A few weeks ago I did my first blogger makeover post and got lots of positive feedback. One of the readers asked in the comments how to go about finding your own personal style so I thought I’d take some time to talk about that. Also, some information about Sharlene’s “blogger makeover” is included.
I mentioned in my previous post that for a long time I just bought what fit or I thought looked good and paid little attention to what looked good on me or if I even had a personal style. After tuning in to my likes and dislikes I realized I do have several themes that come up repeatedly in my dressing. Paying attention to those themes will clue you into your style. I tend towards classic casual with some fun thrown in. I wear mostly neutrals with pops of color or classic prints. I love little details like roll-up button sleeves, top-stitching, or snaps. I avoid boxy shirts and anything that shows too much cleavage and like to accentuate my waist and legs. I am learning slowly over time to embrace the skinny jean. I am almost always cold so I dress in layers pretty much year-round. I accessorize with chunky necklaces, small earrings and rarely bracelets (I have super small wrists). I tend to splurge on pants and classic basics and save on trendy pieces and shirts for at home. This is my idea of an outfit that I would gravitate towards, maybe to dress down Friday or a date with the hubs:
But what if you’re a mom and you haven’t bought clothes for yourself in years or when you do it’s just whatever you can grab in Target on your way to the diaper aisle? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. You still have a style, even if you don’t know it and it’s buried behind years of motherhood and baggy sweatpants. Sarah and Sharlene and all the other blogger moms who inquired about “makeovers” already had personal style, they just needed to harness it.
I used a questionnaire that asked basic questions about body type and also asked about what brands they would buy if money were no option. Lastly, I asked them to use three words to describe how they want to look. These answers pointed me in the direction of their style, and hopefully helped them too. If you are still stuck after you’ve thought about those questions my best advice is to start searching fashion magazines (Lucky is one of my favorites), Polyvore, and Pinterest to pinpoint styles to which you gravitate. If that still doesn’t work, I’m toying around with the idea of opening up the survey and my advice to some other people so please comment below if you think you might be interested.
Now onto Sharlene:
First off, Sharlene is a great lady who is married and has two kids, and a full-time job as an administrator for a non-profit service agency. She described shopping mainly in thrift stores, New York and Co., TJMaxx/Marshall’s, and JCPenney. She has in the past year put some laser focus on her personal health and has lost a significant amount of weight as a result. It seems Sharlene’s biggest challenge now is learning to dress her new body. Also, because Sharlene still intends to shed some additional pounds she doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes she won’t be wearing long-term. Sharlene’s job requires her to dress professionally, but with a bit of hippy thrown in. (Her words, not mine.) She feels most like herself wearing workout clothes and although most of us would prefer to go through life in yoga pants or running capris our bosses probably would frown upon it. Sharlene used the words comfortable, competitive, and compassionate to describe how she wanted to look. She also used the word powerful to describe how she feels in her workout clothes.
Sharlene handed me a tall order with her wants, I’m not gonna lie. We talked a bunch of times and while we had discussed meeting to shop together it just hasn’t happened yet. I searched on Pinterest for Sharlene too and although I didn’t score a great deal like I did for Sarah I did manage to find some things that I think would work for her.
Sharlene like leggings so to capitalize on that I focused on dresses that would be professional, and comfortable, that could be easily worn with leggings and simple flats. I also told Sharlene that while the clothes are quite pricey, I think Anthropologie would be a great store for her as it meets the hippie, comfortable, professional criteria. If you watch wisely you can often hit the sales just right at Anthro. I picked this dress for her when it was on sale (it appears to no longer be available):
Sharlene did order it, but in the end it just wasn’t right. She was looking for a style that would camouflage her tummy area a bit more and this just didn’t do it. However, I do also think that Sharlene should invest in a good quality legging if she going to get some mileage out of them. For her, they seem to be a staple piece in her wardrobe worth spending some extra cash on. I found these:
Athleta and Title Nine will also be good stores for Sharlene to look in to get the workout look in a professional way. However, Sharlene did say that she doesn’t think she’d be a good online shopper because she needs to try things on. That is the biggest downfall of not shopping the stores Sharlene, so look for online shops that have free and/or easy returns.
One last thing…Sharlene once shared that she didn’t carry a bag or purse and usually made her wife carry her stuff in her bag. So I took the liberty of picking out a bag I thought Sharlene might like. Maybe she’ll try it out, otherwise I might be helping her wife find a bigger bag next!