My love affair with fashion goes back as far as I can remember. My grandma had baskets of her house dresses and robes from the 1960’s in our playroom. My sister and I spent hours playing dress-up. As I got older our annual back to school shopping trip was something I looked forward to for weeks. My best friend and I would make lists every season of our ‘must-haves’ there wasn’t a page of a Delia’s catalog that we didn’t dream about (we HAD to have all the crop tops, JNCO jeans and platform sandals). In my early high school years I was trying trends that no one else in my small, rural town was wearing. I am even the proud owner of the title ‘Best Dressed’ in the 2002 yearbook at Waukon Senior High. (Very prestigious, I know).
As an adult, my love of fashion has continued. And now I have my own money and no one to tell me I don’t need *another* black top. Prior to the pandemic, I worked a full time job in an office setting in a creative field. I loved getting dressed for work, events and appearances. Until there was no office to go to and no events to attend. Now I work from my basement and if anyone does see me its on Zoom from the waist up. Last week, after the whole Gen Z vs. Millennials skinny jeans, side-part debacle I was shook. It wasn’t so much that teens think my style is old but that after essentially sitting a year out when it comes to clothes that aren’t leggings or hoodies, not only do I not know what’s trendy but I don’t know what I want to wear.
I did the most logical thing I could think of. I took myself online shopping. With no direction. I just started filling carts with straight leg jeans, bodysuits, midi skirts and paperbag shorts. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and I didn’t actually make any purchases. I decided to take a peek at what I already had first. (Revolutionary, I know.) Turns out, I already own straight leg jeans, about 8 bodysuits, a half dozen or more midi skirts and at least 3 pairs of paperbag shorts. Should this admission be embarrassing? Probably. Am I surprised? Nah. Long time fashion
hoarder lover, remember?
I made a wild decision to actually wear the clothes in my closet instead of buying more. So, how do I sort through this mess of jeans and dresses and shoes? It’s the perfect example of the old adage ‘a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’. Awhile ago I found the website The Mom Edit it’s a great site for style inspiration and shopping links. Earlier this month they started a daily style challenge on Instagram and I’m challenging myself to complete it the remainder of the month. Since I’m picking it up in the middle of the month I’m going to go back to the start of the challenge in March and THEN I’ll decide which pieces I need to add.
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I am going to be documenting my closet shopping journey on my Instagram. Follow me at @jessicalin19 and maybe we can get inspired together! Here are my ultimate goals for this project:
- Wear what I own.
- Learn to shop smarter by knowing what I already have in my closet and understanding my true needs to complete outfits and update my wardrobe seasonally (No, I probably don’t need another black shirt).
- Develop my personal style.
- Have fun
We asked our readers for fun, local Instagram accounts to follow for style inspiration:
Graif Clothing (Super fun Tic Tok content and fun fashion)
Vivian Rose Boutique (Girl power and inspiring messaging with a side of great fashion and accessories)
Maria Elizabeth Jewelry (Beautiful pieces that will become wardrobe staples)
Gallery 512 (A great combo of clothing and accessories)
Let’s Stay Home (Great style, plus fun items for your home!)
Heat Salon + Lifestyle Studio (So much more than just a salon!)
Who is ready to have some fun in your closet?