Everyone thinks my wardrobe is amazing. But truth be told, it’s a work in progress.. I guess like many peoples’ wardrobes. I view it as a project. But one that’s never finished. It’s forever evolving.
This is partly due to the nature of clothes. They wear out. They become dated. Even when you do your absolute best to keep your clothes in shape, sometimes you need to call time on them. The journey is the destination, but I’m happy with that.
My personal style has morphed and shifted over the years. I’ve recently started to focus more on minimalism and sustainability, so it’s only natural it reflects that. I even wrote a style note last year about making my services more sustainable. This is one of my goals for this year.
The most recent shift in my personal style starts in 2016 when I picked up a few pieces in the COS sale. A few sweaters and a couple of pairs of tapered wool trousers.
The pieces I picked up from COS felt a stark contrast to my usual ‘classic gent’ style, (think Tom Ford, on a budget).
They’re a little more casual, a little baggier, and way more comfortable. They’re cool, but not too try hard, and comfortable rather than clingy. It’s what I’d probably describe as ‘anti-fit’ and slightly minimal, in the aesthetic sense. I absolutely love it.
N.B people shit on sales. I’ve even been guilty of it in the past. But they can be positive and in this instance proved to be a valuable catalyst that helped me define a shift in my personal style.
Having a clearly defined style is always incredibly valuable. I know what I’m aiming for and it helps me when making a purchase or deciding what to keep.
I’ve described it in this post on Instagram as a ‘compass’ that guides every decision you make with your wardrobe.
Being able to describe it isn’t essential, neither is having a quirky name for it, normcore, anyone?
However, being able to visually identify what your style is, is important to give you direction and helps you when deciding what clothes end up in your wardrobe.
Right now I switch between the two styles I described earlier based on the occasion and how I’m feeling.
You can have more than one aesthetic in your wardrobe at the same time. Even if they’re quite different from one another. In fact, this is often the case if you’re transitioning your personal style from one aesthetic to another. I aim to slowly declutter and really consider everything I add to my wardrobe.
While I personally like to take a really slow approach to decluttering. I know this doesn’t work or isn’t right for everyone.
I’ve written down what I have and what I’m actually wearing. I’ve also considered what sort of things I’ve been doing in my life and also how things have changed around me.
Since I’ve become single again I’ve been going out more. But I’ve noticed bars are more relaxed with their dress codes, so I no longer need as many formal shirts.
Actually writing the items I own lets me see what I have and what I realistically need. So once I’ve decluttered I don’t end up buying pieces on impulse or don’t fit my overarching plan. The idea is to cut down my wardrobe to the pieces I actually wear.
But then isn’t that everyone’s goal?
Writing things down allows me to quickly pull out my bullet journal and refer back to what I own if my memory gets a bit hazy. I also started to create a colour palette. Just doodling the different colours that appear in my wardrobe. You don’t have to be as ‘extra’ as I am though.
Last year I became more mindful about what I do with the clothes that no longer serve my wardrobe. I even wrote a post on the sustainable ways of recycling clothes you no longer need.
I’ve already given away some great pieces to people that live in my apartment complex and some to one of my favourite charity shops. They always have the best displays and merchandising. However, I’ll only donate great quality pieces I know will sell (generally branded helps).
Those pieces have given me some great times and because I’ve cared well for them they’re in good condition for other people to take them in.
Adding to my wardrobe
Shopping is by far the trickiest task and I’m a fickle shopper. Although this year I’m making more of an effort to look for second hand items before buying new.
Shopping second hand allows you to take advantage of the insatiable appetite people have for clothes. Opening up opportunities to buy into brands you may feel are a little out of your budget. I know sustainable brands don’t cater to a lot of people. Shipping can also be a real pain unless you’re in the US. By reusing what’s already in circulation you’re lowering the risk of it potentially ending up on landfill. It feels like a better way of approaching clothes than buying new.
I used this trick to pick up a pair of nudie black jeans. Scooping them up for a third of the price of a new pair and they’re in such good condition. I’d guess they’re as close to new as you can get second hand. They’ve replaced a pair of worn out River Island jeans. After repairing them numerous times they were on their last legs. Other than that, the only thing I could do with is a leather jacket… but I’d like one I don’t need one.
I wanted to share how I’m living my own message with you to illustrate that no one is perfect. Just like you, I’m working on my own wardrobe.
Evolving my own personal style.
About my own taste.
About how my clothes and the choices I make impact the planet.
No one has it all figured out, despite the impression given online. I want this snapshot of my journey to encourage you on yours. Whether you’re just attempting to rethink your personal style or rejig your wardrobe. While your wardrobe must fulfil you in some way remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.