Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

I didn’t get to a Friday reblog last week (life…work…toddlers…you know), but I found a great blog post over the weekend so I thought I’d share it today.

Making a list of what constitutes your style can be really helpful as you’re piecing together a wardrobe.  But Anuschka at Into Mind flips the concept on its head – make a list of things that aren’t your style to help weed out what doesn’t work.  I particularly liked her idea to make a subcategory for “love it on other people, not for me” as those items can be distracting and disappointing when honing your own style (“I LOVE this, but I never wear it…”  “This looks great on my friend, why doesn’t it work for me??”).

A “not my style” list is even more helpful when you’re thrifting a large portion of your closet.  If you’re not rock solid on what constitutes your personal brand of style, sweet prices, the scarcity-based feeling that there are only so many secondhand clothes to go around, and the sheer smorgasboard of styles can combine to make you splash out on a great piece that isn’t really you.

So let’s make a list.  Here’s mine:

Great on others, not for me:

-skinny jeans (I keep trying these on, they keep refusing to let my circulation move freely)
-button down shirts
-dresses with short hems
-button down cardigans
-superoversized sweaters (I have one, I wear it at home or while pregnant)
-anything sheer (I’m not prudish but I’m definitely lazy and don’t want to add another layer to make sheer work appropriate)
-jewel tones

I just don’t like them (even if they’re on-trend):

-military parkas/utility jackets – always look too casual/busy with doodads and add-ons. Also I’m not in the military or going fly fishing anytime soon.
-super wide-legged pants
-twinsets (although one of my coworkers absolutely ROCKS these…shoutout to Patti!)
-faux suits – dressing all in one color when it’s not a suit (apologies to Janice of The Vivienne Files, and my mother-in-law).  I need more variety!


I’m sure the list could be longer but it’s late and my brain just overdosed on dulce de leche cheesecake.


Alright, Thrifters, let’s see YOUR “Not My Style” lists in the comments!  And tell me – do you think this is a helpful concept?



11 thoughts on “Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

  1. I would add the open shoulder tops that are everywhere right now. To me they just look messy. So this one I will pass. I also don’t wear shiny clothes and shoes! I am earthy rich coloring and natural essence. Mary

