14 Days of Learning to Love Your Life – Day 8

14 Days of Learning to Love Your LifeToday’s focus for my series, 14 Days of Learning to Love Your Life, is a fun one for me.  Ever look in your closet and think “I’ve got NOTHING to wear!” while staring at about 150 pieces of clothing.  (Me: Um, like every day!)  Well I’m going to talk you down from a wardrobe shopping spree (your wallet can thank me later) and give you some tips for learning to love your wardrobe.

New here?  Check out this and this to get started.

I’ve been working on this for almost a year.  I started out with just trying to learn how to use my current wardrobe better (more on that in a sec).  Then I learned about minimalist wardrobes and capsule wardrobes and I was so fascinated that I knew I had to try this out for myself!  But I just couldn’t bring myself to throw out hundreds of clothing items, so I came up with this method for simplifying your wardrobe the long way.

There are three keys to loving your wardrobe: find your own style, learn to mix and match, and embracing accessories. 

Finding Your Own Style

Finding your own style is so important because otherwise you are simply copying current trends or a certain look and you’ll never learn to put your own outfits together.  This is so hard to do!  I think the reason finding your own style can be tough is because fashion trends change so quickly and we are constantly faced with newer, fresher, better looks to copy and once we master one it is outdated.  We see images of people in stylish outfits that we like and our brains don’t analyze what it is that we like about the outfit, they just tell us that we like the outfit itself and need to copy that exact look.

The first thing you should do is try to define your own style without pictures.  What are some words that define outfits that you like to wear and that make you feel good.  Think of outfits that you feel confident in.  Some words you may consider: sophisticated, whimsical, comfortable, preppy, hippie, vintage (there are tons more!)  Now think of some outfits you love.  Try to generalize what you love about them in words that can be applied to other outfits.

Here are some posts by The Glamorous Housewife that are super helpful.  Do any of these sing to you??

{Classic Glamorous, Classic BohoClassic Preppy, Classic Vintage, Classic Modern, Classic Simple}

From my experience, finding your own style is not something that happens quickly.  It takes time and experimentation.  Make some space in your journal for writing down ideas and thoughts about when they come to you.

I’ve realized over the last year that I tend to love simple and classic with elements of bohemian style mixed in.  A pair of skinny jeans, a patterned peasant top (like this one that I adore), and basic flats is an outfit I love.

Make a new board on Pinterest called “Cultivating My Own Style” or something similar.  ONLY pin images that truly speak to you.  Don’t pin anything that just makes you go “oh, that’s cute.”  Instead, only pin images that make you go “I LOVE THAT!”  Every time you pin an image, type into the description something about the image that you really like that helps you to generalize that look in terms that describe the style of the outfit rather than the outfit itself.  For example “I love this sweater with jeans!” describes the outfit itself, but “I love the clean lines and preppy feel of this outfit” refers more to the style of the outfit.  Be careful, though!  Only do this with a clear and open mind.  This is not a virtual shopping spree and I don’t want you to go through this feeling like you need a whole new wardrobe!! 

That is why I am going to have you make another Pinterest board called “Making the Most of My Wardrobe” where you are going to pin images of inspiration for using pieces you already own.  Look for ways to wear basics that you own, like a white button-up or a cable-knit sweater and look for ways to wear your more standout pieces, like colored jeans or a floral skirt.  You don’t have to find the exact piece you own – just look something similar.

Learning to Mix and Match

Learning to mix and match – or “remixing” your wardrobe, as Audrey of Putting Me Together calls it – is another challenging lesson!  This requires you to look beyond the obvious use of an article of clothing or accessory.  It also requires you to think outside the box about how you use colors and patterns.  And most importantly, it means you have to learn how to make wise purchasing decisions.

Putting Me Together is a really awesome resource for this!!  A few of my favorites are her One Piece Many Ways posts where she shows all the different ways you can wear one piece of clothing and her Building a Remixable Wardrobe posts where she goes through, step-by-step how to create a wardrobe that works harder for you.  Her post about the different ways you can wear a plaid button-up made me realize my purple plaid button up is actually a great piece to own!  And I was {thisclose} to putting it in the donate pile.

Embracing Accessories

Have you ever heard that accessories can make an outfit?  It’s true.  A simple necklace can transform an outfit from thrown together to polished.  I don’t have any specific blogs or websites to refer you to for inspiration on this.  My advice is to start small.  If you never bother with accessories, try wearing just one accessory today.  A necklace or a pair of earrings.  Maybe a headband.  If you live where there’s 8 inches of snow on the ground, like me, you might like wearing a chunky scarf.

While you are doing your pinning, take note of the accessories people are wearing in the images you pin.  Don’t do anything outrageous, like run out and buy a bunch of statement necklaces.  If you don’t already wear statement necklaces, chances are you are not going to all of a sudden start wearing them every day.  Start slow.  Work with what you’ve got.  Maybe try a little DIY (I shared some awesome ways to make jewelry from old t-shirts here).

I can honestly say that since I’ve been working on finding my own true style and learning to work with my existing wardrobe, I find myself saying “I’ve got nothing to wear!” much less!  Here are a few additional tips that have worked super for me:

Get your closet organized.  If you’ve read my closet decluttering series, you know that I have a limit on the number of items I allow in my closet.  This is HUGE for me.  Check out this post to learn why.

Experiment with seasonal capsule wardrobes.  This goes along with the previous tip.  Keeping only what you’ll wear in the current season in your closet makes it easier to keep your closet organized.  It also forces you to get more creative and work with the pieces you’ve committed to for that season!

Get rid of anything you don’t enjoy wearing (only do this if it won’t require you to go out and buy all new clothes!)

Pick out your outfit the night before.  Picking your outfit out when you can take your time to look and try different things on together will help you be more creative with mixing and matching.  When you are pressed for time you’ll likely just pick out an old standby outfit that you already know works.

Most of all – have fun!  Style and fashion are supposed to be fun, not stressful or depressing.  Always be yourself and don’t try to copy someone else’s look.

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4 thoughts on “14 Days of Learning to Love Your Life – Day 8

  1. I love the *idea* of having a style, but I’m honestly most comfortable in a Star Wars T-shirt and jeans or something like that. That counts as a style, right? 😉
    It is really easy to get caught up in “good” clothes. I used to spend way too much time at Target, browsing clearance racks, hoping to find awesome stuff (some stuff really has been awesome from there, though). The majority of what you can find, though, is trends. And things that don’t fit right. Or things that you say “oh that’s cute” only to realize that you won’t actually be able to wear it for whatever reason (not practical, nothing to go with it, the cut is wrong, etc).

    1. So true! I can’t tell you how many pieces of clothing I’ve bought at Target, only to let it sit in my closet for ages because it didn’t actually fit well or I didn’t actually feel comfortable wearing it.

      And check out these stylish outfits that include a basic graphic tee:





      And a few with Stars Wars tees specifically:



      🙂

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