Confident Style – Your Way Every Day

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No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge

No Clothes Shoping For a Year Challenge

NO CLOTHES SHOPPING FOR A YEAR CHALLENGE 

Have you ever thought about under taking a no clothes shopping for a year challenge? This is exactly what one of my lovely clients ‘Michelle Jones’ decided to do. Michelle is seven months into her challenge and here is her story.

1.What prompted this year without clothes shopping challenge?

  • Throughout 2017 I listened to several TEDx talks about the ‘minimalistic’ approach to belongings and also decluttering one’s wardrobe and building up a ‘core’ collection of items for each season and from there how many outfits could be made up from the ‘core’ collection. By core items the speakers referred to the absolute minimum to build an essential wardrobe for each season so that all the clothes for that season were visible in the wardrobe. Items not relevant to the season were moved to another wardrobe or packed away in boxes. The reason for this was to make it easy to decide what to wear. Once the ‘core’items had been selected then there were some additional items that you wore infrequently, for example rain jacket and evening wear. Then there were ‘complementary core items’ which included scarves, t-shirts, jumpers, bags, jewellery and accessories. The combination of these items with the ‘core’ collection increased the number of outfits.
  • Another reason for the ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge‘ was because I already had some outfits that I had bought but never worn because the hem needed to be shortened. Additionally some other clothes needed to be altered and I didn’t want to buy any more new clohtes until I had altered these.
  • I had a wardrobe full of clothes and wanted to work out different combinations to get more outfits.
  • It was a challenge to me to see if I could last the year.
  • Philosophically I believe that our society is becoming very materialistic and that advertising influences us to keep buying even though we can do without the new item. In 2012 and 2017 I visited Myanmar (Burma) and I was influenced by the gentleness of the people I met and their happiness despite their lack of items which in Western Society we consider essential.

2.What guidleines did you set yourself?

I could buy accessories, for example handbags, shoes, and scarves to complement my wardrobe and in this way get more outfits. As I can sew very well if I wanted new clothes then I would use my resourcefulness and buy the fabric and sew the item. However so far I have not had the time to sew anything.

3. Describe your shopping habits prior to this challenge.

Usually I waited until the Christmas and the mid-year sales to buy clothes and then would buy items that I already had the right colour accessories for or would complement other items in my wardrobe. Every now and then I would buy some items not on sale that I ‘loved’ and always gave me a special feeling whenever I wore them. I also bought clothes that I didn’t particulary like which were bought in a hurry because I thought I did not have enough clothes to wear to work. This was because I had not taken the time the previous evening to work out an outfit to wear the following day. When I woke up in the morning I would just stare at my clothes and think “What will I wear today?” and be in a hurry to select an outfit.

4. What concerns did you have in regard to not shopping for a year?

I was concerned that I would not last the year. In fact, in March I couldn’t resist buying two beautiful outfits at full price. This was an impulse buy because as yet I have not worn either outfit. As I bought these on 12/03/2018 I now need to wait the full year until 12/03/2019 before I can buy new clothes. If I ended this challenge on the original date 31/12/18 then I would not have finished the one year challenge.

5. What are you finding challenging?

  • My biggest challenge is not to buy any clothes. I love fabrics and new styles and I have to avoid going into dress shops in case I am tempted to buy something.
  • I also watch several current affairs programs on television and am constantly reminded what the latest fashions are because the current female presenters wear them. It is a challenge to override the urge to buy similar styled outfits or prints.
  • It’s been difficult and yet at the same time rewarding that I have stuck it ou so far. After I did the ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop with Individually You I was very aware that I needed more neutrals, brown and cream in my wardrobe to maximise my numbers of outfits. However because of the challenge I have to wait until the end of it to buy them.
  • At present I need a pair of dark blue jeans because my other pairs have faded and the challenge is not to buy a new pair. A new pair would enable me to have more outfits for a Friday work day because my work has a policy of ‘Friday Jeans Day.’ The next challenge is to find the time to sew the jeans. I would selct a simple skinny leg style without pockets and then wear tops that end under my hip line as that length is most flattering for me.

6. What has changed for you?

  • I’m giving more thought on how to combine clothes to get different outfits and how to change one outfit with different accessories.
  • When I recently bought a scarf I gave great thought to the colour and selected the scarf so the colours would complement several outfits in my wardrobe to give them a different look.
  • I’m more comfortable wearing styles in public that I only wore at home, for example wearing very fitted clothes and shorter hemlines which flatter my figure. Wearing the fitted style in public increased the number of  outfits for work.
  • I now take time the night before to select the outfit that I will wear to work the next day and also iron it and clean the shoes that go with the outfit so it will be ready for the next day.
  • I’m more aware of what looks great on someone. I ask myself why and then see if I might get the similar outfit with what I have in my wardrobe.
  • I’ve changed hair dressers and now have a modern hairstyle that suits me better.

