Understanding Your Personal Style and Wardrobe Cycles


understanding your personal style and wardrobe cycles and how that influences the speed which you upgrade your wardrobe and style

In this video discussion, Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe and I discuss the concept of personal style and wardrobe cycles.

What are personal style cycles? They relate to the speed to which you stick with the same style or alterntively how often you tend to replace your wardrobe or update your style.

In this video we discuss timelines – do you have any idea of your timeline and how frequently you feel the need to turn over your wardrobe?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this fascinating topic.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you’ve discovered about your style cycle from this video.

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Linking this post to:  Top of the World, My Refined Style,  iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday’s Fab FavouritesStyle Stories,FlatbumMumThe FABulous Journey,Sydney Fashion Hunter


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  • Good topic! I’m more like Jill – long style cycle and difficulty letting things go. Just today I decided to get rid of a couple of dresses that have been worn and loved for about 10 years; I still like them and they still fit me but it’s time to move on. I find my work clothes last a long time as I work in an office with no lunch break and a brief commute in my own car and I have a defined style which doesn’t change much (sheath or 1950’s dresses). I also hang on to things for a long time as I can’t find adequate replacements (I’m petite and particular about quality and price) and I favour timeless design and steer away from anything trendy. I agree with Imogen,however, that clothes date and there is a need to refresh one’s wardrobe regularly. My casual clothes seem to be on a faster cycle, as they seem to wear out/ fade/ stretch out faster, so I need to replace them about every 3-4 years. Accessories are slowest to move throgh, but again I tend towards classic and timeless (and “real” jewellery). Thanks for the video. Joanna

  • I’m a classic…but even classics have timelines. Health changes alter our bodies…and our clothes and colors have to follow.

  • Ver interesting. I honestly never thought of it: style cycles.
    In my case, I’d say my style cycles are loooonggg. I have dresses that are over 10 years old…
    I stick to my stuff, however I am always editing and adding – that’s got to count for something ?
    Like you say: “I’m still searching..”

  • I agree that not every garment will have the same life span–coats will last a lot longer than an inexpensive T shirt, etc. I think the thing to keep in mind is “How do I interpret current trends, and how does my existing wardrobe reflect that?” I don’t believe it is necessary to embrace every trend, nobody does that, but I do think a person at least needs to KNOW what trends are current. Some things will never go away, T shirts, jeans, button-up shirts, etc., but usually current versions are just a little different or are paired with something unusual. For example, a denim shirt with a cashmere sweater, pearls, a tulle skirt and heels. (Seen on Pinterest). Very inventive, IMO. Would I wear that? Well, probably not the skirt, but I might try the rest. The age of the garment is somewhat relative, otherwise there would not be any need for “vintage” clothing shops. It’s always a judgement call.

  • What an interesting topic! Wardrobes do cycle based on lifestyle….working/career changes/retired/traveling. My most dramatic wardrobe change came after I left work. I was able to follow my style stories without restraint. I weeded out many of my career clothing at that time. However, I am not sure if I cycle as much as I develop style stories. I was a seventies girl and Lou Lou de la Falaise was a muse of mine…Erte…Karen Blixen….Rei Kawakubo…Georgia O’Keeffe and of course..Frida Kahlo. These stories tend to cycle in and out of my wardrobe during the year . Summer is Frida….Fall is Lou Lou de la Falaise and Georgia O’Keefe…winter Karen Blixen….Spring is Erte and Vincent Van Gogh. Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake stay with me all year long until Frida shows up with the warm summer weather and becomes the queen of my wardrobe for 3 months. I add pieces each season. I have a couple of Lou Lou pieces from the 1970’s that I still wear…a small floral silk blouse and a suede artist coat….I have built around them. I do edit regularly. I will try out a new “shape” piece (i.e. harem pants, cropped tops, long tunics) and buy from Zara or other fast fashion site to give the piece a trial run. If it works…I will look to upgrade.
    Who knows…I may add another style story some day…hmmm

  • Wow I feel better now! I thought it was just me who kept hold of things forever. I also love to buy new clothes to refresh and find it gives me new energy and a feel good factor, but you are so right that there is an emotional connection between you and that dress or those shoes. But sometimes also it’s great to feel new and on trend.
    Thanks so much

  • A light bulb went off when (I think it was Imogen) said that creative pieces have a longer lifespan. I realized that this is why I have so many ‘artsy’ pieces from 10 years ago! I wear them less and less, but they come out to play once or twice a year as long as I have a way of morphing them. My style is feminine, artsy, colourful, but usually with classic shapes. You have just revealed to me why I still keep an a-line skirt with pop art style dots, as well as a chiffon sheath dress with tiny graphic squares! I find for me, the ‘basic blocks’ of my wardrobe have shorter two to four year cycles. I change around the dark blue tops, or basic cardis much more often, but keep the more original pieces longer. For me the basics, anchor the artsy /feminine. Thank you both for helping me realize this style epiphany!

  • This is very interesting. As I have “just” retired – 3 years ago, I am still searching for the new style. It has significant classic elements so those will stay around for a long time – plus this time around I am being very fussy about color, quality, and style. Then there are items that I am in love with that are not so classic. They do tend to hang around for a long time but sometimes get “re-fashioned” – in particular those that are my colors but need a style update. Unfortunately some pieces are worn to bits and must go but replacements have not been found. My solution is to not wear them but keep them – as reminders to keep looking? Or sew them up!

    • Could you photograph and keep in an album for Inspiration when looking for new pieces?
      Write down what it is you love about these pieces and keep that in your purse for when you are shopping for something new and look for other garments with the same qualities.

  • As others have mentioned, I have 2 style cycles: 10+ years for heroes and good quality classics that are not worn much. But I have a smallish wardrobe, so clothing that is worn regularly needs replacing every couple years. I’ll give a nod to trends, but not follow them when they’re not my style – tapered jeans when skinny jeans are “in”; bootcut jeans when flairs or wide-leg are the fashion. I will buy fads /trends that fit my personal style. For example the animal prints and colors of 2015 are great for me so I replaced half my wardrobe. When these are less fashionable they might get tucked away or I’ll mix just 1 piece with new items that give me an updated look. Since I don’t follow trends, my clothes don’t look too dated.

  • I am one who craves a lot of variety and color….I get bored with the same old stuff quickly. I have minimal closet space. So though I only buy a few items…because of space. I am kind of always on the hunt. I don’t always buy…I am very picky about the what I buy…but I am always on the hunt for something new. I don’t usually buy quality items…because the price wouldn’t warrant how long I keep them. However, when I find something I super love ie. a teal pleather jacket (how unique) or a pair of knee high boots that fit I spend more and I keep them for as long as I possibly can.

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