"This is so ladylike, I want to sex it up a bit."
"You like earth, don't you?"
All three of these statements came out of DC Style Factory's Rosana - directed at me - last Wednesday afternoon.
As we plowed through my overflowing, unmanageable closet, things made themselves clear. There's more to share, and I'll give more of a blow-by-blow on our experience (hint: we. had. so. much. fun.) soon, I promise, but the crux of it is:
Now that my closet is culled, I can see clearly.
I can see clearly what speaks to me - or rather, what has already spoken to me. It's in my closet. Perhaps I'm an unusual client, in that respect, as I do have a sense of what I like. That being said, I didn't think I knew myself as well as I apparently do. Not only is it on my hangers and in my drawers, but it's also on my boards. Even as I started to pin things for my emerging #healthyme body last year, I knew. I may not have known what size would fit, and I may not have known which new silhouettes I could try, but I knew what I was drawn to.
Then I looked at my Pinterest boards. It was all there. Right here. I have loads more boards, but the essence of it is there, methinks. (Rosana might take issue with these, but I'll let her tell me I'm wrong.)
So if you're starting to redefine - or even define - your style, my biggest piece of advice, akin to the old-school "cut-pictures-out-of-magazines-and-take-them-to-your-salon" schtick? It's in four parts:
1) Get thee to Pinterest and start a board for your new style, your new closet, your new drawers. Whatever you want to call it, your New You.
2) Pin. Pin anything that catches your eye. But here's the catch: make sure you don't just pin with wild abandon. Note in that comment field what speaks to you. Is it the cut? The fabric? The color(s)? The overall sense of the picture? I usually use a simple formula - literally - to note it (like + like = like).
3) Step away. Don't pin for a while. A few days, a week...let it stew.
4) Look at your boards again. Notice what's there. What pieces, what colors, what broad styles show up? For me, I realized that, after the closet culling, it comes down to 6 elements. Maybe that's too many, but it's a start for me.
When I looked, these boards weren't all together. As I looked through things, and remembered what Rosana said, I saw where my style heart was pulling me:
"Buy Less, Choose Well," a la Vivienne Westwood: This is my new closet mantra, and will, from here forward, define my "Creating a New Closet" pursuits.
Weekends Around Town: I need and want to look and feel good on the weekends as well as during the work week.
One and Done: Dresses: See Rosana's comment above. Dresses are an overworked mama's best friend, with virtually no thinking involved (provided you've shaved your legs recently, of course).
Rocker Chic(k): Personally, I'm drawn to leather and punk. I'm drawn to concert Ts and jeans. This is my indulgence, so to speak. It may not be yours.
Borrowed from the Boys: It may be trendy, but when Rosana asked me to name my style icon, I paused ever-so-briefly, and said "Katharine Hepburn." Need I say more?
Ladylike: I was kind of surprised when Rosana called me out on this. A bunch of the pieces I tried on for her needed "sexing up" or "toughening up" to balance their girly, ladylike look. Then I looked at my Pinterest boards, and there it was. [Hand slaps forhead.]
For me, this exercise alone - using Pinterest to notice my own personal trends - has been helpful. Try it, and let me know if it's working for you. Or if you've found another "style definition" trick, share with us, please?