Welcome to the last post in the Wardrobe Upgrade series! If this is the first time you’ve been here, you’re going to want to start at this post or you’re going to be very behind.
Throughout the month we’ve explored the idea of who you are as a person and whether or not your clothes reflect that. The idea that your figure is a canvas that can be used to express so many different aspects of your personality is fascinating to me and we have by no means explored everything there is to do with clothing.
In this post I’m going to wrap up some details, hopefully answer any remaining questions and leave you with some resources in case you want to explore fashion a little further. Personally, I’m happy with where I’ve arrived at in my exploration of the fashion world but if it’s something that interests you, you should by all means dig a little deeper.
That being said, let’s recap.
In week one, we discussed why we wear clothing. Not just to be socially acceptable (and not go to jail) but also because of the way we feel about ourselves. You dress for you and not other people.
In week two, we discussed the sort of quick judgements that people make on other people based on the clothes they’re wearing. This is just a fact of life and you shouldn’t get offended by it. People are going to come to conclusions on you based on how you look, that’s why we have eyes. Hopefully your personality is as pleasant as your clothing choices. We also talked about figuring out who you are and who you want to be and how that reflects in your clothing. The colors you choose, the pieces of clothing you wear and the vibe you present are all reflections of your past, your personality, and your interests.
In week three we talked about how to put everything together and actually get your wardrobe organized. You’ll probably need to get rid of some things (donate them if possible!) and keep other things. We talked about how to go shopping (slowly) and the importance of buying the highest quality clothing possible. Additionally, we talked about using your Pinterest board to figure out what you do and do not like about clothing.
I want to stress that this is going to be a long, experimental process. It is not going to be a matter of one week, especially if you’ve never really thought about your clothing before. People who are just beginning to figure out their wardrobe are going to be facing a much longer process than people who have maybe figured out what colors they like or what sort of things they don’t like.
Also, please remember that your clothing is going to be changing throughout your entire life. It might be that in a few years you look back on your clothing choices circa 2018 and cringe. That’s okay! If you didn’t ever change your clothing you’d look ridiculous. Will you still be wearing your clothing from high school when you are in your forties? Hopefully not.
One final comment on clothes and then I swear I’m done. Clothing manufacturers are not required to use any sort of standardized sizing. What this means is that a size 10 at J. Crew will be different than a size 10 at Old Navy and will be different than a size 10 at American Eagle. A lot of stores these days are using vanity sizing which means they’re making things a little bigger and labeling them a size two. This makes me a size small at most stores and a size medium at some and then an extra small at others. Then also, due to this whole concept of normalizing obesity, we’re starting to see random sizes like ‘Queen’ or ‘Large Small’ popping up. The moral of the story is that you should not get hung up on what the tag says. Don’t force yourself into smaller clothes just because you want the satisfaction of being a smaller size. Clothing will look best on you when it fits appropriately.
On that note, find yourself a good tailor and take your more expensive clothing in to get fitted appropriately. This includes shirts, pants, skirts and dresses. Have long pants hemmed, baggy dresses and shirts taken in and large skirts taken in. You can’t go crazy with this so don’t try to buy something four sizes too big and have it fitted to you. When parts of a skirt or shirt are taken in, you loose some of the features of the garment. Make sure your clothing is as close to your size as possible and then have it adjusted the rest of the way.
Learn how to wash clothes appropriately and how to store them so that they don’t get ruined. Also, keep in mind the sort of maintenance you’re going to have to do to keep your clothes looking nice. If you aren’t willing to get things dry cleaned, don’t buy dry clean only clothes.
Okay, I’m done.
In order to look completely put together and to complete the whole package, you’re going to want to consider makeup and hair. You can wear a $1,000 dress but if your hair is scraggly like you just got out of the shower (or unwashed) and you have uneven skin, the picture is going to be off.
A lot of people I know will tell me, “Well, I don’t want to be one of those girls that spends hours in front of the mirror every morning.” Yeah, I don’t want to be one of those girls either but that’s me. If you are one of those girls, no shame, you do you. Personally, it takes me thirty minutes to get completely ready in the morning and I’m happy with that. If it ends up taking you an hour or longer, what do I care? Don’t worry about what I think.
If you aren’t interested in wearing a full face of makeup, look into skin care so that your skin is clean and smooth and maybe invest in a tinted moisturizer that includes SPF (at least SPF 30). You should be using moisturizer anyways so a tinted moisturizer kills two birds with one stone – moisturizer and evening out your skin tone.
As far as eyes, you can go as simple as mascara or add a little bit of color with a single color eye shadow. The internet is rife with makeup tutorials for every level and a quick search on YouTube will get you headed in the right direction. If it’s something you’d really like to get in to, makeup stores such as Ulta, Sephora and MAC have services that will help you find a foundation that matches your skin tone, teach you how to apply eye shadow correctly and teach you the basics of makeup application. Sometimes they cost money, sometimes they want you to purchase one of the products they use on you. Make sure you understand what is expected of you before you start the service.
For hair, you’ll be surprised at the difference between an expensive (~$60) haircut and a cheap (~$12) haircut. Stylists who work in high end salons are generally more experienced, have better training and are offered ongoing education opportunities in the salon. Not that you can’t get a good cut at a budget place, but in my experience, the nicer the salon, the higher the price, the better the stylist. But you do you. If you’re content with a cheaper haircut, go that route. Personally, I’ll spend around $75 three times a year for a haircut and I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve gotten cheap haircuts before (because I was being budget conscious) and immediately returned to my more expensive stylist because the cheap haircut was so bad.
Once you’re at home with your new style, keep your hair clean and do something with it, even if that’s just a bun or a pony tail. Again, YouTube has a bazillion tutorials for hair styles and methods.
And lastly, jewelry, nails and perfume. These things are extremely personal choices. Some people like a lot of jewelry and some people like a minimal amount. As long as it isn’t gaudy (obviously fake jewels, childish baubles, way too many rings), you can get away with pretty much whatever. Keep your nails looking nice. Not too long but not too short. You can paint them if you’d like but only if you’re going to be able to maintain it. Chipped nail polish is sloppy looking. A French manicure looks classy and lasts a long time because when the nails grow out there aren’t any glaring spaces. At the very least, keep them clean. For perfume, find something you like and don’t wear too much. You don’t even have to have perfume, you might be able to get away with a nice smelling lotion or even nothing at all if that’s the route you choose. But if you do decide to wear perfume, don’t wear too much. You don’t want people to pass out when you sit down next to them.
I hope this helps get you started in the right direction. There is way more that we could talk about but it’s the end of the month and I’m ready to move on to another theme. If you’d like to learn more about discovering your style, I highly suggest the book: The Curated Closet (Amazon affiliate link!) by Anuschka Rees. She also runs a blog: www.anuschkarees.com where she goes further in depth with styling and wardrobe construction. Another place I like to stop is the Female Fashion Advice subreddit because they put an emphasis on discovering your own style as opposed to just owning and wearing clothes that are in the moment.
Next month is a huge month for me! I’m going to New York and London! I’m super excited!!! So October is going to be Adventures! month! Hope to see you there!!