Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Forget Pajama Day! The Spirit Week Approach to Personal Style

I have always wanted to be one one of those people that plans out their outfits ahead of time. I can count on one hand the number of evenings I have spent neatly laying out the next day's look. I like to live in the moment, maaan, so planning is not my strongest suit (evidenced by the fact that I had to Google how to cook the Hot Pocket I ate for breakfast at work this morning).

Most of the time I manage to make it work. I am usually ankle deep in a pile of laundry of varying cleanliness with only one item that I DEFINITELY FOR SURE want to wear that day, pulling stuff off the floor and out of the closet and trying to match them to The Chosen Thing. Then I try on a bunch of shirts and shoes and, wait should I wear tights? The bus is gonna come in like seven minutes and I still need to feed the cat, and are my keys still in my bag? Forget it, I'll figure out something amazing to wear with these shoes tomorrow instead.

Because of this, I end up wearing a lot of black.  My go to outfit is usually black skinny jeans and a black turtleneck and it's fine. Throw a nice pair of boots, sunglasses and some chandelier earrings and it looks fairly chic. Passable for work, a little overdressed for happy hour, I look like a spy at the grocery store. But the thing is, on me, it's predictable. You could put betting odds on whether or not I'll show up in the same black Target turtleneck I've had for years.

This, my friends, is called Being In A Rut and I was in one bad over the winter. I wanted to be fabulous all the time but I was tired of everything I owned. I was trying to think of ways to freshen up my wardrobe without having to spend money. And then one day it came to me...

Remember Spirit Week at high school? The week leading up to homecoming where every day had a different theme; pajama day, decade day, dress like an old person day, leading up to the inevitable School Colors Friday? I never participated because the only thing that has ever surpassed my love of dressing up was my hatred of high school. But I remember this being A Thing That Happened and so
I started thinking in terms of spirit week.

I took out my notebook and wrote out each of the days of the week and then assigned a theme/inspiration for each day.

From the outside, dressing with flair seems like a matter of simply choosing great pieces and putting them together correctly. The tricky part is consistency. No matter what I wear I want each outfit to be able to coexist in the same universe. I want to look unique every day but not like I'm wearing a costume. That's why I like the Spirit Week model. It doesn't mean you're wearing the same outfit every Tuesday (Your therapist and the UPS driver would think you only had one look!). It just means you saved yourself some time on Tuesday morning because you already knew what vibe you're going for.

Of course, it's up to you to pick your own themes for each day. Once you start thinking about it the possibilities just flood in. Downton Abbey Day? Sailor Moon Day? David Bowie Day? Oh yes please!

It also makes shopping easier because it helps you narrow down what you need. It's so easy to go into Forevs and just pull shit off the rack, but then you end up with a lot of stuff you'll never wear. If you've been doing the Spirit Week system for a little bit you'll start thinking "If only I had a braided black belt, which I could wear with my country singer outfits AND on metal babe day!" Oh God, that sounds like planning!!

So yeah. Think of this as the training wheels on the road to daily fabulosity.  Rah rah, sis boom bah! Shop Girl Spirit Forever!

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