Beyond Retail Therapy: The Real Journey to Authentic Style
Do you often find yourself strolling through the dazzling aisles of boutiques or endlessly scrolling through online shopping websites in search of the perfect outfit or garment, hoping it will magically transform your style? It’s a common tale. As a personal stylist and color and image consultant with 20 years of experience, I’ve come to realize that the key to unlocking your authentic style lies beyond the glossy windows of fashion emporiums and more shopping can make you feel less stylish rather than more.
The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Garment
Picture this: You snag a dress from a store, the one you’ve been eyeing for weeks and after spending hours shopping it seems to be great. Excitement bubbles within as you swiftly make your purchase. But as you slip into it at home, something seems amiss. The magic you anticipated just isn’t there. It’s a familiar disappointment that leaves you questioning the effectiveness of retail therapy. The excitement came from the dopamine hit you got when you bought the garment, but that immediate high disappears very quickly, leaving you more often feeling that you don’t love what’s in your wardrobe because what you purchased was something that wasn’t quite right for you and it didn’t solve all your wardrobe dilemmas.
Understanding the Root of the Issue
The truth is, your personal style isn’t confined within the stitches of a trendy dress or the latest fashion trend. It’s an intricate reflection of your identity, lifestyle, your unique physical body and how you perceive yourself. Discovering and nurturing your style requires a deeper introspection that goes beyond the glossy world of fashion.
The Fallacy of Retail Therapy
While retail therapy might temporarily lift your spirits, it rarely leads to a lasting transformation in your style. It’s akin to placing a band-aid on a wound that requires significant healing. To truly cultivate a sustainable and authentic style, a more profound approach is needed.
Unveiling the Real Solutions
Here’s the real deal – the journey towards discovering your unique style begins with self-reflection and understanding. Instead of constantly adding to your wardrobe, consider these practical steps:
Evaluate Your Current Wardrobe: Take a closer look at your existing clothes. What pieces truly resonate with you? Which ones no longer serve your evolving style? What have you loved to wear and why? What gets worn on repeat? The more you can identify what IS working for you, the easier it is to create some personal style criteria you can run any future purchase against.
Embrace Your Body Shape and Colours: Understanding your body shape and the colors that enhance your natural features is pivotal in curating a wardrobe that truly complements your uniqueness. If you’re not sure of what works for your current body and colouring, I’d invite you to join my 7 Steps to Style program which will give you that information and the education in colour and style you need to be able to select the clothes that create harmony with your body.
Maybe Identify Your Style Icons: Pinpoint individuals whose style inspires you. What aspects of their fashion choices appeal to you, and how can you incorporate those elements into your wardrobe? Now style icons can be helpful if there is someone with similar colouring, body and a sense of style you love, but they don’t work for everyone.
Unearth Your Personal Story
Your life experiences, hobbies, and interests hold the key to unveiling your authentic style. Reflect on moments that have shaped you, the places you’ve visited, and the activities that bring you joy. These elements can infuse a sense of originality into your wardrobe, allowing your clothing choices to reflect your narrative.
Explore Various Avenues of Art and Culture:
Art galleries, museums, and cultural events can be treasure troves of inspiration. Explore diverse forms of art, be it paintings, sculptures, or even literature. The colors, textures, and narratives in these artistic expressions can ignite fresh ideas and perspectives, enabling you to curate a wardrobe that encapsulates your unique interpretation of beauty and creativity.
Engage in Mindful Observation:
Observe the world around you with a keen eye. Notice the details in nature, architecture, and everyday life. The play of colors in a sunset, the symmetry in a building’s design, or the interplay of textures in the urban landscape can all spark innovative ideas for your personal style. Train yourself to perceive the beauty that surrounds you, and let it guide you in creating a wardrobe that resonates with your observations. If the idea of this excites you, then my Visualise Your Style program walks you through this process step-by-step taking you from understanding your personal aesthetic, to being able to translate those external influences into something you can wear and that you’ll love.
Experiment with Different Styles:
Don’t shy away from experimenting with various styles, cuts, and colors. Step out of your comfort zone and try on pieces you wouldn’t typically consider. Dressing rooms can be a playground for self-discovery. You might be pleasantly surprised by how certain silhouettes or color combinations can resonate with your inner self, leading you closer to the style that feels uniquely yours. Remember, that you can go to the stores without planning on spending any money – treat shopping like a science experiment, where you try on clothing you night not normally consider, that this is an experiment that there is no right answer to.
Shop Your Wardrobe Before You Hit the Stores
You may be bored with your current outfits, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go shopping. What it may mean, if you have a decent-sized wardrobe of clothes in colours and styles that work for you, that you just need to create new combinations and outfits from what you already own. So frequently you may be limiting your style by only wearing garments in specific outfits, rather than trying on your denim jacket with your floral dress, as well as your skirt and knit top, as well as with your dress pants and print top. Maybe you have suits that you’ve never worn the pieces separately? Maybe you’ve got items that you keep for the evening that you could actually incorporate into some daytime looks if you dress them down? Have you got a pile of scarves that you could add to different outfits that you’ve never tried before? You may be surprised at how many new options exist already in your wardrobe that you’ve never tried before.
Get Your Education in Colour and Style:
If you’re ready to embark on a transformative journey towards authentic style, consider enrolling in my renowned online program, 7 Steps to Style. (it includes Visualise Your Style too!) This comprehensive program is designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to unlock your personal style, catering to your unique personality, body shape, and lifestyle.
Remember, Style Transcends Shopping
Ultimately, genuine style is a reflection of your inner self, not just the clothes you wear. By delving deeper into self-reflection and understanding your individuality, you’ll unveil a style that resonates with your true essence. So, next time you’re about to hit the shops, pause first, ask yourself “why am I wanting to shop?” If it’s because you’re feeing bored and in need of a dopamine hit, rather than go shopping, complete a task, whether it’s going for a walk or cleaning out the junk drawer, you’ll get dopamine hits from those as well. If it’s because you need something to fill a wardrobe gap, take a moment to pause and reflect on what truly defines your style – it might just save you from another wardrobe disappointment.
Discover the magic that lies within you, beyond the racks of clothing stores and fashion boutiques. Remember, your journey towards discovering your style is a reflection of your individuality. Embrace the process with an open mind and a willingness to explore the depths of your creativity. Should you seek guidance along this path of self-discovery, my online program, 7 Steps to Style, is here to accompany and empower you, respecting and nurturing your innate uniqueness.
Let the beauty of your own story and the world around you inspire the creation of your distinctive style.