Before last fall, strangers never stopped me on the street to remark on my personal style and my wardrobe. Friends, sure, but never strangers.
“Hey miss, I gotta stop you – that is a fantastic coat!” the stranger said cheerfully with a kind smile and a gentle shoulder touch as I waited on the train platform.
Such an unexpected rush of pleasure when someone stops me to compliment my rose gold winter coat, to mention the pleasure of spring that my dresses evoke, or to stroke my black fur ruana.
Developing My Personal Style
These things never happened when I wore jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers as my standard uniform. How did I move beyond the standard jeans, T-shirt, and sneakers that made up my wardrobe before last fall and develop my personal style?
Enter the Get Your Pretty On Seasonal Style Challenges which taught me how to develop my style. You can check out more Get Your Pretty On style products here (affiliate link).
What is a style challenge?
I actually first became aware of Get Your Pretty On through a couple of homemaking bundles. In fact, I wound up with both The Big Book of Outfits and the Capsule Wardrobe Builder from these bundles. After the first challenge, I even bought a couple of past style challenges that were on sale, but I never quite committed to the challenge of changing my personal style.
Benefits of Style Challenges
My favorite benefit of GYPO’s style challenges (affiliate link) is absolutely the flexibility of the capsule wardrobes to develop a personal style, but there are many other benefits including:
- Gets the benefit of capsule wardrobes without having to build them from scratch
- Gives you a list of clothes, shoes, and accessories to purchase or find to refresh your closet each season.
- Mixes classic pieces with trend items to encourage getting out of your comfort zone.
- Encourages shopping of your closet to save money.
- Motivates you to substitute color palettes and personal pieces from your closet as needed.
- Removes decision fatigue by giving you a list of daily outfits
- Gains access to private Style Challenge Facebook group full of lovely supportive women of varying ages and sizes
- Awesome bonuses like make-up tutorials, packing lists, previous capsule challenges
Who Benefits from Style Challenges
These challenges are perfect for anyone stuck in a personal style rut or anyone that needs to refresh their wardrobe. In the seasonal private Facebook groups, I’ve seen so many different women participate from all walks of life including:
- Professional women who don’t have time to figure out what to wear every day
- New graduates who need to update their wardrobe for new careers
- Women who work at home but still want to get out of their yoga pants
- Mid-life women who don’t have time to follow fashion trends
- Older women who want to stay in style
- And many others …
GYPO estimates that they’ve had more than 30,000 participants since Alison Lumbatis first started her blog, Get Your Pretty On, more than 5 years ago.
How I Developed My Own Personal Style through GYPO
I’ve never had any sense of style, not really. Over the course of my lifetime, I have made the following “style” choices:
- Neon clothing (yes, it was in style at the time, yes, it looked terrible on me)
- Big frumpy dresses for a year in high school (big and frumpy are really the problem, not so much the dresses)
- Dark baggy jeans, T-shirts/sweaters, and sneakers (not so bad except I didn’t believe in accessories or cute over functional)
I’ve been comfortable with my weight for more than a decade, but I also chose to wear big sweaters and T-shirts, baggy jeans, and plain sneakers.
Maybe it was part of my active desire to blend into the wallpaper of life, but last year as I’ve really started to move toward taking control of my health, I’ve challenged myself to stop being so invisible.
As part of that push to become more visible, I revisited the idea of my wardrobe (it didn’t help that I suddenly fit into zero of my clothes). I took the first step by ordering new clothes in April 2018, clothes that I no longer fit by August.
Buying a second wardrobe in less than six months did not seem like a good idea, particularly looking ahead to further weight loss. I bit the bullet and purchased the Fall 2018 Style Challenge and was an active participant.
Evolution of My Personal Style
After almost a year of participating in the style challenges, I’ve definitely figured out what works and what doesn’t for my own personal style. It’s intriguing to look back on the evolution of my personal style since September 2018.
Fall 2018 Style Challenge:
Going into my first style challenge, I didn’t know what to expect. When I saw the list, I was really not sure if I could adhere to the list. I decided that I would take some risks with what I purchased from the list including buying metallic sneakers, gray calf boots, a leopard print belt, and olive jeans. The first style challenge allowed me to start refining my personal taste. By the end, I loved the denim jacket, the gold sneakers and gray boots, and the black floral top. However, I did not love the olive jeans, the chambray top, and blue ripped jeans. The other downside: I went from 3 pairs of shoes to 10 pairs of shoes. 🙂
By the end of the fall, I enjoyed the challenge so much that buying the annual challenge made perfect sense when it went on sale in November.
