How I Found My Personal Style: Creating A Curated Closet

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my closet and personal style. It was obvious my wardrobe needed an upgrade when I realized my clothes are mostly for work (all black), unable to be mixed and matched, don’t flatter my figure since losing a little weight if ever they did, were given to me thanks to the kindness of others, and/or date back to middle school.

Seriously. When was the last time I gave my day-to-day style any thought?

Read on to know how I changed this!

Quick Assessment

I dressed well as a tween, matching my shoes with my bags, always wearing different accessories. And then high school came with a dress code – black and white only {sad face}. After school meant wearing leotards, rehearsal shoes, and leg warmers – none of which are typically envied through the glass of Gucci’s display window.

And then I started working in a professional environment and moved so many times I couldn’t take everything with me and there I was, with a wardrobe I didn’t enjoy or even recognize.

This is where I went wrong: I let life get in the way.

Sound familiar? I am not an unusual case.

My Game Plan: A Developed Style

At this point, I was super aware. There was no use turning a blind eye so I had a serious talk with myself. Once I began dissecting my style this way, it was so much easier to become the CEO of my closet!

Try asking yourself similar questions and write down your answers to discover your unique style.

cheerwine girl cafe red hat

Step One: Decide My Likes

I thought about colors

I came up with red, dark blue, mustard yellow, teal, pink accents. I don’t like orange. These could all work together.

I noticed a theme and created a basic color palette based on my answers.

IMPORTANT PSA: I love mustard yellow and white, but I never wore it because I was told my whole life growing up it wouldn’t work with my complexion. And guess what? Lies. That voice in your head telling you to wear the thing that makes you happy? Listen to it. I’m so glad I did! What looks best on you? Happiness. Choose that always.

Okay, back to business.

Next, I thought about patterns.

I have too many! Solids went on the list.

I like stripes, florals, smaller prints. I used to like polka dots and they look cute on other people but not for me. I don’t like nautical wear and so on.

I also wrote down other specifics that came to mind like fabrics, cut, details, and persona. I.e. Lace, fringe, hugs the natural waist, sheer fabrics with flow, vintage, boho etc.

Basically I asked very specific questions and created an image I was happy with based on my answers.

Step Two: Purge My Closet

I eliminated nearly everything in my closet that didn’t match the likes on my ‘list’. Some articles of clothing met 2 likes or 1, but not all and I kept it. Some that matched 10 likes were tossed. It really came down to how I felt.

Baggy, never wear/worn, too similar to something else, weird color with my complexion? Gone.

I was on a mission so I did my best to not second guess.

I was able to sell most of my old clothes at a low price through my Instagram stories:

Step 3: Watch Hilary Rushford’s FREE style class!

Founder of Dean Street Society, Hilary had my back when I began to seriously reinvent my Instagram account. Her free one hour course helped me see the platform in a whole new way and as promised, doubled my following in two months.

Lo and behold, her Style & Styleability class dropped into my lap at the perfect time. I had been missing out on what Hilary describes as “the two part fashion cocktail”. Very simply it’s deciding which pieces in a closet are vodka and which pieces are more cranberry and how to balance the two for a mix you’ll love.

It’s simple, a little weird and therefore very affective! Get the free class and full course here.

Consider checking out her full online course if personal style is something you want to delve deeper into. She’s amazing and while I have not taken the full course, I’m certain it does not disappoint. Turns out I just needed a little push. The free hour long webinar was exactly the inspiration I needed.

Step 4: I Went Shopping…with a Plan!

When my SO asked if I wanted to go to the thrift store one day, I was ready!

See my blog post with my second hand finds here.

Why a thrift store? Sure I could go to a department store or shop online, but for the sake of funds, fun and flavor, a thrift store was going to be my saving grace.

It was so much fun at the beginning and the end. But the middle? I almost reached the point of full on existential crisis {since we’re being honest here}. Okay, I maybe was a *tad* dramatic just then but I was seriously unsure about which items to pick that would reflect on the outside who I am on the inside.

Here’s how I coped with shopping stress/freakout: I breathed. And then I remembered my imaginary list from before. I took my slow. sweet. time – I looked around for more than two hours, granted thrift stores are full of distractions. If I didn’t feel 110% confident about something, I put it back.

I left one happy gal with no buyers remorse. It was amazing.

Oh happy days!

I now have a solid foundation to easily add new pieces I love with significantly less stress. It helps to know exactly what’s in my closet!

I honestly feel so much more confident in myself and my ability to choose an outfit. Because it’s not just a wardrobe. An outfit displays my personality and only exists because I created it!

There really is power in developing personal style and I look forward to learning even more about myself on this journey.


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Mary Caitlin
Mary Caitlin

Lifestyle blogger and creator at Rosy Remedy, exploring the connection between intention, authenticity and happiness. On the hunt for small moments, big water, everything vintage and the best dry cappuccino in the Galaxy.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


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