Define My Style

As I move into my middle thirties, and more into the role of mothering, and more into being God’s girl and a family woman, I am finding I don’t know what to wear.

When I was a child, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs and my parents couldn’t afford to dress us like everyone else. I remember the sting of being made fun of because I was wearing the “boy” jeans my dad had bought for me on sale, instead of the Gloria Vanderbilts it seemed like all the “in” girls wore.

As a teen, I was always trying to be unique and different; sporting purple glasses, making my own jeans, being the first one at my school to wear Doc Martens. I still got made fun of, but I wore it as a badge of honor.

Then in college, I was caught up in trying to fit in; working at a super rich country club, trying on Polo and Izod for size, but still trying to find “me”.

As a young career woman in the teaching profession, I wanted to be comfortable and yet stylish. I impressed my students by never wearing the same outfit. Seriously.

I’ve been trying to move beyond the materialism I bought into for so long. So for a long while, I refused to buy anything new.

Now however, my closet is a mishmash of sizes and styles. I’ve got romantic gypsy type skirts, lots of kinds of jeans along with an assortment of flannel pants, yoga suits, lounge wear. I’ve got cardigans and sweaters, sweatshirts and turtlenecks.

I have been doing a lot of browsing today, trying to figure out what I like. What would be cute on my body. What would be me. I’ve taken some quizzes. I’ve looked at catalogs. I’ve read style sites.

Surprisingly, because this isn’t the wardrobe I currently have at all, it appears I am a classic traditionalist. Is this like L.L. Bean/Land’s End? One of the quizzes said my style icons would be Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry and Grace Kelly.

This pleases me, but I have no idea what to do now.

How do I begin? What do I get rid of? Where do I shop? Do you think this reflects what you know of my personality?

Please, help me define my style!

15 thoughts on “Define My Style

  1. Grace Kelly exudes class. I would love to dress like she did. I suggest getting rid of everything except for the pieces that you really love. My style changes all the time so I rarely stick to one store.

  2. I agree with Anne, wear what you love. Grace Kelly style to me seems to be all about simple elegance – wearing something that shows off beautiful you instead of you showing off beautiful garment, if that makes any sense.

  3. I am going through the same style transition. All of a sudden my college clothes seem a little…inappropriate, but the “mom” clothes I think I should be wearing seem too old. Somehow, I have turned this fashion crises into a reason to wear nothing but baggy sweats and stained t-shirts. Not the most attractive look, let me tell you! All I want is for the show “What Not To Wear” to come take me away, give me money, and show me exactly what I should be buying! So, I guess I don’t have some great piece of advice for you here (sorry!). But from the pics I have seen I’m sure you will look absolutely lovely in whatever you choose!

  4. Personally, I want to marry Eddie Bauer. Yeah, I know their stuff is more expensive, but it lasts forever! They have very little ‘trendy’ stuff, and a lot of their stuff is classic and doesn’t go out of style for a long time.


  5. I always liked to watch TLC’s what not to wear! They have great ideas. I also had a hard time with finding a “style” for me. As I was reading your post, memories of wearing “boy” jeans came back to me since my parents pretty much did the same thing to me! (and I had the short boy haircut to boot!torture!)

  6. My take on classic traditionalist would be more along the lines of well-tailored clothing (think a straight/wide leg trouser, fabulously tailored white button down shirt, fitted turtleneck sweater). Personally, I think a lot of LL Bean/Land’s End stuff is more basic, non-descript style. I would take a look at Talbot’s (pricey but amazing quality), Ann Taylor (again, pricey but great quality), and Ann Taylor Loft. I agree about getting rid of stuff that just doesn’t feel like you. The thing is, you ARE a SAHM, and as elegant as Grace Kelly is (go you!), it might just not be practical for your everyday lifestyle on the farm. I do picture you in more of those romantic gypsy style skirts! Sorry if that part isn’t helpful! But, for classic traditional, I’d look at investing in some great trouser pants, crisply tailored shirts, fitted sweaters that you could layer over a button-down collared shirt. Do the basics – black, gray, khaki that you can mix and match. I also absolutely love a dark washed jean, and there are some fabulous trouser jeans out there right now! Good luck!

