This idea holds so much meaning for me. My fairdare experiment has involved so much happy discovery + this one feels particularly rich + beautiful.
Changing styles often come down to pretty minimal shifts like skirt lengths, pant widths + trendy colors. I don't come across much written about this, but I'm wondering if personal style might ultimately be made of similarly small preferences. One can read an article about the ten items needed to have french style or collect photos to inspire goth or normcore style. But that is more about a group aesthetic rather than personal style. Personal style might just be smaller than that.
Deciding that I want to experiment with "less" means that I've spent a bit of time evaluating what I want to wear. I've tried choosing one, closer-to-perfect version of an item rather than having five, imperfect-in-different-ways versions. Living through decades of shifting styles has allowed me to recognize what works on my body + what my eye prefers. Attentive reflection has allowed my time-tested, favorite aspects of clothing to come into focus.
Here are a few examples of my own small preferences:
- I wear high waisted jeans.
- There is a certain length at which I prefer my pants to fall.
- Certain colors do + don't look good around my face.
- I will never not like deep dark indigo blue.
- I like bracelet length sleeves.
- The presence of one lived-in + worn item makes most of my outfits look better.
- There are a few, specific pieces that will always be in my wardrobe.
- A long, loose braid is the hairstyle I've worn most days for the past couple years.
- I know what I like, so I wear that :: I now have three different pairs of the same style of jeans - one cream, one light denim + another dark denim.
- It lets me make things I already own into my favorite things :: One of these pairs of jeans hit a little longer than I wanted, and I just didn't wear them. It took courage, but I finally cut them off at my favorite length, and now I wear them twice a week! They just feel like me now!
- It allowed me to let go of some things + not feel lack :: If I'd always rather wear my oat, cashmere sweater, why would I feel like I have to have 6 other sweaters? Why not just wear that one (when I want to wear a sweater) + feel great every time?
- It makes the wait worth it :: I'd been wanting a vintage, army jacket for years, I finally found the softest, worn jacket at a vintage sale. I could touch it + try it on. It needs a lot of repair work, but time spent investigating, visualizing + stitching always makes me feel such connection to my clothing. This piece was worth the wait, and I will wear it for a long, long time.
These recognitions have became the building blocks of not only my wardrobe, allowing me to be choosy about what I purchase + keep, but also of my personal style. I find this to be a really lovely, grounding, affirming realization actually. I find peace in noticing that I know something about myself + allow myself to act on that knowing. (And I really need that feeling in my life!)
What I'm making a case for here is this:
- take the time to notice what you come back to over + over
- note what makes you feel comfortable, confident, like yourself
- settle into that + find rest