If you want to cultivate a personal style in the new year that’s uniquely your own, then a generic list that doesn’t take your lifestyle into account isn’t going to be much help. Upgrading your personal style by trying out a few easy mindset shifts and a couple of easy shopping and styling strategies will take you much further this year. The best part? Most of these style resolutions don’t cost anything, and their impact will be noticed immediatly.
#1. Stop It With The “I’ll Pay Attention To My Style When…”
Putting off investing time, energy or money into your style until you hit a certain milestone is often a futile approach. Here’s why:
1) This strategy can feel like you’re punishing yourself for where you are right now, which isn’t the greatest long-term motivation plan.
2) It takes focus and consistency to make a change. By avoiding dressing in a way that makes you feel great right now, you’re missing out on the chance to use your clothes as a tool in achieving your goals. Let your clothes act as a reminder to yourself of where we want to be every single day.
3) Once you do hit your goal, it’s not automatically the case that you’ll suddenly be ready to make the leap to dressing your body accordingly. I’ve worked with many people who waited until they got the job or lost the weight to start dressing in clothes they love. But, just because their body or circumstances had changed, doesn’t mean their mind was ready and easily adapted to their new wardrobe. The sooner you start dressing in alignment with your personal style, the sooner it will feel truly your own.
#2. Embrace Tailoring
One of the best ways to employ resolution #1 is to embrace tailoring. Tailoring is one of the most effective body image boosts I know of and next to what we all spend on clothes we never wear, it’s not that big of an expense. Punishing your body by not wearing clothes that are flattering doesn’t help you make positive changes anyways. So, why not cut the “there’s something wrong with my body” conversation out and spend a little extra to customize your clothes, so they fit you perfectly?
Here’s are the two questions you need to answer to decide if a trip to the tailor is worth it:
Does it go with at least three other items currently in my closet?
Do I love it?
Don’t worry too much about the cost of a piece. I’ve seen many an H&M gem be tailored and become a (much more expensive looking) closet staple. When in doubt, always ask your tailor what they think.
Here are some fabrics that wear well over time and are worth investing in and tailoring: cashmere, khaki, denim, silk, wool, Oxford cloth, Pima cotton, tweed, flannel, chambray, velvet, cotton shirting, boucle, and moleskin.
#3. Know Your Style Secret Weapons
This is one of my favorites! Style secret weapons are one to three really easy things you can wear to feel fantastic, pulled together, and ready to take on the world in less than one minute. Items don’t have to be clothes either. My current round up includes big sunglasses, a solid blow out, and an ankle boot and/ or a killer coat. You don’t need an entirely new wardrobe to do this, and if you only take on one resolution from this list, please make it this one. Your mornings will be so much better, and you’ll feel a little bit better each day which pays off over the course of a year!
Pssst! If you’re a new mom (or will be soon), this is THE tip for you.
#4. Decide Where You Want To Invest Before You Shop
I’m pretty sure that one of the universal rules of adulthood is that deciding things ahead of time is a good idea. I’m 100% certain that deciding what you’ll invest in before shopping makes a big difference in long-term sartorial satisfaction.
Knowing what pieces you want to invest in for a whole season helps train your eye to look for special details that makes the difference between liking an item and loving it. You’re more likely to pass over these details if you don’t focus your shopping list, and your brain, in advance.
Deciding what you want to invest in over a season can also help you see any disconnect in your closet between what you value (a few high-quality tops) versus what you’re actually buying on your lunch break (a bunch of $19.00 tops from TJ Maxx that sort of fit...in the right lighting).