Monday, August 18, 2014


In my last post I covered the importance of understanding your staple clothing, shoes, and accessories. You have made your list and now what? Well, the next step to creating your solid wardrobe is to understand your preferred colors and patterns. This has nothing to do with knowing your personal color palette (Whether you are a summer, winter, fall or spring.). Rather, this next segment of "finding your style" deals with these three basic concepts:

What colors do you find yourself wearing everyday? Do you find your closet dominated by one color in multiple shades? Or is your closet covering the entire spectrum? 

(Photo credit:

Above is a basic color wheel (include secondary and tertiary colors). There are a multitude of different hues beyond these, but take a glance above and think beyond your favorite color. Do you like cooler shades (blue, green, purple) or warmer shades (red, orange, yellow)? Is any color appealing on the color wheel? 

For example, I know I am not a huge fan of color. I know I do not like to wear yellow, orange or purple, no matter the shade. I do like blues (specifically navy), dark greens and dark reds. Lighter shades wash me out and, since I prefer to wear minimal color, I lean more towards colors that look almost like neutrals. 

Neutral shades include browns, tans, whites, grays, and black. I live in neutrals. I tend to buy my jackets, shirts, shoes, etc. in neutral colors. I know that I will get the most wear out of neutral shades and I admittedly feel out of place when something I am wearing is not black. 

Do this analysis for yourself. If a shirt comes in every color, what three colors will you buy it in? What colors do you think compliment your hair? Your eyes? There are a myriad of questions to ask but know the most important thing is to focus on what colors feel the most you. 

Colors of the year, color stories, etc: color favoritism in the fashion world is always changing. Last year Pantone's Color of the Year was emerald and now everything is covered in orchid. Some people like to dabble in the newest color trends, whether that be applying the shade on their eyelids or buying full outfits. Even when a color is the newest thing on the runway, it is good to ask yourself whether or not the color suits you. Once again, I shy away from color. Typically, I am the one maybe committing to a nail polish or a keychain with the newest "it" shade. It is all about color flexibility. Some like to try it all while others like to stay in their color box.

(Photo cred: bau hype - 2006 was a good time for me. )

  • "TRIBAL" 
Those listed above are just to name a few. I feel in my experience,  every person I know either loves or hates patterns. I, personally, only like stripes tartan plaid, grid and gingham. The few times in my life I have branched out (Flashbacks to bright abstract patterns in 2010.), the item of clothing always, without fail, has a short life in my closet. 

Patterns fall in and out of popularity. For example, florals fell out of popularity for much of the late 90s and the 00s. 2009 rolls around and florals are the new thing as girly grunge trumps over the revival of the 80s business woman in the mid 00s. Florals are still thriving although, they are slowly being weeded out by a lean towards pinstripes and abstract patterns. 

Trying patterns works incredibly well for those with eclectic style taste (something we will talk more about later). Patterns can be a risky investment and they are not for the minimalist. Knowing your pattern preferences is a good start to knowing what style category you fall into (also, more on this later). I always recommend trying on any pattern before investing in it. If it suits your personality, great. If you feel you are liking it to adhere to a trend, unless you have the money, you are better off sitting that trend out. Always know that stripes and plaid are constant staples in the fashion world. Polkadots and tribal also circulate quite frequently. 

Current pattern trends include: art house (Prada), butterfly print (Valentino), brightly-colored tribal print (Valentino),  and pinstripes. This is only surface level. Tropical, vintage florals, black-and-white color blocking, and a handful of other pattern trends also exist.  

Now that we have our clothing staples, colors and patterns sorted out, we will then move on towards "style types". 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Working retail makes for a lot of time to space out as loud music blares in the background and as customers destroy perfectly folded piles of clothing. More often than not, I think about the million ways I can off myself but when I am not lost in the despair of my mediocre way of living, I am thinking of how someday this will all pay off and how I will become a style advisor to the stars - or something like that. 

So this past week I have been cooking up ways to help people establish their personal style. The first step is to admit that style comes naturally for some and that the rest need a little guidance. If this were not the case, then I would be out of a future career. Accept this first step and you are good to go.

I thought, in lieu of recent events (a story for another time), I should dedicate my next posts to creating a guide to style. This will not be a guide to trends. As Ralph Lauren says, "Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever." Rather, this will be a step-by-step process on how to create and shape your own personal style. Think of this as a foundation. Eventually, I will release you like a bird to the wind, or some other terrible analogy that involves setting you free into the world with a better sense of self and personal style.


Want to find your personal style? Want to revamp or change your personal style? Alright, let's do this. 

FIRST we will start by figuring out what you consider to be your staples. Think: You are planning out a week of outfits, what are you most likely to wear? 
  • Pants: trousers, jeans, harem pants, etc.
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Sneakers
  • Heels
  • Etc.
Do not worry about specific style-influences just yet. The most important thing is to know what you are most comfortable in. Yes, reaching out of your comfort zone is fine and dandy, but it is always good to know what feels like a second skin. As an example, I will list my basics. As a heads up: I will also get into specific cuts, shapes, etc. 

My Staples
  • Harem pants, jeans.
    • Harem includes any drop-crotch sweatpants for the sake of simplicity.
    • I need my jeans to be high-waisted. I have a short torso and the high cut gives me more of a waist. I also know that I like higher-waisted boyfriend jeans. No flares or bootcuts.
  • Mini-length straight skirts. 
    • I know I cannot pull off a-line. I have tried and failed on numerous occasions. 
    • Maxi skirts are cute but do not suit my personal look.
    • I need a skirt that hugs me, though, "school girl"skirts (only pleated) are an exception.
  • T-shirt dresses, shift dress.
    • Too short for maxi. 
    • Baby doll is not for me - nothing empire.
    • No drop-waist.
    • Essential rule: if it looks like a potato sack, it works for me.
  • Button-ups, t-shirts, loose tanks, crop tops
    • Tops are easier for me. 
    • Preferably not fitted and longer (if not cropped).
    • Nothing with cinched sleeves or v-necks.
    • No halters.
  • Jackets. Jean, leather, cotton blazers.
    • Nothing cropped.
    • Jackets are a must have for me. I am most flexible in this category.
  • Sneakers, Dr. Martens, platforms, chelsea boots.
    • I cannot wear heels. Every time I buy heels I wear them twice then resell them.
    • *I can wear platforms or flatforms.
  • Accessories:
    • Minimal accessories. No statement necklaces, bracelets or rings.
    • Watches.
    • Beanies.
    • No large hats, headbands, or large clips.
I mainly thought of what I have worn over time, what I feel comfortable wearing, and what I know looks good on me. This does not mean that I do not try on a baby doll dress every once in awhile or that I do not want to purchase a pair of non-platform heels, this is just the basic skeleton of what I am known for wearing. 

Your homework is to list out your basics and trust me, it does not need to be this detailed. I would even recommend writing out a list of items you want to put in your basics that still need to be tested out. After this is done, we will move on to basic style types. Until then, good luck!