7. What are you learning about yourself?

  • I have perserverance to stick things out. Even though I bought the 2 impulse items two and half months into the challenge(mid-March) I have shown resilience by not buying anything since then which is now 7 months later (mid October).
  • I understand my wardrobe better and so far have been pleasantly surprised that I am getting a larger number of different outfits even though I haven’t bought any new clothes.
  • Just because I am not buying clothes I can still learn more about my wardrobe hence I enrolled in Individually You’s ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop.
  • I’ve learnt that ‘less is more’  and it’s taking me less time to manage my wardrobe.
  • I’ve learnt to manage my time better and the value of setting time aside to continue the work of decluttering my wardrobe to have my ‘core’ items for each season.
  • This one year challenge has reminded me of the role of clothes in one’s life and how we can use them to ‘ power dress’ and the big part they play in non-verbal communication when people first meet and form an opinion about someone.

Thank you ‘Michelle’ for sharing your ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge’ story.  You are an inspiration. Your persistence and resilence is to be admired. You have really got me thinking but I know I wouldn’t set myself a year long challenge but possibly one or 2 months. The question would be which months would I choose. Look forward to hearing from you after your ‘No Clothes Shopping for Year Challenge’ ends.

 

Steps to Create More Outfits

Steps to Create More Outfits

How is your wardrobe contributing to your life?

Is your wardrobe:-

  • a place that you can go to each day and easily create an outfit that makes you look and feel great?
  • bringing you joy?
  • the right mix of clothes for who you are and your lifestyle requirements?
  • current and not outdated?
  • full of clothes that easily mix and match to create a variety of outfits?
  • an inspiring place to visit?

Many wardrobes that I go into have lost their purpose and direction. They have become storage spaces for unworn, unloved and forgotten clothing. Having a lot of clothes and going shopping does not ensure that you have a wardrobe that works for you.

A wardrobe that works for you will give you the gift of:-

  • confidence,
  • inspiration,
  • energy,
  • versatility and value every day.

Let’s look at ways to make your wardrobe your favourite place to shop.

These steps outline the process that I adopted over the last year to create more outfits to wear.

1. Review how you feel about your wardrobe

Ask yourself these two questions:-

  • What do I want from the clothes in  my wardrobe?
  • What don’t I want from the clothes in my wardrobe?

When I asked myself these questions this what I came up with:-

  • I want my clothes to:-
    – easily mix and match,
    – have the versatility to be dressed up and down
    – be comfortable and give me freedom to move easily
    – make me smile every day
    – give me energy
    – be different
    – last for more than one season
    – bring colour to each day
  • I don’t want my clothes to:-
    – be the same old same old
    – hang in the wardrobe and not be worn
    – be a waste of money
    – not have the ‘Goldilock’s Principle’ – read more here

2. Look at Your Colour Palette

Open your wardrobe doors or step into your walk in, stand back and take note of the colours you see.
Are they a mismatch of colours or do they coordinate?

A colour palette is needed if you want to be able to mix and match your clothing items.

Your colour palette needs to have:-

  • neutrals – colours not on the colour wheel such as black, grey, camel, brown, beige, navy
  • colours that cordinate  to add interest, variety and accents. This gives you the opportunity to create more outfits from your wardrobe pieces.

Having a Colour Consultation with a professional stylist ensures you wear colours that make you shine and are able to build a cohesive wardrobe.

Be Colour Confident  outlines the benefits of a Colour Consult.

When I looked in my wardrobe I noticed that black was my neutral and teal was my main colour. I have added three new neutrals – navy, grey and white plus berry colours as well as  patterned tops and pants.

Steps to Create Outfits

This white Cotton Village tunic upstyles these eight year old Cordelia Collection shorts. Shoes and necklaces used to upstyle. It can be worn with jeans, slimmer line pants and with a slip dress under it.

 

How to Create More Outfits

This grey Cotton On dress is teamed with navy accessories to create a professional work outfit. Just by changing the accessories I can change the look and feel of the outfit.

 

What a difference it has  made to the number of new outfits I can wear. By adding only one new piece of clothing to your wardrobe that coordinates with four other pieces you now have four new outfits. Now that is an investment.

