Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to: A Slow (but affordable!) Make-Over

About 7 months ago I realize that I hated almost everything in my closet. Every time I had anywhere impotent to go, I would basically have a melt down due to the stress of "having nothing to wear". And although it's true, I didn't have a lot of nice clothes, I also didn't know how to use the clothes that I did have. So I scrapped all the clothes possible, and I decided to start giving a shit about what I buy, and how I wear my clothes.

 If you couldn't tell already from the angsty tone of this post, I'm not a natural when in comes to fashion. I could literally pull my hair out trying to make a cute outfit, BUT that doesn't mean I don't want to look good! It just means I have to work a bit harder if I'm going to get to a place where I can actually dress myself without 2-5 roommates helping me!

So here is what I have done to try and fix the problem since that fateful day. I made a decision to donate and throw away anything I hated, or just didn't like that much. Unfortunately this would have left me with almost nothing to wear, so I had to keep a few items I disliked simply so I didn't go naked! But I tossed a LOT! The next thing I did was to start to pay more attentions in the morning when I actually put my clothes on. AND to try at it everyday, even if I knew I was literally staying in my house the whole day. I make a point almost every-single-day to try and put together an outfit that I feel good in, practice is key! Some days, when I had nothing important going on at all, I'd randomly throw together an outfit that I absolutely love, and that I feel great in! On those days, I would take a picture of myself. (Yes, can you believe it, a selfie NOT intended for instagram!)

I slowly started to accumulate pictures of outfits I genuinely liked on myself, and with clothes I own! Then if I got stuck in a situation where I had to look good, and I was stressing out, I would just go back to the pictures and see if there was any outfits that worked for the situation. (It doesn't always work, but so far it has been a huge help!)
Another HUGE thing that helped me was using pintrest. I never even really knew what style I wanted to dress in. I knew I liked to be "in style" in general, but I didn't want to be stuck buying new clothes for every new trend. So without considering clothes I could actually afford, or things I would actually wear, I just started to pin any clothes or outfits I liked. Anything I saw and I thought, "ooohhh that is so cute!" I would pin to my "style" board. Then after about a month of this I went back and looked through everything to figure out what I even wanted my style to be. It turns out I like a pretty classic look with a grudge-y vibe to it. Who knew?! (You can check out my style board here if you are curious! I also pin hair/makeup help there too!)

Of course every make-over includes the purchase of new clothing, but with very limited funds that can be difficult. I have spread my new clothing purchases out over the past 7 months, and I still don't have everything I'd like, but I've stayed within my budget, and I think that's a success! What I have been able to do though, is to buy a few nice classic items. So far, I've bought things like a simple black top that could be fancy with a blazer, or casual with jeans, a cute button up shirt in a neutral colour, and a pair of nice dark jeans. You know, staples. Things that they would tell you to buy on "What Not to Wear"! Even though my heart wants to buy that hot pink sweater that I would wear 3 times, I don't. I wait till I find something that is going to last for a few more seasons, and then spend my limited funds on that instead. (Look at me, being all mature about this!)

The last thing I've done (and a really important thing, I think) is I've started to read a few fashion blogs for advice on using the clothes I already have. Notice that I said a few, I didn't dive head first into the fashion blog world, there are WAY too many and I doubt I would make it out alive. This isn't really something that I actually enjoy, I'm making an effort because I know that I feel good when I'm in an outfit I like. So I found a few blogs I can handle, and I've been reading them for inspiration! My favourite of the bunch is Putting Me Together. She has great posts for beginners who need a lot of help! She has one especially good series called "Building a Remixable Wardrobe" and although fashiony words like "remixable wardrobe" make me want to puke, it was super helpful.

Since I started this epic process 7 months ago, I really do think I've become better at picking out outfits and especially at buying clothes. (If I don't LOVE it, it doesn't come home with me. End of story.) It's still a process, and it's still something I could use a lot of help with, but I have definitely noticed a decrease in stress when I have to get ready for an important event. And really, that was the goal of this whole project!

Let me know in the comments if you use any of these strategies or if you have any other pieces of advice for me, I'd love to hear them! 

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