Define your style – OLP 21

The Organised Life Project

Now you’ve decluttered, the next step in organising your clothes is to define your style.

How good was it to declutter our wardrobes? Some people have got rid of bags and bags of stuff, knowing they wouldn’t wear it again. Perhaps you, like me, have noted some clothes which really need to be replaced in the near future, but you’ve hung on to it. Because if you get rid of it, you’ll have nothing to wear!

That’s fine. What we need is a plan. This week, we’re going to define your style: perhaps not what you currently have, but what suits your colouring, your shape and most importantly, your lifestyle.

How to define your style

Task One: Identify your lifestyle to define your style

I struggle with this. Every winter, I see those super-soft, fluffy jumpers that just look so adorable, and they’re often in soft colours which would suit me. And every winter, I have to learn (again) that those fluffy jumpers not only make me itch, but they also need hand washing. Now, I have a small children. I am NOT going to wear itchy jumpers only for them to be smeared with food or milk or Calpol. No more hand-wash only jumpers for me.

What I need for my days at home are clothes that can be washed easily, tumble dried and that cover everything when I’m crawling around on the floor at playgroup. I also need flat shoes and a really good winter coat. But I still want to look like I’ve made an effort and am a little bit stylish.

When I’m at work, I know I need clothes that (in the words of my college tutor), “Neither excite nor offend.” As I spend most of my time at work teaching teenagers, that means nothing revealing, sheer or badly fitting. But I still like to look elegant and stylish. My job isn’t messy (I teach English), so I can wear some nicer dresses and jackets.

So identify your lifestyle needs. Make a note of how many days a week you spend doing things. Your wardrobe should be correspondingly divided. Personally, I don’t like having work and casual clothes which overlap, so I keep them separate, but, of course, that’s up to you.

Go into further detail to define your style

You may like to make a list of all the things you do in a typical month. So you might have 15 days at home with the kids and 15 days at work, but you might also have a meal in the pub, a date night, a day gardening etc. This can really help with the next steps as you define your style.

Task Two: Identify your shape

I’m going to put this link here: Body Shape Calculator 

Get a tape measure, do the measurements and work it out. It will really help you. You might also like this site which is based on Trinny and Susannah’s body shapes: Body Shape Calculator 2

It’s also worth thinking about your current wardrobe and the items you really like, and that are the most flattering for you. Make a note of their shape and style.

Task Three: Identify which colours work best for you to define your style

You may well know which colours work best for you. If not, it may well be worth having a look at the colour seasons: 4 season colour analysis.

But what I really want you to do is to identify your ‘neutral’ colours: the colours that you can wear with most things.

For me, this is black and grey at work. I chose these because they are the easiest to find, rather than being the most flattering! But black and grey work really well for me at work.

In my casual clothes, my neutrals are navy and grey. Black is a bit harsh for me, and I find navy and grey easier to work with.

Other neutral colours might be brown or even green. Your neutral colours will work with most other things in your wardrobe.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably naturally identify your accent colours – the colours that you are naturally drawn to. For me, these are pink, pale blue and pale green, but, of course, it’s completely up to you!

By the end of this week, you should have a really clear idea of the kinds of clothes you are looking for in terms of lifestyle, colour and shape. Commit to it – write it down, ideally in your diary or in your phone, so you can refer to it regularly.

By Naomi

Comments

  1. Reply

    I love these ideas about finding your style and adjusting it to your own need’s and lifestyle. I definitely need to take these on board. I have lots and lots of evening type going out wear but a mum of two don’t have a lot of need for it. I need more everyday style. Thank you for sharing this great post x

  2. Reply

    Ah I’m going to check out that colour checker thing – I’d love to know what colours suit me. I tend have a lot of dark stff but some pastels and some brights and I never know what suits me best! (PS still haven’t done the wardrobe declutter but i’ll get to it!!)

  3. Reply

    This is brilliant Naomi, and just what I need. Didn’t I just say last week that if I got rid of everything I should, I’d have nothing left to wear?!? Well I’ve even been explaining this post to my husband, it makes so much sense. Our lives have changed so much in the last few years, from very corporate suit wearing and gala dinners, to staying at home most days and not going out much (!), we realy should adjust our style and wardrobe accordingly.

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