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.

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You can always email me at suburbanstylechallenge@gmail.com

31 comments for “The Great Closet Clean Out: Defining My Style

  1. January 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    I’m definitely a cross between preppy and classic! With maybe a dash of fashionista?

    I really like the style profile you came up with for yourself. I think it describes you perfectly!

  2. January 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    I’m not sure if I match their definition of Bohemian but I’ve always labeled myself as that. I do know how to be a Fashionesta too though so it is an odd combination I love your new title for your fashion wardrobe.

  3. January 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    As I was reading the profiles, I thought, “where is Rocker Chick?” I’m surprised it wasn’t listed, cause it’s pretty major. They should replace “Soccer Mom”.

    • January 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Yea, when I thought about it, I was surprised “Rocker Chick” and “Rockabilly/Pin Up” weren’t there. They’re both pretty major ones, I think. The book was published in 2011, so I feel like they were relevant styles. Maybe they need to come out with a second edition…

  4. January 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    You definitely have rock star fashion sense. I sort of hate to say I have fallen into soccer mom category, but practical clothes are my choice for now. sometimes I do throw in some boho accessories!

    • January 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Thanks 🙂

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a “soccer mom” style profile! If it works for you, it works 🙂 And as long as you’re happy and comfortable, that’s all that matters.

  5. January 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    You could never ever be a soccer mom. But Can you be a rock star forever??? Well Madonna does it..so why not you. Mick DOes it? So why not you?

    • January 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      I was thinking about that, haha! I think it’s definitely a style profile that’s one I can stick with forever, and will. What I wear will probably change with age and what I’m doing (just as it would with any other profile), but chances are, I’ll always be most comfortable dressed as a Rock Star 😉

  6. Jenna Wood
    January 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Wow, I don’t know if I can classify my style….I truly have a bit of everything! Maybe fashion schizophrenic? Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed when I start digging through my closet. I envy those with a set style.

    • January 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I thought the same thing about myself, but after reading the book and thinking about it, well… I came up with Rock Star. I used to get overwhelmed too… but part of that was just because of the sheer volume of stuff I had.

  7. January 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    I guess I am a mix of a Bohemian and a Rockstar. I love hippy type stuff and browns, metallics, etc…but I also love wearing concert tshirts {not really the description, but still}. 🙂

    Dawn

    • January 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      A boho rockstar makes perfect sense! It’s kinda like that concert/festival fashion that was really in this summer (which I LOVE!). I totally dig concert/band shirts too, but try not to buy too many ’cause I can’t wear shirts with words on them to work, and don’t like owning shirts for bands I have never listened to or don’t like.

  8. January 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    i think i would be a fashionista + a classic girl mom ahha!!!

  9. January 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I wouldn’t want to try defining my style – I pick my clothes with my eyes half closed at six in the morning

    • January 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Hahaha, I’ve been there… I used to have to take the 615A train downtown in the mornings. If I didn’t pick something out the night before, it’d be a 5A scramble for something that fit.

  10. mel
    January 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I am a total cross between preppy, classic, and hip- truly, I guess I would be a mutt fashionista

  11. January 5, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    Fantastic blog! Will be back for more…

  12. January 5, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Defining your style is difficult – I know, I’ve been trying for years. I’ve bought a shelfload of style books and read tons of articles, until I realized that these were meant as guidelines and not rules. I too, find it hard to fit into one category, so I love the idea of defining your own! Mine would probably be casual chic, I think:) Look forward to following your progress in the project, and I’ve added you to my blogroll. And thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it!

    • January 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Casual chic sounds good and it’s a look I love! Makes me think of celebrities traveling. Always so effortlessly chic but comfortable.

  13. January 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    HA! I’ll join you in the Rockstar Club!
    Very appropriate, since my boyfriend is in The Smithereens.
    My look might lean towards Bjork, so I’ll be an Art Rockstar. I wear a lot of black, but as the base for my crazy patterned stuff.

    • January 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      Haha awesome! I love the idea of a black base and a crazy pattern. Definitely rockstar 😉

  14. January 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    I am a mixture of classic, bohemian I think a bit of fashionista 😛

  15. January 6, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Love the idea of adding rockstar to the list. I’m definetly a mix of rockstar and fashionista. Great to find your blog through FBFF. Looking forward to more posts!

    • January 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Yay! 🙂 Fellow FBFFer! I’ll have to check your blog out… I didn’t get much time to look thru the other posters last week.

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