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Why understanding your style can help minimise your wardrobe

In this post I wanted to explore something that’s a sticking point for many of us, and that’s how to feel happier with your clothes and not have so many.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to understand your style and ensure your wardrobe truly reflects it. After all, if a lot of what you have doesn’t reflect you, how likely are you to wear it at all, and how happy will you feel even if you do wear it?

Why understanding your style can help minimise your wardrobe

There’s a lot to be said for a wardrobe that you open the doors of and feel happy about everything you see, while also having something to wear for whatever you are doing that day.

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Does your wardrobe reflect your style?

I first started to understand how reflecting your style can increase how happy you were with your environment (and how much less you tended to add to it) when I started looking at my home.

As a designer I have experimented over the years with different styles in my own home, but in the past 5 years I’ve really worked out what works for us in terms of style – so that we all feel comfortable in our surroundings, and feel that it reflects us well.

My home is truly my sanctuary, and it makes me feel calm to be in it. Every room, although different, is based on a specific style so that the whole house works together well. We have minimised over the years the amount of bits and bobs in the house, as everything now truly reflects our style and what makes us feel happy when looking at it.

As a result of this clarity that I have found with homes, I thought that it made just as much sense to also use this theory in my clothes as well, so I set about working out my own style to see how well this worked in practice.

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Understanding overwhelm

I’m sure you’ve been there, shopping for clothes and grabbing whatever takes your fancy in the shop to try on, often making the choice on what to buy based more on what fits and looks OK, and the price, rather than whether it will complement the rest of the clothes in your wardrobe at home.

Trouble with this is that you very soon end up with a wardrobe (or 2…) stuffed with lovely things – but nothing that actually goes together, and little that necessarily works for your life (I have been known to have lots of evening dresses and I barely go to occasions that need them…). After all that shopping you still end up with nothing to wear – so you go to the shops again and the cycle repeats itself.

It’s no good buying a top on sale if you need to also buy a skirt, shoes and accessories before you can wear it – it will simply take up room in your wardrobe and create a negative energy when you see it – as you can’t wear it as yet and have to spend more money and time to find items to go with it – argh!

You are simply getting overwhelmed by the process, and adding clothes clutter to your home….

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How understanding your style can help

Understanding your style can help in so many ways:-

  • Only make purchases that go with other items you have – your wardrobe becomes more mix and match as you have a definite style in your head
  • Less buying mistakes are made as you will more easily see what you need, what works for you etc… so you can scan the shop rails much more decisively – and say no more easily to things even if they are on sale
  • Less choice – you will automatically cut down your options in shops as you know what your style is – so you will become a quicker shopper, and start to know which shops to gravitate towards for certain things
  • Your style will become your unique uniform – so you can more easily work out what to wear everyday
  • You can create much more of a capsule wardrobe as you will be able to mix things together as they all work well

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How to find your style

I struggled with this for a long time, until I worked out that the only way to work out your style is to look and try on lots of stuff!

My first port of call was Pinterest, and I created a board for my favourite clothes and styles that I found when on there on evening. I thoroughly recommend you do the same as its a real eye opener as to what you are drawn to.

Heres a link to my board so you can see what I mean:-

 

Follow Chrissy // Organise My House’s board Outfit Planning // What to wear on Pinterest.
 

Once you have collated quite a few pictures it’s really interesting as you can usually see a very clear style starting to emerge.

From my board it’s clear that I love jackets with trousers and jeans – accessories especially dress jewellery, bags and boots, and quite neutral colours.

What I found really fascinating was how I felt when I looked at the board – calm, stylish and put-together, although the items themselves were quite simple, they were being grouped really well, and could be mixed and matched really easily to create great outfits.

What was even more intriguing was how I felt when I opened my own wardrobe. I would say that only 40% of my clothes reflected the style I liked, and the other 60% made me feel cluttered and mismatched.

Quite negative feelings I’m sure you’ll agree. No wonder my wardrobe was getting fuller and fuller and I still felt I had nothing to wear.

After all – if I don’t want to look a certain way, when will I ever wear things that make me look like that!? It was really eye opening. I really do think this is the reason most of us only wear a small percentage of what’s in our wardrobes.

Upon this revelation, I set about the mission to start trying on more in the shops when I went – more of the outfits I had liked on Pinterest, as this would help me to understand what suited my body shape and colouring.

Another thing that has really helped me when shopping for clothes now is to try and visualise a person that reflects the style I love – whether that be a real person or made up – the point is that if you can say yes to the question “would x wear this” then you know you are more on the right track – it really works!

