adjusting your personal style to your changing lifestyle
Defining personal style and building a wardrobe with clothes that have the “This is so me!” written all over them sounds easier than it actually is. I love midi skirts, however they are not appropriate in my line of work, ergo it makes little sense for me to stock up on full pleated midi skirts that I can only wear on weekends (minus those weekends when all I care for are comfy jeans).
As our lifestyle changes, like getting a new job that may well come with a different dress code, becoming a mother or traveling a lot forces us to make adjustments to our wardrobes. Essentially you want your clothes serve your needs and not the other way around. And sometimes things gets tricky. Those are the moments when I am gazing at my closet filled with clothes yet I’ve got nothing to wear. Sounds familiar?
I got great use out of my favorite jeans and cropped, comfy pants at jobs where the dress code was casual. However as you move up on the ladder, you have to make adjustments to your attire. This means potentially getting rid of stuff (I cannot stand a closet that is not transparent, so I am in a constant battle.).
There are a few tips though that have helped me keep things in perspective over time and allowed me to make those adjustments without doubting my personal style:
inspect your closet a few times a year
This is a task I never like doing, yet I find it so efficient on the long run. I trained myself over the years not to hold on to pieces that I haven’t worn in the last year. They just take up space and end up collecting dust. You want to have a wardrobe that you constantly refine and that truly reflects where you are in your life and career.
This sounds tough, but once you train your brain it becomes second nature. You want to buy items that will fill a hole in your closet rather than adding to the pile. The old saying that you should visualize three outfits with that garment or accessory before purchasing them is so true. I like to invest in footwear, handbags and suits. For everything else I go to Forever 21, H&M, Amazon or Zara.
take your lifestyle goals into consideration
You want your style to reflect your personality, but it also has to make sense in your field of work, your overall lifestyle, the city you live in and aligned with your long-term goals. If you want to work in fashion, consider adding more trendy pieces – I recommend not to spend much on them though since they go out of style as quick as they become trendy. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, you may want to invest in a sharp suit. Always keep your needs in mind. The perfect wardrobe should be tailored to your lifestyle.
the power of accessories
Accessories are, without a doubt, the easiest way to pull any look together regardless of the vibe you want to achieve. You can update jeans and a white t-shirt with a bold necklace or pair layered, delicate jewelry with a dress for a more feminine feel. Accessories play a big part in showcasing your personality.
It’s easy to get off track when you see someone at the coffeehouse pulling off those ripped jeans like nobody’s business. The most important thing when developing your style is to be true to yourself. Experiment with different patterns, textures, accessories, and shoes. And who cares about the designer? It all boils down to feeling good in your own skin. Fashion is a tool for inspiration and the expression of who you truly are.
What is your experience with defining your personal style?
Photos by Rick Robillard