Wow, this post is going out a lot later than I originally planned. Better late than never, right? I have done a lot of experimenting since starting this series. It has definitely helped me to be more creative with my wardrobe and my day to day outfits. I am having fun exploring more outfit choices with the clothes that I have. More on that later, though!
Chapters 2 of The Curated Closet is the “getting started” section. It guides you through discovering your style status quo and setting style goals with the following steps:
- Document your outfits for two full weeks.
- Complete the status quo questionnaire.
- Write down goals.
I finished step one
late last week a few weeks ago. For anyone who needs a recap, check out my previous blog posts with titles that start with “The Curated Closet Series.” I will complete steps 2 and 3 in this post and hopefully gain a little better idea of my personal style. So, if you want to get in my head and figure out how I feel about the outfits I’ve worn for the past two weeks, keep reading! I promise to try not to make this too long.
The Status Quo Questionnaire has about a gazillion questions to help readers really get a good grasp of their two-week outfit series. Instead of listing all of the questions on here, I am going to go through and pick the ones that I think are the most helpful for me to answer, and hopefully ones that will help any of you start thinking about your current wardrobe and the clothes you pull out often. After all, we’re trying to determine our style status quo.
What was your favorite outfit that you wore during the last two weeks and why? How did that outfit make you feel?
I LOVE my outfit from Day 9. It made me feel casual, but fresh, and cosy without feeling buttoned up. I think that while I wouldn’t wear that outfit to work (ok, maybe on a Friday), I could wear it any other normal time. It makes me feel like I look approachable and fun and just down to earth. I would want to be friends with someone wearing that sweater for sure!
I also really like my outfit from Day 14. It’s so colorful and makes me feel cute. The dress is long enough to be modest, but not too long. I didn’t pick this one as my absolute favorite because I wouldn’t wear it on a daily basis. I wish we did things like picnic in the park every weekend, but we don’t. I think that’s my favorite for a family outing or church or a girls brunch.
What was your least favorite outfit and why? How did it make you feel?
Day 6. I’ve discovered now that I like outfits that take minimal amounts of clothes to complete. I don’t like having to layer too many pieces. This outfit is edgy and fun, but I don’t think the scarf really matches and the shirt is too short. I actually have this shirt in my pile to sell to ThredUp. I just don’t think it is the right shape for me.
Describe your current style in 3 adjectives.
If this question said “words” instead of “adjectives,” my answer would be: “depends on situation.” But, the question asks for adjectives. So I’m going to go with subtle, simple, and adaptable.
I’ll explain more by answering another question.
How much variety do you need? Do you enjoy wearing a wide range of different colors, silhouettes, and details, or do you like having a signature look that you repeat with only minor variations?
I like that my outfits aren’t always the same. If I’m doing something that requires dressing up, I have a bit of a classic/feminine style. If I want to hike some trail in the woods, I go for hiking pants or jeans and a flannel. If I want to hang out at home, I have some fun leggings I like to throw on with a sweater or my favorite sweatshirt. If I’m going out on the town, I love to feel sleek and feminine with black blouses and either a cute skirt or tight black jeans.
I don’t need much variation in each “category” of outfits that I can choose from, but I like having those different categories so that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a similar outfit for lounging at home as I am during a family outing or at work.
How easy was it for you to choose an outfit in the morning?
It was fairly easy for me. Often I would find myself thinking about my outfit for the next day as I fell asleep the night before. It’s a fun little boost of creativity while I drift off to sleep. If I was rushed, I felt confident that I could grab things pretty quickly to throw an outfit together. I think it would help to have a somewhat organized schedule and to have a smaller amount of clothes in general. I don’t, by all means, have a minimalist wardrobe like some folks out there that only have like 3 shirts and 1 go-to dress, but I certainly have less clothes than I did even a year ago. I’m not encroaching on my husband’s side of the closet and each piece in my wardrobe has its place. It makes it easier to know what you have already so that you can think ahead while glancing at the week’s schedule.
How many different seaons do you have to dress for?
