How To Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 1: Examine Style Archetypes

How to Cement Your Personal Style: Examine Style Archetypes

Personal Style, Defined

Personal style is a nebulous concept.  One thing is certain - you know great style when you see it. This is because style transcends clothing – it’s a vibe. Style is the energy of multiple subtle elements that add up to a personal look with feeling.

It takes time, energy and self-realization to cultivate a wardrobe that feels 100% you. But here’s the good news! Without realizing it you’ve already spent years experimenting with trends, admiring stylish people and collecting inspiration. 

The goal of this series is to help you process all that info so you can get down to business and start cultivating your unique look.

LESSON 1: Examine Archetypes

Boho, classic, vintage, preppy, edgy, downtown, romantic, glam, conservative, minimalist, trendy, beach, street, urban, athletic -- the adjectives to describe style are infinite.  Plus, it’s tricky to categorize a your personal style with just one word. A range of styles likely influences your ideal look.

ACTIVITY: Pinspiration

Step 1: Create a STYLE ARCHETYPES board in your Pinterest account (and follow MappCraft on Pinterest while you're at it!)

Step 2: Consider the 8 Style Archetypes Pinterest boards below and think about how each look makes you feel. Does the energy resonate or fall flat? Are there elements you love and others that don’t vibe? 

Step 3: Pin whatever images resonate, don't think too hard about your identity vs. the Archetype or how skinny the model is compared to your body type (DISCLAIMER! Most are impossibly skinny. I tried.), we are reacting to energy, mood, feeling. 

Step 4: Review your Style Archetype board. It is 100% likely you'll pick several looks from several boards, even if the Archetypes seem to conflict. Personal style is a melding of influences. 

1.    EDGY: 

Edgy Essentials 

 

2.     AMERICANA

Americana Essentials

3.     EDITORIAL ECLECTIC

Editorial Eclectic Essentials

4.     CLASSICALLY CHIC

Classically Chic Essentials

5.     FULL ON GLAM

Full On Glam Essentials

6.     ATHLEISURE

Athleisure Essentials

7.     MINIMALIST

Minimalist Essentials

8.     FREE SPIRIT

Free Spirit Essentials

Now that you have a better idea of which Style Archetypes you are attracted to you, identify the particular elements that made you pin the look. Americana stripes? Edgy ripped jeans? Athleisure sneakers? Classically Chic pearls? Editorial Eclectic pops of color? Sculptural Minimalist jewelry? Full On Glam body con skirts? Free Spirt embroidery details

Jot them down. Take mental notes. You will need this information for How to Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 2: Evaluating Accessories.

xoxo Jenn

If you like what I write please share, follow, like and CLICK THE HEART BELOW. You will be rewarded handsomely in your next lifetime and the next time I see you in person. 

3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

Blogger Secret #1: The Third Piece Rule

Recently I fished up an article on Pinterest with a totally click bait title that hooked me immediately: Fashion Blogger Secret: The Third Piece Rule.  

According to WhoWhatWear the secret to looking stylish is to add a third element (not including your jacket or shoes) to your outfit. Otherwise: Accessorize. Uh, thanks Captain Obvious. 

But maybe it's not so obvious?

Today's outfit delights me in many ways but it really does boil down to the impact of the third (and fourth and fifth) piece rule. Had I not applied that theory, the outfit would have looked like this:

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Not horrible. But how about one more layer - an accent color to break up the grey, perhaps?

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Now just a few more accessories, to make the look "pop."

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Now you're ready to go - once you add a jacket, shoes and bag.

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

VOILA! So simple. Just add one more piece and you've performed outfit magic.

Okay, that's a lot of extra pieces but you see my point. It's the considered extras that add oomph to an outfit, which is exactly why I preach that you should maintain a well edited capsule wardrobe and flex your fashion fun in the accessory department. 

Blogger Secret #2: Power Palette 

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #2 Power Palette

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #2 Power Palette

It's easy to create a personal Power Palette. First start with 3 - 4 Neutral anchor colors (take a look at your shoe collection for inspiration). Now, think back to what were you wearing the last time someone said "that color looks amazing on you!" Bam! Accent color #1. Now add 3-4 additional colors to complement the color that complements you. Get creative. 

Blogger Secret #3: Layering

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #3 Layering

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #3 Layering

The last critical element of this style hack trifecta is my favorite technique -- layering. A sliver of the poppy red J.Crew silk cami sandwiched between the heather grey Market & Spruce hi-lo tee and the charcoal grey Banana Republic mini skirt makes all the difference. 

