So in Part Two you looked at what you liked, style wise. You established, for example, that you’re attracted to 20s style whimsical girly frocks and saccharine sweet pastel colours. You like layers of necklaces and stacked bangles, frivolous curly hair, butterflies and bows. Looking at your own pictures should also have helped you narrow down the things that you like when YOU wear them.
The next step is to think about your life, who you are, and the practicalities of fitting your favourite look into that life.
Work is where you spend most of your time. You need to think about how your style can fit into your job. Those saccharrine sweet ruffles and frills are great if you work from home, or in a creative industry. But if you work at a Chartered Surveyors they’re probably not going to cut the mustard.
Now is the time to balance the ideal you with the real one. What things MUST your wardrobe contain and how can you add a touch of *you* to them? Just because they want you to wear a suit doesn’t mean it has to be black. It doesn’t mean you can’t wear a brooch, or lacy tights, or a bow in your hair. Only you know the intricacies of your work place dress code and how you can get away with interpreting them.
There’s no need to spend hours establishing a list of rules. That takes all the fun out of things.
You must be a little realistic about your body shape though. Looking at photographs of yourself in part one should have done part of this job for you. You might know, for instance, that short skirts make your knees look awful or drop waists make you look like a lampshade.
By being realistic about your body shape you can draw up a mental list of the kind of shapes you want to look for when shopping.
As with your body shape don’t worry about a hard and fast list of rules, but you might find that some colours make you feel better than others, for whatever reason.
If you have a wardrobe with a very limited colour palette you might want to get some coloured paper or fabrics and try holding them up against your face. Dramatis Personae has a great series on developing a colour palette that’s worth a look.
I don’t mean necessarily knitting and crocheting. I mean what activity do you do most outside of work? You might have a yearning to fill your wardrobe with sequin mini dresses and stilletto heeled peep toes, but if you spend all your non work time in the local pub drinking pints or taking long healthy walks on the moors then unless you’re brave or fool hardy you’re not going to get much use out of them.
On the other hand, defining your style is about having the confidence to wear what’s really you, so don’t give up on those sequins completely. Just be realistic about whether you will actually wear what you buy. You might get more use out of a sequin collar, or a top with a sequin trim than a full on bauble dress.
A suggestion from Idiosyncratic Style is to come up with 3 words that define what you would like your style to be. If this helps to create a mental anchor for you to think about your style then do it. Though you might find a more general idea gives you more scope to experiment.
Now we’re ready to move onto making sure your wardrobe matches your mental image in PART FOUR – What do you have?