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Curated Closet Workbook Exercise: My motivation and emotions around style

What is your main motivation for spending time on your style?

I love coming up with combinations, textures, looking good makes me feel good. My whole attitude changes completely depending on what I wear.

Something I wear in a distressed jean with a blazer, makes me feel more casual and happy-go-lucky than let’s say a fitted sheath dress with heels where I feel a little more professional and buttoned up.

These two outfits made me feel differently on the days I wore them. Casual versus Buttoned Up:

Do you use fashion as a creative outlet or an expression of your values and personality?


I use it to express my creativity. I love coming up with colour combinations, different textures, layers, mixing pieces that wouldn’t otherwise go together, trying to get prints to mix and match where I normally would not think of it.

For instance, a formal, fun safari crisp jacket, with a distressed pair of jeans with some preppy shoes.

As for an expression of my values — yes — I am not likely to wear anything sloppy, or too casual because I feel uncomfortable. I value looking nice because it makes me feel better. It’s really, all about me. Not about anyone else.

My personality also comes through when I accessorize with certain pieces, or wear a dress that has a fun elephant print on it that you can barely see! It looks like houndstooth but are elephants instead:

Does dressing well give you confidence?

One hundred percent. If I dress well, and look and feel crisp and chic, I feel confident.

If my clothes are casual, I feel a little more casual.

If they are sloppy, ill-fitting and cheap, I feel down. I don’t feel great going about by day, and feel uncomfortable the entire time knowing that I can feel what I look like to others.

To what extent is what you wear influenced by the people in your life?

A little. Readers, friends…. whatever their style is, I sort of take note of it if I like it, and then try to recreate it, or wear something similar to it, like this!

For instance, I am feeling the vibes of people going more masculine and less feminine, and I am picking up on that.

I am wearing far more neutrals, simple things, less colours all the time as of late (I still wear colour but not as often), and my shoe choices have changed from a rounded ballet toe to very pointy as being the only look that looks correct to me.

I have also moved away from wearing only statement pieces, and am starting to wear layered necklaces, delicate little pendants.. all things I never would have worn before.

For example: your close friends, relatives, acquaintances, and coworkers. Do people you are closer to have a stronger influence, or is it the other way around?

It is more the other way around from my experience. I get some influence from people I see, neighbours, colleagues, but I find that when I dress nicely, even going to simple little playdates, people show up the next time FAR more dressed up than the first time.

I can distinctly remember wearing this Reed Krakoff silk and cashmere sweater I bought secondhand for $150 but would have cost about $1350 USD at retail, to a parent’s playgroup.

I didn’t think much of it.

I just wore the sweater with some jeans, and short boots.

The two mothers that were there, complimented me on the sweater, and the next week all of a sudden, they weren’t in sweatpants and a hoodie any more, they had on jeans and a black tops like I had the last week.

Which emotions have the biggest impact on how you dress?

Whether I am happy and mentally secure or not. If I am happy, I wear happy colours.

If I am tired, or disinterested, I wear simpler outfits (just a sweater and jeans) and darker colours. I don’t accessorize as much or care to at all.

Do you dress differently when you are very happy or very sad?

Yes. When I am not happy, distracted or tired, I have no mental energy to expend on trying to come up with a cute outfit and having fun.

I don’t spend THAT much time on outfit gathering but when I am sad or tired, I don’t bother at all. 0%.

The good news is that all of my pieces are pretty great. So no matter what I pick or wear, it will always look nice and put together.

These are my go-to flats, as of late. They look great. They’re comfortable, handmade shoes from the brand Huma Blanco:

How much does a lack of confidence prevent you from wearing what you like?


I won’t wear too tight things to show my stomach — I have a little muffin top / pooch because I don’t have a flat 6-pack (actually, I find them a little disconcerting to be honest with you), but it still makes me self-conscious.

My upper arms are starting to look bubbled and make me feel self-conscious.

I feel like my thighs are a little jiggly…

So I won’t wear things that are too tight, too short, too tight…. you know. The usual. Just items that skim over my body and make me feel comfortable and pretty without my having to play heroin chic.

But I am pretty confident in what I am wearing and to wear what I like. I just avoid certain cuts or colours.


Interested in reading more?

Flip through all of my Curated Closet Workbook pages and notes.

A little about this series:

I am embarking on a 8-week (or longer) excursion to do this exercise from one of my favourite style books – The Curated Closet – and to show you what my Curated Closet Workbook (companion workbook to the actual book) looks like at every step of the way.

Why do this?

Because I know what I like but I have no idea why I like what I do. I just do, and it seems very hodge-podge and all over the place. Being very Type A, I kind of want to pin it down and to know WHY.

I feel like it would help me narrow down my style personas more, and stop me from making bad / stupid shopping mistakes.

Also, I really like reading about these kinds of things from other people. I love it when people go through and talk about their style evolution and why.

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