style

part iii: meet my alter ego, the intentional shopper

part iii of iii and i must say, this has been so fun for m to write out and reflect on! after the realization that i had been sucked into consumerism, the purge(s) and of course, reading seven by jen hatmaker (i will continue to recommend that book for forever and ever amen), what was  next for me?

i could have gone back to buying clothes, letting them sit in my closet and then giving them away. but that sounds like literally the last thing i want to do. but yet it happens year after year….

OR i could put in a solid 15 minutes of work with my little guide below and work on defining my style, forever eliminating the phrase “but i have nooottthhiiiiinngggg to wear!” from from my vocab. also, i eliminated going through hundreds of pages of clothing online or spending loads of time trying on clothes because i can figure out exactly what i will wear a lot after being in a store for a fraction of the time.

let’s do this. take about 15 minutes in your room with a piece of paper, a pencil (because you will inevitably want to erase and rework the following) and your closet/dresser/pile of clothes.

F I R S T take a look at the clothes that remain post purge and take note of three things: silhouette, style and color. sometimes it’s easier when you read an example so i’ll throw a couple of my own realizations in here for guidance.

silhouette: here’s an example for ya: one thing i want more of in my closet is dresses. they’re easy to wear, comfortable, you can move around (which for me = photography friendly) and are easily layered. i noticed from looking at the dresses i wear over an over that i like dresses that have no cinched waist or overall structure because i don’t really like tight clothing, especially on my stomach because it tends to make my acid reflux symptoms worse. actually, my doctor literally told me not to wear tight clothing which is why i love brands like free people and clothing at anthropologie and madewell so much! random fun fact for ya. #health so from that realization, i easily dismiss manyyyy dresses before i even try them on. there was even one on sale the other day at work for like $15 and i didn’t buy it because i knew the cinched waist would upset my stomach and i’d never reach for it. now that is what i call growth.

style: pinterest is great for determining what you want your style to look like but you also might figure it out by looking at your fav pieces. after seeing a lot of flowy tops, bell sleeves, button down shirts and slouchy sweaters, i could see that i tend towards more of a 70s meets boho meets jenna lyons style. i like stripes, dainty florals and solid colors. i like flare pants and i love lace. i have a thing for an all black and/or monochromatic look. i love crisp edges meets feminine flows. when i shop, i think of what i want my style to mimic and what i wear over and over in my closet. then, when i go to buy something, it’s easy for me to say to myself, “this necklace is super cute, but in reality, i don’t wear a ton of necklaces and i’d rather spend my money on something to wear everyday or put that towards the loafers i’m eyeing.” determining your style is kind of like trying to pin jello to a board with tacks so don’t feel like you need to put it in a box. it’ll develop but i think taking note of what you want it to look like will help you as you shop.

colors: for me, the biggest realization was the fact that i don’t look good in all colors. that’s not even meant to sound vain or something. i genuinely didn’t realize that i didn’t look good in some colors and that’s why i never wore those pieces i was soon getting rid of. once i had that lightbulb moment, i was able to eliminate items before even trying them on while shopping. case in point: my friend ashley tried on this gorgeous bell sleeved (DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER) dark green top from anthro. i was like omg i neeeeeed. and then i realized, BEFORE trying it on, that i actually don’t have anything that color in my closet and that ashley is lighter skinned and brunette thus looks s t u n n i n g in that perfect fall green. but i do not. i started looking at fashion bloggers with similar skin tones as me and noticing what they look good in and looking at my own closet. i like denim, white, cream, gray, black, chestnut brown and blush recently because they also like me! take the time to look at the common colors in your closet and recognize which items are the most complimented when you wear them to figure out what colors/patterns you should keep an eye out for.

S E C O N D make a simple pie chart to figure out where most of your time is spent so as to spend your money accordingly. my mom and i literally talk about these pie charts every time i make a purchase lately (#budget) and it’s been so helpful! i got the idea from caroline joy’s worksheets. simply make a circle and construct pie pieces to represent your week’s activities. for example, i have a large, 40 hour pie slice devoted to ‘work’, a medium-ish sized slice devoted to ‘casual/running errands’ and a smaller slice for ‘church, events (weddings, going out, etc.)’. so most of my purchases should be for work clothing. however, the nice thing is that i am now looking for tops and shoes that could be worn both to work and perhaps to dinner with a friend or on a date because of that realization. i don’t want all my clothing to be so work-y just because that’s where the majority of my time will be spent. likewise, my sister has noticed that her time has changed since becoming a mom to sweet xavier (note: change in circumstances!!), my mom spends most of her time at work in a garden nursery or doing things around town, and my other gal pal is a young mom to two plus works retail. all of us have very different pie charts of time so realistically we won’t be spending our money the same way! the advertisements will tell you that you NEED a lot of things but don’t let that fool ya. this has been the best realization for the conundrum of “i have nothing to wear” though because i am now filling gaps in my closet that i never actually put money towards (as much as i needed to). for example, if someone invited me out on the town, i have like two tops i can wear. same goes for being a wedding guest. even though these are small slices, i still need a couple in each and am keeping an eye out!

T H I R D easiest for last: make a list in your phone of what you need and reference it every time you make a purchase. mine (no, like this is literally a screenshot of a note i have in my phone) looks like this:

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the list did include black skinnies, flare jeans and nude sandals but since i am only spending money on these things and actually shopping for them and only them, they’re actually being removed from my list! gone are the days of accidental shopping sprees at target. hellooooo intentional shopper ania!

the reason we always say we have nothing to wear is because we are just merely shopping to shop. when i shop intentionally, i spend less time and get more satisfaction.

ps to this whole three post series: to have a list and shop intentionally doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money on the items – that’s the glory of this plan! it’s not about the money you spend, it’s about the way each item fits into your life and takes your time from endless hours surfing sales to pointedly shopping for what you need and putting your time where it should be – out adventuring through life! so don’t feel like each item needs to be expensive and saved up for – the list is just merely to help you stay away from the dollar section at target and yet another sports bra when you already have 4.;)

 

vibed to the sound of brooklyn nine-nine. it’s becoming my go-to blog-background-noise-while-writing show.

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