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A few years ago, I approached a good friend and asked her if she’d be willing to help me hone my style, which at the time could best  be described as “minimalist frumpy”. You see, she always looks AMAZING and I knew that if anyone could help, it was her.

How finding your style will simplify your wardrobe.

But I was a bit nervous. I hate asking for help, usually because I’m afraid I’ll be made fun of for doing so. Thankfully, she was delighted. Turns out she loves this kind of thing and immediately had some things for me to do to get started.

(Don’t you just love it when you ask a friend for help with something that lights them up and they immediately come to life? It’s beautiful.)

Finding my style

My first task was to compile pictures of clothing I loved. Thank you, Pinterest, for making that task sooo easy. (You can see what I pinned here if you want.)

Next, she invited me to come to her house and bring my favorite pieces that I already owned. Getting together with her is one of my favorite things so I was very excited.

Once our fun morning rolled around, I showed her my Pinterest board and she pointed out similarities between items I’d picked (I had no idea there were any) and commented on stuff she’d seen me wear already that was similar. After a few minutes of chatting she said that my style was “classic, crafty.”

I just sat there for a moment thinking, “That makes total sense. I always gravitate toward crafty/funky pieces and mix them with more classic items. How did she do that???”

Next, she showed me a few new ways to wear my favorite stuff and even sent me home with some goodies. I love her.

Now that I think about that experience, I know that I was also hesitant to ask for help because I was afraid that by identifying my style, I’d start shopping more (which I strongly dislike) and end up with a closet full of clothes again. I’d simplified so much at that point and I didn’t want to go backward.

However, the effect was quite the opposite. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to go home and cull my wardrobe even more. I realized I’d been hanging onto stuff I didn’t even like because I thought I needed it to be more stylish.

Crafting a simple wardrobe

Recently, I’ve felt that it was time to change up my wardrobe a bit. I’ve always been a fan of neutrals (and frankly, quite scared of color), but now I’m ready to pull out some of the things I don’t wear as much and add in some more fun.

Thankfully, this will be pretty easy now that I know and am comfortable with my style. But I’ll be using a few simple tools before I go shopping so I don’t get overwhelmed or come home with stuff I won’t wear.

  • Pinterest: Before I go shopping, I take a quick peek at Pinterest for inspiration. Once I find things I love, I write down what I’m looking for. It’s so much easier to find something when you know what it is.
  • Capsule Wardrobe: I’ve talked about my capsule wardrobe before and I continue to use those principles when I shop so I don’t  come home with stuff I won’t wear. This helps me make decisions quickly so I’m not shopping all day.
  • Stitch Fix: Since shopping drains my energy so much, I’m grateful for services like Stitch Fix that send you clothes to try on. It’s way more fun than shopping – like playing dress-up.

The clothes they send are handpicked by a stylist based on what you love (they’ve got a great interactive questionnaire) and you can add comments to let them know if you’re looking for anything specific. I got my second fix yesterday and had so much fun trying things on. Most things were a bit too colorful for me this time, but I did end up keeping a dark blue denim jacket that I’ll be wearing a lot when the weather gets warmer and I can wear skirts.

You can try your own Fix here. When you sign up for an account, you’ll also get a special link that you can share with friends so you can credit when they try it, too. Why don’t other clothing stores do that?

Honing your style does more than make you look good – it gives you the freedom to get rid of the excess that’s weighing you down. And it gives you the opportunity for a lot more fun and simplicity in the process.

What’s your style?