Continuing with my 7 Steps to Style series, where I am talking about Imogen Lamport's 7 Steps to Style system, we've now reached Lesson 6: What's Your Style? This step was particularly useful for me as it covered what patterns and prints suit me best and helped me understand why some prints look good on me while others are unflattering. I was aware that large, bold patterns aren't good on petites, but I didn't realise how facial features also influence which patterns suit you the best. I have combination features (a mix of curves and straight lines), which helps explain why the shirt below doesn't do anything for me as the lines are all straight.
Another element to consider when choosing patterns is your personal contrast level. In my case it is high however the contrast shown above is medium, which is another reason why the shirt isn't flattering. Imogen also talks about the density of prints - in general terms, denser prints are more slimming - negative space, which can draw attention to areas of your body that you may not want to highlight and focal points, which have a similar effect to negative space. The outfit below flatters me a lot more than the one above as it includes curves as well as straight lines, plus the colour is better on me.
Having reached this far, I had a very clear picture of what styles, colours and shapes suited me, also taking my style personality and lifestyle into consideration. I was ready to shop, however at this stage I was being encouraged by Imogen to shop my wardrobe. The idea is to create as many outfits as possible from your existing clothes, ensuring that they flatter you and are appropriate for your lifestyle, while looking for any obvious gaps that you will need to fill with new purchases. As part of this exercise, take a note of what you want more of and less of.
The next step is to build up one or more wardrobe capsules. I have written several posts about wardrobe capsules (search for capsule using the box at the top) however I like Imogen's brief definition: "a capsule wardrobe is a collection of around 10-15 garments that all work with each other, so you can mix and match them, and you will create 30+ outfits easily." That will give you a different outfit for every day of the month, which sounds good to me, but note the important words "that all work with each other". Imogen suggests that you choose 2 jackets/cardigans, 4 skirts/trousers and 6 tops, which should work no matter what your lifestyle and style personality are. You should include 1 or 2 neutrals plus 2 to 4 colours that harmonise with each other. You may want to create capsules for different aspects of your life such as work, home and going out. Another good idea is to create accessories capsules based around different colours (that go well with the clothes in your wardrobe capsules) and different aspects of your life.
Now is the time to write out your shopping list: favourite items that need replacing; garments to make your capsules work; wardrobe gaps identified in Step 5 and any accessories needed. Don't forget though that there are seven steps, so wait until you've read my next post before going on a spending spree!