My friend Kathy has started her own style blog and I’m very excited for her! To help spread the word, I asked her to guest post about her new venture. She’s also giving some basic advice on what you can do to start finding you’re own personal style. Kathy always looks great and I know many women who have benefitted from her advice. So read all about Kathy and please be sure to like her Style Daily page on Facebook.
Without further preamble, here’s Kathy.
Style Daily can help you find your everyday style.
We all have special days, but most of life is for Style Daily.
Have you ever watched the TV show “What Not to Wear?” on TLC and thought, I wish someone would nominate me? Or perhaps that would be your worst nightmare! You still want the help, but just not in such a public forum. Stacy London, one of the co-hosts of WNTW, wrote a great book, the Truth about Style. In it she writes, “Our clothes, like it or not, give other people insight into who we are. To take control of the message, you have to know yourself, and dress accordingly. (Style is the quickest shorthand to who you are.)” But what is style? And how do you figure out yours?
Let me back up and tell you who I am and what I do. My name is Kathy Bochonko and my passion is helping people master their personal style by building a wardrobe that truly represents who they are as a person. I do personal image/wardrobe consultations with the goal of helping people unlock their own unique style. I have spent three decades in the fashion industry and have developed a keen sense for what works for specific individuals in regards to both body type and personal style. I can help folks adapt trends to their comfort level and lifestyle. I offer a variety of personal services such as closet overhaul and wardrobe assessment. I can create a Pinterest board of outfit ideas with your image in mind. I help people feel confident by giving them the knowledge of what works for them and what doesn’t. I don’t tell them what to wear. I listen to what makes them feel good and help them figure out what looks good. So here are some of my best tips for managing your wardrobe and beginning to understand your own unique style. More will follow, so stay tuned.
1—Clean out your closet at the beginning of every season. If you’re a person who has trouble purging, ask a close friend to help – and you can help them in return. This is probably the most important thing you can do to help figure out your style. If you stand in your closet and look at a bunch of things that don’t fit or that you won’t wear, it’s way too easy to give up. Ask yourself, “Does it fit?” If not, then you really need to consider why you’re keeping it. If it hasn’t fit in the past year, you need to get it out of your closet. If you love it, put it in storage. People think keeping these clothes is motivation to lose weight, but more often than not, it’s just discouraging. If it fits, ask yourself, “Do you love it?” We only need to keep a few things for special or rare occasions. How many of those ratty shirts for painting or gardening chores do you really need? If you’re someone who spends most days doing these activities, then I suggest you also have cute things for these purposes as well. They can still be inexpensive, but they should be presentable if you wear them often. Otherwise, you just start to feel ratty.
Many of us have trouble getting rid of stuff. I used to, but I have a much easier time ever since I started thinking of it as “blessing the world.” Sure you can consign stuff or sell it on eBay, but I love giving the things I no longer wear to people who I know will love them. If you have a ton of clothes and “nothing to wear,” you need to remove that clutter from your closet. Believe me, you’ll feel better!
2—Organize your clothes in a way that makes sense. I like to hang all tops together by sleeve length. Then I organize by color, which may be too much trouble for some, but at least keep your clothes facing the same way and somewhat organized. I fold my jeans and most sweaters, but hang everything else because it enables me to see what I have.
3—Don’t neglect your accessories, especially shoes, bags and yes, your hair. I am a firm believer that these three things define your style more than anything else. Yet many women put little or no effort into these areas. A low maintenance hair cut can take only minutes to look good, and one great bag a season is worth a splurge. More great outfits are ruined by the wrong shoes. Buy GREAT shoes, they will make basic outfits fabulous. Right now a cool pair of ankle booties can make everything look more current. Finally, don’t keep your jewelry tucked away where you can’t see what you have.
4—Name your Style. If you can give your look a name, you should easily be able to ask yourself when making purchase, “Is this item really my style?” That’s not to say you can’t deviate from your particular look, but it helps when deciding if you should splurge on an item. Items that fit your daily style are worth more than those that don’t. I’ve been fine tuning my style, which I call “posh bohemian.” I think it represents the oxymoronic style that I embrace. I love the hippy look, but as a middle-aged suburbanite, my style has a slightly dressier upscale feel to it than a true bohemian look. If I’m out and see a great pair of shoes, I consider whether they fit my style. If not, I’ll probably have trouble wearing the shoes with most of my wardrobe. Ignoring this fact is why we often buy a piece of clothing and struggle with how to wear it. .
5–Shop for what you need. Too often we shop for “something new” without any idea of why we’re not happy with what we already have. We shop for new tops to wear with our jeans because we don’t like the way any of the tops we have look with our current jeans. If you don’t know why you don’t wear what you have, you’re just going to repeat the problem. Most often the issue is that your jeans don’t fit right, so the top looks bad as well. Many women think, “I don’t like my body, so jeans won’t look good.” Then off they go, buying more tops. You need to buy jeans that compliment the body you have now. Sometimes the top needs a third piece to layer over it – shop for a new scarf or belt to make these existing things work. Look at what you own and decide what you need to go with it. Stay away from the dreaded bargain. The worst closets I’ve seen are filled with “great deals.” Sales alone are not reason to buy an item.
I hope this has you thinking. Go clean out your closets! Please like Style Daily on facebook and look for my next blog post where I’ll discuss ideas for holiday dressing. Some preview advice – step away from the Christmas Sweater!
What do you think? What’s your personal style? How do you organize your closet? Do you follow trends or stick with basics? Be sure to give Kathy some feed back. She’ll be visiting again in few days with tips for holiday style!