Resolution Style: The Update

As December turned to January, I made a pact to up my style game.  At the close of last year I felt that my wardrobe was just bleh, and bleh wardrobe morphed into bleh mindset.  So I began my journey to style.

First off- it is really hard to add style to your life, especially if you are a minimalist, understated sort of person. Where do you start? How do I add a little flair while still retaining my personality? And how do I do all this when I hate shopping? I even wrote a follow up blog detailing my difficulty in working towards this goal.

Enter Stitchfix- the monthly service that sends you clothes. This was great for me: I was able to add some great pieces to my wardrobe with little personal fuss.  I also tried things that I might not have tried otherwise.  This step alone added something- I went a little out of my comfort zone- just enough to add a little zip.

Then I really began playing with accessories.  As I normally start out with a neutral black palette, adding things really helps. I began playing with texture and shape and I daresay color. I started going a little bolder with my jewelry.  And it helped.  I felt better walking out of the door every day. Friends commented on my look and on my choices.  I knew I was on the right track.

Then a few weeks ago I wrote about my favorite black dress, and I described how I accessorized it different ways for different occasions.  My friend Cozy commented on how she like the styles I was able to create…and it was at that moment I realized that I had done it- I had worked my way towards creating a personal style that made me feel good about myself, made me feel unique, made me feel put together. Last year at this time I felt I was sort of hiding in my clothing.  I don’t feel like that anymore.

So yesterday when I met up with my daughter for lunch, she looked at my slightly above the knee grey dress, knee length down vest, knee high boots (I have a thing for knees apparently) grey cuff bracelet and silver pendent and she said “Look at you Mom. I like the look.  it’s totally you.”

And I smiled to myself. I wanted to switch up my wardrobe a little and I did it, but I’m still exactly who I am. Just a little more so.

 

You’ve Got Style

I think you guys might know I’m sort of having a love affair with Stitchfix (for the record I am receiving no compensation from them, though given the amount of time I talk about them I probably should)  For the uninitiated, Stitchfix is the perfect solution to either someone who doesn’t like to shop, or someone who doesn’t really know how to make the most of their wardrobe.  You fill out a very detailed questionnaire, and then they send you five items of clothing/accessories whenever you schedule it.  I think it’s brilliant.

I have now done two boxes, and will get delivery of my next box sometime at the end of the month.  I have been extremely fortunate in that every thing the stylist has sent me has been something I really liked (or loved) and was a great piece for my wardrobe.  The fit has also been spot on.  This amazes me- how they could find me black jeans better than I have bought myself is shocking to me.

Here’s the catch.  I was brutally honest when I filled out the questionnaire.  I gave my actual weight and body type.  I explained the “flaws” and how I try to correct them.  (my fatal flaw is being short waisted.  My ribs end and my hips begin, so I can really look like I have no waist.  I choose things that elongate me, and give me the appearance of curves.  I also have nice legs and arms, so I tend to wear clothes that highlight one of these areas.  I like knowing my strengths and weaknesses, so to speak.

But, even though I don’t really know how to be stylish, I know what my style is.  I like classic clothes in neutral colors (who am I kidding- I wear black and grey, with sometimes white or pink). I like clothes with simple lines and not a great deal of fuss.  My favorite look this season has been black faux leather trimmed leggings, a long black tunic/t shirt and a knee length grey cardigan with either black suede sneakers or black booties.  Big necklace, big stud earrings.   I am not girly.  I am not boho.  I am not dramatic.  I am simple….I do like a fun accessory, funky necklace or shoe, and I am willing to try a trend.  (I went to a party the other night sporting a pale pink shimmery shirt with those little flutter like sleeves that are so popular now.  I felt a little fun and different)

Ok- I’ve given you details and description (i’m learning that my novel is lacking this, so, lucky you, I am practicing with you)

But where am I going?

One of my really close friends tried Stitchfix.  She HATED it.  Absolutely hated it.

Why?

Because she has absolutely no idea what her style is.  None at all.  She insists to me that she is like me, classic and simple.  I’ve know her for 25 years.  She is not classic and far from simple.  She loves color- her closet is a rainbow.  She loves florals and flowing tops.  She leans towards peasant, boho styles in whatever she chooses.  yet, if you ask her, she will tell you that the last thing she is is Bohemian.  She literally said that to me.  When I asked her what style she is, I gave her a list of choices, and the only clear thing she said was that she is NOT BOHO.

Why is this important?

Take a look at yourself in the mirror.  Accept who you are.  Who you actually are, not the person you are in your mind.  I think people get into problems when the outer you, the you that you represent to the world is not in sync with what’s really going on in your head.  The outer you and the inner you need to match.   Outer and Inner need to come to some sort of agreement.  If they are always battling, you, as a person, are never going to be happy.

Don’t try to be something you’re not.  Be who you are.  And don’t let a spouse, a friend or a parent sway you as to who you really are.  My Mother will often buy me clothes.  In theory this is nice.  In reality, she is buying things that she thinks I should wear, the style she thinks I should be.  I’m 53, and my Mother is still trying to dictate who I am.  Don’t get caught in this.  Be who you are. (FYI- who you are can change.  It is ok to be punk when you’re 30, and boho when you’re 35- that’s just evolving- nothing wrong with that at all as long as you are true to yourself and not trying to morph into someone else’s ideal)

So here’s the takeaway:

  1. I love having someone else pick out my clothes and curate my wardrobe for me
  2. I know who I am and am happy with who I am
  3. Figure out who you are and run with it.  you will be an awesome you!!