If you’ve been around this space long enough, you may noticed my love of colorful ensembles. Vibrant hues and interesting patterns have always intrigued me and left me feeling ecstatic about getting dressed each day. Funny enough, it wasn’t always this way. Approximately two years ago, I too whittled down my closet into a carefully curated assortment of interchangeable garments. In other words, I pulled together a capsule wardrobe and stuck to this lifestyle for nearly a year.
Now, not all capsule wardrobes are an array of basics and neutrals. Lately, I’ve seen several capsules sprinkled with vibrant hues. However, as I began to sort through the forty garments I selected, I found myself a bit bored. My wardrobe full of neutrals didn’t feel like me. Listen, I’m not here to rag on capsule wardrobes. Absolutely not. I actually think they are a beautiful way to master the art of actually wearing every piece of clothing you own. Yet somehow, breaking away from a capsule and simply building a smaller, thoughtful wardrobe full of pieces I love felt right. After taking a break from outfit recipes and uniform mindsets, I felt more freedom to choose garments that matched my aesthetic. Determining that aesthetic has been another adventure.
What exactly is my style?
Haven’t we all asked ourselves this question time and time again? I’ll admit my answer has changed significantly over the years. Guilty hand raised: I tend to dress by association. The bloggers and brands I follow, that trend everyone is gushing over, the window shop displays I pass, the hobbies I choose, the individuals I spend time with have all heavily influenced my sense of style. Ever felt that mumbled, jumbled mess of, “What do I even like!?” Me too. As a mid-twenty-something in a season of finding myself, my personal style preference has been difficult to nail down. Without a capsule wardrobe, assortment of outfit recipes, or style parameters to keep me in check (darn you flash sales and seasonal shoe trends), I’d entered the danger zone: shopping without direction.
Last fall, I decided to hone in on my style by creating a color pallete. To be perfectly honest, I am still editing and refining what aesthetic speaks to me, yet I believe I’ve grown leaps and bounds in this process. I’ve slowed down and am more methodical about my purchases. Though garments that match my aesthetic stand out much more quickly than before, my impulsive shopping nature has taken a backseat to consideration. Items will sit in my checkout cart for months.
In light of the novel above, you’re probably curious: how exactly would I define my personal style? Well, to put it simply, I consider myself a colorful minimalist. Ehem, huh? What? That’s vague. I guess in more wording, I adore wearing colorful pieces or interesting patterns, but I always lean toward clean, minimalist styling. Though the pieces I wear may be bolder than most, I try to keep my overall ensemble simple. My closet still boasts several timeless, neutral garments, keeping my aesthetic balanced. I’m on a journey of seeking a creative + playful style, interwoven with maturity.
One example of a piece that feels like me is this Lauren Winter Wraparound Jumpsuit in rose. First off, can we all just admit our obsession with jumpsuits for a quick minute? Any item that feels like pajamas and looks like a dream will somehow find its way into my closet. This jumpsuit caught my eye immediately. After looking at the lofty price tag, I set out to pursue this investment wisely (thank you leftover Christmas cash + looking after some sweet kiddos on a Saturday night!)
This jumpsuit is certainly the most expensive garment I’ve ever reviewed on the blog, but I also don’t desire this to be a space where I regularly promote products with a lofty price tag (as if I have an unlimited shopping budget). I will admit that much of my closet is filled with secondhand items that were significantly more affordable. Balance, friends, balance. If there is a piece you would love to own, save for it! Work a few extra shifts, sell some older pieces that you haven’t worn in months, spread word that you’re willing to babysit for your family or friends in exchange for a little additional spending money. There’s no shame in that! Rather, there’s a lot of pain that comes after purchasing items you never budgeted for.
Lauren Winter is a Portland based, independent designer making the most idyllic, small batch garments. When I first perused her pieces, I felt they all seamlessly meshed my love of unique colors with clean styling. This linen jumpsuit took a little over a month to receive, revealing the quality and attention to detail invested in this garment. The fabric is heavier weight than you’d expect for linen, which means you don’t need to layer underneath (#thankgoodness). The extra small fits comfortably, giving structure without hugging my body too closely. Though at first glance this piece seems summer inspired, I am so looking forward to throwing on a sweater and boots come fall (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves now!)
If you’ve been struggling to determine your personal style, here’s my advice: it’s a journey, it will take time, and it’s something you shouldn’t spend ample time worrying about. Squeeze your loved ones tight, have a bonfire, play board games, eat good food, travel to a new place, pursue hobbies that make you feel alive, empower another’s life, be the change you want to see in the world, makes waves in issues you care about. As much as I love clothing and sharing posts about ethical style, let’s never forget the things that truly matter.
Till next time,
Note: this post was not sponsored by Lauren Winter. All photos taken by Jenny Hazel.