Defining Your Style

If you're trying to streamline your wardrobe, it helps to define your sense of style and stick to it. That's one of the main challenges I've faced so far in my Five Piece Wardrobe mission. There's little room to flirt with fleeting trends -- with a strict limit on how many items I can add per season, I can't really afford to purchase an item I won't wear more than a handful of times. In fact, ideally every item I purchase coheres with the other items in my wardrobe. (This is slightly easier when you remember that basics are your best friends.)

There are a few tips that have helped me define my sense of style and ensure I'm satisfied with every item in my closet.

1. Know which cuts, shapes, and colors flatter you, and which are better in theory or on others. This takes a bit of trial and error and a lot of honesty. I know that no matter how much I love them when I see them, I generally avoid riding boots, pastels, collared button-ups (with rare exceptions), and anything too frilly.

2. Collect your ideas. Create a board on Pinterest dedicated to defining your style. Pin only things you'd really wear on an everyday basis to this board (save those fabulous evening gowns for a different board). Look for inspiration by searching your favorite brands and style icons. Look at everything in unison, and edit accordingly. When I'm shopping, I keep this board in mind; if the item in question doesn't fit into the aesthetic I've defined via the board, it's probably a no-go. Lately I've been pinning away to my style board on Pinterest: it's currently filled with black, denim, stripes, and probably a bit too much knitwear for my own good. The picture of Doutzen Kroes in REPEAT makes me want to head to the beach with a giant cashmere scarf/wrap, an item for all seasons. Too much to ask?

3. Deliberate. Love at first sight might truly exist (at least, when it comes to clothing!); nevertheless, these days I rarely purchase an item the first time I see it. And if I do, I don't snip off the tags and wear it straightaway. Sometimes, after trying it on a few times with the other items in my closet, I find it's not the best fit.

Any helpful tips for defining your style?