I have had, rediscovered, lost and found my personal style in the past 10 years. My ups and downs with my closet are all related to phases in my life that directly correspond to the relationship I had with my clothes.
Pre 2008, I was living in Northern VA with my parents, worked at an Architecture firm and had an active social life. I had disposable income to spend on whatever I wanted, I had a job I had to dress professionally for, I had a places to go and people to see. My style, I’d say was kind of what everyone else was wearing off the racks of fast fashion stores. It didn’t really have any rhyme or reason, I bought what I liked and sometimes, they were good choices and other times they were not. I never thought about where my clothes were coming from or even if I really needed it. I only ever took into consideration if I liked it, if it fit well and how much it cost. I loved clothes because of the way they made me feel. If I loved what I was wearing then I felt confident. (Don’t we all?) In 2008, I moved to Richmond after getting married. I might have purged my clothes before arriving into a one bedroom condo with the smallest closet ever but I can’t remember! I had no income, no job to dress for, and no friends to go out and about with. I kind of got lost, I didn’t know what defined me anymore and it was really hard for me not to have something to put my energy into. I was losing it, being alone and just waiting for my husband to come home, but then still not being “happy” because I had nothing to contribute to our conversations that were nowhere near the conversations we had before I moved my life to Richmond! My clothes became empty and I felt like they had no purpose.
Then I got a job, I just never realized how much a job could give me. My sense of style grew back, but it was more inherently of who I was and not the racks of H+M. I made friends, they poured into me their lives and I was more inherently who I was and not the diluted version of myself I was in NOVA. I found my “passion” (see graphic below) to put my energy toward because it resonated with me like it was always a part of me. You can read more about the “passion” here and that “passion” also created my dedication to sustainable fashion.
So, I got my style groove back, I was dressing intentionally and even did some closet swaps where I gave 10 of my pieces to a friend and she gave me 10 and we styled them in our own ways. I wasn’t buying anything because I didn’t have the disposable income (we lived on a tight budget), I didn’t know what I wanted to buy and I was having fun exploring different ways of styling my existing clothes.
In 2012 I got pregnant, I can’t remember having any clothing issues with the baby bump. I borrowed from my sister who is a bit bigger than me and I made a lot of the clothes I already had, work. I can’t say I didn’t shop H&M and Old Navy maternity, cause I did, but for staple pieces that I wore over and over. At that time, I worked at a job where professional attire was required some of the time and I still can’t remember feeling annoyed at my closet.
Where my closet really took a turn for the worst was after I had my little baby girl and I decided not to go back to work and I was committed to only breast feeding. So you guys know how much a job gave me value, and now the job was motherhood, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I never thought twice about my clothes, I was just in love with this baby and putting her before me. I didn’t buy any breastfeeding clothes, I had my breastfeeding bras and I worked the swaddle as a cover-up or used no cover-up! The majority of my clothes in my closet at that time were dresses and breastfeeding doesn’t do well with that! With no extra income to buy things, my sister’s goodwill bag became my closet. I didn’t care if I loved it, only that it fit and I could feed my baby in it. I was quickly chiseling away any style sense I had for myself because this job of full time first baby momma was so intense that I didn’t care what I was wearing. But, by making that decision I see now that I lost my relationship with clothes, they no longer made me feel good. But, guess what, that baby didn’t stay a baby forever and I wasn’t going to be wrapped up in full time stay at home mom mode either so I became really frustrated with my closet.
In October of 2017, almost 5 years after my first kid I had zero love of my clothing, a detachment to how they made me feel and no interest in figuring out on my own what my style was and how I was going to rebuild my closet and mindset.
Then I met Sydney of Chicstripes and she made me see that I was the only one standing in the way of making my closet work for me because I needed to fall back in love with clothes and she gave me the guidance and framework for that to happen. Shopping ethically/sustainably was a no-brainer for me because of all the reasons I started Love This so here goes my journey!
-----> Minimal Feminine is my look and you can follow my Instagram to see if I am nailing it or not!
Q : Have any of you seen a pattern in your relationship to your clothes?
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