Back in the prime of my ski racing career (aka high school), my personal uniform was boot-cut jeans, a v-neck t-shirt in a number of bright colors and a hoodie or ski jacket. Oh, and don't forget the flip-flops. I'm not saying I don't rock the ski bum look anymore, but in the recent past (aka the past two summers) I have become inspired to shift the overall look of my wardrobe to allow for more mixing and matching. I also want to make sure I dress my age and project myself in a positive manner. You never know who you might run into!
Here are some of my personal rules for rebuilding my wardrobe:
1) When you find something you like, buy it!
I don't mean that you should spend your life savings on the latest runway look just because it MIGHT be the next big thing. I'm saying that when you try on something you can afford and you fall in love, buy it. In fact, I'd encourage you to buy multiple. For me, items that may be included in this category are jeans, work pants, and dresses. Most recently, I was in H&M and tried on a light blue dress with a brown belt. I liked it so much, I bought it in black, too. I can wear these dress with several pairs of shoes from sandals to heels as well as wear them in the winter with leggings, boots, and a sweater. (Follow me on Instagram for more snapshots: Hall_Gabbi)
|Worn on my outing to the Getty Center|
|Worn to my internship with Ink PR Group in West Hollywood|
2) Accessories/Shoes > Clothes
In my personal opinion, accessories are much easier to lug around than tons on dresses and t-shirts. Lately, I've been investing in more shoes and accessories. My most recent purchase was a few inexpensive rings which I switch between fingers depending on the day. They add a little flavor to my look whether it is jeans or a dress.
My black Banana Republic work dress can be worn a million ways with the right additions. Which leads me to my third rule....
3) Don't buy something without being able to envision the whole outfit.
One of my greatest mistakes when shopping has been buy a shirt or skirt because in the store I thought "oh, this is cute." The truth is that I may not have had shoes or the pieces opposite to go with it, leaving me with a shirt I liked, but no way to wear it.
Now, I go through a mental checklist before purchasing. "What can I wear this with?" and "Where will I wear it to?" Sometimes, it's okay to buy a one-time-deal dress. For example, I'm going to buy a new outfit for me 21st birthday. It's a big day and I'm going to look fabulous. And who knows? Maybe I'll wear it in Vegas.
However, that won't be a spontaneous buy and I'll have a great reason to wear it!
4) Let go!
I have been going back and forth across the country for years now with a huge group of clothes thinking "I might want to wear that." The truth is that those clothes probably haven't seen the light of day more than 2 or 3 times in the past 3 years. Therefore, it's time to let go.
I recently filled a large trash bag with clothes for good will. I got rid of them for various reasons. Some didn't really fit. Some just hung out in a dark corner of my dresser. Some were not items that I felt reflected the person I plan to become.
They say "Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have." Well, that's what I'm trying to do. I also think that how people act towards you is determined by how you look. People are much more likely to take you seriously if you look put together. For day to day outfits, I always think "Is this an outfit I'd want to meet someones parents in?" I don't need to lose my personality, I just need to look like the me I want to be.