Weaponize Your Style to Work for YOUR Beauty
Good morning and happy Friday!
As usual, our end of the week blog is focused on a topic of my choosing, and this week, I am excited to say we're finally talking FASHION!
When I began this blog journey, I started out with more thoughts on my personal style, decorating, and homemaking tips, but since then we've taken a turn towards the more cerebral, heartfelt, and theoretical posts. These are all amazing, but today we NEED to return to the topic of clothes.
Many of us are ready to leave our high school and college closet behind, and we just need to figure out where to start! Yes my readers, this one will be a fun one because we are about to get into how we can weaponize our fashion to work for US: to show off our beauty, stretch our creativity, and express our personalities.
My 4 Golden Rules of Fashion:
1. Keep it Creative
We all know that dreadful feeling of not knowing what to wear. You feel paralyzed, perhaps unsure of what other people will be wearing to the event, or what you want to look like, or just well... general stress. I know this feeling really well! It's so easy to get bogged down with our fashion and to feel frustrated, boxed-in, or bored by it.
I think this is a sad reality, but it's not our ONLY reality! No! The way to combat the closet blues is by applying a little old fashioned creativity. Begin seeing your style as a way to express your personality, your interests, your beauty, and your creativity. Begin having fun with clothes by identifying what message you want to send with your outfits. Think outside the box and begin trying different styles! Ask your friends what they would do with your style if they had free reign: you'll probably be surprised with the suggestions!
I know it can be tempting to just copy the style of another woman or a blogger that you really like, but I encourage you to not copy someone else to the point that you lose your own taste and interest. It's okay to be inspired by other outfits, but don't emulate another person's personality. Create your own taste! Live into your personality through clothing. For example, I am inspired by feminine, classic, and vintage fashion. I love traditional and modest clothes, and always like to be dressed up. In the past couple years I have started living into MY style, and not what my mom liked on me, and it truly helped me enjoy fashion again!
2. Make It Work for YOUR Beauty
Clothes are supposed to showcase YOUR beauty, not the other way around. Please never forget this. We're not out here to showcase brands and the fashion designers: NOPE. They're here to showcase us. Make your clothes your servant: they work for YOU, no exceptions. Find something that makes you feel drab? Donate! Find something that you thought you should wear because it was trendy but you actually hate it? Next!
For example, when I wear loose tops, (you know, the ones that just hang off the boobs?) well those always make me look pregnant. I have a thick chest and thick legs, so when I bridge that gap with loose fabric, I seriously look like a brick. And I hate it. Just because that style is "in" or just because Meghan Markle can wear it doesn't mean that it works for MY beauty.
These past few years, I've been trying to use my fashion to accentuate MY unique beauty. I have chosen a few features to always accentuate, and this has really helped me feel confident in my clothes! I like to have form fitting clothes around my waist, my arms, or open to show my collarbones and neck. I feel best like this, and honestly the rest of my features could be shrouded in miles of fabric for all I care LOL!
So for you, my dear fashionable Reader, go ahead and write down what your FAVORITE features are. Think outside the box! This could be your height, your hair, your face, your hands, or even your derrière! Identify, then make a plan to SHOWCASE! If you've got smashing legs, make plans to rock a pair of skinny jeans or a short skirt and tights. If you love your shoulders, don't weigh them down with scarves: peep an off the shoulder look! Whatever it is, own it, then show it off. If you're not sure what they are, ask a friend, your mom, or an unbiased fitting room lady.
3. Keep it Sustainable
By "sustainable" I mean this: choose a style that you can keep up with. If something isn't "you" or is too ornate, complicated, or unflattering, you're not going to sustain it. Remember, wearing dresses twice a month doesn't make that your "style."
Style is something you can be consistent with: something you keep up with, and something that other people can recognize you for.
I've only learned this as I've gotten older and am finally creating a consistent style around long skirts, dresses, feminine colors, and classic or vintage shapes. The best thing about this? EVERYTHING GOES TOGETHER. Gone are the days when my wardrobe was equal parts boho, edgy, girly, preppy, vintage, AND sporty. Yes, I definitely WAS trying to be all of the spice girls at once, thank you very much.
Now I have a unique flow to my wardrobe where everything goes together, I feel good in it all, and it screams "CAITLIN." And that makes me happy!
4. Keep it Frugal
Creating a style can be expensive. Thrift store or not, you're about to invest in some pieces and upgrade your look, so try to make a plan. Wait for pieces that will last a really long time, or classic shapes that you know you'll love for next year. Remember, you're not shopping for the "summer," you're shopping for your LIFE.
Try to not get addicted to shopping: don't let the thrill of buying new clothes trick you into thinking you really love what you're buying. My rule of thumb is that if I am not sure about a piece, I won't buy it. If I'm still thinking about it a few days later, I will return and get it! If it's gone, well then it wasn't meant to be.
I mainly do online comparison shopping, thrifting (for basic or wild pieces,) consignment shopping, and then the odd clearance rack. There are plenty of modern ways to find new pieces, so don't worry. Hit up other blogs or articles to learn how the other girls get their hands on some amazing pieces in a frugal way.
Let's Get to Work:
Revamping your style can seem overwhelming, even to the most creative of souls. I recommend taking time to get inspired using Pinterest, magazines, films, and Instagram. Identify photos that you like or that "speak to you" to find an aesthetic or vibe that you're interested in, then save those photos. Try on clothes at a store that you wouldn't normally think of, and see how you feel. Write down your ideas, and begin to narrow in on a style that works for your needs, your lifestyle, and your creativity.
Next, figure out the top 3 features you want to showcase, as I mentioned earlier. Keep these features in mind as you begin viewing clothing and looking at options for your wardrobe. I always look for flowy pants or long skirts because I like accentuating my height and long legs. Don't forget that colors DO matter. Try to find flattering colors that give your face vitality and life. Avoid colors that make you look drab: these can be sneaky. I look sickly in ice blue, even though you'd assume all blondes look amazing in it. NOT SO!
Finally, figure out if you have any "absolutely-nots." These are the pieces of clothing you you absolutely HATE wearing. You'll find that some items you pin on Pinterest or like on Instagram may actually be clothes you WISH you liked, but actually hate. An example of this for me is skinny jeans. I always feel horrible when my thighs are sausage-cased in a pair of skinny jeans, yet half the fashion out there requires a pair to go with a flowy top or whatever. When I catch myself building outfits around the assumption that I'm going to wear skinny jeans, I turn that bus right around because skinny jeans are an ABSOLUTELY NOT.
And there you have it! You are on your way. Remember, fashion is supposed to be FUN. Don't let your closet get the best of you, and remember that many of us have to transition our style once we become "real" adults. You're not alone.