  7. Not sure what that type of style would be so I’m not much help there.

    I recently went through somewhat of a style change, though it was forced by my job. I had to buy all new clothes for work (business professional.) I’ve found I love black and white prints and prefer knits to woven shirts to wear under my blazers. I’ve spent a ton of money on clothes since I changed jobs in feb and a bunch of the clothes that I thought I’d love then turns out weren’t what I wear. Most of the stuff that I decided I don’t like were the woven shirts with collars. So I wish that I would have gone a little easier on buying clothes until I found my style.

    So my suggestion so as not to waste money on things you might not like would be to ease into your style whatever it may be. Go first for the basics and a few defining “pieces” and add things that you ~love~ as you go. I’d first purge the closet of anything you haven’t worn lately or no longer love to make room for the new. Then as you bring home a new piece, get rid of something to make room for it.

    I’ve learned never to buy something if I’m unsure if I like it. I only now buy something if I try it on and love love love it. Otherwise I’ll never wear it.

    Good luck and shopping is FUN. I used to hate it, now I love it. Won’t tell Travis that though!

  8. I shop at Walmart, Target, Gordman’s. I think you have to give yourself more options. You want to have casual, but you’ll also need some more classy items as well.

    I’m a jeans-n-tshirt kind of girl but I LOVE skirts and dressing up. It’s all about finding balance! If you LOVE it, wear it! Who cares if your wardrobe is eclectic?

  9. I love comfort. My style is comfort/casual. But, I can dress up too. Depending on what your doing you should wear what makes you feel beautiful. When you feel beautiful it doesn’t matter what your wearing.

  10. Classic traditionalist sounds like me! I would say Gap (esp for sweaters and t-shirts), dresses and dressy clothes from Banana Republic, and whatever cool jeans that fit your body well. I like Luckys, Fossil and 7s. (And Jordasche of course) A lot of the pieces that I buy are classic and won’t go out of style. Another personal favorite store? Nordstrom. They rock. Bras, shirts, jeans, whatever.

  11. Well, let me know when you figure it out! I’m still trying to figure out my style.

    Seriously though, I think you should wear what makes you feel good. What are you comfortable in? If wearing high heels and pearls while vacuuming, baking and reading defines “class”–and it makes you feel good—then go for it. If comfort and quality and good looks is defined by yoga pants, then wear that. I think it is a great idea to have a blend of styles in our closets, as long as the clothes fit and look good on us.

    I cannot stand to clean in jeans. I am not comfortable in denim. I usually only wear jeans when I have to go out in public. At home, I love yoga pants, tanks tops, pj’s, etc. I also love to dress up for special occasions. But, my closet is a mess. Due to having had three children, and limited funds over the years, my closet is a mish-mash and it desperately needs a makeover. But everytime I go shopping (which I DETEST), I try on things that draw my eye to the display, or things that I think look cool, and when I put them on, I just want to cry and look away from the mirror. I really can’t stand clothes shopping.

    There are so many styles to choose from, and probably as many body types. My body does not fit the styles I like—and it won’t unless I exercise and eat better.

    I bought a shirt from Old Navy, in size medium, thinking it was cute, my style, and would fit. It does an excellent job of showing off the muffin top around my midsection. It doesn’t make me feel good to wear that shirt.

    Whatever you buy should make you feel good on a physical and emotional level. You should feel pretty, confident and comfortable in your skin. And we women need to learn to stop comparing ourselves to others. We need to embrace who we are as an individual and celebrate our uniqueness.

    I guess the problem from there is, what describes our uniqueness; what outfit or look conveys who we are?

  12. Hi! I enjoy reading your blog 🙂

    I went through the same thing a while ago and found a site that has helped me a TON. It’s
    She talks about the basics of fashion — where to start, what to buy first. She also explores what to wear for different body types and comments on popular fashion. Over the summer she posted descriptions and pictures of “flop proof” outfits for SAHM’s. They were very helpful!

    Good luck with your style journey!

  13. oh this is so funny – I used to dress nicely as well- not anymore. With kids sticky messy fingers in my hair, on my shirts, dogs slobbering on my pants and licking my toes – what is the point. I figure I’ll look nice again in say – maybe 10-12 years???

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