Stylish “It” Values for 2018

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Chemainus, BC


As I prepare to close out 2017 I can’t help but reflect back on what went well and what was total, mind-boggling nasty shit. Ugh, right? I choose not to spend time regurgitating the awful bits. Nope, I will not. What reflecting privately does do is reminds me what I endeavour to be as a person and the services I provide through my business. AKA: trying to take the positive outlook.

“It”s core values are comprised of five elements that I try hold dear to every interaction. When I started my business I attempted to align everything around these values. I don’t always get it right. No one does or should beat himself/herself/themselves up over that ridiculous expectation. Perfect is not a thing, remember? Rather, I like to review why they are the values and how I can bring them to life in 2018.

“It” Value 1: Refinement

Like all good things worth taking on, improved personal style requires some work. It requires action. As lovely as it would be to snap a finger and suddenly be living your best-dressed life, we’re not all privy to accessing Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

Oxford describes refinement as, “The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.” I love this definition because it acutely describes that the end result is worth the means. To clarify, the work to make those small changes helps to reveal or clarify who you are and what you stand for.

Small changes may include supporting brands that mirror your values. That may mean boycotting ones that don’t. For instance, if you want to support small business in your hometown, perhaps consider staying away from big, foreign owned brands and instead, shopping local. Put your money where your heart is. Another small change could mean a more literal thing like getting a pair of pants altered to fit you banging body just so.

“It” Value 2: Precision

Back to our friend Oxford, precision is, “The quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate.” When I read and re-read that, I think I need to adjust that to something more attainable like “deliberate.” Precision may be too precise of a word and I think personal style requires taking risks and being able to laugh about it when it doesn’t land. That’s how you learn.

I’m learning too. Sometimes we have to make adjustments after we get more useable information. What I hope this value can stand for is the desire to do what you say you’re going to do. If you know you’re never going to wear something, don’t buy it (or get rid of it if you already own it and don’t want to wear it). It means giving enough of a shit to use clothing as a tool. Your clothing speaks volumes without saying a single word. For 2018 I challenge you to consider if you are expressing yourself deliberately?

For some that may mean a simple wardrobe of a few, tidy things to reflect their no-nonsense attitude. For others that may mean wearing extravagant clothing every dang day. Do you, boo boo, as I like to say. But actually do it. Laziness or inaction is a choice, too. If that’s what you choose, good on you. However, I urge you to make sure that is, indeed, what you’re trying to communicate to your world.

“It” Value 3: Openness

To entertain refinement and deliberation into your stylish life, one needs a little openness. Before you know what the “real” you is you’re likely going to have to experiment a bit. Get out of your usual comfort zone and play. Openness is defines simply as, “Lack of restriction; accessibility.” Sign me up.

That openness may mean shopping at new to you stores, new sizes, or new sections (like the men’s). As you go along, trying things, you’ll start to notice when those things feel good and bad. At that point you can totally draw some boundaries.

If personal style was a dating game, I would be the one encouraging you to date a bit before committing to any one thing. And unlike people, you can simply take off what isn’t working sartorially for you rather than having to have that awkward, “It’s not you it’s me” talk.

“It” Value 4: Sincerity

Oxford defines the word, “The absence of pretence, deceit, or hypocrisy.” Ding dong. As much as I think the phrase “live your most authentic life” is cheesy and overdone, the root of it rings true. Sincerity is a very close sibling of the value of authenticity but it somehow has a bit more kindness wrapped into it. It’s the nicer brother.

Authenticity strives for being “original.” While that is admirable, it’s really fucking hard. Why not try being you, regardless of if that’s like someone else or not? I repeat, just be you. The great news about that goal or value is you already are. All you have to do is remove any barriers that may be prohibiting that.

That may mean defending your dope AF outfit if you get a rude comment. That may mean going through your wardrobe and getting rid of things that no longer reflect who you are as a person (brands, life phase, certain materials, to name a few). That may also mean getting rid of clothing that no longer fits and flatters your body. Basically, it’s all about getting some realness back in your life starting with your closet.

“It” Value 5: Joy

Perhaps the most important – or at the very least – fun value I hold near and dear is joy. Oxford say that it is, “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness,” Mmmmmmm hmmmmmmm. Marie Kondo is the real deal. Once you have the previous four values handled, make sure any garment you bring into your home and life makes you fucking happy. I mean it. This value seems so simple but we can lose sight now and then.

I understand that many of you work in an industry that calls for a uniform or particular gear. Totally get that. I encourage you to follow that protocol. I also encourage you to make sure, everyday, you wear something that gives you a little giggle. Perhaps that joy can be expressed in a particular pair socks or underwear. Maybe that’s jewellery or your hair do. Maybe it’s even a little, silly pin attached to a discreet area. Whatever it is, have a little fun with it.

When you are considering buying something new please, pretty please be sure that it makes you deliriously happy. If it doesn’t, pass. You work too hard and there are too many awesome choices for you not to aim for a piece that gives you something back.

This fast approaching New Year is an opportunity to reflect and refocus. I’ll be editing my life. If you’d like some help with yours, call me.