Sure the outfit would have worked without it, but that simple element illustrates the thesis of the Third Piece Rule:

“It adds nuance to an otherwise run-of-the-mill outfit, making you look put together, polished, more interesting and like you put a little effort into your look.”
— Cat Kollings for WhoWhatWear.com

Share Your Style Secrets!

What do you think? Do you employ any of these styling tactics to get dressed in the morning? Do you have styling secret formulas of your own? Show me! Share your pics and your feedback on the MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide private Facebook group.

 

Be the Bright!

xoxo

Jenn

PS: If you like what I write, please click the heart. I'll be your best friend. 


The Only Capsule Wardrobe E-Book You Actually Need

If you appreciate the practical "how to put an outfit together" tips in this blog post you are going to LOVE my new e-book!

MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide is the definitive source for creating a customized capsule wardrobe (full of color, texture and personality) and cementing your personal style in the process.

How To Accessorize Like a Stylist

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

The Art of Accessorizing

Capsule wardrobe success is all about versatility. Obviously your garments need to coordinate but the real secret to creating a trillion outfits out of 37.5 pieces is the strength of your accessory game. Accessories are the critical difference between putting on clothes and rocking an outfit.

If this seems intimidating, I get it. Accessorizing is an art. But, girl - you're savvy! You've already embraced your inner fashion stylist by creating a capsule wardrobe. Once you apply your obvious ingenuity to this easy accessorizing formula you'll be slaying outfits like it's your JOB!

Step 1: Outfit Base

Your outfit base is the simply the 1 - 2 garments that cover your nakedness. You could definitely leave the house like this, but no one would call it stylish. 

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 1: Outfit Base

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 1: Outfit Base

Before you start to accessorize, consider your outfit base. Is it neutral? Colorful? Does it feature textural details or an intricate print? The complexity of your dress, romper or top and bottom informs the complexity of the layer you'll add in Step 2. If there is a lot going on, keep the rest simple. If your base is canvas-like blank - let's paint!

Step 2: Add a Layer

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 2: Add Texture Color or Print

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 2: Add Texture Color or Print

This is what fashion bloggers call the "Third Item:" an additional element that adds dimension via texture, color or print. Think: hat, hair flair, belt, scarf, open chambray shirt or cardigan - even a statement necklace. A general guideline is that the additional element can anchor the outfit even if you don't add a lot of additional accessories.

Step 3:  Make It Pop

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Pick Your Jewelry

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Pick Your Jewelry

Personal Jewelry

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Personal Jewelry

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Personal Jewelry

I believe a girl should own a few pieces of personal jewelry that she wears with everything. For me it's a pave diamond disk (5th anniversary gift) and my wedding bands. You may have a pair of diamond studs or a delicate gold chain. Depending on the impact of your base and third layer, personal jewelry may be all you need. Should you decide to add additional jewelry these items are delicate enough to layer over. 

Balancing Trends

How to Accessorize Like a Stylist: Balancing Trends

How to Accessorize Like a Stylist: Balancing Trends

This is where so many well intentioned women fail the outfit challenge - loading on too many statements at once. When considering the following trend jewelry, select one per outfit: chandelier earrings, statement necklace, big cuff or arm candy. Keep the rest of your jewelry minimal.

Whatever your jewelry choice, make sure it vibes with your outfit. White linen dress or gauzy bohemian skirt? Pile on the delicate layers. Pencil skirt with white button down? Pair it with chandelier earrings and a thin gold chain. Jewel tone sheath dress? Opt for a statement necklace and simple studs. Swingy pants and fitted tank top? Try a cuff and thin gold hoops.

Step 4: Out The Door

(Appropriately) Fancy Footwork

Like your jewelry, your footwear should complement, not compete with the rest of your look. Bright pumps or exquisitely detailed stilettos could carry a neutral outfit on their own. Conversely, an ikat print romper or an exquisitely beaded ballgown begs for simple shoes. 

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Footwear

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Footwear

Above all, your shoes should fit the occasion. I don't care how expensive they were -- walking up the Eiffel Tower in 4 inch platform stilettos is not a good look. I've also witnessed an unimaginably chic woman work the 'ish out of a formal gown in metallic flats. The secret to style is looking effortless. The secret to looking effortless is feeling comfortable.

