This is the first post of the month, which is usually when I do my accountability update for the previous month (see previous months’ reports here). However, those posts take me a while to put together and I’m still working on it, so I’m going to do a short post today that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Stay tuned for my April accountability update later this week and my LIWI Challenge update early next week.
When we are working to overhaul or refine our personal style, it can be helpful to take some time to consider and write about what we like and what we don’t like. As you know, I’ve been honing my style for quite some time now. My work with Bridgette Raes (see the series beginning with this post), as well as my outfit journal (see the two most recent posts here and here), have been integral parts of that journey. I’ve become more and more aware of how I want to present myself to the world and what does and doesn’t feel right to me.
Since I’ve been meaning to come up with “Do’s” and “Don’ts” lists for myself for quite some time, I thought today would be a good opportunity to formulate this information and share it with all of you. I encourage you to take a few moments yourselves to jot down some notes about what you do and don’t want in terms of your wardrobe and style. You may learn some new things that can help to guide and target both your future shopping and your wardrobe management.
My Wardrobe Do’s
I’m sure this list looks a lot different than it would have a year ago. My style has been evolving quite a bit in recent months and many things that I used to like no longer hold my favor. Here are the characteristics I’d like my wardrobe and style to contain moving forward:
- Quality over quantity! Buy the best I can afford and don’t buy something only because it’s on sale!
- I prefer to have some structure in my clothes. I don’t like overly baggy or flowing looks.
- Natural fibers strongly preferred, especially cotton.
- Aim to buy from ethical and sustainable brands and manufacturers whenever possible.
- Comfort is key! I want to be able to easily wear my clothes all day long and feel good in them.
- Be open to new styles and silhouettes; try on new things to see if I like them instead of immediately dismissing them and only sticking to the “tried and true.”
- Neutrals: black (key neutral), charcoal grey, silver (accessories), pewter (accessories).
- Other colors: cobalt, burgundy, purple, teal, turquoise, cool red, emerald green, fuchsia.
- Patterns: stripes (my signature pattern), polka dots, geometric prints, leopard (preferably grey-toned).
- Fitted styles to show off my slim torso, but not overly tight.
- Prefer short or long-sleeves with pants.
- Prefer sleeveless or short sleeves with skirts.
- ¾ sleeves are good but need to be long enough for my arms.
- Semi-fitted tunics.
- Fitted or semi-fitted silhouettes.
- Prefer moto style over blazers – better suited for my casual lifestyle.
- Knit fabrics for comfort and ease of movement, also read more casual.
- Tie-waist or shrug style cardigans for skirts/dresses.
- Prefer darker colors (black, denim, maybe navy or charcoal).
- Like more fitted styles, but the material needs to include some stretch for comfort.
- Straight-leg cut is my current favorite (close to skinnies, but looser in the lower leg).
- Boot-cut is also good or slight wide-leg (not too extreme).
- Mid-rise preferred (1-2” below my belly button).
- Pants must be long enough (generally at least 34” inseam).
- Mid-knee or maxi length.
- Narrower cut (straight or slight A-line rather than pencil silhouette).
- Wrap-style dresses.
- Fitted torso on dresses.
- Knit material preferred.
- If there is a waistline on the dress, it needs to hit at my waist (this is often a problem for me due to my height).
- Must be comfortable and walkable for at least a few blocks!
- Need appropriate support for toes and arches. I have “fussy” feet! Platform styles work well.
- Prefer black or metallic (silver, pewter), but would like to have a few pairs of colored shoes, too.
- Aim for either a minimal or edgy vibe to my footwear.
- Minimal or slightly edgy styles.
- Prefer medium-sized jewelry – nothing too big or small.
- Prefer silver or gunmetal over gold, copper, and bronze.
- Aim to buy more colorful jewelry (I have too many neutrals at present).
My Wardrobe Don’ts
This list is actually easier for me to write than my “Do’s” list, as I have a much clearer idea of what I don’t want to wear and what just doesn’t work for my body, lifestyle, and personality. This list will not only help me to shop smarter, but it will also assist me in paring my wardrobe down further.
- No wool next to my skin (too itchy – fine cashmere is okay).
- No acrylic (also itchy).
- No cheap polyester (some polyester or blended fabrics are okay).
- Nothing too tight or binding.
- No uncomfortable clothes! It is possible to be both stylish and physically comfortable!
- Nothing “fussy” – I don’t want to have to adjust my clothes all day long.
- Prefer not to have too many “girly” details like ruffles and flounce.
- Don’t buy multiples – no more than two of any one type of item (and aim for “one and done” like Bridgette Raes recommends).
- Don’t be too set in my ways! It’s good to be open to new styles and silhouettes.
- No beige or brown (I look horrible in beige and I don’t like brown).
- No pale pastels (I look very washed out in these shades).
- No overly warm-toned colors (I look better in cool tones).
- Stay away from “busy” patterns or anything that is too “girly” (not my vibe).
- Stay away from synthetic fibers (they don’t breathe and lead to excessive sweating).
- Nothing strapless or with spaghetti straps (I need to be able to wear a supportive bra).
- Sleeves cannot be too short – ¾ sleeves cannot be ½ or 2/3 sleeves on me!
- No crew-necks that are too high-cut (less extreme crew-necks are fine).
- No turtlenecks, mock-turtlenecks, or cowl-necks (I don’t like them).
- No more long-sleeved tops (I have too many and don’t wear them often enough).
- Nothing too stiff (I want to be able to easily move around and raise my arms).
- Nothing too baggy or boxy.
- Nothing double-breasted (I don’t like the way it looks opened and I don’t want to have to button my jackets/coats all the time).
- Sleeves cannot be too short – don’t settle or compromise here!
- No side pockets – or sew them shut.
- No high waists.
- No pleats.
- No ankle pants (I just don’t like them!).
- No distressing, whiskering, or fading on jeans.
- Nothing too long, unless it’s a maxi style (bottom of the knee-cap is as long as I want to go otherwise).
- Nothing too flared, flouncy, or “girly.”
- No “churchy” skirts! I want my skirts to look more modern and youthful, not “old lady.”
- No strapless dresses or spaghetti straps.
- No “taxi cab shoes” – I need to be able to walk at least a few blocks in my shoes without discomfort.
- No more black shoes unless they are replacements for existing pairs – I have too many pairs of black shoes already.
- No more blue or green earrings (I have too many at present).
- Jewelry – nothing too big, flashy, or shiny.
- Don’t buy any more scarves unless they are absolutely extraordinary. I have a lot of scarves now and don’t wear them very often.
I’m sure if I spent more time on the lists above, I would come up with additional characteristics to include, but I think I summed it all up pretty well. I’m going to use these lists to pare down my wardrobe a bit more and I will keep them in mind for any future shopping that I do. I think these types of lists are a good complement to our shopping priorities lists (see my thoughts on that topic here).
Having all of these lists on hand when shopping can help us to target what we buy and avoid purchasing mistakes. With today’s smart phones and various types of apps, it’s easy to keep lists like these with us at all times. Taking a few moments to check in with our priorities before we buy anything is a good habit to adopt as a smart and conscious shopper (which is what we all want to be, right?).
Now I’d like to get your thoughts on the subject of wardrobe do’s and don’ts. Do you see anything that I left out in my lists above? Have you created do’s and don’ts lists for yourself? If so, what’s on there? And how have these lists helped you with your shopping, wardrobe management, and personal style? I invite you to share your insights with me and your fellow readers!