We had an unexpected guest come this week, which was great! We had a really good time and it was nice to enjoy sometime with her as we probably won’t see her again for a while. However, I haven’t been able to sew for about a week. My current project is taking much longer than I had expected. So I’m sorry that I still don’t have a completed project to show, but instead, I have been making some headway with my wardrobe planning.
For the Wardrobe Architect Challenge (see my last post for more details), January is all about finding your core style. It was recommended if participating in this challenge to go over weeks 1-4 of the Wardrobe Architect 2014 series and complete the worksheets and exercises. And I don’t know about you all, but I love a good project.
I’m such a nerd that way. I love filling out worksheets and going through a process when learning something new. So I was actually super excited to start these exercises. I even went out and got me a binder to keep everything organized!
So today I thought I would share what I learned with you all.
Finding Your Core Style
The truth is we are surrounded by images and advertisements that are meant to make us want something that we previously did not desire. Thanks to things like advertising, the Internet, and Pinterest I often see beautiful images of apparel that looks amazing on the person wearing it, and before I know it, I am wanting it myself, with very little consideration as to whether it is something that truly fits into my lifestyle and speaks to who I am.
Now, I’m not saying these things are bad. Pinterest, for example, can be a great tool for wardrobe inspiration. In fact, I used it for these exercises! But I do think that all of this can make us easily lose sight of who we are and what our true style really is. Thus, why so many of us often have a wardrobe full of clothes while still saying “I have nothing to wear!”
Personal Identity and Style
With the first exercise, we were asked to dig deep and really think about our core style by analyzing how our history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body have influenced our style. Here is what I have come up with:
When I examine my style over the years, I can honestly say that it hasn’t changed that drastically. There are certain aspects of my style that have been apart of me since I was young. For example, I have always preferred comfort to trendy and simple to flashy.
When it comes to the more important things in life, I can truly say that I value living a simple life rather than accumulating a lot of things that do not add any sort of value to my life. I believe in quality over quantity. I believe that her inner person rather than a showy outer appearance best reflects a woman’s beauty. I believe a modest appearance shows respect not only to myself but also to my Creator.
My mother has always expressed an importance in living a simple life and not putting too much attention into ones appearance. This is something that has always stuck with me and, as I have gotten older and wiser, I too feel these things are important.
I’m afraid to say that others and what I see, especially by my peers and the Internet, have often too easily influenced me. Sometimes this is so powerful that I lose sight of who I really am and what I truly value. This is why I feel it is important for me to learn how to appreciate something I see without feeling the need to have it myself.
Comfort is a huge thing for me. I find that in my day-to-day routine, above all else, I desire to be comfortable. This means having clothing I can move and breathe in and, most importantly, comfortable shoes! Especially on days when I am walking about a lot.
I am outdoors a lot, so it is important for me to be dressed appropriately to the weather. Where I live the seasons don’t change very drastically, but it is important for me to dress in layers all year and always be ready for rain.
I have found that while I actually don’t dislike my body all that much, except for my horrible posture and my knobby knees, (see us girls always have to find something about ourselves to dislike) I still prefer to be somewhat covered up. I feel more comfortable when my shoulders are covered and I am wearing sleeves, and also when I wear knee-length skirts. I prefer pants to shorts (although in really hot weather I am not opposed.) I prefer an A-line or full skirt versus a tight or fitted pencil skirt. I feel extremely uncomfortable in skin-tight clothing and really enjoy a loose comfy fit.
After analyzing how these things have influenced my individual style, I realized that deep down I always knew what is truly me and what isn’t when it comes to clothing. So why have I for so many years been wearing things that I don’t really like all that much? Even now! Putting this into words and really giving it some careful thought has helped me to really see the forest through the trees and recognize the value in honoring my true style.
My Style In Words and Images
For the next exercise, we were helped to define our core style in 3-5 words. For me that would be:
Comfortable. Simple. Modest. Classic.
If a garment is lacking in these aspects I simply don’t feel like me when wearing it.
I then created a Pinterest board of images that reflect those key elements of my core style. Every image I chose had to embody those key elements. I found this process to be really helpful because I am a very visual person, so attaching images to words was very instrumental for me. It helped me to stay focus and not just choose an image because I simply liked it, but because it truly represented my core style.
Now I have a great visual reference of what my core style really is and I can refer to it for inspiration when I feel like I am losing sight or getting influenced by current trends.
This is different than my other Pinterest boards, like my Wardrobe Inspiration board. With that board I just pin things that appeal to me. It could just have one aspect of something I like and everything else about the garment I would change. But this Core Style board was more about getting down to the essence of my style. Each image had to convey those four words: Comfortable, simple, modest, and classic.
I am really happy with the results.
I truly do want to pair down my wardrobe more, but more importantly, I want to have a wardrobe that I truly love and that best reflects who I am. I feel that doing these exercises and really putting some thought into what my style is, has been an important first step.
So what do you think? What is your core style? And does it really matter to put some extra thought into defining what it is?