Grab Your Bag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

Thankfully we've moved away from the era of the "IT BAG," when every wannabe Carrie Bradshaw had to have a Fendi Baguette. Hey, I am all for beautiful bags (and I did own a Fendi Baguette), but much like my shoes (but probably more to do with my two toddlers), these days I opt for practicality in purses. When selecting my handbag I ask myself:

  • Does it vibe with the outfit? 
  • Can I easily reach my stuff?
  • Will I have children with me? 
  • Am I going on a date or out with friends? 
MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

At this season of my life, with small children, an office job and infrequent cocktail parties, my handbag collection consists of:

SHOPPING TIP: When shopping for handbags, opt for neutrals (black, nude, brown or metallic) when purchasing a work tote or "It Bag." These are expensive and you'll want to use them often. Experiment with colors and prints with less costly styles like a crossbody or clutch.

I challenge you to invest in a bright bag that coordinates with an accent color in your core capsule. There is no way not to feel happy when you are wearing a colorful purse.

1 Outfit, 2 Ways

Want to see this formula in action? Here are two different looks created with the same base, re-styled accessories and swapped shoes. 

How To Accessorize Like a Stylist: Day Look. Keeping it casual with flat sandals and an open chambray shirt

How To Accessorize Like a Stylist: Day Look. Keeping it casual with flat sandals and an open chambray shirt

Wrapping Up

You probably have plenty of accessories already, you just weren't sure how to style them. However, if you feel like you could use a few more pieces to round out your collection, hit up a thrift store. Seriously! I love thrifting for vintage bags, jewelry and scarves. You can play around with different shapes, textures and colors without breaking the bank and you are guaranteed to find something completely unique. 

SHOPPING TIP: For your best chance at scoring a treasure for cheap, scour thrift stores in wealthy neighborhoods. 

Hopefully this basic to brilliant accessorizing formula helps you better visualize the elements of a well styled outfit. As you get more comfortable with the process, you'll start to tweak the formula and break the "rules" to create a look that feels 100% you. (PS: There are no rules.)

Be the Bright!

xoxo

Jenn

PS: If you like what I write, please click the heart. I'll be your best friend. 


The Only Capsule Wardrobe E-Book You Actually Need

If you appreciate the practical "how to put an outfit together" tips in this blog post you are going to LOVE my new e-book!

MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide is the definitive source for creating a customized capsule wardrobe (full of color, texture and personality) and cementing your personal style in the process.

How to Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 3: Spot Your Signature

How to Cement Your Personal Style Part 3: Spot Your Signature

Personal Style Defined

Personal style is a fluid concept.  One thing is certain - you know great style when you see it. This is because style transcends clothing – it’s a vibe. Style is the energy of multiple elements that add up to a look with feeling.

It takes time, energy and self-realization to cultivate a wardrobe that feels 100% you. But here’s the good news! Without realizing it you’ve already spent years experimenting with trends, admiring stylish people and collecting inspiration. 

The goal of this series is to help you process all that info so you can get down to business and start cultivating your unique look.

Stylish Pre-Work

  1. If you are just joining this series, start here:
  2. To get the most out of this interactive style series, you'll need a Pinterest account. If your don't have one, join here: Pinterest
  3. Last task: Follow MappCraft on Pinterest below

Lesson 3: Spot Your Signature

Now that we've stalked hundreds of super chic ladies on Pinterest you've likely noticed that the ones you remember often have a style signature - a definitive element that appears over and over again in their outfits. 

Style signatures are not limited to garments or accessories, a style signature could be a preference towards a certain silhouette, a styling technique, haircut or even makeup. Some signatures are incredibly obvious and some require a relationship with the stylish to recognize. 

Can you spot these famous fashion icons style signatures?

 

What's My Signature?

Now don't get overwhelmed at the idea of selecting one item to represent you for all of eternity. Your style signatures evolve with your tastes, circumstances and interests.

For the past three weeks (thanks to this eye opening astrological transit) I've become obsessed with distressed denim shorts like those favored by Julie Sarinana of Sincerelyjules.com. Why? I'm embracing the recognition that my current personal vibe is that of a Free Spirit archetype, and playing around with clothes that reflect the way I am feeling RIGHT NOW. The distressed denim jean shorts won't make much sense in November, but they've motivated me to replace a pair of skinny jeans with a more relaxed boyfriend cut for my Autumn 2016 capsule. 

