Today we have Jenna of The Garmenteur giving us some much-needed advice about personal style. I completely agree with Jenna about creating a closet full of items that represent your style. I’d much rather have fewer things that I love and that fit well, than a closet full of nothing to wear. Thank goodness Jenna is here to help break it all down for us!
Personal style is an opportunity to shape the perception people have of you. Like packaging for a brand that catches your eye, the clothing you put on every day composes an image that you project to the world. This makes your wardrobe a fundamental component to defining who you are. So ask yourself: What have you been building it with?
Understanding how you purchase will help you identify if you’re succeeding as an ambassador to your own style or if your closet is full of items that either still have tags or misrepresent the image you want to own. Do you need a few key pieces to round out your ‘look’ or is it time to refine your style and overhaul your closet? If you relate to any of the below shopping personalities, hopefully these tips will help you get on the right track so you can maximize your purchases and love the state of your wardrobe.
THE OCCASION SHOPPER
Your last series of purchases were specifically geared towards attending events in your life: weddings, showers, anniversaries, charity functions, the list goes on. Now, on a daily basis you feel like you have ‘nothing to wear.’
Tip: Learn to shop your closet. Chances are you have accumulated some fantastic pieces that can be re-appropriated for whatever your daily occasions are. Extend a fun summer dress into fall by pairing it with booties and throwing a sweater over it. A crisp button down layered beneath many a cocktail dress (be mindful of cut, fabric) can transform it into a work-appropriate look.
THE AIMLESS SHOPPER
You love to browse and find yourself wandering from store to store, purchasing things when you see something you like – and you “like” too many things.
Tip: Spend some time in your closet. Contemplate key pieces missing from your wardrobe that will help you wear all the wonderful clothes you already own. Do you need a statement necklace to update your all black ensembles? A chunky knit sweater to layer over and extend the wearability of all those long silk tops you keep purchasing? Log a running list in your phone’s ‘notes’ section (or in a notebook you tote in your bag) for reference while you are out shopping. This way, when you hit the stores you will have a purchasing-focus so you can walk away having spent money on things you actually need.
THE EMOTIONAL SHOPPER
You shop when you are sad or feeling insecure … you shop to fill a void but you end up with a heap of purchases that only momentarily aid your mood and certainly not your closet.
Tip: Got the urge for some retail therapy? Call a friend, suggest you meet for coffee, tea, a drink … you will benefit more from having a sounding board than you will to fill your arms with purchases you. If you really can’t beat the pull to your favorite boutiques, do not shop alone and set a dollar limit to what you will spend that day, keep it low.
THE TRENDSETTING SHOPPER
You have your eye on the runways and always seek out your favorite new trends months before they go ‘mainstream.’ You know what you like, you buy bold, but some purchases just aren’t in it for the long-haul in your wardrobe.
Tip: Make sure you’ve pinpointed your own style so you don’t get lost while translating runway trends into purchases that speak to who you are. For a trendsetter, defining your personal style is staking claim on your identity — you may make sartorially adventurous choices but you’re still being true to yourself. Spend most on items that will remain classics through the seasons and compose the rest of your dare-to-wear wardrobe from stores like Topshop, Zara, Asos, H&M, etc.
THE NOTHING FITS SHOPPER
You frequently find yourself frustrated behind a dressing room door amidst piles of clothes. You know there are things you need, but can’t find them in your size, or at least when you do it doesn’t fit right.
Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself. If you think about it – it’s more surprising when clothing DOES fit in the store. We all know sizing is pretty much subjective and different based on brand. It’s absurd to think a garment can fit the masses as-is — your tailor should be a best friend. Fit the place that is hardest and get the rest tailored. Example: You have enviable “junk in the trunk” and a small waist. Don’t squeeze into the size that fits your waist, get the size that flatters that fabulous booty and have the waist taken in.
THE INDECISIVE OR IMPULSIVE SHOPPER
You either waiver on a purchase in-the store for what seems like dressing room eternity, or you buy something without a second thought. Neither extreme is good for your closet, and both scenarios probably plague you with buyer’s (or non-buyer’s) guilt.
Tip: Define your style. Really – everyone needs to do this, but for an indecisive or impulse shopper you especially need to be able to rattle off in your mind the three words you want other people to use when describing your style. Does the cut-out sequin bandage dress say: refined, elegant, sophisticated? Put it back. Defining your style will help you understand if your purchases are going towards building the image you want for yourself, or just going to clutter your closet.
Photos by Maria Ponce