Today I’m asking you to think about the contents of your wardrobe (again!). I’d like you to reflect on where you feel your wardrobe supports you well, in terms of having plenty of great options to wear that fit well and feel good.
And then, think about where it might be lacking. When do you find it hardest to get dressed into an outfit that feels just right? Maybe it’s when you need to get dressed up. Or is it the elusive ‘smart casual’ which for some reason feels difficult. For my client Krystal, it’s weekend wear.
INSIDE KRYSTAL’S WARDROBE
A couple of weeks ago I spent the morning with Krystal in her wardrobe. She’d booked a Mix and Match session which is where we put together as many outfits as we can from the clothes you already own. Before too long, it became apparent that her work wardrobe is just fabulous. She has plenty of great options from tailored trousers and skirts with gorgeous blouses to statement dresses and jackets. We realised that the area of her wardrobe that needed the focussed attention was her weekend wear.
Now, the reason that Krystal’s work wardrobe is so fabulous is because she has spent time working on it. She made a decision three years ago, to learn about her style, uplevel her outfits and start building a wardrobe of clothes that feels exciting and perfect for her work. Uplevelling your style isn’t an overnight thing. It requires some learning, some sorting and some well-thought-out additions. And my goodness has it paid off! I have to admit that when Krystal first opened her wardrobe to show me what we were working with, I actually gasped. It’s a beautiful sight.
If I’d known then that I’d be writing about it, I’d have asked to take some photos…
Not only had Krystal spent time and attention curating this fabulous collection of mix and matchable pieces, she’s also been really good at following my advice on wardrobe management. She has everything on matching hangers, hung in categories and in colour order. It’s like a beautiful boutique full of bright coloured blouses, interesting fabrics and fabulous statement trousers and tops with wonderful necklines and puff sleeves. And most importantly, everything fits her style.
DISCOVERING the ‘problem’ area
As I said, it soon became apparent that there was a significant difference between Krystal’s work wardrobe and her weekend wear. Of course, these are totally separate and different lifestyle areas which require different pieces, styled in different ways. Krystal’s preferred way of dressing happens to be smart – she has no problem at all being super-polished for work and glam and glitzy in her social life, but days off, holidays and weekends were the sticking point.
We identified that this has become an issue because of her clothing style percentages. When I work with a client whether privately or in my online program, The Style Plan, we identify which looks work best for them. From ‘classic’ which involves clean lines and fuss free styles, to ‘dramatic’ and ‘girly’ each of which mean prints, texture, detail and colour (albeit in different ways), to ‘natural’ which is the most relaxed way of dressing. Krystal has absolutely no ‘natural’ in her style mix. This is why dressing down feels really difficult.
We all have an idea in our heads about what a typical outfit might look like for particular activities, and for weekend wear we might immediately think about a t-shirt and jeans with trainers. For many of us, this is perfect. But not for Krystal with her 0% ‘natural’ style. So what to do? She wants to feel more casual when she’s not at work but the obvious outfit combinations make her feel scruffy.
In order to bring Krystal’s weekend wardrobe up to the standard of her work one, we identified the key elements of her favourite outfits and thought about how we could bring more of that into her more casual outfits. These were:
- Bold colour
- Puff sleeves
- Pretty necklines
The next step was to decide if there are any ‘work’ pieces that fit this description that could be moved into the casual wear category. These could be pieces that have been well worn and loved for years and are ready to move down a category. Or items that never seem to get picked out because they are too similar to other more favoured pieces.
We’ve explored the idea of ‘Outfit Formulas’ here on the blog before and this is a great way to decide on the missing ‘ingredients’ from your own wardrobe. Before you buy anything new, you need to know that it forms a part of one of your own Outfit Formulas.
We explored the idea that although jeans are great, Krystal doesn’t need more than a couple of pairs. Her jeans need to be quite classic or trend-led to feel good. Instead of expanding her jeans collection much further (although a white pair would be good), she could style up some of the more casual trousers she’d been hanging on to but not wearing. Not with a plain t-shirt, but with an interesting bold coloured top. Or a blouse with some pretty detail. Also, Krystal looks great in a skirt, so a cotton skirt or one of this season’s midi denim skirts with a fab top could be another useful ‘outfit formula’ for her to work with. Plain cotton t-shirts don’t light Krystal up but adding a statement necklace and bringing in a few patterned tops or t-shirts with interesting details feels more exciting.
Next comes the shopping. Krystal has learnt how to be truly discerning in her choices and with a clear plan is able to find key pieces online that are likely to be new favourites. So we made a plan for this summer and what she would benefit from bringing in.
When I left her house, she had a few items on her Pinterest board that she could see would liven her up her weekend wear and feel more exciting.
I feel confident that before too long, Krystal’s casual wardrobe will feel as fabulous as the rest of her clothing collection and she can enjoy this summer (and many more to come) in her gorgeous off-duty outfits.
I hope this has helped you to identify which lifestyle area you are neglecting. Once you’ve realised where you need to focus your attention, think about what it is you love about the clothes you wear for another lifestyle area. How could you bring more of that into this category and still keep it appropriate?
If you get stuck, come on over to my free Facebook group The Style Place and ask your question there. We are a lovely warm and supportive community with a wealth of knowledge. And if you know it’s time to learn about your own true style before you start adding more to your own clothing collection, check out The Style Plan – my flagship online program here. I’d love to help you to feel fabulous in all areas of your life.
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