You'll see more of the my evolved Free Spirit + Editorial Eclectic aesthetic in the upcoming Autumn 2016 capsule but just because I am replacing some of my more structured silhouettes with billowy bottoms doesn't mean I won't pair them with my signature Hermes scarves.

I'll just find a new way to tie them.

It's A turban, It's a Belt, It's a half top - It's a dang scarf, ya'll

It's A turban, It's a Belt, It's a half top - It's a dang scarf, ya'll


If you like what I write, please click the heart below.

xoxo 

Jenn

How To Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 2: Evaluate Accessories

How to cement your personal style - lesson 2: Evaluate accessories 

How to cement your personal style - lesson 2: Evaluate accessories 

Personal Style Defined

Personal style is a fluid concept.  One thing is certain - you know great style when you see it. This is because style transcends clothing – it’s a vibe. Style is the energy of multiple elements that add up to a look with feeling.

It takes time, energy and self-realization to cultivate a wardrobe that feels 100% you. But here’s the good news! Without realizing it you’ve already spent years experimenting with trends, admiring stylish people and collecting inspiration. 

The goal of this series is to help you process all that info so you can get down to business and start cultivating your unique look.

Stylish Pre-Work

  1. If you are just joining this series, start here: How To Cement Your Personal Style: Examine Style Archetypes 
  2. To get the most out of this interactive style series, you'll need a Pinterest account. If your don't have one, join here: Pinterest
  3. Last task: Follow MappCraft on Pinterest below

Lesson 2: Evaluate Accessories

Truly stylish people have a look you can't define. Sure, they may lean towards one style archetype over another, but often they incorporate multiple influences into their outfits with accessories.

Accessories allow you to experiment with a style archetype you'd never wear head to toe. For example, I don't consider myself a Free Spirit, but I love the energy of layered necklaces, gladiator sandals and a flowing Missoni caftan (especially at the beach).  

I am also attracted to Edgy looks but the idea of tight jeans and a leather jacket makes me tired, so I incorporate an Edgy attitude into a Classic outfit with a studded bag or spike earrings.

The goal of today's activity is to recognize that seemingly conflicting elements (i.e. Classically Chic pearls with a Edgy moto jacket) can add up to create a unique look.

Back to the boards! Today we are going to replicate our Lesson 1: Examine Style Archetypes activity with a focus on accessories. 

ACTIVITY: Pinspiration

Step 1: Create an EVALUATE ACCESSORIES board in your Pinterest account 

Step 2: Browse the 8 Archetypal Accessories boards below 

Step 3: Pin whatever accessories resonate, don't think too hard about overall Style Archetypes, your lifestyle, the cost or any other practical consideration. Again: vibe

1. Edgy Accessories

 

2. Americana Accessories

 

3. Editorial Eclectic Accessories

 

4. Classically Chic Accessories

 

5. Athleisure Accessories

 

6. Full On Glam Accessories

 

7. Minimalist Accessories

 

8. Free Spirit Accessories

 

 

Step 4: Review your EVALUATE ACCESSORIES board. Do the accessories align with your favorite archetypes? Do they clash? Doesn't matter! Now that you recognize the elements that you are drawn to you'll see both patterns and paradox, which is also known as...PERSONAL STYLE. 

Mash Up Style

To close today's lesson, consider the incredibly stylish ladies below. Each outfit is a combination of archetypal influences and accessories that add up to create a truly unique look. 

 

Stylish Homework

Put together an outfit using elements from at least 3 style archetypes. Share your look on the MappCraft Facebook Page. 

Resources

How To Cement Your Personal Style Lesson 3: Spot Your Signature

Next week we will look at iconic examples of signature style and explore how to incorporate your own signature items into your look. 

xoxo Jenn

If you like what I write (and my live MappCraft Facebook vids) please share, follow, like and CLICK THE HEART BELOW. You will be rewarded handsomely in your next lifetime and the next time I see you in person. 

 

How to Craft a Capsule Wardrobe Part 2: Nail Your First Capsule

how-to-nail-your-first-capsule-wardrobe

Intrigued about minimizing your closet but you don't know where or how to start?

Happy to help! 

Here is a simple tutorial on how to create your first capsule wardrobe and a brief overview about how the MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe philosophy is different from others (hint: accessories).

Let's get started!

What is a Capsule Wardrobe, Anyway?

Your very first capsule wardrobe is just one blog post away

Your very first capsule wardrobe is just one blog post away

A capsule wardrobe is a tightly edited collection of clothes you wear over the course of a season. The MappCraft capsule wardrobe contains between 35 - 40 garments. 

