On the Search for Personal Style

Hmm. Remember how I started this blog about shopping and sewing and then proceeded to only post book review for the past however many months?

Funny how that works, but in the long run, it makes sense. The person I was when I started the blog isn’t really the same person I am now. That person bought more clothes than she needed or even wanted and didn’t even like them. The person I’m now is more conscious (at least I think so) about what I buy, a bit more discerning about where things come from and their quality.

So there doesn’t need to be a review of every single thing. Mostly because there aren’t that many things.

Still, despite the fact that I’ve streamlined and cut back and am trying not to buy so many things (both for space reasons and because as I’m sure you all know, fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry on the planet), there are still times when I feel like I haven’t quite gotten things right.

Or, that is to say, I’m still working on figuring what my so-called personal style is. Or, more to the point, what I feel happy and confident in wearing, rather than having the feeling that I just got up and “put on clothes” in the morning.

Of course, that leaves us with the question of what personal style even is. I know that I like certain things, and I know that some of the things I like don’t go with other things that I like.

For example, blazers. I love them.

But for the most part, blazers look awful (on me) when I pair them with dresses. The look is either too buttoned up and formal (Ask me about the time this summer I had a job interview, to which I wore a blazer and a dress while the person interviewing me was wearing a sweatshirt and Star Wars patterned leggings) or the lines just aren’t right — the blazer is too long and the skirt too wide.

So is wearing blazers over poorly fitting dresses my thing? Or is there something better?

I think there’s something better.

To figure out what that “better” thing is, I tried a little experiment this month. I took a photo of what I was wearing (every) day. I’m putting every in parentheses because I forgot a few times. But almost every day.

The photo experiment helped me learn things pretty quickly.

Here they are:

I think I hate skirts

That might sound pretty surprising, given the amount of time I’ve spent talking about them. But really, skirts are awful. At least for me. Usually, they end up being too big in the waist or too tight in the hips. My shirt comes untucked and I end up looking (and feeling) super sloppy. No thanks.

Then again, not every skirt is a mess. When a skirt actually fits at my waist, I feel great it in (so great that I forgot to take a picture. Oops).

Pants + Blazer = Happiness










OK, I realize I’m only wearing a blazer in half of the photos above. But trust me, it makes me happy. I guess actually what makes me particularly happy is finding a pair of pants/jeans that work for me. You know what they say, when you find something you love, buy it in all the colors.

So these are the Prima Cigarette jean from AG Jeans. I have them in dark grey, dark purple and green. They’re amazing.

I feel dowdy in skirts/dresses that go right below my knee

I think I read somewhere that right below the knee is the “most flattering” length for a skirt/dress or something. Not for me. Nope. Sorry. You can keep your longer skirts, your midi skirts, your so-called maxi skirts.

I’ll stick with just above knee length, thanks.

Also, cardigans = uck

I could write a few thousand words on how much I hate cardigans. But I’ll save you all the trouble (and I guess myself the trouble). Just know that I don’t like them and I’d rather not wear them anymore.

Finally, Marie Kondo was right










It’s important to find what sparks joy. For example, I love this dress from Theory so much that I have three of them — one navy, one black, and one dark purple. The dresses are very versatile (in fact, when I bought the first one, I wrote an entire post about its versatility).

More importantly, I really really love them. They are (along with my AG jeans) my favorite pieces in my wardrobe.

On the flip side of things, looking for things that “spark joy” finally convinced me to donate/sell those items that didn’t really spark joy but that were “OK” or good enough. The skirt pictured up above and the purple below knee skirt and the black cardigan that seemed to be a magnet for cat hair all went away.

I’d been hanging on to them because you know, they were fine. I didn’t feel great in them and in fact, sometimes I felt downright terrible in them. Now that they’re gone, I don’t miss them.

Taking pictures of my clothing every day (or you know, almost daily) felt a bit weird. But it also helped me pinpoint what clothes I loved and which ones I really hated. Personal style is something that changes over time, but I feel pretty sure that I’ve figured out what mine is, at least for the moment.