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Raise your hand if you've ever said it. "But I have nothing to wear."
There you are, in your closet, overwhelmed with choices but still feeling like you have nothing to wear. So what does that little voice in your head say? Time to go shopping. Brace yourself. A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear means you need less clothes, not more. You just need the right clothes. I'm sure you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule. Well, it applies to clothes as well. We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. So over half of your closet is a waste of hangers. It's time to donate the cashmere sweater that still has tags. The average temperature in January was 57 degrees. And the sweater is chartreuse, a color almost no one can wear.
Let’s talk about why you are buying the wrong clothes. Maybe it’s a little too much retail therapy. Let's face it, a cute dress can change the world. But too often we fall into the Goldilocks trap. We buy something that’s just right, just not right for us. There is a difference between clothes you like and clothes you'll wear. So you end up with a closet full of fabulous clothes that are just right - for someone else. You’re buying the wrong clothes because you don’t understand your personal style. So relax. There is plenty of shopping in your future. But first you need to better understand your style and how to better dress your body. When you do, you can use fashion to your advantage.
What is fashion?
It’s much less complicated than it seems. Fashion is tangible. It’s shirts and shoes and dresses. Who decides what’s fashionable? We do! We vote with our money. If we leave it on the rack it goes away. If we buy it and wear it, then other people buy it and wear it, and it becomes a trend. But fashion is fickle and trends come and go quickly because they only appeal to a few. Many trends go away only to come back. Sometimes they shouldn’t, like shoulder pads. Some trends never really go away because they have broader appeal. They become classics, like the little black dress.
What is style?
While fashion is tangible, style is not. Style is the way we use fashion, the way we show the world who we are through the choices we make. Fashion is what everyone wears. Style is what you wear. Understanding your personal style is key to making the best fashion choices. It’s about developing a sense of self, rather than blindly following trends. This clarity keeps you from spending money on things you’ll wear once, if at all. If it doesn’t make you feel comfortable and confident, it doesn’t belong in your closet. Feeling good in your clothes starts with the right fit. That means buying for your body. Let’s look at four of the more common body types.
Rectangle Shapes tend to be tall and lean. Shoulders and hips are about the same size and waist is not well defined.
Goal : Create the illusion of a waist by adding volume to the top and bottom or by making the waist appear slimmer with a belt or tucked in shirt. Avoid flowy or boxy tops that make you appear shapeless.
have shoulders broader than hips. Waist is not well defined. Slim legs. Carries weight in midsection.
Goal: Highlight best features, the bust, legs, and arms, to pull attention from your waist. Wear A-line silhouettes, loose tunics, sleeveless dresses and avoid excessive fabric in the mid-section.
Hourglass Shapes are naturally balanced
with bust and hip measurements nearly the same. Well defined waist. Weight distributed equally throughout the body.
Goal: Maintain balance by avoiding shapeless or loose clothes. Accentuate the waist with tucked in tops and belts and avoid excessive fabric in the mid-section.
Pear Shapes have hips wider than shoulders. Well defined waist. Most weight carried in hips and thighs.
Goal: Draw attention above the waist with bright colors, prints, and embellishments. Wear fitted clothes and belts to accentuate the waist. Avoid pleats and patterns below the waist. Go for dark solid bottoms.
Most of us don't fit neatly into one body type description. And maybe you have no desire to camouflage what you may consider your best feature. What matters is that your clothes fit in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Buying what fits your body is half of the fashion formula. Buying what fits your style is the other. Now let's look at common fashion styles.
|This Ellie Vail chunky 18-karat gold-plated necklace will add unapologetic glamour to your look. 18" adjustable chain.|
Trendy Style - You never play by fashion rules. Your style is a moving target, changing with new trends and often following several trends at one time. You shop like it's your job (hello soulmate), spending money every season to put the newest colors and styles in your closet. You have a love affair with accessories and are most likely to choose leather boots over paying rent. After all, you need one statement piece to complete your look.
You’re usually the first to wear a trend and probably the trendsetter for your friend group.
Bohemian Style - This nod to 70’s hippie fashion is most loved by the wanderer. You are a free spirit and most comfortable in flowy fabrics and loose layers. Yes, it’s all about layering and you do it so well. Bring on the funky patterns, tassels, embroidery, crochet, and fringe. All at the same time. Accessories are just as important as clothes. Jewelry is layered and heavily embellished with stones and beads and feathers. Do you see a pattern here? It’s just not your style to conform to one look. So you do it all at once and make it seem effortless.
|Susan Shaw hand casted 24K gold-plated Oyster Shell Necklace features a genuine freshwater pearl necklace. 16" adjustable.|
Classic Style - To you, clothes are an investment. You don't mind paying full price for good fabrics and styles that are timeless. Your best friend is your tailor because fit is everything. Your favorite pattern is a solid. On the rare occasion you buy a print, it's probably a stripe and the stripes must line up correctly. You often buy more of the same pants or the same top in different colors. While others might call your closet limited, you call it efficient.
Jewelry is understated and traditional like diamonds and pearls. Makeup and hair must be “done”.
Casual Style - It’s not that you don’t care about fashion, but you'd rather be chilling with friends than shopping. You are all about comfort and feel your best in simple loose clothing with minimal makeup and low maintenance hair. You prefer quality natural fabrics that are easy to wear and easy to take care of. You may not even own an iron. Your mostly neutral color palette allows for easy mix and match. Accessories are simple and must be functional. You won’t find any flamboyant “look at me” prints or fussy fabrics in this closet.
The Hobo Flare Shoulder Bag is a simple silhouette featuring a wide strap, beautiful brass hardware details, and flawless functionality.
Maybe you don’t see yourself in any of the above or you identify with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Putting a label on your style isn’t necessary. But knowing what you’ll ultimately wear is. Having a functional closet comes down to one thing: focus. That means buying with a purpose and not letting a chartreuse cashmere sweater distract you. Yes, you’ll still be tempted to splurge on the “hot and now”. We’re talking fashion here, not doughnuts. But check yourself before you wreck yourself. Choose one or two pieces that work with what you have. Or opt for a new accessory piece, an easy and more affordable way to follow a trend.
Great style doesn't come from having more options - it comes from knowing who you are and what you feel good wearing. The good news? Your shopping days are far from over. Now it’s time to build a wardrobe that fits your style and the body you’ve been blessed with. Trends will come and go but style is always in fashion. May you never again utter the words, “But I have nothing to wear!”
Just be you
- Quote of the Day -
"Style says me. Fashion says me too."