WTF is a Minimal Maximalist?!
How I developed a personal style, and why you can too.
Hi. My name is Jodi, and I am a minimal maximalist.
This is what I imagine the local SA meeting sounds like. That’s Shoppers Anonymous, if you didn’t know. I also imagine this would be a group of impeccably dressed (yet broke) folks. Ok, back to my story...
It wasn’t easy to finally declare myself a minimal maximalist, but not for reasons you might be thinking, like, what the hell is it, anyway?! It was hard because I have been trying to decide who I am, through clothing, for a lifetime.
People Pleasing isn’t good for Personal Style
I didn’t want to put myself in the wrong box and never be able to get out.
My experience in life so far has been that people don’t like it when you change. It makes them uncomfortable and I am in the business of people pleasing… Sound familiar to anyone?
It wasn’t until I stopped caring so much about who I thought everyone wanted me to be that my true personal style emerged. Once I figured that out, it made getting dressed so much easier.
Discovering who you are through clothes is just as important as discovering who you are as an emotional person in this world, because our clothes talk before we do, whether we like it or not.
I used to be so conflicted when it came to my personal style because what I am drawn to visually is different from the style I want to cover myself in. For the longest time, I thought this meant that I was a fraud, but finally, in my 30s, I realized that I can love a style while not wearing it.
When I was younger, I dressed for my mood. If I saw some insanely clean, classic American sportswear look one day then you can bet I was dressed like a Michael Kors’ model the next day. BUT, if the week after that I saw an amazing overloaded color and accessories combo on a Dolce & Gabbana runway then everything changed and I was dressed as an eccentric Italian lady who believed too much is never enough.
I believed that if I loved it on someone else, then that meant I had to add it to my style file.
Then I started to realize that I didn’t feel like myself. I needed to start paying more attention to how I felt wearing clothes and less to how I felt looking at clothes.
I now know that personal style has nothing to do with the actual pieces, it’s only about how you feel about them. This is a huge takeaway for my clients, and it might be for you too.
How to Feel Your Personal Style
Stop trying to fit into the style you think you should have, buying the clothes and accessories that have the names and logos that social media is constantly influencing you to buy.
Stop right now and think about yourself. What do you want? What makes you feel good in your own skin. Here are some good tools to help you do that:
- Keep a file or Pinterest board with images that make you feel good. There doesn't have to be any reason why — don’t use your head here, just use your heart.
After you have 20 or so images, take some time to find a common thread. Trust me, there's one or two or three. It doesn’t have to be one specific theme, like classic or boho, or whatever box everyone tries to fit in. You are making your own box here.
Now, name it. That’s right, you are your own stylist and you’re going to name that beautifully unique personal style of yours. Whatever feels right. Get creative!
This is the hard part: Don’t get distracted. We have so much coming at us in terms of social media and the internet, not to mention marketing. Don’t get sidetracked into a style or look that isn’t you. When you aren’t sure, go back to your file/board and ask yourself if this piece of clothing or accessory fits into the style you want to have. A good rule of thumb is to cover the face/head of the person who is wearing this piece and see if you still like it. We sometimes attach feelings to a model/blogger/celebrity that can be misinterpreted as liking the outfit when in fact we just like the person wearing it.
If you want more help, check out my awesome FREE guide, “5 Tricks to Own Your Personal Style without Buying a Damn Thing.” This guide is full of the lessons and tools I have learned over the past 11 years working with clients, editors and celebrities. Get it HERE.
Thank you so much for reading this. I know your time is so precious, so stop wasting it on insecurities and feeling bad in clothes you paid too much for.
Stop feeling like an outsider, inside your closet.
PS. Btw, minimal maximalism, as I like to define it, is my love of a small edit of classic-clean silhouettes, beautiful fabrics, great fit, and subtle colors with romantic details and luxurious accessories.
Always Polishing Up,