Finding My Personal Style (was way more difficult than it should have been!)

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m 30 years old and am just now figuring out my personal style.

Crazy, right?!

I don’t blame myself completely, though. In my defense, my 20s were a little bit crazy and filled with career switches that necessitated a lot of different types of clothes, so I went through quite a few style identity crises.

At one point I needed a lot of business casual & formal. At another point I needed a lot of casual. And socially I had a lot of different outfit needs, too. There were some summers a few years ago in which we were going to a lot of weddings so I had plenty of more formal dresses. I had my bar outfits for my early/mid-twenties. I bought way too many high heels to go with skinny jeans during my dating days.

More recently I had kids and of course bought some maternity clothes and other clothes that could accommodate the bump. As my body changed post kid #1 I ditched most things form fitting and bought more comfortable items that were more mom-friendly, and I got rid of almost all of my business casual things, but I still kept a lot of clothes ‘just in case’.

Finding My Personal Style with Greater Than Rubies

Even when I was super pregnant I attempted to add layers and statement jewelry to look more ‘put together’ than my normal look of leggings and a t-shirt.

Now I’m at a place in my life, post kid #2, when I can look at my closet and honestly ask myself “Does this work with the stage of life I’m in right now? Is this my style? Does this flatter my body type?”

It turns out, I was no good at doing this thing alone, so I got some help from my friend Caitlin at ‘Greater Than Rubies’.

Before I go into what she does, I need to just say who she is. Caitlin is one of the sweetest, kindest, most genuine people out there. I am so glad I consider her a friend! She is also great at knowing her own style and sharing tips with others.

I signed up for ‘Well Worn’ which sent me some tips every single day (for 30 days) about how to style myself, how to find outfits in my closet I hadn’t considered, how to feel and look more polished, etc! And it totally helped me. I also had a few conversations with Caitlin and this helped me even more. (I highly, highly recommend you sign up for a few coaching sessions with her.)

Some takeaways from Caitlin…

  • I shouldn’t be wearing things that don’t fit my life right now.
  • I shouldn’t be wearing things that don’t fit my body.
  • I should be paying attention to what makes me feel great and what flatters me and I should buy more of those things.
  • I should focus on the brand and stores that make me feel great, and even if I own similar pieces, if I know I’ll wear an article of clothing all of the time, I should buy it.
  • Accessories and layering pieces make all of the difference.
  • Plus, I learned how to make an outfit seem more pulled-together (it’s not as hard as I thought!) and how to add some personality into a ‘boring’ outfit.
  • Although sometimes I consider my casual, preppy look a bit boring, I learned that this is honestly my style and I can make it more exciting with just a bit of effort.

Guys. This was actually life changing stuff for me. While I’m sure some women are really great at just knowing their style, I am clearly not one of those people.

I want to be the type of person who can wear bold and different and stylish clothes, so sometimes I buy things that I wouldn’t normally wear, thinking that I want to be the type of person who can pull the outfit off. But then do you know what happens? I don’t wear it!

So now I’ve identified this ‘problem’ and I buy clothes in cuts and colors that I know I feel great in and that I know I will wear often. I realized that I love clothes that are a slimmer fit but not too tight, a v-neck or boatneck neckline, horizontal stripes, anything blue or in that color family, shirts that don’t go past my hips, and things that layer under cardigans or light jackets. I would say my look is pretty mom-boring, but I know how to make some outfits more fun so I’m now working on building pieces to layer or accessorize with. For instance, right now I’m looking for a great pair of leopard print flats! I also bought some statement necklaces which I’ve loved incorporating into my outfits.

But instead of needing to buy a lot of extra things to complete my wardrobe, I actually got rid of a ton of stuff and only added very few things! This makes my wannabe-minimalist self so happy!

I truly believe that talking to Caitlin and taking her course has saved me a lot of money because I’m buying much less, and I’m focusing on things that I know I’ll wear instead of things I think I might like.

I think everyone needs their own style consultant and I wish I could talk to one every single day. Or at least before shopping. I mean, Pinterest is helpful and all, but I prefer talking to someone who knows me and my needs and my style and doesn’t make me feel like I need more. Every time I find an outfit on Pinterest I’m tempted to recreate that exact outfit by buying all of the things instead of searching my closet for something that already works similarly. Or even asking myself whether that outfit is actually right for me. Does anyone else fall into that trap?

Caitlin of Greater Than Rubies - StylistCaitlin is my style mentor FOR SURE. Isn’t she lovely?!

Anyway. My advice is to spend less time searching on your own for your personal style and more time (and a little money) with someone who can make it much easier for you. I 100% believe that every woman needs to know their own style and have a closet that is filled with pieces that they love, and I can’t believe I didn’t do this earlier! After talking to Caitlin I got rid of all of the clothes that I don’t love or that don’t accentuate my body in the right ways, and I bought just a few things that really fit my style and my life. I also have a much easier time shopping because I know exactly what to look for.

Thanks for all of your help, Caitlin!

* This is definitely not a sponsored post, but Caitlin is a friend of mine and I’m only too happy to share her awesomeness with all of you! I really, really found what she had to say to be valuable.

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