May 31, 2012

My Style Adventure, part 3

victorian ladies

I previously blogged (part 1, part 2) about this little style adventure I’ve been on for the past few months and while I’ve been feeling oh-so stylish lately, I realized I forgot to give you an update.

Recap: In part 1, I shared some of my style woes and in part 2, with the help of my stylist friend, Brianna, I created a Pinterest board to try and pin down (puns!) exactly what my style is and how I was hoping to express it. The real fun began a couple weeks ago when Miss Bri came over to my house one night after work and we spent some time going through my closet. More than four hours to be exact. And that brings us to part 3.

messy closet

{not actually my closet}

We pretty much pulled everything out and Bri assessed the situation. Before even looking at the clothes, she said my mirror was way too small and suggested I get a full length version to better see myself while getting dressed. She seemed pleasantly surprised that I had (have) some good pieces…staples like black pants, jeans, blouses, basic T-shirts, belts and scarves. The main problem, she felt, was that I had entirely too many pieces (of clothing AND accessories) to ever successfully/stylishly wear them all.

We talked about how much easier it is to decide what to wear when you don’t feel overwhelmed by options. This is where I should probably mention that I’m a quasi-hoarder. Thankfully Bri calls herself “the least sentimental person you’ll ever meet” and was able to help me let lots of things go to the consignment/donate pile. Another pile we ended up with was things needing alterations (more on the piles and how we determined what to keep vs. what to let go in part 4).

We talked about what kinds of things I feel most comfortable in (mid-length dresses, cardigans, jeans) and she showed me how to put some outfits together using those “old faithful” items in new ways. Bri also helped me create some outfits with pieces I’ve had for ages but could never quite figure out how to wear them. I can’t tell you how many times I said the phrase “I just wouldn’t have ever thought to put these things together” after she had me try some combination of items that ended up looking pretty good.

In the end, this is what I kept:

Bottoms -

  • Pair of dark wash trouser style jeans (Old Navy)
  • Pair of dark wash skinny jeans (Old Navy)
  • Pair of black wide leg trousers/dressy slacks (Gap)
  • Pair of slim fitting black ankle-length pants (Gap)
  • Black pencil skirt (Banana Republic/thrifted)
  • Gray pencil skirt (Worthington/thrifted)
  • Red pencil skirt with kick pleat (Worthington/thrifted)
  • Long black pleated skirt (TJ Maxx)
  • A couple of printed mini-skirts (dept. stores/TJ Maxx)
  • Denim pencil skirt (Talbots/thrifted)
  • Pair of linen drawstring pants (J.Jill/thrifted)

Tops -

  • White long-sleeved blouse (Gap)
  • White button down shirt (thrifted)
  • Black button down blouse (TJ Maxx)
  • Assorted neutral/black/white tank tops (Old Navy)
  • 2 cardigans, hot pink/tan (Gap/Target)
  • Assorted sleeveless blouses/camisoles to wear under cardigans (thrifted/TJ Maxx)
  • T-shirts (1 black, 1 white/Target)
  • Pink pullover-style blouse (Gap)

Dresses -

  • Little black dress, dressy (Isaac Mizrahi for Target)
  • Little black dress, casual (TJ Maxx)
  • 3 assorted print dresses for work (Belk/thrifted)
  • Denim tunic dress (J.Jill/thrifted)
  • Gray lace dress (Belk)

My list is tailored to me (i.e. my work attire requirements, etc.) so don’t think yours should be exactly the same or feel like there’s something wrong with your closet if it’s way different. Also, I provided store names so you could see that most of my stuff was pretty inexpensive (i.e. on clearance or thrifted).

I think the point of listing everything out here was so I could see how much I really have to work with and how everything can pretty much work together. That was another thing Brianna pointed out to me…when you have the right key pieces in place, it’s all mixing and matching from there. I can actually see my wardrobe coming together as a cohesive unit…rather than just a whole big mess of items that I bought on sale just because they happened to be in my size.

Are you ready for a total closet overhaul? Mine has really worked wonders to help me feel more confident about my style and I’ve been putting more thought into my daily clothing choices. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes miss the mark with fashion…but I’m definitely going about it in a different way. How much thought do you put into getting dressed each day? Is fashion something you care about or is it just not your thing?

[parts 4, 5 & 6 still to come]

{image 1 via}