot of the items which is great! My Joules wellies and Burberry scarf are excellent for this look.
I now know that I just need a few extra accessories to elevate my outfits and really lean into the countryside theme, such as a flat cap, a saddle bag, a gilet and a pair of riding-style boots.
Wardrobe Pillar #2 - Cottagecore
Next are the activities and events where you can have a little more fun with your outfits. I love going for days out in London, going shopping and for lunch with friends. I already have a lot of floaty, feminine dresses in my wardrobe as I mentioned before! I've been really getting into the world of cottagecore so I decided that I'd like to focus on romantic, girly outfits for these sorts of events.
Flowy midi dresses, straw hats and lacy hair bows work well for all sorts of other events such as picnics, which my partner and I try to do often, and I also find that this sort of outfit is actually great for working from home. A loose midi dress is so much more comfortable than leggings or jeans and you feel like you've made an effort when really, you've just thrown a dress on.
Wardrobe Pillar #3 - Tailoring
Speaking of work, most of us need outfits for the office. My office is quite casual but, now that I don't have as many reasons to leave the house, I've really embraced the classic, tailored officewear that I have always harboured a passion for.
Again, I made a Pinterest board including outfit ideas from my style icons (Victoria McGrath is a good person to follow for tailored clothes, she has an amazing array of suits) and worked out what I could already work with and what I needed to pick up from the shops.
It's also a good idea to think about how often you'll be in the office - if you're still working from home regularly, you don't need a week's worth of suits. I go in once a week on average so I figured 4 good work outfits that I can mix and match are perfect to get me through the month.
Wardrobe Pillar #4 - Glam Hourglass
Aha, you've discovered my secret! I was a TOWIE fan back in the day and I used to love a short bodycon dress with massive heels. I've toned it down a lot by lengthening the dresses and always ensuring that I show cleavage OR legs, never both (old-fashioned advice perhaps, but it works for me). But I still love this glammed-up look and I will definitely be wearing it for events such as nights at the theatre, my friends' hen parties and cocktail dates with the girls.
I hope this has helped! I realise it was quite a lengthy one so here's a summary of my tips:
- Start by writing down the different activities/events that you're ever likely to need an outfit for.
- Look to Instagram and Pinterest, and of course the outfits you already own, to help you work out what style you'd like to cultivate - it may be a few different styles for the different events you've come up with.
- Once you know which aesthetic/s you like, make a Pinterest board of inspiration.
- Use your Pinterest board to work out what items you need to add to your wardrobe to help you achieve this look.
- I didn't mention this earlier, but declutter items from your wardrobe that don't spark joy for you anymore and/or don't fit in with the style you want to to cultivate.
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