How Shopping Boundaries Can Help Define Your Style

When you get the "I've got nothing to wear" feeling, try to avoid immediate shopping.

A closet full of clothes with “nothing to wear”. We’ve all been there right?

For me, personally, when I’m feeling… uninspired by my wardrobe, my first instinct is to fix it.

And how do I do that? Well, shopping of course!

The restlessness I feel when I’m bored with my clothes makes it seem like a great time to shake things up. I’ll just add a few new garments to bring my wardrobe back to life and make me feel stylish.

It’s so easy to look at the glittery, trendy objects in store windows (or internet browser windows) and get excited, thinking that if you buy that one last thing, your wardrobe will be complete. But one last thing leads to another last thing and another, all while those perfectly good, albeit boring, clothes sit in your closet patiently awaiting your return.

But there’s another way!

The Perfect Opportunity to be Creative

Over the years, I have learned that being bored with your clothes can actually be very beneficial, because it’s the perfect opportunity to flex your creative muscles and wear the same old stuff in new/different ways.

Doing this can help you slow down and figure out which clothes in your closet you really like. It also helps narrow down what you actually need. It’s kinda the perfect time to pass up trends and hone in on your own personal style.

So when I notice myself ordering one too many one last things — as I’ve done a time or two or ten — I will occasionally put myself on a diet. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Well, whatever. I just take a break. Stop shopping. It can be for a week, or a month, or; in my current situation, 4 months.

And how does this help me define my personal style?

It’s simple. I am forced to wear what I have, and when I repeatedly wear what’s in my closet, it becomes much clearer what I like and don’t like, while giving me the opportunity to see if the pieces that aren’t working can be altered in some way.

Listen, we can look at “Wardrobe Must-Have” lists all day. There are plenty of people out there telling us what we should wear and what we should do to have the perfect wardrobe.

Wide-leg pants. Check!

Button-up shirt. Check!

Neutral anything. Check!

But what works for someone else may not work for you.

The Most Important Thing is to Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear

And while I think it’s super important to buy ethically and sustainably produced clothing, I think it’s more important to develop your own sense of style and aesthetic so that the clothes you buy get WORN. Often. It’s really the only way you’ll truly feel happy and settled with your wardrobe.

Yes, sure; you can buy leggings made from recycled water bottles all day long. But what good are they sitting in your closet?

Items that you’re told you should have may not get worn to their full potential. You still have to like wearing them.

Trends will always change. You and your style will surely evolve over time.

And as we are learning about ourselves, one thing is certain — we will make styling and shopping mistakes along the way, no matter what. But taking a break from shopping and wearing the stuff that you already own will get you to take note of what works and what doesn’t.

This, in turn, will ultimately help you make less shopping and styling mistakes in the future. And maybe, just maybe, your boring ol’ clothes will feel exciting again.

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