Ladies, today is the day you start to get your style and wardrobe in order!
Whether you work in or out of the home, have little kids at your ankles or grown adult children, are getting back in the workforce, or are blissfully retired and focusing on your passions, you deserve to look and feel great during whatever your season of life.
And I can help!
This four-week series is for real-life women, of all shapes and sizes, with any lifestyle, with big or small budgets. If you want to discover your authentic style, where to find it, and how to wear it, you’re in the right place.
Participating is easy.
Just follow our Friday post for the month of April.
So, who am I?
If you are new to our site – Welcome!
The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge is the cornerstone of our community.
Before we dive in, a little about me so you can better understand the perspective I bring to my work.
I was a wardrobe stylist for the first half of my career.
I started my first business, Kristel Closets, Inc in 2007, which, at its peak, had three offices and a team of stylists on the East Coast.
After more than a decade, I moved on to focus on building our online business.
But the experience of working with thousands of clients continues to influence my fashion and style posts today.
I take great pride in being a practical voice of fashion reason on the internet.
The advice I share, especially in this wardrobe challenge, is based on proven tips and techniques I created to help our clients define their style, organize their closets, and build a wardrobe that feels like them.
I’m a working mom to three amazing girls. So I know how busy and overwhelming life can be, how time is limited, budgets are stretched, and “me time” feels like an indulgence.
And I’m 42, so I’m not looking to dress like a kid.
Instead, I gravitate toward a sophisticated, classic style that works for my grown-up body and hectic life.
I navigate life happier and more confidently when I look and feel my best. Sometimes just putting on a pretty outfit or painting your nails can make a crummy day a little better.
Professionally, I am perhaps most proud of the community we have built over the last few years.
I may not be an influencer with a million followers, but what we have may be better: a tight knit, global community of women who are kind, supportive, and just happen to love classic modern style.
It’s About You
After the last two (plus) crummy years, many of us, myself included, have been in survival mode.
So if you find yourself emerging out of the past COVID-filled years, a little unsure of yourself, and feeling like it’s time to give yourself some attention, this challenge is for you.
I encourage you to use the next four weeks to focus on YOU. Discover what makes you feel stylish and beautiful.
Then, when this challenge is over, I promise you will have a clearer understanding of what you like and what will work for you, so shopping and getting dressed are easier.
Here’s How the Wardrobe Challenge Works:
Every Friday, for the next four weeks (starting today!) I will share a series of challenges to help you build a better wardrobe.
Take your time with each Challenge. It’s great to do them in a week, but don’t worry if you can’t.
Be sure to finish each Challenge in order before moving to the next. I structured the Challenge to build upon the tasks of the previous week.
You can follow along with the group (join our private women-only Facebook group to interact one-on-one) or go at your own pace.
Trust the process, commit to the journey, and do this for yourself!
Week 1: Finding Inspiration and Your Personal Style
Challenge #1 : Find Inspiration
In the early years of Kristel Closets, I would arrive at an initial appointment, which took place in our client’s closet. We started by talking about her clothing challenges, likes, and dislikes. I noticed that almost every client had trouble describing their style.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that we needed a visual to articulate each client’s unique personal style.
So I created a series of pre-work for them to complete before our first appointment, designed to help the process move smoothly and efficiently.
I was always aware of our private clients’ investment when they chose to work with us, so this was a way to make sure we got on the same page as quickly as possible and spoke the same language.
Pull Inspiration Pictures
A big part of this pre-work was to pull inspiration pictures.
I can tell you that the clients who took the time to complete this task had the most success. And the same goes for our readers who take this part of the challenge seriously.
Do not skip this part.
Many of you are looking to streamline and simplify your wardrobe; others mentioned that they recognize style in others but have difficulty translating for themselves. And an overwhelming majority of participants say they have too much in their closets.
Without a clear understanding of your style, it will be a challenge to edit your wardrobe correctly.
By organizing inspiration pictures, we can create a filter that will help you purge your closet and shop better.
We recommend Pinterest to help organize these images, especially for this challenge. It’s a great place to search for and share ideas. Past participants have set up a board just for outfit inspiration.
When you are searching, type in words like: personal style 2022, workwear 2022, casual outfits 2022.
Adding the year to your search is super important so the most current images show up in your feed.
Here is my inspiration board:
If you’re not on Pinterest, no worries. You can use magazines or catalogs. I like InStyle and Oprah magazine for this exercise. You’ll need them for next week’s challenge. So pour yourself a glass of wine or have a cup of tea and pull as many pictures as you like but have at least 20.
For now, do not think about your body type, budget, or whether it’s appropriate for your life. You are just getting a sense of what you like.
Challenge #2: Define your Lifestyle
Our lives are continually evolving, but our wardrobes tend to stay the same.
If you have changed jobs, got married or divorced, had a baby, had another baby, left the workforce, or are just getting back into it, retired, or any number of lifestyle changes, this exercise will help you get clear on your needs.
To get a visual of how and where you spend your time, create a Lifestyle Diagram.
It’s easy; draw a circle on a piece of paper to use as a pie chart. Now, break down your life according to percentages totaling 100%.
Include work, activities, travel, date nights, anything you spend time doing. It’s essential to see how you are spending your time.
* I do not include sleep 🙂
You might find you’re buying a lot for work but have nothing to wear to your kid’s soccer game.
When I first did this exercise, I didn’t have enough options for social outings and date nights. Today, I need more sporty, casual pieces for a life lived close to home with lots of kids.
Tip! We have had some participants take this very seriously! They went so far as to create an Excel spreadsheet and pie chart to capture their percentages.
Here’s My Lifestyle Diagram:
Again, post your charts in our Facebook group for everyone to see! It’s always fun to see the categories we forget about.
Complete both of these challenges before you start the next round of challenges.
Join me on Sunday, April 3rd at 10 am EDT for our Week 1 LIVE!
Every week of the challenge I host a 60 minute Facebook LIVE to explain the week’s challenges in more detail and answer your questions.
This week I’ll be LIVE on Sunday, April 3rd at 10am EDT.
These are always fun! See you then.
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Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers
Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers.
Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail.
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