Fashion (My Style)

[A Lesson Learned about Style] "Lifestyle Style"

Fashion blogs are EVERYWHERE!  Don’t believe me?  Just Google “Fashion Blogs” or “Outfit Blogs” and you will embark upon a whole UNIVERSE of them.  I do frequent a few of these blogs that I find I connect with the most – whether I love the things they wear or promote or their quirky way with words.  Here are a few…

Without a doubt, I really do admire these and other bloggers who seem to have the whole “fashion and style” thing figured out.  It all seems to come so naturally to them…and they seem to a have so much fun putting together different colors, prints, and textures (not to mention accessorizing).  However, as much as I do appreciate their sense and abilities to style, I find my own outfits slowly gravitating away from the ones I see.  As time goes by, and I continue my own endeavors in learning how to work my wardrobe, I’ve come to realize that there is really no “right answer” to style.  These bloggers have theirs, and I have mine.  I may find inspiration from their wisdom, but I will always gravitate to what works for me.

And that, dear readers, it how it’s meant to be.

So how do I come to realize what “works” for me?  I’ve already talked about how style should come from the realization of who you are.  To read more on that topic, go here.

The Real Me…more here!

The second reason I found myself gravitating away from all those other fashion blogs is that I’ve realized my lifestyle is very different from theirs.  I’m a resident doctor’s wife, working a 9-to-5 desk job in a relatively casual work environment (an aspect of my employment I really do appreciate).  My outfits can range from being more professional (when I’m meeting with base hospitals, faculty, the administration, or even students in formal settings) to downright “weekend” casual.

Work Attire (Professional) – on the dressier side
Work Attire (Summer) – an average workday (when it’s warm enough)
Work Attire (Casual Fridays) – when comfort is CRUCIAL to productivity

Also, my husband and I make a reasonable, but modest income at the moment, meaning I do not (or at least should not) have the ability to shop for higher end designers nor on a frequent basis.  Therefore, what I do purchase must be of good quality, a worthwhile investment (something I will get my money’s worth out of), and at a discounted price (I always have a limit to how much I will spend on one article of clothing).  These pieces must also be versatile – able to be mixed and matched in oh-so-many different ways. 

Ooooo…I’ve seen that jacket (and those shades) before!

From experience, I can tell you it’s very easy to get caught up in the fashionista world and feel that one must purchase the same high-end pieces or go purchase the items seen in another woman’s closet every weekend.  The next thing I knew, I found myself staring at my closet, completely incapacitated, because I realized that my wardrobe didn’t reflect who I was or what I did.  All those nice pieces I bought that I never wore begin cluttering up my closet and my life.  It’s the worst thing you can do to yourself – trying to emulate someone else’s style and finding it doesn’t work for you.  Next thing I knew, I was giving away a good 30% of all of the items I had purchased.  Money gone…now and forever…but a good lesson learned.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying frequenting other people’s fashion blogs is something you should not do.  They are brilliant when it comes to fashion, and it’s always so much fun to read of their fashion and life endeavors.  It’s good to pick up outfit inspirations and see what color/pattern/texture combinations they come up with that you would have NEVER dreamed was possible (i.e. mixing black and brown, polka dots with stripes, etc).  But what we should be taking away are general tips we can incorporate into our own sense of style, not a specific shopping list of items to purchase and dictate our sense of style – and I’m sure that is NOT the bloggers’ intentions either.  Bloggers know that it’s still important to be your own person and determine what it is that makes you YOU…and encourage that (at least, that’s what I’ve interpreted from their awesome posts). 

Over the course of time, one’s lifestyle will change.  My husband will be making a much bigger income down the road.  We may be asked to participate in events that call for dressing in much more formal attire (or we may NEVER be asked to dress up).

Hmmm…possible glimpse into our future?  Maybe, or maybe not?

We will (hopefully) be growing our family.  I will take on a new role in life as “mom” (again, hopefully).  My life will be very different from what it is now.  And therefore, my sense of “style” will also change.  I will likely be doing away with a lot of the work attire and sticking to outfits that are much more kid-friendly.

But wherever our paths may take us, it is important to remember to build a wardrobe and dress for who you are and what you do now.  As your lifestyle changes, your wardrobe will slowly change along with it (as you begin adding and taking away some portions of your closet).  When that time comes, always remember the three basic questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Does it fit me NOW?  (Does it physically fit my body size/shape and make me feel good?) 
  • Does it fit who I am NOW?  (Does it reflect my personality/who I am inside?)
  • Does it fit what I do NOW?  (Does it match my lifestyle/occupation?)

Once I started aligning my wardrobe to these three questions, I found myself spending a lot less time staring at my closet dumbfounded or even feeling the need to shop for new things so frequently.  I began finding satisfaction with what I had, knowing I had exactly what I needed (and then some) to outfit myself day to day…and have fun doing it.

Always remember – the clothes you wear do not make you who you are.  
Who you are (and what you do) should determine the clothes you wear.

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