So I now have a wardrobe that is starting to reflect my style a lot better, and I actually have less clothes as a result. The irony is that I feel I have more outfits though, and I can always find something to wear. Its a great feeling, and I recommend it, as it’s one way to declutter your wardrobe in a really fun way where you get to learn about yourself in the process as well.

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Why understanding your style is critical in maintaining a capsule wardrobe, and how it can minimise things for you with some fun! - tips and tricks

Understanding your style can help you create a less cluttered wardrobe with outfits that will fit your day to day life.

Your style can be found using Pinterest or a collage from magazines, and getting out there to try things on so you are more aware of what suits your specific shape and colouring.

Having a picture in your mind of what your style is when shopping can focus you and bring you more clarity – enabling your shopping trip to be a lot more fun and only buying things that really work for your existing wardrobe.

You will end up with less, but feel you have more choice than ever – a streamlined wardrobe that works! – perfect!

 

What’s your style? Does your wardrobe reflect it? If not, maybe it’s time for a declutter……

 

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  • Insightful post. I’m working on my wardrobe which does have lots of unwearables since I do seem to stick to wearing just the items that suit my style. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Chrissy Halton

      Hi Jo – thanks for the lovely comment – it’s a great way to think about your clothes from a more positive perspective I think – helps to clarify what you really will wear! x

  • thanks for this perspective. I have to switch out my wardrobe for spring and summer so will try to view it from this perspective. I don’t think I have a good grasp of my style.

    • Chrissy Halton

      Hi Angela – Thanks for your comment. I found it really hard to sort out what my style was, but now I am much more able to make quicker decisions on what stays and what goes, and also what I buy! – Hope it helps x

  • madame duran

    Before anyone can understand their style, it would be helpful for them to know their BODY TYPE. Some styles, while great on their own or looking fabulous on fashion models, will not work with certain body shapes (it isn’t always a question of “does it fit?” either. Some styles, colours or patterns don’t complement the best aspects of a given body type). Our body also changes through the years so what worked when you’re 20 years old might not apply when you’re 40…and vice-versa. Being honest and accepting of our bodies will lead to making better assessments while shopping. The key is to find clothes that accentuates your best features and covers/minimizes the flaws.
    Being familiar with some basic measurements and details such has your height, weight, chest/breast, hips, waist, leg length & inseam, face type, and bra size is crucial. That knowledge will serve as your factual foundation. There are many web sites that offer suggestions of which styles work best with each body shape (and explain WHY it works).
    Another thing to consider before selecting a style: WARDROBE ESSENTIALS. These are the “must have” items of clothing that you need to wear, be it for casual, formal, semi-casual or seasonal occasions. Essential clothes are CLASSIC in nature; they don’t ever go out of style. They will be used more often and, ideally, can be worn in a variety of ways and occasions. A few trendy pieces in your wardrobe is fine but trendy stuff shouldn’t dominate your closet. Creating a capsule of wardrobe essentials helps to weed out any excesses. Again, there are plenty of websites to inform us about what the wardrobe basics are. Some lists vary but you’ll quickly notice which items are frequently mentioned. Those are the classics (be wary of fashion advertisements that only promote the latest “must haves” for you to buy). Jot down some notes and bring the list with you the next time you go clothes shopping, focusing only on acquiring the basics you lack. When it comes to accessories, give yourself a little leeway for self-expression and determine whether an accessory is truly necessary for YOU. Owning a blouse, skirt, shirt and/or pants are kinda unavoidable; owning a silk scarf, wristwatch or jewellery is….well, that’s up to the individual. They provide a nice accent but are not a requirement.
    Third tip: look through your current wardrobe and make note of the top 3 COLOURS you have. Think about how those hues make you feel. Do they make you feel confident? Sexy? Alive? Interested? Calm? Easy-going? Sad? Bored? Resentful? If anything adds joy to your life, keep it. If it detracts, give it away. I’d suggest that everyone should have an essential clothing item in the following colours: a monochrome (black, white), a neutral (grey, beige, crème/off-white), and 1-3 of your favourite colours (if practical and financially possible, buy each essential wardrobe piece in every colour category. Example: a pair of leggings — 1 black, 1 white, 1 neutral (choose which one), at least 1 favourite colour (if not all of the top three).

    • WOW – thanks so much for the detailed reply! – really appreciate it. I have a plan to write about a capsule wardrobe soon so watch this space!


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