If you saw me walking down the street, you would probably not notice me. I am not someone whose clothing choices merit being noticed. I am usually dressed in what I would term “normal” clothes, no rips or holes but nothing flashy or particularly exciting. Starting two years ago, I determined I wanted clothing, but since I hate shopping I signed up for Stitchfix, a company that sends you clothes in your size for you to try on at home and then return the items that do not work for no additional charge. You are charged for the pieces you keep not the ones you send back. I have gotten Stitchfixes intermittently since. I realized though that I still struggle even with Stitchfix. Therefore this year I made one of my new years resolutions that I would get a better handle on my style and figure out what I want. I started this by reading the book The Curated (or cultivated check later) Closet. I have been using that book as my basic how to. I started by taking pictures of everything I wore for 14 days (not consecutively because I forgot a day or two here and there). I then looked at my outfits and my starting point and reflected on what worked and what didn’t. From there I took to the internet, mainly blogs, Youtube and Pinterest to try and determine what I do like on others. For some people this part of the process is fun, getting inspired, but as I continued I realized that this whole process simply made me exhausted. I had wrongly assumed my lack of fashion sense was because I didn’t care, not because it was a challenge for me. After adjusting my expectations, I continued and knew it would be hard and breaks were needed. After finding what I liked on others I analyzed the images and tried to determine what about those looks appealed to me. I made a list of those characteristics and took to the stores. That was painful too.
I am still in that process of looking in stores and trying things on and figuring out what I like on me as opposed to what I like on other people. I think that considering fashion and reflecting on what will work for me will be a process. I have taken a large amount of time to do this; not buying anything,just figuring it out. The funny thing is that most of the things I have figured out, are things my husband already knew. I have come to realize that things that surprise me or are interesting to me are obvious to him. That being said, I am not sure my sense of style has changed in years but rather I am more aware and more intentional, not as influenced by trends or what is “in”.
As I continue on this journey I am adding a few pieces every week to my closet, starting with my highest priorities and going towards lower priorities. I have found that this process although painful is worth it, because I can look at clothing and tell whether or not it will work before I try it on, and I know what I am looking for. I am willing to be picky and take time to make sure each piece I add is just right knowing that the results from a lengthy search and careful choice will be better than rushed choices.
This style challenge is part of my happiness project. I am focusing on loving my body, through food, exercising and taking care of myself so that I love who I am now, not just who I “want to be” for me focusing on the ideal is putting too much focus towards the expectations rather than allowing me to be present and accepting of my life as it is.