Updated: May 28
Countless times I’ve had women tell me;
”I don’t even know what I like, style-wise”.
My only answer and strong advice is this; “Get into Pinterest, get DEEP into Pinterest.”
As an image-based search engine now equipped with some of the most advanced machine learning technology, Pinterest identifies content that resembles users previous pins and recommends that content to the user. The algorithms help provide inspiration to the user that he or she may have never initially searched or pinned. Pinterest helps 10’s of millions discover the many facets of fashion, mix-and-matching, layering, French style, and concepts such minimalism and the Capsule Wardrobe.
Could a smaller, minimalist wardrobe actually make it easier to mix-and match the items in your closet? Could a Capsule Wardrobe eliminate the “I have nothing to wear!" paralysis that afflicts so many morning after morning?
Consider the idea of a “unified” closet - one that could make you feel comfortable and confident because it was entirely made up of clothes you love.
Moving slowly but steadily toward developing a Capsule Wardrobe for yourself is key. Much of the advice I read about building a capsule wardrobe seemed impractical. Who has the budget to buy a whole new closet? I just couldn’t get past the fashion choices I didn't love in what others called a ‘capsule wardrobe’.
How do you find your uniquely personal style? Where do you start in your quest for a unified closet of pieces you personally love and feel good in?
Transitioning from a fast-fashion, cluttered, shopping-as-a-hobby culture to a minimalist Capsule Wardrobe is a seismic shift. Let me begin by explaining how I define the phrase “minimalist Capsule Wardrobe“.
-A minimalist Capsule Wardrobe is a curated collection of clothing you love, that you can mix-and-match exclusively. All your "tops" pair effortlessly with all your "bottoms”, allowing you to own less clothing, while maximizing the number of possible outfits.
The term “curated collection” really highlights the deliberation that should go into your clothing selections and purchases from now on. If you are having trouble figuring out your style, I have the solution, Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe (a special service available to U.S. prime members). After learning more about your style, fit, and budget, their stylists will curate inspirational pieces and outfits so you get your perfect look. How many people get a professional stylist with access to unlimited brands of clothing, shoes, and accessories to handpick items just for them? You get to preview your stylists' picks and select up to eight items to ship in your order with the benefits of no up-front cost, at-home try-on period of up to seven days, easy returns with our resealable packaging, and freedom to pay only for what you decide to keep. Personal Shopper is available for women’s and men’s styling.
This is the very same exercise a museum curator performs to carefully consider both the existing collection owned by the museum, and how a new acquisition might add or detract from it. The goal for any addition to the collection is to enhance and expand it, while fitting in seamlessly. The curator isn't trying to own all of the art, or to keep up with every trend in the art world... there is a vision for the collection, and it speaks to everyone. This is exactly the perspective you need to have as you begin to shape your united, confident wardrobe.
Recognize that you want your own wardrobe, not somebody else's. This is why I don’t buy into the “15 Staples of EVERY Wardrobe” magazine articles... The things I “need" to own are different from the things you “need” to own due to the fact that we all have different occupations, social environments, and ideas of comfort. Most importantly though, we all have a strong desire to be unique!
Decide what you like to wear. I have already mentioned Pinterest (a God-send for those seeking any sort of inspiration), it is a indispensable tool for exploring fashion and identifying patterns in what you find appealing. HOWEVER, let me warn you of a well-known phenomenon that every Pinterest user experiences, the “Pin-hole” which is an endless abyss of “oh that's so pretty... and this is so cute... and oh, that dress is incredible!" Sucking you further into and away from your initial goal of finding outfits YOU would wear and find appealing for your wardrobe.
An easy way to avoid this is to stick to fashion boards you might have already created. I'm also going to give you a critical warning (because it took me a very long time to understand this simple fact)...Just because something looks good on the model doesn't mean it will look good on you and you will want to wear it.
Hey, do you have any idea how much I wanted to rock those Apple-bottom Jeans and the boots with the fur? Nope! Not with my body type...
Shift your perspective to realize that you can admire something, find it visually satisfying, without wanting to claim it as part of your identity by putting it on your body.
Be more deliberate in curating your clothing collection because it is the ultimate game changer in terms of attitude, enjoyment, and confidence.
You might have tons of cute skirt pins on your “Killer threads" board, but if you never wear the skirts you already own, there’s your red flag.
Take the time now to experiment wearing your skirts for the next couple of days, and see how you feel. Do you enjoy them? Are you wondering why you got out of the habit of wearing them regularly, are you wondering why you bought them in the first place?
Same goes for sweaters, high heels, or pretty much anything you several of. I had this issue with 6” wedge heel platform sandals,
I loved them...on other people or in the advertisement. I didn’t enjoy wearing them anymore and decided they no longer belonged in my wardrobe.
You can love how something looks on someone else without wanting to wear it yourself. Once you've realized that, you'll be in a much better place for defining your own style.
Head to your wardrobe and start sorting.
Go to your closet and count how many items are hanging there. This is just a starting place, so write it down somewhere and move on. Then, go through each item, and pull out your favorite pieces.
The no-brainer, obvious favorite items will come out first, and then add a little drama as you decide about the rest by asking yourself, “If I only had five minutes before my house was going to be blown up, which of these would I grab?"
Never mind that if your house was about to be blown up you probably wouldn't bother with packing clothes at all. This is just to help you determine your favorites with a more critical eye.
If you have more clothing stored separately in a dresser, go there next and repeat. Count, add that number to the first number, and we get what they call in mathematical terms ‘the total’. Then start pulling out your favorites once more. Your dramatic determination this time might be fueled by “If I only had a week to live, what outfits would I wear?”
Identify themes amongst your favorite clothing.
Once you've gathered your favorites, look for the themes among them. “Themes” might include styles, colors, brands, comfort factor, etc.
Right now, you are determining YOUR personal preferences... the root of what you actually like, laying hidden under all those layers of "but it was on sale,” and “but my mother always told me I shouldn't wear such-and-such,” and “but every one in the office wears this kind of thing..."
We just started answering the deceptively simple question -What do you enjoy wearing?
Group your “favorites" TOGETHER in the closet and/or dresser. Please do not return your newly-discovered “favorites" to their previous scattered locations throughout your closet and dresser. They're going to play a fundamental role in shaping your Capsule Wardrobe. Keep them together so that all of them can be visible at a glance in one specific area of your closet.
Wear those favorite outfits. Try to notice if your mood and attitude change while wearing these things you enjoy. Does it speed up the morning selection time?
Are you able to identify anything new about what makes those items your favorites? Do you suddenly remember why you had gotten out of the habit of wearing that (itchy) navy blue sweater?
The answers to these questions will continue to shape your Capsule Wardrobe as you move into the future. Your own confident, unique style wardrobe is within reach. Too be continued...