Well, living in the south has been pretty easy. I am able to get away with 1 or 2 light layers during the winter and just swap shorts for jeans and short sleeves for long in the summers. I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast now for almost 4 years.
Later this spring we will be moving west where it gets much colder during the winter and gets chilly during the summer nights. There will be more opportunities for casual hikes and for evenings experiencing city life. I’m not sure how much my wardrobe will need to change, but I think I could get by without replacing any items if I really wanted to. I might be wearing that sweater quite more often.
What is your typical shopping strategy? Do you prefer spending your budget on fewer, more expensive clothes or do you tend to spread it across lots of cheaper items?
I don’t shop nearly as much as I used to because I have become aware of the ethical and environmental issues prevalent in the fashion industry. Because of these, I shop in fast fashion retailers much less. I try to focus my new purchases on either thrifted finds or really good brands that satisfy some of my requirements for fabrics, supply chain, and environmental consciousness.
YOU AND CLOTHES
What is your main motivation for spending time on your style? Do you use fashion as a creative outlet or an expression of your values and personality? Does dressing well give you confidence?
I was a late bloomer. My friends in high school and college seemed to be so much more comfortable and confident in their clothes and their style. Their clothes would fit them well and be feminine. I envied them. When I tried to dress with “good style” I often felt uncomfortable (usually too many layers) or like I tried too hard. I wanted to feel effortlessly stylish and comfortable in my own clothes. Now that I have the time (and money) to experiment a little more, I want to really understand my style and have clothes that make me feel great. I just want to be able to dress for any occasion and feel confident.
I also see it as a creative outlet, an expression of my values (especially recently), and my personality. Finding a great outfit definitely gives me confidence. Now I love thinking about what I will wear for the next event or the next day. I enjoy trying to figure out which pieces will go together and mix and match pieces I don’t normally combine to add a freshness and unique take on an old or stale item.
To what extent is what you wear influenced by the people in your life – that is, your close friends, relatives, acquaintances, and co-workers?
I think my style is more influenced by my best friends and, honestly, social media these days. I found some really great channels on YouTube and other blogs for style and beauty/skincare inspiration. I found most of them while browsing through Pinterest and Instagram. Now I follow them diligently. They have really helped me to experiment mixing pieces between outfits to figure out what I like the best.
…..Phew! Alright. We’re at step 3: write down your style goals. There are three questions to help prompt thoughts for this step:
- What do you like about your style and current wardrobe?
- Which aspects of your style and wardrobe need work?
- What new skills do you want to learn?
I started following those YouTubers and bloggers towards the middle of last year. Since then, I think I’ve done quite a bit of work curating my closet. I donated and sold a ton of pieces. I’m pretty happy with my current shopping strategy, but I think there are a few more opportunities to move on from certain pieces in my wardrobe as well as fill in some gaps.
I really like that my wardrobe is so adaptable. I hate feeling too over dressed or under dressed. A little bit in either direction is fine most of the time, but too much and I start losing confidence quickly. That usually includes me getting pretty fidgety and wanting to shop for more clothes or jewelry – not a good thing when you’re trying to move cross country, buy a house, and go on a Euro trip in one year.
I think I’ll know more about any gaps in my wardrobe once we move to our new city. It will be a different climate where I might need more of a certain type of piece and less of others. I don’t plan to do much shopping between now and then, but I do want to start gathering ideas for new pieces. I want pieces that are useful but also make me feel great.
I want to learn how to style my clothes. I rarely feel like I do it right when I tuck in the front of a shirt, and I never roll up my sleeves just for style-sake. Most importantly, I want to learn more about the fashion industry and the environmental impacts of different fabrics and textiles.
So, that’s it! Steps 2 and 3 of the 14 day series (finally). I think I gained some good insight into my style and where I want to go from here. I hope that writing out my answers to the questions helped you answer the same questions about your own style and trigger some thoughts about your comfort level with your own wardrobe.
Which of the questions really speaks to you the most? Or, if you’re already petty confident in your style, what or who would you say were your leading style influencers? Answer in the comments!