I have been a little preoccupied this past year. I’ve been sneaking out of my bedroom in the early hours of the morning, writing secret notes, and wavering between guilt and joy. Sounds a bit like a romantic affair, doesn’t it? But no, particular this undertaking was fully supported by my husband of sixteen years. In fact, while I was tossing names for this endeavor, he walked by and said, ” You should call it fashionipa, as a play on the word fashionista.” That was the start of my affair with fashion.
It was just over a year ago that I started creating this blog, recording my outfits on Instagram, and shopping at all hours to find bargains to share on Pinterest. I’ve also read thousands of fashion editorials and influencer posts, researched dozens of new (to me) brands, and tried on more outfits than I would dare admit. These are some of the lessons I’ve learned from my year-long, intense affair with fashion blogging…
Lesson 1: The Most Effective Way To Organize Your Outfits …
Over the last year, I’ve played around with several methods of organizing clothes, from the Kon Mari method (of discarding everything that doesn’t spark joy) to various mobile closet apps (to which you upload photos of your clothes) to creating my own organized lists. Which one worked best, you ask?
- The Kon Mari method is not for the faint of heart. It requires you to make a giant pile of all your clothes. You then divide them into those which bring you joy (keep), and those which don’t (toss). I found it helpful to do a clean sweep of my clothes, but I kept a lot of items that didn’t bring me joy. These were my necessary and practical items (ugly winter sweatpants, I’m talking to you!)
- Mobile closet apps require you to take photos of all of your clothing so that you have a virtual closet to sort into outfits. I found that it took too much time to upload and catalog my clothes, so I gave up on the apps pretty quickly.
- I created an organized list (and wrote about it in this post) which helped me quickly take stock of my closet, set goals, and make better purchasing decisions. It was the easiest method for me to start putting styles together.
…And Create Gorgeous Outfits
So what was the trick to organizing my closet and pulling together outfits? It was all about eliminating distractions. Here’s how you do it:
- Keep your current season clothing and accessories as visible as possible. Put away your off-seasons items in drawers, bins or garment bags that you can hide in plain sight.
- Hang your clothes up by category (dresses together, pants together etc) but once a week, pull a few outfits together on hangers. I like slim velvet hangers with clips as I can fit a skirt and top on the hanger, and drape a scarf or necklace around the hook. I’ve also used an over the door hook for clothing and a drawstring pouch for my jewelry. Instead of staring at your entire closet in the morning, you’ll have one or two pre-determined outfits from which to choose.
It was certainly helpful that my affair with fashion involved posting flatlays on Instagram! It encouraged me to vary my outfits, to buy more color, and figure out what I was missing. Assuming that you are not a blogger, this is probably too time-consuming. Putting your outfits on hangers and hooks (and making a mental note about how you feel wearing the outfit) can serve the same purpose.
Lesson 2: If It Fits, You’ll Wear It
Over the past year, I’ve probably photographed every top, bottom, dress, and accessory that I own. As I started laying out various outfits for my flatlays, I started wondering why I had so many perfectly decent pieces that I hardly ever wore.
These pieces fit my Instagram feed quite nicely but didn’t fit my body. This top, for example, is a great basic tank, but the hem landed on my hips at an awkward spot. It made me look frumpy no matter what I wore with it. I took it to a tailor to have it shortened a few inches, and now it’s a reliable part of my closet.
The other lesson in “fit” is whether something fits your lifestyle. I have some gorgeous heels that I love to look at, but I rarely wear. Sure, have a few of those “treasures” around for special occasions, but don’t buy too many of them.
Lesson 3: Style Matters
The other day, I received an e-mail for an article about what’s “in” and “out” for fall shoes. Wedge heeled shoes were “out”…until an hour later, when I received another e-mail from a different brand, with glossy images of their brand new (you guessed it) wedge shoes. Trends come and go, and come back around again before you can do your laundry. It’s personal style (what looks good on us) that matters.
Does it matter what we wear? I think so. There have been several studies that show that what we wear affects our mood and how we present ourselves. So when do you retire your clothing and accessories?
- When it’s ripped, torn, or faded.
- It no longer fits (your body, lifestyle or the season)
- When someone whose style you love tells you that it looks dated (we often can’t be objective with those old jeans or comfy sweater).
- You know that it doesn’t make you feel good anymore.
Replacing items, rather than buying indiscriminately, helps us keep a check on that clutter.
Now That My Affair With Fashion Has Been Exposed…
…I’m taking the next step by expanding into some related areas: home, entertaining, and travel. I’m also planning to partner up with some brands so that I can bring you more visual content. Until now, I have taken (or had a friend take) most of the photographs I have used on this blog. I’ve photographed the clothing and accessories that I have bought. Since the laws on using photos from the internet are a bit ambiguous, I like to have clear permission before using a brand’s photographs. Partnering with them, allows me to do that. Often these partnerships come with some sort of compensation, and I will always disclose that. I hope you’ll keep joining me as I continue this affair …ahem… dare I say permanent relationship?
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