Maybe it’s old age ;), but I’ve gone from being a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl to one who sees the value in systems and routines. Don’t yawn. I promise I won’t tell you to get up at 5 a.m.
It’s just that for the better part of my life I’ve improvised and reinvented the wheel in virtually every area of my life, from how I feed my family to how I keep track of appointments. It’s exhausting. Slowly, I’ve learned the power of systems and their ability to make life easier and simpler.
The same is true with style. Rather than spending years on trial and error, wasting time and money on a wardrobe only to feel that it doesn’t truly reflect who you are, and then feeling stuck. And maybe, eventually, giving up.
Style can be a system like everything else worth doing well, and I call it the Ageless Style System. It takes you step by step through the process of recreating your wardrobe and your style to serve you, and not the other way around.
Today, I talk you step by step through this system, and why each of these areas is so critical to your style. Plus, you’ll get a tip that you can implement right away.
Understanding your body from every different perspective, from your horizontal silhouette to your vertical proportions to those unique features that make you, you, is critical. That’s why I highly encourage you to try this next exercise.
Celebrities have done this for years, because they have stylists that tell them what works for them, but you can do the same thing. Knowing the shapes that work on your shape is key to streamlining the process of shopping and getting dressed.
Closely related to the first tip, it’s important to have a color that helps you feel powerful and confident, and to own a handful of items in that color that you can pull out when needed.
In the Ageless Style Program, we do an in-depth color analysis, but the colors that will make it into your wardrobe need to be colors that you love and that love you back. A Signature Color needs to be flattering and also a favorite.
There have never been more apps, sites, and resources for developing your personal style. TheYes.com is a current favorite of mine, but IG, Pinterest, and my old favorite, magazines, are all fabulous places to start thinking about and developing your personal style.
Outside of external inspiration, though, one of the greatest ways to learn about your own personal style is your history. So here are a couple of exercises that might help you discover what you truly love.
Finding your top 5 can teach you something about the clothes you actually wear and love. When you’ve done this, you should have a list of adjectives. Choose 3 of them as your style words.
This exercise will give you clarity on your true personal style. Now, using this information, you can make more informed decisions on what you choose to buy and wear.
Who enjoys doing an edit on an overstuffed closet?
Nobody? Yeah. Me neither.
Purging your closet all at once can be overwhelming, and the kind of chore we put off indefinitely because we don’t have the time or energy or desire to devote an entire weekend to it. So don’t. Instead, purge as you go. Keep a bin handy and drop items into it that you have decided you don’t love, wear, or need. Your closet will stay lean and you won’t have to give up a weekend.
Capsules & Outfits
The next step in the system, after you’ve filtered through your closed and edited out the items that don’t fit, flatter, or suit your fancy, is to start creating outfits and mini capsule wardrobes, which I call clusters.
Here’s my suggestion. Before you dive in and style all your favorites, take a look at the hardly-worn items in your closet.
Once you’ve styled the 80%, start wearing them, one at a time, until you’ve worn through everything in your wardrobe. It only takes a day (and sometimes an hour) to decide if that item deserves to stay in your wardrobe, or if it goes in the donation bin.
We’ve all been in a grocery store on an empty stomach without a list. Don’t do that with your style. Instead, keep a running list of the items you reach for but don’t own, whether it’s a great new pair of boots or a go with everything necklace or a fall dress to wear to all of the events.
As you make the list, give priority to the items that can be worn at least 3 different places, and with 3 different things. Those should be at the top of the list. Prepare to spend more money on these important items, and less on the trendy top you spot on sale.
Many women have habitual accessories that they wear by default but that don’t really do anything to enhance their outfits and their style. And while your sentimental pieces absolutely deserve a place in this rotation, combining them with contemporary pieces that elevate everyday outfits is an easy way to look instantly polished and pulled together.
Subtle and statement pieces give you options when putting together an outfit, and will make everything you wear look special.
The way you feel about your hair, makeup and skin can truly make your day and add the polish that you need to feel confident. That’s why I’m a big believer in the concept of having a MBR, a Minimum Beauty Routine. Set the bar wherever it needs to be so that you feel pretty and polished every day.
What does your MBR look like? Mine involves smooth hair and skin and color on my lips.
I hope you found this walk through the 8 steps to style confidence enlightening, and that you’ve learned something new that can help you feel more stylish every day. Let me know in the comments which tip you plan to try!
Nada Manley says
Thank you so much Bonnie!
Bonnie Boyd says
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I am already planning out my Autumn vacation wardrobe; this is extremely helpful and timely! Thank you,