Thursday, January 29, 2015

My fashion notebook

Last year, I decided to start a fashion notebook. It turned out to be a great idea for me, so I thought I would share it with you.

I bought an inexpensive notebook from the drugstore and titled it Clothes. Am I a creative writer or what?

For all of 2014, I recorded every single thing I bought to wear on my body. Dresses, scarves, jewelry, shoes, socks and more. No matter what it was, it went in my notebook. Everything is recorded by month. For each item, I drew a quick sketch of it, then wrote a description underneath it that also includes where I bought it and the price.

An example is a halter dress from Belk that I lived in over the summer. I wore it as a dress, as a tunic, as a cover-up at the pool and to just relax in around the house.

Here's my notebook entry on the item (if I knew I was going to publish it I would have put more effort into my handwriting and drawing!)

Here's the actual dress so you can see that the drawing doesn't have to be exact, just a simple visual reminder of the item.

At the end of the year, it was incredibly helpful (and fun) to look back and quickly see what I bought. It helps me realize which stores I tend to shop at most, how much I spend annually, and the types of clothing and accessories I tend to buy.

I'm a very visual person, so the drawings - no matter how crudely drawn they were - were key to making this a success. If I had just written out the information without an accompanying picture, it wouldn't have had as much impact on me.

The drawing also quickly helps me see what I bought that I ended up loving and wearing a lot, and what I bought that turned out to be a dud. I think I'll go back and put a star by the items I loved and wore over and over. And an X by the items that didn't work out, some of which I've already donated to Goodwill.

I've bought things for $12 that have turned out to be amazing pieces that I constantly get compliments on. And I've bought things for $600 that are amazing pieces that I constantly get compliments on.

And the reverse is true. I've spent nominal amounts of money on things that I ended up not liking or wearing very much. And I've spent a lot of money on things I ended up not liking or wearing very much.

After studying my great fashion finds from last year, and my not-so-great ones, I really feel like I'll make even better, wiser choices this year.

I've already entered in my first note and drawing for January 2015: A gorgeous navy lacy dress with beige inserts at the waist and hem that I ordered from Boden. I'm planning on wearing it to two cocktail parties I have coming up.

I hope at the end of the year, when I look back at my entries, the lace dress will end up getting a star. If not, someone at Goodwill is going to luck up on a pretty dress that I hope earns a star in their fashion notebook.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson