September 18, 2012

Style is a very personal thing, and for me, it's something that's in constant flux. Things I preferred a year ago are vastly different from things I prefer today. As I look at my pins, I notice an evolution from the beginning of this year until now. My pins go from very feminine, to less feminine, to very tailored with a masculine edge.

Over the last month, I've made a point to pin intentionally, to only pin outfits to this board that I would actually wear. As I did, I noticed that patterns began to emerge. This roadmap guided me when I did The Big Purge, and I'll show you how it helped me make strategic purchases in next week's "Complete The Puzzle."

More than any other pattern, I noticed that I'm particularly drawn to outfits with a skinny bottom, paired with heels or boots, and loose tops like blazers, leather jackets, capes, and tunics. For my body type, this works best since I am both petite and curvy. Wide leg pants or flowing bottoms tend to make my bottom half look heavier than it is. By reversing the proportions, my outfit makes me look thinner.

Living in San Francisco requires a coat year round, and usually a scarf too. I noticed multiple pins of classically tailored coats like trenches and car coats with large, chunky scarves. And if you happened to notice, both of these outfits are also paired with skinny bottoms. Catching the patterns?

Nearly every outfit is also a combination of something masculine with something feminine. This was a lightbulb moment for me. It's how I prefer my interiors, why wouldn't it be how I prefer my wardrobe? I tend to lean towards the gender neutral side, but with a bit of warmth (or in this case, feminine) thrown in. A boyish tee is paired with bold baubles, heels, and a lace skirt. A flowing maxi dress is paired with a tailored bag and a leather blazer.

Now you try! I think that Pinterest is the best way to keep track of what you like. It's an easy visual reference to pull up on your phone or iPad while shopping, and you can see the link to the original source which often times has purchasing information. If you're hands on, you can save photos from magazines or catalogs and paste them into a notebook to carry with you and keep in your closet - my mom and I did this as early as 2002!

Once you lay things out in one, easy to see format, you'll begin to notice your own patterns. Try and examine each outfit. Ask yourself the following:

What do I like most about this?

Is there anything I don't like about this? (The don't can be just as telling as the do, and often times helps you refine your style further.)

Is this practical for my current life situation | office dress code | body type?

Do I own pieces of this look already?

What pattern do I love, but don't own?

Once you answer these questions, you can "Complete The Puzzle." The next post in the series will show you how to use this exercise to create a strategic shopping list to build the looks you've collected.

Is there a particular trend you find yourself pinning over and over again? Or a celebrity whose style you admire? (My faves are Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Gwyneth Paltrow!) Tell me below!



    I'm late to finding this but here's mine


    Help me please define my style Lauren! Desperate need of a purge....

  3. Hi Lauren,

    Franziska over at Franish linked to your blog today, and I am SO HAPPY she did!

    There are a million and one "clean your closet, find your style" posts out there, but this is the first one that makes sense to me. Those questions you ask are so useful, and I can't wait to finally get purging - after my parents' 25th anniversary this weekend, that is, because HOLY MOLY that is a lot of work! ;)

    Oooh, out of curiosity: how would you define my style? I think you really nailed Maddie's style, so I'd love to know :)

    Off to read Part 3!
    xx Johanna


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