Style

Dressing For Reality

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As a stylist, part of my job is to tell you what you need that you didn’t know you needed.

Sounds easy enough, right?

(Woof. I wish!)

Prior to making any recommendations, I actually take into account your lifestyle and daily habits, your personal style and your goals. It’s a bit of psychology mixed up with fashion magic and it’s not always easy. In order for the styling process to really be impactful and work, we need to be realistic about what our day really looks like — a mental pie chart of how our typical 24 hours are spent.

Why?

Well, because we’re all guilty of wanting to dress for our fantasy vs. dressing for our reality. Whether we buy things one size too small in hopes that those leather pants will someday fit (and we’ll have somewhere to wear them!), or we purchase yet another pair of 4-inch heels that we love, love, love yet can’t wear for more than a 20 minutes stretch,  fantasy dressing is a style mistake that everyone makes.

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Do me a favor, break your day up into 4 distinct categories:

  1. Workany time spent in an external office environment
  2. Homeany time spent lounging or relaxing at home with your family
  3. Socialany time spent in public running errands, meeting up with friends/family, or anything that involves a casual social encounter or commitment
  4. Playany time spent involving a fancier dress code: drinks, dinner, parties, events, etc.

For example, since I work from home a large portion of my day, my pie looks like this:

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Given that 70% of my day is extremely causal and only 30% involves a slightly fancier dress code, my closet should be a true reflection of those stats.

Is it!?

Well, sort of.

That’s my goal and it should be yours, too. When building your wardrobe think about your own pie chart and how much budget and closet space you should be allocating to each category.

While you may be obsessed with that sequined pencil skirt, does it really fit into your lifestyle?

If the answer is yes, by all means splurge and treat yourself to that sexy skirt! If the answer is not really, well, maybe take a pass this time around or wait until you find a sale version that will eat up less of your overall budget and won’t leave you with regret if left unworn.

Here are some of the items currently sitting pretty on my reality wish list:

Work —

Home —


Social —

Play —

What’s your fashion reality?

dressing for reality

(photography by SHANNON AHLSTRAND PHOTO)

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