I started taking notes about my style in early November, when I found myself feeling frustrated and frumpy while getting dressed for the cold weather. I almost feel like I lose my sense of style in the winter because I hate the cold so much and would just wear a fuzzy onesie all day every day if I could (which is what I do at home).
I was desperate to tap into what makes me feel my best during my least favourite season, so I pulled out a new notebook and started making headings: How I'm Currently Feeling, How I Want to Feel, What I Keep Wearing, What I Wish I Had To Wear, Situations I Don't Think I Have Outfits For, Fabrics I Love To Wear, Fabrics I Hate Wearing, Shoes That Keep Me Dry + Warm + Stylish.
I want to actually start honoring the way I want to feel in my clothing, so I’m paying attention. I want to stop trading in what I want most for what I think I want in the moment. The mind can be tricky to navigate when you have a history of shopping addiction and constantly settling on pieces you don't love. But the more I learn about myself, the more I can adapt how I organize my closet, the clothing I pack away each season, and what I choose to spend my money on.
I guess you could call this 'slow living'. No? Whatever, I won't brag about it.
Comfort + Warmth Over Style
I mentioned that some of the notes I took were about the styles and fabrics of clothing I enjoy and don’t enjoy wearing for certain situations and occasions that arise during the winter (going grocery shopping, dinner at a friends house, a night out in downtown Kingston). Through my notes I've learned that, at this point in my life I won’t trade in comfort or warmth for style. If it’s freezing cold outside, I simply won’t wear a dress or skirt with tights–I have to wear pants–and warm ones at that.
I tried styling a dress with warm tights a few different times and found I was still too cold, even considering how much I love the look. I also can't stand wearing panty-hose, so I just end up being low-key miserable if I go this route. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a winter pant-wearer, so I’ll just prioritize wearing my dresses in the spring, summer and fall.
With this new information, I now know to pack away most (if not all) of my dresses come wintertime, and to not buy any more heavy sweater dresses or pantyhose for winter because I don’t wear them (as cute as they are).
I've learned that the sweaters I wear can’t be the least bit itchy, and I’ve definitely overlooked this in the past for a decent sale price or super cute item. Over time I bought four sweaters I think are ADORABLE, but I can't wear because of how itchy they make me. Comfort over style wins again.
Sometimes we like the look or idea of an item, but in reality we don't wear it because of practicality or style preferences. This is when it's SO important to honour your preferences and learn from yourself. And if you don't? You'll keep wasting your money, always feel like you have nothing to wear because you don't actually like or feel comfortable in what you bought, and be a contributing factor in overconsumption.
Saving Time, Energy and Money
I'll continue to take these notes as I need to because I don’t want to waste my money or time anymore. We often rely heavily on brain to remember everything we like and don't like when we're out shopping, which is a recipe for disaster when you're trying to shop intentionally and break old patterns.
For example, I'm trying to add more blues and greens to my wardrobe, but find it hard when the industry is really pushing pinks and reds (because I fucking love shades of pink and red). So when I don't find what I'm looking for in blue or green... I want it in pink or red; I start to ration with myself about it being 'not that big a deal' to have another one, but ultimately, that's what I want in the moment and not what I want most. If I go through with it, my money has now been spent on a top in the same colour, and I'm not any further along in building the wardrobe I really want.
Does that make sense? It's like a need a lesson in delayed gratification, which is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later.
I always used to think that I had to have everything I wanted in my closet at once and it gave me such anxiety trying to find it all. I've realized that just like life, there's a beautiful journey in discovering the clothes I've been longing for and how I want to feel in them. Now I'm excited to slow down and delay gratification. To be intentional, know where my money is going, support local, and enjoy the process as it unfolds.