Winter 2019 Style Challenge:
By the time I started buying items for the winter challenge, I had a better sense of my personal style which made substituting a little simpler. I also switched to one of the alternate color palettes offered and went a lot pinker and gold. Plus, I increased the number of pairs of shoes again.
Some of the subs I made for winter 2019:
- Gold metallic jacket in place of an olive winter jacket (so many compliments for this change)
- Winter cat sweater instead of winter dog sweater
- Pink and purple plaid instead of burgundy and blue plaid
- Gold velvet and black floral velvet dresses instead of navy velvet
- Pink sweater, mauve jeans instead of burgundy sweater and pants
I adored all of these substitutions which meant that I was closer to choosing a color palette that I really loved and getting a better sense of what substitutions look like. In particular, this experience demonstrated how flexible style challenges were.
Spring 2019 Style Challenge:
After two successful style challenges, I went into the spring challenge knowing exactly what my color palette should look like and what kind of substitutions I could make. Even more importantly, spring is my favorite season so spring colors and dresses excited me.
Take a look at some of the substitutions I made for spring 2019:
- Gold metallic jacket in place of an olive jacket (spring came late to Boston so my winter coat sufficed)
- Pink striped top in place of a navy striped top
- White floral dress in place of a neutral shirt dress
My substitutions for spring tended to be color-related more than item-related. A number of winter items stayed in rotation – for example, I’m just now putting away all the jeans from winter due to the chilly weather. In addition to the white floral dress (which I will use for summer as well), I fell in love with Old Navy white faux leather tennis shoes this challenge and playing with scarves in my hair.
My life and personal style
In addition to an exponential increase in compliments from friends, colleagues, and strangers, participating in the style challenges improves my life and personal style. A few of the benefits I’ve noticed:
- Development of my color palette
- Easier to focus on other more important things when I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to wear each day
- Falling in love with dresses and skirts again
- Flexibility of each challenge means I’m able to substitute the colors and items as needed to fit my lifestyle
- Mixing classic and trendy items makes me feel fashionable but not dangerously risky
- Fits my budget since I shop my closet for the most part (especially after 3 challenges)
- Inspires me to clean out my closet regularly
Summer Style Challenge 2019
Check out the amazing things that you’ll get if you decided to participate:
- A capsule wardrobe shopping list of trendy items and classic pieces that you put together from your closet and the stores you want
- Links to shop for recommended items online or in store for every budget and body type!)
- A daily outfit idea created from pieces on the shopping list emailed to you so you know exactly what to wear every day
- A printable outfit guide to hang in your closet or keep in your bullet journal when you need inspiration or want to plan ahead
- The support of an incredibly supportive private Facebook group of style sisters where we share shopping tips, outfit inspiration, substitutions, and fit advice
Why I’m Excited for Summer 2019
- So flexible! I’ve opted to sub skirts for shorts or capris in the hopes that they will survive through the next year.
- Trying out a floral kimono, a sun hat, a straw tote in a variety of outfits
- A chance to re-use all the stuff I’ve bought in previous challenges including my white sneakers, my printed skirt, my denim jacket, and my pink striped tee.
- The Facebook group – quite honestly my favorite part of the challenges
- No, seriously, all the skirts – Check out the inexpensive ones I bought for the summer challenge.
From summer 2017 until summer 2019, my personal style underwent a radical transformation all thanks to the seasonal style challenges by Get Your Pretty On. During the course of the last year or so, I shifted from wearing jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers to wearing a variety of outfits, accessories, and shoes. The impact of the seasonal style challenges on my life and on my personal style cannot be understated. The compliments, the opportunity to get to know a lovely group of women in private Facebook groups, the easy way of dressing, the simplicity of the capsule wardrobe – these are all benefits that became apparent to me after 3 solid rounds of style challenges.
But I really hope you’ll join me in participating in the summer style challenge (affiliate link) and posting selfies to the private Facebook group so I can see you develop your own personal style! And don’t forget to let me know what compliments you receive from strangers!