7.15.2011

Steps Toward Style: Part I

None of my clothes seem to fit me these days.

Don't misinterpret that statement--they do sit on my form the way the manufacturers intended. The skirts flow, the tank tops cling, the belts cinch. But they still don't fit me.

Actually, it may be more accurate to say that I don't fit them.

Having owned the majority of my wardrobe for at least four years (though some of it dates back to high school and even...*gasp*...junior high), these threads are interwoven with a lot of memories. The grungy white flip flops I'm wearing just carried me to the grocery store for a toilet paper run. At age 16, they carried me to Sonic parking lots for late-night cookie dough shakes. And into various high school locker rooms at 17, where I would stash them away in exchange for squeaky clean cheerleading shoes.

Rainy camping trip taken: Summer 2011
Pre-patched denim shorts purchased: Summer 2003

On one hand, there's a richness to be found within such charactered items of clothing. These pieces are forever a part of who I was; they were literally closer to me than any of my other possessions. They will define the decade when high school photos are rediscovered 20 years from now. 

But on the other hand, they're also symbolic of...baggage. Staleness. A way of life that was wonderful in its time, but has since evolved into something new and entirely different.

Plus, I'm fairly certain I'm the only twentysomething who still wears flared jeans on a regular basis. 

I've been working bit by bit to get this makeover moving, but have found it a difficult project to take on for several reasons.
  • Student budgets don't leave much room for frivolity.
  • Big stuff (travelling, anyone?) is going to claim most of my savings.
  • Shopping fucking sucks. It is exhausting. There are price tags and blaring music and ugly clothes, all in your size, and gorgeous clothes, none in your size, and retail employees following you around and SO MUCH PRESSURE.

So instead of rushing to the mall because I think all of my jeans are lame, I'm taking some time beforehand to figure out what I really want. Because at its core, this project isn't about buying new clothes. It's about looking like the person I want to be. I design websites, posters, brochures, apparel; shouldn't I spend time designing my style as well?

Here are a few beginning steps that have already helped immensely. If you find yourself stuck in a style rut--or manhole--try these out.
  • Join Pinterest. Start your own style board. It's such an easy way to organize online inspiration.
  • Take inventory of your current wardrobe. I'm in the process of doing this by photographing all of my clothes. Yes. All of them.
  • Now, study that thing like there's gonna be a quiz. What colors do you tend to keep buying? What textures show up repeatedly? Are you constantly coming home with the same tank top in a different color instead of trying something new?
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go shopping before looking at your inventory. This actually saved me from buying yet another dangly silver necklace yesterday. Instead, I was able to focus on jewelry that complements the pieces I have at home.

Tooooo many tank tops!

Does your wardrobe reflect who you are? Who you were? Who you want to be? Do you go all-out like this when you're ready for an update, or are you a more frequent shopper, buying as the seasons change?

3 comments:

  1. I still wear flared jeans:) And I probably have twice as many tank tops as you do.haha

    P.S. I am trying to do the same thing to my wardrobe. I'm unsure where to start so this is some good advice!

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  2. This has been my mission for the past few years too lol

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  3. Something tells me it will be a very long process. But I've made a few steps in the right direction, which is encouraging. New shoes seem to work wonders on one's mood ;)

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