By: Christina Hebets, Buffalo Exchange HQ
I am a numbers person, the ultimate problem solver and, until recently, fairly fashion illiterate. Fresh out of college, I came to Buffalo Exchange Headquarters for the opportunity to grow my career and jump head first into the working world. It didn’t take long before the fashion energy around me became contagious. In order to embrace my new environment and grow as a person, I decided to make it a goal for myself to “find my personal style”.
The Back Story: Before I Found My Personal Style
I am an avid rock climber, hiker and overall adventure seeker, so it had been a long time since I had thought of clothes as anything more than a necessity or protection against the elements. As I looked at my old wardrobe, it seemed to range anywhere from high school clothes to comfy pants with holes and, most prevalently, athletic garb. Now that I had a grown-up job, I knew that it was time for the dreaded closet upgrade, but I didn’t know where to start.
I decided to begin with the most comfortable first step I could think of: a closet makeover. I feel stressed with clutter, so I couldn’t wait for a clothing purge. If I hadn’t worn it recently, gone. If it didn’t fit, gone. And most importantly, if I didn’t feel good in it, GONE! It was like getting a haircut – I felt lighter and freer immediately.
Shopping Day: Finding My Personal Style, One Cute Item at a Time
For the next step, I needed more help. Shopping is a terrifying concept to me, so I decided to bring along some co-workers. This was not just for their bright personalities but for their amazing fashion sense as well. If anyone could guide me, it would be them.
I rarely go anywhere unprepared, so I collected photo inspiration from Pinterest for my personal style and kept in mind the outfits that I liked from being around fashion lovers all day. I found myself drawn to athleisure styles with a casual but sophisticated vibe. I liked T-shirts and fitted jeans dressed up with a pair of sunglasses or a simple lariat necklace.
Once we arrived at the store, I felt like I was on “What Not to Wear”. The gals spent the whole time guiding me with suggestions and taking my feedback on what I did and did not like about an outfit. I gave them some ground rules, but I focused on being open-minded and noting what I liked and disliked about each item. I found myself liking more feminine looks than I thought and gravitating towards flower prints and lace.
Personal Style Isn’t a Spreadsheet
Originally, I wanted to create a style algorithm: if it’s blue, then I will like it, if it’s orange, then I won’t, etc. This way, I could have rules to follow later when I didn’t have my style training wheels on. After hours of trying on clothes, though, I began to realize that fashion doesn’t work that way.
I learned that style is personal, emotional and not really explainable. It has everything to do with how you FEEL in your clothes. I was definitely surprised by some of the pieces I ended up purchasing. What was the common denominator? When I really loved an outfit, I couldn’t stop smiling in it! It didn’t matter if it was the athleisure look that I already knew I liked or the bodysuit and the bohemian dress that I didn’t expect.
Throughout this process, I learned that clothing can be so much more than a necessity. It’s that little boost you need to walk into an important business meeting or the expression on your date’s face when you enter the room. I began this journey thinking that style was complicated and overwhelming, but now I realize that it’s simple. Anyone can find their personal style by just finding clothes they feel good in. That’s what I love about Buffalo Exchange. There are so many options that everyone can find something uniquely them. So whether fashion’s your middle name or you’re still learning (like me), I wish you truly HAPPY style hunting!