2. What is Missing?

What is in your wardrobe needs to compliment your lifestyle? Think about the types of activities you need clothing for to determine what you need to shop for. This gives direction when shopping and lessens impulse buying.

My wardrobe was very lacking in summer play or casual clothes. This year I added two pairs of shorts as well as a couple of summer dresses. This summer I showed my legs (yes I had to shave them more regularly).  I have kept my legs covered by wearing pants for most of my life.

After years I threw my irrational thoughts about my legs out the window and exposed them by wearing shorts or knee length dresses. This was very liberating. We have to work at feeling good about our body and being realistic as to whether our thoughts are founded in reality or not.  

Steps to Create More Outfits

Wearing this berry  Cotton On top with Big W navy with white spot shorts. The shorts are actually men’s – I find them very comfortable on my straight up and down H shape body. The top has had the straight hemline cut  into an asymmetrical line. This is actually a cold shoulder top with the sleeves tucked in.

 

Steps to Create More Outfits

Many clothing items can be worn as casual or smart casual. Teaming these Target blue & white sorts with my favourite top and adding accessories I was ready for a lunch date.

 

3Set Yourself Style Challenges

Opening the wardrobe door and reaching for the same old outfit combinations is going to lead to feelings of boredom and the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ syndrome. To maximise  the clothing in your wardrobe you need to take some time to play and experiment to discover the potential outfits that you actually have in your wardrobe. There are a lot more than you think.

This year I set myself two style challenges to take me out of my comfort zone and maintain interest and variety in what I wear. 

  1. Mix and match patterns and prints. (see images below)
  2. Wear more than one necklace at a time.

I also set aside time (20 minutes to an hour) every four to six weeks to go shopping in my wardrobe. My aim is to create new outfit combinations I haven’t worn before. This makes me really look in my wardrobe and I discover forgotten clothing that is given a new life. Sometimes it results in items added to my shopping list. It also can be time for some quick culling when I discover something that doesn’t fit or I don’t like any more – wardrobe maintenance on the go. 

Here are some ideas for shopping in your wardrobe to create new outfit combinations:-

  • An organised wardrobe makes it easy to SEE, FIND and REACH your clothing when getting dressed. It also saves you time. If you need some pointers on wardrobe organisation read What Your Wardrobe Doesn’t Need
  • TRACK and MONITOR what you are wearing. Hang all your clothes on the rail backwards with the hook facing frontwards. Yes it does feel very strange and awkward but it d0es serve a great purpose. When you wear an item of clothing rehang it with the  hook facing in toward the wardrobe. (Hope this makes sense) This means that you can clearly see what clothes you are not wearing and make choices to wear something different. The more of your clothes you are wearing on a regular basis the more value you are getting from the money you have spent.
  • SET YOURSELF A GOAL to wear at least one different outfit combination a week. Reach for an item of clothing that is hanging backwards. Sometimes it is easy to reach for the same reliable combination because it is easy. This results in wardrobe boredom and wasting money on clothes that are just taking up valuable wardrobe space.
  • RESTYLE a favourite outfit
  • – change the shoes you wear,
    – add an accessory ( necklace, earrings, brooch, belt, scarf, different handbag.
    Read How to Upstyle an Outfit from Day to Night for more restyling tips.
  • MIXING PRINTS & PATTERNS can be a great way to increase the number of outfit choices in your wardrobe. Read more here.How to Create More Outfits

Wearing two patterns – my long lasting Andiamo pants with a home made newsprint top jazzed up with red accessories. When I add a colour to an outfit I like to repeat it once or three times.

 

  • STYLE WORD for the day – Think about what you are doing for the day and choose a couple of words to help guide your outfit selection.How to Create More Outfits
    Inspiration for this outfit combination came from the words playful and fun. The spots, colour and big earrings create that feel. A young girl in a shop actually said to me, ‘your outfit is great, it is so much fun.’
  •  TAKE PHOTOS of the outfits you create and love to wear. Use the photos for inspiration when getting dressed. It is very easy to forget some of the great outfits you create. Keep a record on your phone or print out the photos, laminate them and attach them to a curtain ring hanging on the back of your wardrobe door for easy access. There are also style apps you can use but I haven’t used them.
  • PLAN your outfit the night before or select a few on the weekend. When you are in a hurry you will always reach for what you know and walk out the day not feeling confident and happy.

Hope these tips inspire you to SHOP and PLAY in your wardrobe so that you can get dressed with

STYLE CONFIDENCE – YOUR WAY EVERY DAY.

 

 

 

 

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