Style 1

Youthfulness – My style journey – article 1

I’m not someone that I’d describe as stylish. I never have been if I’m particularly honest. I recall enjoying clothes shopping when I was younger, especially in my teens and twenties. But as I got older, with greater demands on my time, I enjoyed shopping less and less, regarding it more as a necessary chore. Over the last 5 years, with a few exceptions, I’ve made many of my purchases online, with some mixed results. This had left me with a wardrobe full of clothes which I didn’t particularly like or feel inspired by. I end up recycling the same few outfits week on week off, mainly so I don’t have to think too hard.

I then discovered that someone I know (and like) had set up as a style consultant. Initially I thought, “That’s not for me – I don’t even like clothes that much”. But then I thought, actually maybe that’s exactly what I do need! The next couple of Youthfulness articles are going to tell you about my style journey – something I never thought I’d do, let alone write about.

 

Begin with the end in mind

My stylist is Alex from Stylepeg. We initially had a couple of informal chats, with absolutely no pressure or even a sales pitch, and she encouraged me to think about what I might want from this. Always a great question – begin with the end in mind! I decided this was definitely focused on my ‘work wardrobe’ and that I wanted to have a few key outfits that I felt good in (and maybe even a little stylish) but that required limited effort to throw together.

She later sent me a questionnaire to record various measurements and to identify 3 words to describe what I want my clothes to say about me. After a little deliberation (and use of a thesaurus) I came up with Sorted, Reliable and Reassuring. Don’t worry, these are my words – not yours!

 

Colours

The next stage was the colour analysis. I’d heard about people having their ‘colours done’ before and I thought this was mainly about make-up and coloured scarfs (some vague recollection from Bridget Jones’ Diary). The aim here is to identify colours that not just suit you, but that bring out the best in you. Being a long-time black wearer (I’m not kidding) I admit to being a little scared, especially as I’d heard very few people end up with black in their palette – despite most of the population regularly wearing it.

Alex basically went through loads of different coloured materials, holding them up to my neck and seeing the impact on my face and skin. I actually found the experience pretty enlightening and ended up with a range of different colours that I would never had picked, plus a few trusty teals and some neutrals (greys and navy blue etc.) that I’m more comfortable with. Black was nowhere to be seen!

I now have some colour swatches that make up my palette. I am ‘cool summer’ if you are interested!

 

My style objectives

We then looked at and discussed my style preferences e.g. bohemian, dramatic etc. Over time, I’ve become more conservative in the way I dress, so whilst I am after a change, I need to stay within my own boundaries. We agreed that classic-chic was the look I was after. This then helps to identify the types of clothes I’m after, as well as the styles.

Wardrobe review

The next phase was a review of my existing wardrobe. I’m ashamed to say that much of my wardrobe was

  1. black
  2. not great quality
  3. sometimes quite old

Alex put aside all but a few black items – I was ‘allowed’ to keep one pair of black trousers (for now) and a little black jumper dress. The rest got packaged up for the local charity shop.

Any items within or close to my colour palette were then given a closer look. Some items were kept, while others were consigned to the charity pile if they a. were dated or b. didn’t flatter me.

Alex also photographed all my shoes and boots – again horrified that most were black!

Finally, I tried on my numerous pairs of jeans with different footwear. These were mostly all kept although a couple of pairs were demoted to the ‘weekend lounge-about’ category – how rude! I also tried on different jackets to see which fitted and flattered me best and least! What had I been wearing?

At the end of the session I felt strangely liberated with my sacks ready for the charity shop and a ton of empty hangers. I have just enough ‘acceptable’ clothes to keep me going until the next phase, although I’m sure that some of those may go the same way sooner rather than later.

 

Wrap-up

By this point I was feeling excited, and oddly looking forward to going shopping.

Through our interactions to date, we had gathered several important pieces of information:

–        Personal colour palette

–        Various measurements

–        My 3 visionary words

–        The style I’m aiming for

–        Knowledge of items in my possession that could already support this

–        An idea of how much I was willing to spend♥

This left me with a ‘shopping list’ of items required to complete my look. Join me in the next article to see how I got on…

♥ Financials

A few words on the money side of things, as an accountant, and a pretty frugal one at that! I regard this whole style adventure as an investment. As I’m a reluctant shopper and my chosen style is classic-chic, the clothes I will buy now should last me for a good few years. Overall, I could even potentially save money in the long run by not impulse spending or buying things that I’ll wear once or never.  This investment will be further prolonged by opting for higher quality goods in some cases.

I basically worked out how much I would normally spend over a period of time and I’m ‘front loading’ this spend.

As I also love a bargain, I’m trying out new ways in this direction too – more on this next time!

 

Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.