I did a double take while looking at myself in the mirror the other day. I turned to my roommate and asked, "Don't I remind you of a European woman?" Though this elusive remark could have been interpreted in a multitude of ways, my roommate, accustomed to my sporadic outbursts, picked up on my choppy train of thought and replied nonchalantly, "Yeah, I've thought that for a while."
After my epiphany, I headed toward my closet and assessed its contents, making a mental note of just how many bulky cardigans—all in different shades of gray, I might add—black jeggings, circle scarves and stripes in all widths and colors, and it occurred to me that most of my outfits are indistinguishable from one another.
Until recently, I had heeded my mom's shopping advice—"That's so plain!" "No more stripes!" "Don't you have something like that already?" However, I have come to realize how imperative it is for you to develop a sense of cohesion and unity in order to find your style. In other words, there is a reason we gravitate toward certain kinds of color and fit while shopping, and we must acquiesce to our affinities.
When you get the chance, take a look in your closet and think about what percentage of your clothes you actually wear. Guaranteed, you haven't touched a good portion of it since...ever. Reclaim the space that is currently taken up by the hodgepodge apparel you have regretted purchasing since the moment you left the store, and replace it with the kinds of pieces you wear day in and day out.
When shopping, we are so quick to obsess over the idea of a sale, that we don't have the time to consider the possibility of not buying anything at all. It is crucial to stick to a budget, but a slashed price tag should never be the only reason to make a purchase.
In order to achieve optimal satisfaction from a shopping excursion, use this strategy: Whenever you find something that catches your eye, never check the price tag first.
Think about how much that shirt, hat, pair of shoes, whatever it is, is worth to you. Take into account the kind of store that you're in, the amount you have spent that day and why you decided to go shopping in the first place.
By leaving the price check until the end, we are refusing to give into the negotiation process we so often have with ourselves—Stingy Self battles Indulgent Self. The best way to trump both is to name your own price. If the tag exceeds your price, you can walk away happily knowing it wasn't worth much to you anyway, or you can leave with a new purchase, confident that you didn't rob yourself.
By playing the Price is Right, it is possible to weed out the useless "bargains" we buy on a whim. Even if it means having a much smaller wardrobe, making thoughtful purchases will help develop and hone your style, and give you a certain je ne sais quoi.
The word "style" is elusive to begin with because it implies that there is only one way to have style. But "having style" is neither an objective nor an achievable standard of dress. I happen to be an Asian girl trapped in the garb of a Czechoslovakian woman in her late 20s, and you might be a Jewish guy who dresses the same as your 80-year-old grandfather.
Go forth and figure out what makes you feel the most like you; in the process, you'll discover your inner-stylista.