Finding One's Personal Style and Making Pieces Work for You!

2:30 PM

What I wore: Vogue 8706
On yesterday, a gave a talk at the Hoover Library about finding your personal style and making pieces work for you.  For those of you that have been following me for years, you see what I sew and you see how I wear the pieces I make.  I believe in having a well-thought-out wardrobe.  One of my personal style mantras is, "If you stay ready, you'll always be ready."  I've seen others struggle, stress and become completely frazzled when they have an event to attend.  And no one should have to go through that.  And also, a wardrobe should consist of basic everyday pieces that you can pull from.  My talk was to offer a guide to make getting dressed a lot easier.
I offered these easy steps...

Find Inspiration!
Ask yourself, how do you want to look?  Is there a person with a similar lifestyle whose style you admire?  Also, Pinterest is a favorite tool of mine.  And my number one suggestion for inspiration, go to a department store and try on, try on and try on!  Be curious!  Try a style that you've never worn before.  A lot of garments lack hanger appeal. And you may be pleasantly surprise as to what works for you.  This is especially necessary in sewing.  You don't want to make the financial commitment of purchasing fabric, pattern and notions and also invest the time into making something you're not sure that will work for your figure.
Edit Your Closet
Do you find that you have a closet full of clothes and you still have nothing to wear?  If so, that's a problem.  At least twice a year, usually seasonal, I like to take everything out of my closet.  That way I can touch every single garment.  I can remove anything that I haven't worn in a long time and probably will never wear again.  I remove things that are too big or too small.  And you can pass your well-loved items on to friends or family, or you can donate to a charity, or consign.  

And also, stop buying and sewing wardrobe orphans!  Wardrobe orphans are random items that were purchased or sewn, probably on a whim that are rarely worn and may not go with anything else in your closet.
Build Your Wardrobe and Dress Without Stress!
Based on your lifestyle, you have to decide what essentials you need.  My wardrobe essentials or as I like to call it a "base wardrobe", would consist of:
  • A white and a dark blazer (If you prefer cardigans, you can easily substitute.)
  • Pants in classic cut
  • A pencil skirt
  • A crisp white shirt
  • A really nice pair of jeans... not the ones you'd put on to do weekend work in your yard.
  • A go-everywhere dress!  Every woman needs at least one dress that they can wear to multiple events.  The one pictured below - Talbot's Geo-Clover Jacquard Dress in navy and white is appropriate for work, church, a baby shower, a graduation, and dinner with your significant other.  And you can even dress it down with a pair of flat sandals for the weekend.  That's called MILEAGE!
  • A sweatpants and t-shirt alternative.  Now this is a fun one.  As much as I workout, some days it's a really struggle for me to not be out in something that says Nike.  For casual wear during your errand runs, carpooling or downtime I picked this great Terry Hoodie and the Weekend Terry Striped Skirt.

With functional pieces as the base of your wardrobe, you can now add in fun and trendy pieces.
From l-r: Adrienne of Adrienne's Essentials; Shundra of Mrs. Crafty Chick; Kim of It's Sew Kim; La'Shara of Kurlylicious.
And per usual at an event like this, there were plenty of networking and pictures!  I want to thank everyone that came out to support.  And Talbot's for supplying me with great clothes.  And especially, the Hoover Library for extending the invitation.

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  1. That must have been a great experience for you! It's very flattering to be asked to impart your knowledge.

    Sound advice, sometimes we already know what to do but just need to hear someone say it!

    Did you talk about accessories at all?

    1. It was a "wow moment" to see people arriving! We talked accessories (shoes, handbags, scarves, necklaces), underpinnings, and even makeup!

  2. "wardrobe orphans"..LOL I like that expression. And I'm also probably one of the guilty parties. lol

    1. That's been me too, sewing and buying!

  3. Great advice! Congrats on the event, I bet it was amazing!

    1. Thanks Alison! I received a lot of positive feedback!

  4. I would have loved to have met you in person. Congratulations.

    1. Maybe we can one of these days. Who knows! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Woo, I used to be really bad about sewing and buying orphans! I like to have a mixable and matchable closet, so it was frustrating to have these one-off pieces that I couldn't repurpose. They usually got donated. Great tips and congratulations on a successful event!

  6. I have sewn plenty of those wardrobe orphans in the past couple years. This second half of the year I have made my mind up to focus on staples, neutrals and wardrobe builders. Trends are fun, but better for accessories. Congratulations on this event, may there be many more in your future!

  7. I love the list, thank you for sharing. The dress that you're wearing is gorgeous.


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