The Great Closet Clean Out: Defining My Style

A week ago, I talked about how I started cleaning out my closet.

I made pretty good progress initially, but decided before I could go any further, I had to figure out who I was. So that’s where we’re at.  Unlike the first step, this one was an immediate struggle for me.  At first, it seemed like it would be easy, because how hard can it be to define your style?  Boy was I wrong.

Defining your style is harder than it sounds.

In I Have Nothing To Wear!, Dana and Jill profile quite a few styles. Each style profile has a trademark look, color scheme, and vibe, and the authors say something specific about the woman who embodies each style.  Here are the 6 style profiles they created.

The Classic Girl has a wardrobe that’s full of tried-and-true structured classics, like white buttondown shirts, dark denim, a black blazer, and ballet flats.  The main colors are darks and neutrals, with a scarf providing a punch of color.  Diamond studs are her go-to jewelry, and her style works for all body types in both the city and the suburbs, for women of all ages.  Her look is one that will never go out of style because, well, it’s classic.

The Bohemian Girl is on the other end of the spectrum, wearing softer and more flowing garments, like peasant tops, flared jeans, and slouchy hobo bags.  Neutrals are a boho girl’s best friend, with denim, metallics, and browns playing a big part.  Long chains and bangles are usually the go-to jewelry, and it’s a good chance the boho girl is a youthful creative (though the look can be pulled off by women of all ages).  At the same time, the boho look is also rather timeless, having begun in the 60’s on still going strong.

The Preppy Girl is similar to the Classic Girl in terms of structure, but is more casual and colorful.  Preppy girls are thought of as “old school” and conservative, and they often wear pink, kelly green, and navy blue mixed with light neutrals like khaki.  Plaid, seersucker, and cable knits are wardrobe staples for preppy girls, and jewelry is simple.  Preppy girls may live and work in the big city, but the look is often associated with the suburbs.  The preppy look speaks to a very specific personality and lifestyle, and is often a look that calls to specific people.

The Fashionista loves to dress in the latest trends (not surprisingly) and is a big city girl at heart.  She can live anywhere, but tends to gravitate to fashion capitals.  She’s a career woman who earns enough to support her shopping habit, and loves attending events and parties.  Age isn’t a factor, according to Dana and Jill, and once you’re a fashionista, you always will be.  The fashionista puts a look together with a variety of trends and always looks put together, making the best choices for her figure.  Because she knows what works for her, her look doesn’t vary much because she only wears what looks good on her, and isn’t a fashion victim.

The Surfer Chick doesn’t actually have to surf, but feels more at home outdoors and is athletic.  Like the preppy girl, a surfer girl can be any age and any profession.  Colors are bright and stand out, while clothes flatter her fit figure.  Jewelry is minimal and shoes are simple and uncomplicated.

The Soccer Mom is one girl I think most of us are familiar with.  Soccer moms wear functional, comfortable clothes like jeans, sweaters, and ballet flats, and carry big bags that fit all the kids’ stuff.  Solids and darker colors make up the most of her wardrobe because it’s easier to mix and match, and jewelry is usually minimal so as not to get in the way.

I sorta identified with a couple of them, but not one entirely.

I quickly ruled out the Surfer Chick, the Soccer Mom, and the Preppy Girl. And Bohemian Girl, as they defined it, wasn’t me either.  I felt like I wasn’t quite a Fashionista or a Classic Girl, though those were the two style types I identified with most.  It was like something was missing; even when the 2 profiles were combined I didn’t feel like it was me.

I thought about it and decided that I didn’t have to live by I Have Nothing To Wear! or Dana and Jill’s style profiles. They’re excellent guidelines for an initial, “I clearly don’t fit there or there, but I definitely can relate to that one!” profile, and a great base guide if you really don’t know where you stand.  But from there, I think one has to look deeper at herself to fully define her style.

So I decided I would create my own style profile.

Using Dana and Jill’s style profiles as guidelines, I came up with my own style profile. I also looked back at some of my outfit posts and looked at what I liked and didn’t like, as well as what I noted I felt like “me” in, and what I didn’t.  I thought about those years in high school where I stopped caring what others were doing and wore what I wanted, and looked at how I dressed on days I didn’t have to worry about dress codes.  I studied other people whose style I coveted, looked through my pins, and contemplated my inspiration board at home.  I even looked at photo shoots I’ve done, to see what look I felt worked best on me, and studied other inspiration images I saved to see what really spoke to me in terms of style.  And after quite awhile, I came up with a style profile that fully speaks to me…

I Am A Rockstar

The Rockstar is the type who, at first glance, can “pull off anything”.  Her style appears eclectic and  all-encompassing, with items from a variety of styles.  But when you look closer, you’ll see she is most comfortable in denim, (faux) leather, black, and items that are (or appear to be) worn-in.  She likes layers, whether it be in the form of clothing or accessories, and a touch of sparkle.  The Rockstar isn’t afraid to try something new, wear something thrifted, or go all out trendy, which is why her style appears adventurous–because she is.

Goodness, that sounds… cheesy, doesn’t it?

But it works for me, and that’s really what matters. It really is my style profile, and after years of struggling with who I am style-wise, it’s nice to not only have it figured out, but written out in a concise way.  It will certainly make going through my closet easier, but that’s not my next step.

Next up: Choosing my basics.

A wardrobe needs basics, not matter what you’ve defined your style as. So instead of going thru my closet right away again, I’m going to sit down and think about what my wardrobe staples need to be.  Once that’s decided, I’ll be able to make sure what I have in my closet works, and can get rid of what doesn’t.

This post is an FBFF post.

January’s theme is “New Year, New You”. This process, though started long before 2013, certainly suits this month’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday theme.  For more FBFF, visit ModlyChic.