By now, you know that I am an introspective fashionista. So it should be no surprise that I ask myself very important questions before I shop for clothes. I don’t advocate that we willy nilly follow trends; my goal is to figure out how to live my best life, and from that place, how to buy clothes and decide what types of clothing I need and how I want to project myself.
We all know that we send messages through what we choose to wear, whether we pull on a pair of old sweat pants and a dirty t-shirt or we go full glam. Many of you know I used to live in a small town called Safety Harbor— not exactly a fashion Mecca.
One day, I was at the grocery store, in my yoga pant uniform doing my shopping thing when I saw a very tall blond woman. She was fully made up, false eye lashes and all, dressed head to toe in a matching denim outfit and a sparkling baseball cap.
There she stood, in a sea of casually dressed women, being her best self. She wasn’t going to down shift because the women around her weren’t bringing their A game that day. She wasn’t wondering whether other people were uncomfortable because they hadn’t made the effort to dress to go to the grocery store. She wasn’t concerned about anything anyone in the place might say or think.
The woman was Loni Anderson. Briefly, she and Burt Reynolds rented a house in Safety Harbor, while Burt was working on a film in the area. Now, when I show up, perhaps a bit over dressed to today’s standards, I remember Loni, standing regally in our very basic Kash ’n’ Karry and think “Why the heck not! If people like Loni Anderson bring their best every day, why shouldn’t I?
The moral, of course is for you to be you. And naturally, as an introspective fashionista, I have a bunch of questions to help you think about how you can be you and rock your own unique style. So here goes:
- What words would you use to describe your ideal style? You don’t need more than three; and perhaps an extra one for formal occasions. For example, I want to be “sophisticated” “approachable” “classic”.
- What do I want my style to express about who I am now? So here you might be looking to be a bit creative; are you into spirituality? Perhaps you might choose to mix in some floaty pieces. Are you crushing it in a new business? Maybe a Balmain blazer is the ticket. Clothing not only conveys who we are to others, but they also send cues to us as well. I definitely feel stronger in a blazer, and more free floating in a boho sun dress. Think about what clothes you are drawn to right now, and remember, since we are constantly changing, having a few different looks is not against the rules.
- What do I actually spend my time doing and do I have the proper clothes for those activities? I often tell the story of the months following Brooke’s birth. I had a wardrobe of beautiful clothes to wear to the office, but nothing to wear taking care of an infant. Life has a funny way of changing abruptly especially in these middle years. Our kids leave home…our bodies go through menopause and change…we retire from full time work…we take up a new hobby… you get the picture. I was not prepared for the many life changes I would have as a new mother and it took a while to figure out what I needed. It turned out to be yoga pant.
- Has my workplace style changed? One of the things I notice a lot is how much the work place has changed. I went to visit my attorney one Friday to find him wearing something I would have never imagined: JEANS! While at work. This button down guy was always immaculately dressed, but his firm decided to do casual Fridays and asked that even the partners wear jeans once or twice a month. Has your work place or tasking changed? Do your clothes still suit what you are doing?
- Am I spending more time indoors or outdoors? After Brooke was born, I not only needed to add a stack of yoga pants to my wardrobe, I also needed breathable undergarments since we spent lots of time outdoors, and my padded synthetic bras were a misery in the heat and humidity. It wasn’t until I was sitting at the sandbox that I noticed how uncomfortable I was. So, maybe take notice, and see if you are actually comfortable in your clothes, including your undergarments.
Next, make a list of activities you routinely do. For example, shopping, running errands, hanging around the house, going out to lunch or dinner with friends, working, going to the gym, playing tennis etc. Then make a pie chart, and mark the percentages of time you spend in each category.
From this, you can see where to invest more of your budget, and will be able make a workable list, as well as organizing your closet and drawers accordingly.
So yes, I don’t just do deep dives into the spiritual aspect of my life but my wardrobe too. I think it’s served me; it’s helped me become more mindful and thoughtful of what I add and remove from my closet. In the end, my clothes will reflect me; at least until I change again.
We want to wear our clothes, not have our clothes wear us. The secret is in taking the time to figure out who we are, what really suits us and our lifestyles and rock that.
Just a reminder to my Link Up friends, last week was the last of my Fashion Friday Link Up parties. Thank you so much for coming all these months and years!
This was such a fun post! I love that story about Loni Anderson and I totally agree that we shouldn’t worry about what others think and just be ourselves. I am all too often overdressed for every occasion and I have become quite comfortable with that. That being said, the way I would describe my own style is that I am just a fashion chameleon. I don’t think I have a signature other than the way I shift gears and style genres from day to day. One day I am boho, the next day I am goth, followed by a… Read more »
Great advice. TFS!
I love this post very much! It is exactly what I feel about my clothes, about my style. Thank you so much, Nina!