Last week I wrote about cultivating your personal sense of style with the aid of Pinterest! Today I'll delve into the process a little deeper and share how to acquire pieces befitting of your newly discovered and defined personal style.
1. Evaluate + Edit
In this stage, things can two ways. 1: The contents of your closet and style board are vastly different. or 2: The contents of your closet and style board aren't vastly different. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at your Pinterest board and your key words and comparing them to the pieces in your closet.
If your ideal personal style is a departure from your current closet contents, do not despair. You can refine your look by editing. The easiest way to edit is through color. If your style board was heavy with navy, grey, and white then start by eliminating anything in your closet that isn't relatively neutral. That means, no pink, yellow, lilac, chartreuse, crazy prints, etc.
If your board and real belongings aren't crazy different, you may already own a few pieces that exemplify your key words (colors, feel, materials, etc.) Group these items together and work exclusively with this pared down collection. You will notice that assembling outfits will be easier and your look will be more pulled together- quite simply, one of my favorite aspects of the whole process. Opening your closet and asking "What on earth am i going to wear?" won't happen again. Unless all your clothes are in the laundry, that is.
I also encourage you to donate things that no longer fit, things you haven't worn in over a year, and things that no longer appeal to you. A good purge frees up real estate in your closet, too!
2. Make Do, Save + Search
This is where I'm at in my personal style exploration. And it's a tough spot to be in, as my ideal wardrobe is very much, incomplete. I tend to wear the same 10 things over and over again- but I'm okay with that- as I feel more like myself wearing these 10 things than I did wearing the other "not so me" things. I like to think of it as a my personal uniform: black skinny jeans, a blouse or oxford, and black boots. A wise man once said "Make it work!" (you know who!) And I'm making it work.
You know which pieces are essential to your look. And although a tailored navy blazer and sleek moto jacket are essential to mine, I don't have the luxury of purchasing them all at once- they're serious investments! If a shopping spree is doable, you are a lucky girl. But those of you in the same boat as me, save up for high quality, "forever" pieces that will stand the test of time and trends. Perhaps a pair of Manolos, a 2.55 bag, or a Burberry trench.
And whenever you do shop, doing your homework is crucial. Remember to stick to the bones of your board and purchase items that are representative of your key words and pieces.
And surprise, surprise- Pinterest is an excellent tool to keep track of potential purchases! I have a board entitled "Wishlist." Notice the descriptions are very specific so I know price, size, brand, etc. Sometimes Pinterest will even alert you if the price of an item has changed. I keep this board secret too, but share it with my husband so he's never short of great gift ideas. Hint, hint!
3. ACQUIRE OVER TIME
Finding your signature style is a process. Unless we have unlimited funds we must acquire pieces over time. This, in my opinion, makes for a more unique and special personal collection where not everything is from the same store, same season, same material, etc. There's a story to your pieces- I got this on vacation or my husband got me this necklace for our anniversary... you get the idea. Build blouse by blouse and skirt by skirt. Stay true to the aesthetic you've worked hard to define and your personal style will flourish over time.
This process is exactly that- a process, that unfolds slowly and organically. but if you use the tools you've got, your very own personal style is achievable. it need not be something you only covet when you open a magazine or browse The Internet.
Have you had your eye on something that would really just make your wardrobe? What are some investment pieces you've purchased that you simply can't live without? Do you pay full price or hold out for a good sale? (Sidenote: I used to bookmark things I wanted with Hukkster- now defunct. Total bummer! It alerted me when an item on my wishlist went on sale and which promo code to use- genius! I have yet to find a similar site. So, if you know of something similar, please do share.)
Main image via Madewell.