Five Style Questions Every Woman Must Answer for Herself
We are constantly changing and growing. I believe this is a wonderful thing. Renewal is a law of nature; therefore, it is only natural that we periodically cycle out the old and welcome in the new. We do this from time to time when we change jobs, change cities, make new friends, and redecorate our homes. Renewing our personal style is no different; we need to update our wardrobe from time to time. And the new year is the best time to throw open our closets and figure out who we are today, and where our style is heading in the future.
This journey of exploration will help you choose clothing and accessories that reflect who you are right now, in January 2020—not the person you were in 2019, 2018, or the last time you replenished your wardrobe. To help you figure out your current style preferences, here are some questions I like to ask myself from time to time (and help my clients to answer). The answers you come up with are certain to help you reveal the best you in 2020.
What are my best physical features (and how can I best accentuate them)?
Every woman should be able to identify her favorite features and learn to dress in a way that lets them shine! For example, if you love your hourglass figure, you can show off your waist and curves with a wrap dress or a pair of high-waisted jeans. Proud of your muscular arms? Showcase them in cap-sleeved blouses or a tank dress. Hopefully naming your best features will not be a difficult exercise—after all, it is important to love and embrace the bodies we are born with. But if you’re having trouble picking out your favorite features, just ask a friend! This is a great way to learn what others see in you. And you may just find out that they admire features that you have always overlooked—like your toned calves, strong shoulders, or stunning brown eyes.
What is my style personality?
Take a few moments to think about the kinds of clothing and looks that fill you with joy. Maybe you prefer to dress in simple, comfortable pieces offset by one or two bold accents, or maybe you love clothing with lots of color, big patterns, and interesting shapes and textures. Perhaps you gravitate toward soft, feminine pieces or prefer more fashion-forward trendy styles. If you are unsure of your style personality, look in your closet and see if you notice a theme. It also doesn’t hurt to scroll through Pinterest or some fashion magazines to see what types of clothing stand out to you. Once you can recognize your style personality, you can more easily identify pieces you love and reduce those “not quite perfect” purchases that you often end up returning or giving away.
What is my lifestyle, and does my current wardrobe reflect it?
Think about how you spend most of your time and whether your clothing is in alignment with life as you know it. Of course, answering this question usually means taking your work wardrobe into account. Maybe you work in a corporate office and stick to fitted sheaths and skirt suits, or you work in a creative industry like publishing or tech where business casual is the norm. Or maybe you just retired and are ready to trade in your buttoned-up style for more relaxed pieces. The point is to consider how you spend most of your time and use that information to inform your shopping habits in the coming year. You may discover that it’s time to stock up on dressier elements like skirts and blouses, pick up some resort wear to enjoy on those frequent vacations (lucky you!), or buy extra athleisure attire to keep you motivated to meet your new year fitness goals.
Am I dressing in alignment with my current age and stage?
If you’ve got a closet full of clothing that no longer resonates, you have likely “outgrown” your wardrobe. This is completely natural and will probably happen repeatedly throughout the course of your life. One day you might wake up and realize that you no longer want to wear miniskirts, or that you prefer full-piece swimsuits and tankinis in place of the two pieces you once loved. This is a sign that it’s time to pull out your clothes (yes, all of them) and decide what no longer belongs. The good news is that this frees you up to revamp your wardrobe with clothing that is just right for the you of today.
And by the way: Don’t spend a moment worrying that growing older means you can’t have any more fashion fun. To the contrary! Dressing in alignment with your current stage in life makes you look and feel younger, and helps you be your most vibrant self.
How would I like to see my style evolve in the coming year?
While our style personality gives us a great template for our basic preferences, we can still grow and evolve. For example, if you usually default to wearing jeans and a tee, and would like to upgrade to a dressier and more cohesive look, you might commit to adding some skirts, pants, cardigans, blazers, dressy flats, and nice ankle boots to the mix. Maybe your plans revolve around slowly building a wardrobe with more versatile pieces that seamlessly mix and match with one another. Or perhaps you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new to you—say, a jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, or a peplum top. If you want a little nudge from someone with an experienced eye, you can always work with an image consultant to discover winning looks you may never have considered before. And you may just be delighted with the results!
Make 2020 the year you start each day feeling like the best version of you. This can be the year you get rid of clothing that no longer represents you, that you fill your closet with pieces that fit and flatter, and that you embrace yourself now with love and acceptance. There’s no better way to kick off the new year.