my identity crisis
Look’s Maxine Eggenberger recounts how she found, lost, and refound her style identity…
I can’t recall a specific turning point
but, sometime during 2015, I began to lose my sartorial way. For a long while, I was all about statement pieces; think jacquard, faux fur, velvet and studs. I was happy. Until I wasn’t. Much like any industry, social media rides the trend wave, and as I became increasingly caught up in it, I was constantly comparing myself (and my outfits) to that of others. I’d shop solely on the recommendation of people I didn’t know, even though my job of five years was to advise you on what to buy. But life doesn’t always imitate art and personally, I was lost. To compensate, I was shopping at an exponential rate and soon, I had more clothes than I knew what to do with and a dwindled bank balance to match. This made wiping the slate clean all the more difficult. Biting the bullet, I tore out my drawers and cleared my closet in a series of cleanses. Sixteen charity shopbound bin liners later and I finally feel like I’m wearing outfits I genuinely love again: pieces that actually have synergy with one another. Looking back, I now realise that much of my anxiety stemmed from my changing taste (I now gravitate to tailored silhouettes and sleek separates which actually suit my shape) as well as the outfit oversaturation I was exposing myself to. However, there are many reasons you might feel fashion disillusion: weight loss, weight gain, a change in circumstances, having a baby, heck, even a change of season can throw you. Granted, there are significantly more serious issues at hand but if, like me, you want to embark on a journey of self (re)discovery, these are the tips that helped me regain my fashion confidence…
Be it on Pinterest or Instagram, start saving imagery of what you instinctively like, then begin looking for common denominators. Are most of them trousers? Is a colour palette starting to emerge? Looking for patterns will help you identify the clothing you’re innately drawn to.
Once you’ve pinpointed the pieces you like, get a freestanding rail (Habitat has a great one for £18) and start transferring items from your wardrobe that fit in with your concise, self-made edit. Keep anything else out of sight for the time being.
Now – be it tops, bottoms or accessories – you need to determine the pieces that are missing from your edit. The aim here is to rediscover what truly fits your personal style, so you can shop smarter in the long run.
4. Let go
After a couple of months, once you have a capsule you’re happy with, revisit the items left hanging in your wardrobe. You will likely have taken a few pieces out, but be ruthless with whatever is left. Haven’t worn it in ages? Give it to charity. Does it have sentimental value? Store it in a garment bag so as not to distract you. This is a fresh start – the less clutter, the better.
‘i finally feel like i’m wearing outfits i love again’
Set up a rail and transfer items from your wardrobe to make a concise edit
maxine’s reclaimed her style confidence