Defining My Style On A Budget

As I get older, I’ve noticed that I don’t really have a “style”. There is no theme to my wardrobe. I don’t buy pieces because they are on trend or what everyone else is wearing. Of course, I am influenced by what I see and read but most of my style comes from how I’m feeling that day or week. There is a direct correlation between my emotions when I wake up and how I choose to dress for the day. Everything about me is related to my emotions and feelings. From the people I surround myself with to the food I eat; fashion is no different. If I wake up feeling calm and centered, there’s a good chance that I’m slapping some makeup on my face and at least trying to look the way I feel on the inside. Alternatively, if I wake up feeling like shit, I’ll either say screw it and kinda roll into my clothes, bare-faced and without a care or I’ll sometimes try to make my appearance the complete opposite of how I feel internally. Fake it ’til you make it kinda thing.

Finances also dictate my style. There is nothing more humbling to your style than a lack of coin (read: money). Do I need the Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag with that iconic red interior? No. Will it transform every outfit I put together with its understated elegance and move me from basic to badass? Absolutely. But the final decider is the bank account that currently resides on life support. So this “Final Sale” baby blue Target version will have to suffice.

I’ve found ways to compromise. Thrifting is the biggest of those compromises. I spend very little money and end up with some pretty amazing pieces for my closet. I also create capsule wardrobes and limit myself to a few pieces that I can mix and match to create different looks with. This helped alleviate the need to make new purchases as well as dissolve some of the time spent fussing around my closet putting things together. The only problem I have with capsule wardrobes is that I get bored with the pieces and want to swap pieces out more frequently than the typical seasonal overhaul of the collection.

The other major influencer in my style would have to be my job. My 9-5 isn’t corporate. I don’t spend my time in an office. So no kitten heels and pixie cut slacks to be worn with a chunky knit and blazer. I can wear a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers every day of the week and no one would say a thing. The idea is comfort more than anything as I am on my feet all day and always moving. Because I don’t really have to dress up, I grab what’s easy. Working for the same company for a few years has kind of put a damper on my style and the way I choose clothes when purchasing. With no reason to really dress how I want to, on top of the emotional weight I carry working there, read more here, I’m not inspired enough so I reach for the same things and get stuck in a style rut.

Until I either win the lottery or find a new job, I find ways to rework some of my pieces by either cutting them up and creating something new or just wearing them in ways that I haven’t before. Style is important to me because, regardless of if anyone else can tell or not, my clothing is just another way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

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