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Wardrobe Architect: Developing a Core Style

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

What does it mean to have a core style? Isn’t style by its very nature changeable? Certainly I’m not going to wear the exact same clothes decade after decade. Any throw-back Thursday picture on Facebook will give you a good reason to keep your fashion tastes current.

And yet, for most people there is a thread that remains the same as trends come and go. Identifying your core style is about recognizing that thread. When we are aware of what we like and feel comfortable in, we’re much less likely to buy those weird, trendy things that sit in our closets untouched because they just aren’t us. That’s the idea anyway.

For this activity, Sarai encouraged her readers to look at the answers they gave previously about their lives and histories, and to begin to attach those to some kind of aesthetic. The worksheet asks questions about how you feel when you’re wearing your favorite clothes, who your style icons are, and what words describe your life and your tastes.

I put together a Wardrobe Architect board on Pinterest, which has been an indispensable tool during this whole project. Based on this exercise, I started gathering images that reflected the words and phrases and style icons I identified.

I managed to distill what I think is my “core style” into five words: classic, comfortable, tasteful, understated, and quirky.

It might seem that quirky doesn’t really fit in with the rest of these words, but it makes complete sense to me. I love to add one offbeat element to whatever outfit I’ve pulled together, whether it’s wearing Chucks with my dress pants or a leather cuff with a vintage dress. To be honest, to most people the little touches I add probably aren’t all that offbeat at all, but to me, they add a little something different to my otherwise super business-casual wardrobe.

And my style icons? Who else?

The always pulled-together and elegantly casual Audrey Hepburn:

Tastefully sexy Marilyn Monroe:

Classy and confident Katherine Hepburn:

And the fun-loving, silly, and still totally classic Zooey Deschanel:

Who are your style icons, and what five words would you use to describe your core style?

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