Wardrobe Overhaul 3: The Style Quest

Thelma & Louise, 1991

Thelma & Louise, 1991

When I think of my dream look, this is IT. Thelma and Louise in hot mom jeans, big hair and cowboy boots, flying through the desert not giving a rip! Today we’re talking about getting clarity on “your style” and what you want that to look like for FUTURE you. Going through this section of the series has personally taken some time! And exploring your style will take you some time too. But I hope along the way, I can offer you some insight into your own fugitive cowgirl closet of dreams.

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Start at The Heart

So who’s your Thelma and Louise? What looks are you drawn to? It can be characters, celebrities or real life people you know whose style and attitude you dig. Dream big here! And leave your “Pfff, I could never pull that off,” voice in the back seat. We start at the heart and work back to practicality. Start collecting images to create a style board for yourself. You can use Pinterest or magazine cutouts, whatever works for ya sister.

Also take some time to revisit which of your clothes made the cut after The Clear Out. What looks good on you? And more importantly, what do you FEEL good in? These are the pieces you want to build on. Your foundation. Not sure which items those are? Pretend you’re packing for a trip. You usually bring things that you know you’re comfortable in and can mix and match easily. Your (fantasy) suitcase can be a great snapshot of your wardrobe favs and what’s already working for you. Here’s a snippet of what my style board currently looks like! (You can follow along with the full board, Wardrobe Dream Pie on Pinterest).

THE FUNKY FRESH / STYLE MOOD BOARD

4 Cues For Breaking It Down

Next you want to look for patterns in the inspiration you’ve collected and the pieces you’re loving at home. Let’s break it down.

Color and Pattern

Creating a wardrobe color palette has been one of the biggest aha moments for me! My designer artist brain lights up around color, but through this process I’ve learned that I don’t actually like to WEAR all the colors. I had a lot of bright logo tees in my closet that ended up getting the boot. My wardrobe palette of choice these days is actually pretty basic: black, white, heather gray and denim blue. I’m experimenting with pops of color that feel good on me and compliment my main colors: tangy red, army green and golden yellow. I ultimately ended up removing weird one-off colors from my closet that a) I didn’t love and b) didn’t actually go with any of the other colors in my closet. Which is why I never worn them. Another realization? I’m not a big fan of pattern, but I’m super into solid color blocking (you’ll notice this in my style board). I find it visually appealing and easy to mix and match! What about you? Do you like big prints and bold patterns? Or a one color monochrome look?

Material

I always turn to a pair of jeans first. And my style board confirmed that love of denim for me. So did Thelma and Louise! I’m drawn to durable materials like cotton tees, canvas sneakers, chunky sweaters and ankle boots. I realized there’s items in my closet I never wore because I didn’t like the material. I’m not into delicate, wrinkly, clingy or see-through fabrics. Just feels too high maintenance for me. What’s your fabric spirit animal?

Silhouette

Silhouette is a fancy way of saying the shape, cut, length or proportion of an outfit. Experimenting with this takes more trying on than Pinterest cruising. A lot of the comfy laid back clothes in my closet were too baggy, making me feel sloppy and whomp whomp. If I’m a little pickier about fit, I can find pieces that are comfortable and still flattering. Then I can tuck those relaxed tops into the high waisted slim pants I love and tra-laa! Slouchy chic is born. You might already know what works for your body. Or you might need to challenge some preconceived notions about what doesn’t look good on you. Inspired by my style board, I challenged an old belief of mine that I don’t like wearing dresses. Again, it turns out that I just needed to pay more attention to the details! I found this t-shirt dress that I loved the color and material of, but not the length. So I got it tailored to a mini. #ProudMoment

 
THE FUNKY FRESH / DRESS BEFORE
THE FUNKY FRESH / DRESS AFTER
 

Beauty

Do you like glam makeup or the natural look? What about hairdos? These things may not hang in your closet, but they are part of your style vibe. I found that the pink color I kicked out of my closet, is welcome to run wild in my makeup or nail color. I think glowy skin is gorge. And as I mentioned in chapter 1, one of my goals is to have great hair! (Aka do my hair). My downfall is that I don’t usually leave enough time to do it, plus my hair only holds curl for about 17 minutes so I get discouraged. But I’ve been carving out more time and have got a higher quality curling wand on my shopping list. Nice.

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Girl! This is all a lot more detail than I was used to going into with my wardrobe! And if you’re feeling lost in a sea of clothing in your closet, it might be for you too. But one of my big takeaways from this process, is that it’s all in the details! Getting to know yourself in this way really narrows it down, making styling and shopping easier in the long run.

 
THE FUNKY FRESH / STYLE JOURNAL
 

Now it’s time to marry your newfound knowledge and your dreamiest dream style. Before you start shopping again, try making yourself an intentional list to keep you on track. This helped greatly with another goal of mine, to keep the wrong pieces out of my closet! Here’s some ways to help you identify what to put on that shopping list.

3 Prompts For Finding The Gaps In Your Wardrobe

  • What occasions do you have the most trouble getting dressed for? This is usually a sign that you don’t have what you need for that activity. Do you need more work clothes? More fancy dress options?

  • What main pieces do you see repeated on your style board? Which of those are missing from your closet? Pick prominent ones that will help you to create that look.

  • What items in your closet don’t go with anything else? A great rule of thumb is that every piece should be able to make you at least 2 or 3 outfits. What clothes would you need to round that out?

 
THE FUNKY FRESH / SHOPPING LIST
 

Try to be as specific as you can with your shopping list and prioritize what will fill the biggest gaps. Just do it as your time and budget allows. I plan on my list being ongoing. And to continue being a badass gatekeeper to my closet! Here’s what my closet is feeling like now after a lot of editing and style homework, and little bit of shopping.

THE FUNKY FRESH / CARAMEL SWEATER
THE FUNKY FRESH / BLUE JEANS
THE FUNKY FRESH / GRAY CHUNKY SWEATER
THE FUNKY FRESH / BLACK TEE
THE FUNKY FRESH / FLANNEL TOP
THE FUNKY FRESH / FRINGE BUCKET BAG
THE FUNKY FRESH / ARMY GREEN TEE
THE FUNKY FRESH / BLACK CONVERSE
THE FUNKY FRESH / DENIM BUTTON DOWN

I gotta say my first shopping experience armed with my list was fun! I felt confident and focused in the store. Instead of walking in and thinking, there are 200 options here for me to sift through, I could quickly browse through the racks with my new filter on and take only a few pieces to the fitting room. Try not to be distracted by sale items you don’t actually want. And run yourself through these questions if you’re having trouble deciding.

The Should I Buy It Checklist

  • Does it fit well?

  • Does it go with my style?

  • Does it match with my color palette?

  • Does it go with 2 or 3 other things in my closet?

  • Does it excite me?!

 
PHOTO BY ALYSSA DAWSON

PHOTO BY ALYSSA DAWSON

 

Y’all, I know this is a lot to digest. Going through all this takes time! You might blitz it for a few weeks or take 2 hours every weekend to chip away at it. I am feeling much more educated on my own style. And I’m sure I’ll be revisiting it again in seasons to come. For me it’s been worth putting in the time to design out my wardrobe so that I can get dressed and look fly with minimal effort! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Much of this came from working through the book “The Curated Closet”. If you wanna dive even deeper - I totally recommend it! Up next is the FINAL chapter of Wardrobe Overhaul, on that organized closet life. See you soon!

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