For the first time in a long time, I feel like myself. I was very tempted to go dig out my old yearbooks to share with you a little background on my style story. In 8th grade I was named ‘Best Dressed’. Yup. I’m thinking about adding it to my resume. Fast forward to senior year of high school when I was chosen ‘Hippest Dressed’. Fashion has always been important to me but even more so, my style was what set me apart. I thrifted and paired vintage pieces with J. Crew. I had custom Vans made and wore men’s white tank tops. I just wore what made me happy and took lots of risks. But somewhere along the way, I lost my style. I don’t blame the children but certainly you have less time to focus on yourself. It became all about ease and comfort. I pretty much stopped wearing dresses or skirts and stuck to jeans and t-shirts until a wicked muffin top set in. To remedy that, (I mean who has time to exercise?), I wore flowing shirts to hide my problem areas. I called it free-spirited but it was really just unflattering and sloppy.
Within the past 6 months I have begun to put a little more effort in to my clothes. I want ME back. But who am I now? I was really struggling with this. I would buy pieces that I liked but would never wear them because I didn’t know what to wear it with. And Fall has always been hard for me to dress for. I don’t wear tennis shoes, own virtually no socks and have one cozy sweater. So mostly I turned to sweatshirts and jeans and Ugg boots. Yes, I wear Uggs in California. I’m a disgrace. And dressing for “work” functions or blogging conferences was always stress inducing. I could put a few good looks together but they were sort of all over the map and not cohesive. So when it was time to start thinking about packing for Alt Summit, I decided to reach out to a local wardrobe consultant, Nicole of The Wardrobe Code and see if she would want to collaborate on a post.
In the beginning, I had hoped that Nicole would just come over and tell me what to wear. But she wanted me to do her online consulting program, Becoming You. The program was done via Skype once a week for 4 weeks (or you can do a 2 week option) and I had homework and surveys to take. She promised that when it was done, I would be able to dress myself confidently. We dove right in so we could fit in all the sessions before I had to pack for the conference.
By the end of the sessions she said that I would feel confident in my personal style, a style that I could be consistent with. But first the closet needed to get organized to make it as easy as possible to get dressed in the morning. As you can see, it needed to be done. She really took a look at my lifestyle and knew that in terms of getting ready, everything needs to be accessible and not require a lot of thinking. She laid out the plan of how to organize the clothes and then gave me some homework. Utilizing Pinterest and my own clothes, we were able to start decoding my style. We didn’t edit pieces at this point as my style was not fully defined. We talked a lot about what worked and didn’t work in my closet and she determined that I was shopping in the wrong stores. Hullo – duh. I’m not 21 anymore. There are better stores suited for me and my look. I don’t know why I couldn’t see that, but she was able to point it out. It was really like fashion therapy. I learned a lot about myself as a person in our sessions.
And then we were finally to the point of figuring out my style muse. It was hard to do at first, but once you identified one person who exemplified the style you were drawn to on the board, it lead you to others that were a natural fit. And I have to say that the people I originally put on the board ended up falling off as I really dialed in my inspiration. And yes, there is a man on my board. The style aesthetic that I love is classy boho with a little mix of casual glam with a hint of rock and roll. And it is still evolving. Your style has to work in your own life not just your head. I realized the glam can’t be from the shoes. I walk my son to school everyday. I’m not wearing gorgeous pumps. But there are other options and I realized that adding a note of “skateboard” in to the wardrobe made a lot of sense for my family, my routine and my surroundings. I’m telling you, once this Muse Board was put together, my fashion life began to change for the better.
Since I now had a path to follow in terms of how I wanted to dress, I was free to edit out pieces that just didn’t fit with the style profile I wanted to create (or that was always there just trying to come out!). This was super easy and super hard at the same time. I was able to quickly get rid of a ton of stuff that I was just plain hoarding (no one needs that many pairs of black leggings or shoes that you haven’t touched in 3 years). But when it came down to getting rid of perfectly cute pieces that don’t fall in line with my “look,” I got all sweaty. I must confess that this will be an ongoing process for me. I have kept more pieces than I probably should. And I have even seen, since the end of the sessions, why you take the pieces out. You don’t need old fall backs. And you see how much easier it is to get dressed in the morning if your wardrobe works altogether. You can mix and match and you have a cohesive look. Since finishing the Personal Style Camp I found me! And it is liberating! When I went to Alt Summit, I felt so confident in my outfits. I didn’t second guess them and had an amazing time due in part to the fact that I was just being me. And while I took note of what others were wearing, I didn’t compare myself to them. That was such a change from a conference I went to last year where I felt just OK with what I was wearing. Last week I went to a work function for my husband and wore an outfit that I felt good in and had an enjoyable evening. Who cares what the other girls are wearing. This is me. And I’m super happy with it!
I did my editing in a few rounds and like I said there is still a bunch to go! Here is what I donated so far:
23 pairs of shoes, 33 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 7 dresses, 2 skirts, 10 pairs of pants, most of my jewelry and there is still more to go. As I get more comfortable with putting the looks together I can see what I don’t need to hold on to anymore.
For the final session the homework was to put 30 outfits together. The reason being that it will help take the guess work out of dressing in the morning. Oh and let me mention that she and I had previously spent some time going over what pieces make up an outfit. Mind blowing! And totally helpful! All of that came in to play when putting these looks together. And while I am not in a position to add a bunch of new items to my wardrobe, I have been able to start making a list of the holes that need to be filled in. No more will I just go to a store and buy something that might work. I will have things that will absolutely work with my entire wardrobe. While I was able to put together some great looks, I see how it will become easier with practice. And when I have some time I hang out in my closet and try to match things up in new ways to see if I can create even more outfits.
Here is what I still need for my wardrobe. Good thing my birthday is in April:
My closet is much less crowded. I can see and get to everything. And I know that almost all of what is in here fits my personal style. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am to Nicole for having me try out this program. No joke, it has been totally life changing and has energized me in all areas of my life. I found me. And that is huge and carries over in to so many areas. That was totally unexpected. If you are at all interested in participating in this Personal Style Camp yourself I encourage you to do it now!! Nicole has just launched the program and raised prices but she has provided a coupon code for my readers for the next week. It will be one of the best things you ever do for yourself. I feel totally empowered and ready to take on the world. And it all started with a clothing consultation.
Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about the course. I tried not to be overly gushy in this post but I am in love with this service. cupcakesandcutlery at gmail dot com.
Go sign up for it now to take advantage of the coupon codes! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
$25 discount on the 2-session package. Total price is $150. Use code: CUPCAKE2
$50 discount on the 4-session package. Total price is $300. Use code: CUPCAKE4
Coupon codes expire February 21, 2013.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Nicole! You really have changed my life and I am so grateful that you were willing to let me try out your course!
Disclosure: On occasion I receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence my point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect my experience. The opinions are my own.