Wednesday, August 28, 2013

6 Steps to Create Your Fall Style Profile

Step 1: Get Inspired
It's late August, and like every year since I was 12 years old, my thoughts are turning to fall fashion. In years past, fall clothes shopping meant hitting the mall, trying on a bunch of stuff and buying the things that happened to look good on me - especially if they were on sale. This haphazard approach has resulted in a closet filled with a bunch of random pieces that are okay, but don't really work with each other.

This fall I'm 50, and I've decided it's time to upgrade my look by getting more strategic. I'm going to buy a few really great items that I'll want to wear all the time, and more importantly, fit the image I want to present. I'm going to develop a new style profile! It takes a little upfront planning, but the process is fun and the results are that you have a better organized closet, a pulled together look and the most out of your clothing budget. Wanna do it with me? Watch my video or simply read on!

Step 1 - Get Inspiration
All the big juicy September fall fashion magazines are out, showcasing everything you'll find in stores. Buy a variety of magazines - I got Vogue, InStyle, Marie Claire & Lucky - and round up all the catalogues you've received in the mail. Simply flip through them and pull out anything that appeals to you. Don't worry about the price or the brand, you're just looking for inspiration here.

Step 2- Find Your Themes & Colors Look at the images you selected and find the themes. Are you attracted to plaids or animal prints? Do you want to feel tribal or romantic? To you want to project a laid back hippie vibe or ladylike sophistication?  What shapes and colors appeal to you? You may be drawn to a variety of fashions, but the goal is to come up with a single cohesive look for fall, so be choosy! And remember, this process is simply based on your preferences - you'll end up with a style profile that is unique to you.

Step 3 - Name Your Style
Once you've pulled together a number of outfits that appeal to you, create a name for your style profile. You might choose "Going Green" for a relaxed, earthy look influenced by this season's green palette, or "Sporty Chic" for a cool combo of workout and street wear. The important thing about this name is that you relate to it. I'm calling mine "Streamlined Edge" because I'm looking for tailored pieces injected with a bit of rock and roll. Naming your style helps you define it!

Step 4 - Evaluate What You Have
Find the items you already own that fit your profile and bring them to the front of your closet. You probably have a lot of things that already fit the look you want. Now you can identify a few key pieces that you want to buy that will help you rock the look.
I already have a lot of stuff that fits my profile
Step 5 - What Doesn't Fit?
Move items that don't fit in with your new style profile to the back - you don't have to get rid of them, but get them out of the way. Now that you've organized your closet, paste your inspiration outfits on a piece of cardboard and tack it up to remind you what you're going for when you get dressed.

No florals or earth tones for me!

Step 6 - Shop with Discrimination
Here comes the best part, strategic shopping! Since you know what you're looking for and you're only buying a few key pieces, you can afford to be selective. If you've decided you must have a flowing tunic and ballet flats to complete your Romantic Rumba profile - search out the most gorgeous silk top and the prettiest, most comfortable flats you can afford. And don't get distracted by all the other stuff crowding the racks. It might be cool, it might be on sale, but if it doesn't fit your profile - walk on by.

Enjoy the Benefits
Creating and following a style profile will make it easier to get dressed, look good, and save money - because you only buy the pieces you really need and they work with  the things you own. And you won't struggle with that time-wasting dilemma - what am I going to wear today? Simply stay focused on your style profile when getting dressed.

It's humid and hot right now, but you'll soon see me sporting my new "Streamlined Edge" fall style. What's your fall style profile? If you care to, please share here!

Note: If you want to know what hot moms are wearing this fall, check out my pal Meredith Sinclair's "What's Trending" report for  Chicago Parent.

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