Each item is selected for versatility and to complement your lifestyle and body. The goal is to curate a tiny closet in which everything fits, makes you feel fantastic and can be worn in multiple ways.

At the end of each season your capsule should be evaluated for productivity. Donate, gift or consign the items that you did not wear, store out of season items and then, with a plan and a purpose, shop to fill in the gaps.

The Accessory Equasion

Accessories are the connective tissue of your capsule wardrobe

Accessories are the connective tissue of your capsule wardrobe

The MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe philosophy fully embraces the art of accessorizing. I believe in maintaining a supplemental accessory capsule, which is why accessories aren't included in the core capsule wardrobe garment count. A healthy mix of shoes, bags, jewelry and signature extras allows you to experiment with trends, hone your outfit creation skills and cement your personal style.

Hmmm... this one goes, this one stays and this one is just right

Hmmm... this one goes, this one stays and this one is just right

How Do I Start a Capsule Wardrobe?

Step 1

Read this post for an overview on how to conduct a Ruthless Wardrobe Edit.

This is a critical first step.

Once you've ruthlessly edited your closet down to only the garments you truly love, it's time to craft your first capsule.

Step 2

Remove out of season or special occasion items. Store out of sight. 

Step 3

Evaluate and organize what's left. The MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe contains 35 - 40 core garments spanning 4 categories. A rough breakdown looks like this:

  • 9 Tops (Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters)
  • 9 Bottoms (Skirts, Pants, Shorts, Denim)
  • 9 Dresses (Dresses, Rompers, Jumpsuits)
  • 9 Layers (Cardigans, Jackets, Vests, Outerwear)

Don't get caught up on the numbers or categories. You may hate pants or dresses. Don't wear them! The goal is to cultivate a closet that is 100% you.

Step 4

Fill in the gaps. This step does not need to happen in a day, or even a week. Take your time. Comparison shop. Research designers and retailers online. Once you are ready to make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it timeless? You want to be able to wear the majority of your capsule for multiple years, incorporating trends through accessories rather than apparel.
  • Is it versatile? Does it coordinate with at least 2 garments from each category?
  • Does it fit comfortably? Tugging at clothes all day is never a good look. However - a tailor can work wonders for simple fixes like hemming or strap adjustment.
  • Is the cut/fabric/formality/care appropriate for my lifestyle? Toddlers and silk do not mix and dry cleaning is expensive.
  • Can I afford a better version? Quality over quantity is the name of this game.

Sample Summer Capsule Wardrobe

So what does a capsule wardrobe actually look like? See below for a sample capsule pulled from my Summer 2016 capsule wardrobe. This is simply a visual guideline to help you get started. In fact, the templates below only total 30 garments - who needs multiple layers in summer?

Tailor your capsule to the season, your needs and lifestyle. The only rule is mindfulness! 

Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters

Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters

Skirts, shorts, pants, denim

Skirts, shorts, pants, denim

Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, tunics 

Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, tunics 

Cardigans, jackets, blazers, vests

Cardigans, jackets, blazers, vests

What Do You Wear to Parties and on the Weekend?

Good question! I maintain two separate, very small capsules for weekends and special events.

Weekend Capsule

My weekend edit contains 3 pairs of chino shorts (same cut, different colors), 3 cotton tanks and 3 v-neck t-shirts. All are from J.Crew. I personalize my weekend uniform with colorful shoes and accessories.

Shorts, tanks and colorful tees 

Shorts, tanks and colorful tees 

Cocktail Capsule

The special events edit contains 4 core garments, all black, 2 pairs of party heels and 2 clutches. I mix and match these items, all impactful in their own right, with elements from my accessory collection and core capsule to create multiple cocktail looks.

Mix and match black with festive details  

Mix and match black with festive details  

C'mon - Get Tiny!

Hopefully this post inspired you to take the plunge and create a tiny closet for yourself.  Check out the Outfit Gallery for examples of how I create multiple looks from my mini wardrobe. 

If you are still feeling hesitant, perhaps this is the reason. Think about it.

Once you've nailed your core apparel capsule(s), the next step is accessories! Stay tuned.

Please share this guide with anyone you know who is interested in the capsule wardrobe concept. If you enjoyed this read, I'd love you forever if you could just CLICK THE LITTLE HEART BELOW, or, better yet, COMMENT.

xoxo Jenn