When I was a teenager growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, my friends and I would spend one Saturday a month hanging out at the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne. We walked the two-stories, had lunch at the food court, and then one of our parents would pick us up just outside of the Macy’s entrance several hours later.
We always had a good time giggling about the latest boy crushes, talking about famous teen heartthrobs, and which teacher gave us too much homework! Then we would carve out about an hour and nonchalantly walk into The Limited, acting like we were mature twenty-somethings, and try on clothes. For me, there was an excitement or thrill about designing outfits and putting on clothes that I wouldn’t normally wear to school. We never really bought anything, but had fun dressing up.
My parents were raising three kids at the time and were pretty frugal with spending money on clothes. My dad would say, “I wore jeans and t-shirts to school, you can do the same thing.” At the time, I never quite understood how that would work for me because I loooooved wearing skirts, dresses, and fancy shoes.
My mom recognized that I liked to dress up, so she would make me outfits or dresses. Once I entered high school she pursued her Master’s degree in Education. Her days were spent on homework assignments and her evenings at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. We essentially started raising ourselves and that meant being creative with the available resources.
I decided it was time to sew and embellish my own outfits and clothing creations. My sewing skills were, and still are, limited. I call myself the straight-seam queen – easy, straight-forward patterns are my specialty. Need a pair of pajama bottoms? I’m your gal. Need a top to go with it? That’s where a nice cotton Tee from Hanes comes in handy.
I’ve learned to see beyond what is in front of me. I look to see how garments could be tweaked – changing a hem, swapping out the buttons, adding/removing stitching. What started as a creative outlet, became a daily question I would ask myself about things even outside of style, “What is possible?”
Figuring Out What Is Possible
This idea of figuring out what is possible started with styling creative outfits and has grown into every facet of my life. How I think about solving problems. Where to go on vacation within a budget. How to decorate a space using only what is already in it.
Figuring out what is possible has been one of the most useful traits in my almost 45 years of life! My late grandpa was so proud of me for figuring out how to get from Bloomsburg University to the Philadelphia Airport – a 145 mile drive. I was too young to rent a car, but I could rent a U-Haul…and voila problem solved!!!
Personal Style: Discovering What Is Possible
We only know what we know. And what we know comes from our education and experiences. Imagine how much more we would know if we read a book a week or listened to three podcasts a day! That seems next to impossible with our busy schedules. There is a way to know more and that is through learning or working with a subject matter expert.
We will build muscle faster if we work out with a trainer at the gym. We would learn to cook more adventurous meals if we took lessons from a chef. We could play guitar in a band if we joined a music group. And yes, we would create authentic outfits with ease if we learned about color, style, and proportions from a personal stylist.
Did you know that our consumption of clothing has double in the last ten years?
Yep. I couldn’t believe it when I read it either. We have twice as many clothes sitting in our closets then we did ten years ago. Has something changed in our lifestyles that has created the need for all those extra clothes?
I attribute all those extra clothes to the growing number of brands in the marketplace and the decrease in how much clothes cost. We can get caught up with trying out a new brands or thinking, “Well it’s not too expensive.”
The marketplace is loud and crowded. It’s totally understandable to be overwhelmed and confused about what to buy, where to buy, and how much to buy. There are soooo
many choices and most often a really informed stylist may be the only professional who will know how to navigate through all the chaos.
Curating a Capsule Wardrobe that represents your lifestyle, personal colors, and silhouette is possible. I am here to help.