photos by Chelsea Francis
One of the best things I did in 2017 was set a style word of the year. My style word last year was “lifestyle,” which influenced every purchase I made. I stopped buying pieces I didn’t have anywhere to wear and instead opened my fashion horizons, if you will, to items that much better aligned with my lifestyle. I discovered culottes, y’all. I never knew I could love a pair of pants so much – and I wouldn’t have known without setting that intention! I thought about how my lifestyle affected my shopping habits and my outfits, and I even changed my personal style ID based on what I learned.
I’ve been thinking about how to do myself one better this year. It’s actually taken me this far into January to write this post because I’ve struggled to come up with a word that I thought would influence me as deeply. Instead of a word, I decided on a couple of goals to keep me on track this year.
Goal 1. Shop online instead of in stores
I was cleaning out my closet just before the beginning of the year and made a major realization. Of the pieces I purchased in store versus online, about 90% of them ended up in my To Sell pile. I was able to pinpoint exact purchases that I made because I felt like I needed to leave the store with something in hand. Whether it was for the excitement of something new or needing to feel a sense of worth or success in my shopping pursuits, it’s clear that something wasn’t right when you got me in a store.
Since my favorite and most-worn items came from the Internet, I want to hone in on the power of those purchases this year. I know that I put more thought into my online purchases in leaving things in my cart and coming back to them over time rather than deciding right there in the store whether or not to walk away from something and then inevitably buying it so I don’t miss out. With online purchases, I’m so much more likely to make a decision in the comfort of my own home and return it if it doesn’t work.
While I do plan on not “going shopping” in stores this year, I do know that there will be occasions where I find myself in a store. I plan to treat this a couple of ways. First, I’m going to use it as an opportunity to try things on. I frequently purchase items online in two sizes and send back the one that doesn’t fit, but sometimes it’s helpful, like with jeans or shoes, to just try them on in the store to know what size I am in a certain brand just to know for the future. The second things I plan to do is to not purchase the item in the store and instead wait and order it online if I decide I really want it. I like this because it forces me to be even more intentional and put in a bit of extra effort to make a purchase. Goodbye, impulse purchases!
Goal 2. Focus on shopping for accessories
Knowing that I have a habit of wanting to take something home with me when I do find myself in a store, I want to focus that energy on building up my accessories instead of adding yet another item of clothing to my closet. For one, I rarely purchase jewelry or accessories for myself. Both the earrings and purse I’m wearing in these photos were Christmas gifts and things I wanted but never pulled the trigger on, which is so silly because I wear them both constantly! While I would only be able to wear a top or skirt every so often, accessories can be re-worn day after day.
Accessories also help to transform an outfit I’ve already worn into something fresh. I can swap out a scarf for a necklace or wear a different colored purse and feel like I’ve got a brand new look. I don’t necessarily need a bunch of new pieces this year, but having a few more accessories in my arsenal can help me change up what I already have in my closet.
For some reason, accessories always feel like gratuitous purchases that I convince myself out of, but realizing how useful they are to having a sustainable closet has me excited to focus on them this year!
I’m really excited to see how my closet changes this year and how it looks at the end of 2018! If your closet could use a refresh, check out the closet clean-out in chapter one of Feel Good, Dress Better and set some style goals of your own for this year! Already made one? I’d love to know what your style intentions are for 2018 in the comments!