Introduction to Stage One: Taking Stock

A drum roll please...!

Here I am at the very beginning of my Journey to Style project.

I'm sorely tempted to jump right in, decimate my closet in a frenzied clear out... and then go shopping!

But instead I'm determined to show some willpower and devote this initial stage to taking stock.

This, then, is how I'm planning to start:

First of all:

I'm going to indulge in a little navel gazing regarding my lifestyle at this stage in my life: I'm going to look at my interests, what's important to me, and what isn't so much. After all, style is so much more than just what we wear and how we look - it encompasses how we think about ourselves, and pretty much the whole way we live our lives.
We take so much about ourselves for granted. But when we don't have a clear (and clear-eyed) view of who we really are and what matters to us, how can we hope to reflect this in how we dress and present ourselves to the world?

Working on: an overview of my lifestyle and what's important to me

Next up:

As I said when I wrote about where I am at the start of this project, I feel overwhelmed and clueless in the face of my random and completely uncoordinated wardrobe.
Therefore I've resolved to take out every single item of clothing, every pair of shoes and every accessory I own, and appraise each in turn. Then I'm going to make an inventory with the aim of discovering:
  • How many items of clothing (etc.) do I actually own?
  • How many of them do I wear on a regular (or semi-regular) basis?
  • How many have not been worn in the past 6 months? The past year? Never?
  • Does everything I own fit? If not, can it be altered? (and if not then why am I keeping it?)
  • Do I like everything I own? If not, why did I buy it, and why is it still in my closet?

Even with my fairly moderate wardrobe, this is looking like a big, scary task. Plus I have an uncomfortable feeling that I'm going to be forced to confront a few demons along the way...!
On the other hand it's going to be intensely satisfying to have - at least for a while - a detailed overview of what I own and what I wear!

Working on: wardrobe inventory and appraisal of each item

What else?

Well, I'm throwing myself into research.
Obviously this needs to go a little deeper than my frustrating initial efforts. So I'm starting - in true academic style - by drawing together my target sources of information, and prioritizing things that I consider to be particularly helpful. Bibliographies and reading list to be distributed shortly :-)
In truth though, I do enjoy a bit of research. And even at this very early stage it has already been an eye-opener. I can hardly believe how many personal style guides, grooming books and beauty 'how tos' there are out there! Needless to say, many of them of quite dubious value...
Let's see how far I get before indigestion starts to set in!

Working on: getting an overview of what help and guidance is out there

A critical situation:

On a more immediately practical level I urgently need to do something about an impending bra crisis.
Not only are my current bras on their absolute last legs, but I'm pretty sure that they never really fit even before the elastication gave out (oh the shame!).
I have never been fitted for a bra, ever, so there's a high probability that I have never worn a correctly fitting bra. Time to sort that out!

Working on: emergency bra shopping here I come...

And also...

I'm determined to start my quest to get active - and ultimately fitter (slimmer would be nice too).
As someone who is pretty much 'desk bound' during working hours (plus heading slowly but inexorably towards middle age), I urgently need to incorporate some real exercise into my daily life. Otherwise I run the risk of either falling apart or seizing up completely!
I've never been the sporty type, and I certainly don't have much in the way of spare time. So figuring out how to do this in a sustainable (rather than a 'quick fix') way is going to be a challenge in itself.

Working on: figuring out my shaping up options... and getting started!


I'm committed myself to a self-imposed spending ban.
The duration is yet to be determined, but certainly until I've figured out what I have, worked out what I need, and developed the all-important 'strategy'!
Fashion and style-related book and magazine purchases are permitted, and - of course - the much needed new bras! But no actual clothing or accessories. I've even cleared my beloved Ebay watch list (ouch!) of everything (well, nearly everything). And I've put my daily alerts on hold (well, most of them).
A good idea? At all realistic? Time will tell.
I'll keep you posted!

Working on: breaking the vicious cycle: buying nothing more until I know what I already have

What to read next:
Why a Journey to Style?
What I'm hoping to achieve
My general articles on clothes, style & looking good

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