Almost two years ago, I attended a Style Mastery Summit where I was among local women from a wide range of ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds. I recently found my notes from the class and was intrigued by what I had written. Outfit planning, shopping strategy, and image were all covered and I was inspired by the entire event, even now. Today I am going to go over my notes, my thoughts on dressing with intention, and sharing an outfit that goes along with this way of thinking.
Although I am very much into fashion, even women who are not particularly “fashion minded” still need to get dressed. I mean, come on, we need to cover our body to go to work, go to meet friends and family, go to events, go to well whatever is on your agenda. And whatever we decide to get dressed in sets a sort of mindfulness for the day ahead. One of the biggest things we do is that silent message we send by how we dress. And I am one that wants to send an intentional message to anyone who meets me. I also set personal intentions every day and what I wear helps me accomplish those goals, even when I work in my office at home.
Women are on a constant journey to define themselves.
I find that the more I explore who I am as a women and all my rolls in life that are changing as I get older, the more confident I become in who I am. This is me. I am an artist, I am a designer, I am a creative, I am a free spirit, I am a wife, I am a woman. This is what I want to show in my wardrobe and I want the world to see that. I am dressing with intention.
So how do you get to this spot? How do you get to dressing with intention?
One thing I do know, it is not something that is done overnight or in one day. It is a process that once you begin, you never want to look back.
Dressing with intention is knowing what to buy when you shop, being prepared for events, having a closet full of clothes you love, never being late because you were changing, and never being afraid to invest and buy.
I remember a time in my life when I asked myself “why am I withholding something that is good for myself?” Let me be clear, dressing intentionally does not mean going shopping all the time or spending absorbent amounts of money on clothing. It is making the decision to be clear about what I purchase, which might mean, leaving some cheaper clothes that I feel meh about and saving up for one piece I feel amazing in that expresses who I am perfectly.
The pieces I have gotten that I show here on my blog are items I wear. They are not just for show. And let me tell you, thought goes into them. I intentionally (there is that word again) carve out time in my life to shop and plan outfits. In other words, I have curated a collection of items that are perfectly suited to me.
It was at this Style Mastery Summit where I came to terms with one big topic that I think had already been glaring me in the face in regards to my budget: Am I addicted to cheap clothing? Do I have guilt when I purchase clothes for myself? Since then I have changed the way I view pricing. I am still budget conscience but I am not always on the hunt for the cheapest item possible either. Sometimes the items I want are more detailed and in turn, they have a higher price point. I get less items, and the pay off is having pieces in my wardrobe that I love and am excited to wear.
Some roadblocks that may be holding you back to dressing intentionally are time, inspiration, and know-how. At one point I can say that all of these points were a factor in my life when it came to my wardrobe. Lets explore each of these a little more in depth.
Time. Time can work for you, you just have to be intentional with it. Planning time to shop once a month and also to create outfits at home can be more beneficial that you think. I like to plan shopping to go to specific stores and it is me time. I usually have a plan of what I am looking for and am armed with knowledge of current sales and/or coupons with me. Outfit planning is a creative process for me so I allow time for me to have fun, then snap pictures on my phone of the looks laid out on my bed. Mornings are too rushed and hectic for this type of process, so having this outfit prepared for me is a great time saver as well as ensuring I will feel great all day long. I am intentionally preparing for the days and weeks ahead.
Gathering inspiration is another task that I do almost daily. I do it by reading blogs, scanning through Pinterest, and scrolling through Instagram. This is all in preparation for when I do my outfit planning. Typically I have a very loose interpretation of my inspiration, but today is almost an exact replica of one Allison of Curvy Girl Chic put together. This is all an intentional way to have the outcome that I want when it comes to my appearance.
Having the know-how is important as well. By doing what I call “pre-shopping” online, I preview what I am looking for so I can be the most effective when I go into the store. If I plan on purchasing online, it is typically something I have selected in advance and then make an order once I have the funds for it so it is not an impulse buy. By keeping up with having my closet organized, I know what I have and what I am looking for. I may be shopping for a specific upcoming event, the upcoming season for either work or casual clothes, or even special activities such as walking, doing physical therapy, and yoga.
These outfits are NOT effortless, because a lot of effort has got into making them. This does not mean that they are difficult, in fact, they are quite easy, but only after I have done all that is behind dressing with intention.
The last sentence in my notes is “It’s ok to be concerned about your image.” Whether we want to believe it or not, we are judged by our outward appearance, in essence, our image. Assumptions are made within a split second and as a design professional, it is important to me to have a specific image. And these encounters with potential clients do not always happen in the office, they sometimes happen at the grocery store, out walking the dog, or at the local cafe. I am also venturing into a new business, so I want to look the part as a creative entrepreneur in every setting. I want to always be prepared, no matter what. This is a topic that is very specialized and although I am covering this in great detail here, I want to acknowledge that fashion is not an all consuming entity. I dedicate a certain part of my life to building my wardrobe and have it be a part of my brand.
Being concerned about your image is ok and is not something to be ashamed of. Even if you are not in the same situation as me, having an image is a good thing. One thing that stood out to me was a woman in the group at this summit was discouraged because she felt she should not dress a certain way because she was a stay at home mom. Having grown up with my mom at home, I truly cherish the way my mom prioritized her image. She was always there for me and my sisters as well as having a personal style that made me proud. Let me tell you, she was a happening mom in the fashion department. She set the example that she was worth investing in, and that meant I was worth it too.
This outfit is something I feel fantastic in. It is not only physically comfortable, I feel like it conveys a message without saying a word. The intentions I set forth long before I wore it all came together on this one day. Even the long sleeveless trench was a piece I showed in my Who What Wear x Target Fitting Room Review post that I originally passed on. After doing some research about how I would wear it and came up with some great findings, I decided to go back and get it about a month later.
- Olive Trench Vest: Who What Wear x Target
- Akemi + Kin Crossfront Top: Anthropologie
- Ivory Lace Pencil Skirt: Coldwater Creek via Poshmark
- Iris Petal Necklace: Charming Charlie
- Amethyst Cuff: Charming Charlie
- Snake Print Clutch: JCPenney
- Sandals: Qupid via AllyOops Boutique
I hope that I have sparked some thoughts within you as that was my intention. The notion of having a wardrobe you can mix and match, and reflect who you are magically happen is unfortunately not true. It does take effort and the pay off is huge. Dressing with intention is freeing and powerful. It makes a statement to the world that you are someone to be respected. This topic is extremely important to me and I am very passionate about helping women gain confidence through their wardrobe. I hope you enjoyed it and got some useful information from it.
SHOP THE LOOK
Top Left to Right: BCGeneration Snakes on a Chain Three Stone Cuff Bracelet | Shoptiques Agate Brass Cuff
Today’s Postivity Note
Good things take time.