    1. You mean the kind that have material on the top of the shoulder and the arm, but an opening on the side of the shoulder? I think they would just make me cold!
      Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m with you on the skinnies – always look like TMI to me
    also the utility jackets – love the I’m not going fishing image
    army green in general
    thanks to Mary for the cold shoulder critique – don’t like contrived gimmickry
    clutch purses – charming on others but too fiddly for me
    any pop of color accessory – want focus on the face
    cleavage, including keyhole necklines even if they don’t actually reveal anything
    clothing juxtaposed to seemingly negate and disavow each other -( like floral frocks and Doc
    sequin skirts
    too great an area of patent leather – trim little flats and trim, slim, modest size bag ok
    rainboots – too childish, too expedition-y, too hard to get on and off
    jean jackets or denim blazers – latter are flattering on me but I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t find they go with everything/anything in my wardrobe
    knee high boots, I’m beginning to suspect. Have a couple pair left and will probably purge as unworn again this year
    straight skirts! – sooo easy to thrift when I want a fix of some color I’m craving to add. Look good on me, too but I feel stumpy and blocky in them and need a touch of graceful movement in my skirts
    Anything that only has the color I want going for it because I’ve been too impatient to wear that color.
    High spindly heels, unstable kitten heels, round toe shoes, pointy toe shoes, any wedge heels that are more than an inch or so high – feel like Frankenstein’s monster in them because they don’t flex
    Mary Jane straps
    peep toe style shoes, at best are too retro
    graphic tees, message tees
    pierced earrings that I always think will work *this* time with converters
    necklaces that feel heavy on my neck
    large heavy purses
    overly compartmentalized organizer style bags, even if small
    wallet on a string type bags
    low rise jeans
    leggings in general
    black tights (though have some fleece lined ones and will occasionally wear in desperation)
    jean or pants hems that touch/drag the floor
    fishtail hems/trains that drag the floor
    maxi dresses, mainly because they never feel like leisure at-home wear to me when I have to contend with them going up and down two flights of stairs
    baseball caps, though I’ve occasionally borrowed one from husband if going to a flea market or yard sale and don’t want them to jack the prices up on me. They make me invisible in a good way for that purpose. Otherwise I have to send my friend over to ask the price on something and she buys it and I reimburse her.
    hearty/peppy/mod 60’s style. Already lived through that once.
    Most vertical stripe garments.
    Most ditsy florals, unless perhaps low contrast dark-toned
    Most camouflage because ultimately I feel silly/costume-y/fashion-y
    Snakeskin pattern garments unless filmy and loose, otherwise feel like an alien reptile
    All the faux fur vests I ever tried on. Perhaps there is one out there but so far I feel like the Hulk in them
    Bulky knit sweaters – love the look on others
    Cowl necks
    Scrunching up jacket sleeves – feel like linebacker
    Heavy tweed jackets and skirts. Would love a crisp-edged tweed jacket but only ever saw one
    once on lady I was walking behind in the city.
    Ponte knit blazers – too unenergetic looking, lie there limply or sag/droop/flap
    Most jersey dresses – don’t seem styled/cut right for the material
    Cotton knit – much prefer a poly-cotton tee. Feels miles cooler to me. Cotton sags and stays
    Woven linen – hate wrinkled clothing more than I should plus unlined linen and linen blends
    never stop feeling itchy on me
    Putty color -which I’m drawn to and end up purging because I feel like a mudflat
    Boyfriend style blocky lightweight jackets that seem so breezy and are so wrong for my shape/style
    Mini skirts
    Bermuda/walking shorts
    Full, pleated straight/wide leg pants. I’m 5 ft tall and this is altogether too much weighty fabric
    Clothes with too much fabric, in general. Most avant garde stuff with droopy crotch, wide
    panels of fabric, gimmicky sleeves that can’t be rolled up and slop into everything or make me
    feel I’m in danger of catching on fire from the gas burner
    The scratchy feel of most lurex knits
    Most polka dots, unless occasionally low contrast. Too giddy.
    Most hoods. Used to love them and even pull them up but am rethinking. Have been cutting them right off sweaters as they just look like limp extra fabric hanging around.
    Sheath dresses. They look (too) fabulous on me and I feel overdressed, too formal for casualization (even if summer sleeveless and worn with sandals) and too attention-seeking.
    Spanx. We all wore thick rubberized longline panty girdles starting in junior high. I’ve had enough. If it doesn’t fit/look fine without a constricting garment then for me it doesn’t fit, period.
    Bras because of that constricting feeling around ribcage but what can I do. Thinking rebelliously against the dictum that breasts must be hiked high to look “youthful.”
    The idea that looking “better” or your “best” has to mean thinner, taller and younger. This is not sour grapes as most people think I’m way “smaller” (thinner) than I am because I am
    narrowest in a front view and people express that they think I’m decades younger than I am. I wonder a lot what is the supposed benefit of looking young – other than perhaps a job interview to stave off age discrimination.
    Any clothing/shoes you can’t stride in.
    Handbags/purses in general because I can rarely find a comfortable one. Often don’t carry
    one at all. Though I overbuy them because maybe *this* is the one or because I imagine they will make a nice completer piece to the entirety of an outfit.
    Necklaces with round beads.

    You’d think with such a list off the top of my head I’d have a lean wardrobe. But no. I really need to keep working on what I *do* want and that’s much harder for me.

    1. Great list!! It’s so powerful to know what you don’t like – many folks can’t do this!

      The Into Mind blog post had a good idea to flip those negatives and find the positives – e.g. don’t like “most ditsy florals, unless perhaps low contrast dark-toned” becomes “DO like low contrast dark-toned florals” or some other pattern or non-pattern. Flip your negatives and try to find the opposite positive.

      1. Yes, thanks! I had already read the original Into Mind post and made a small start but the blog entry here seemed to really kick start me. I took my list and have been doing exactly that, flipping it.

  3. Definitely helpful when thrifting. Easy to skip over these:
    Colors: yellow (all shades), pastels, browns, earth tones, gold
    Animal patterns
    Muddy prints
    Faux leather
    Full skirts
    Anything tight, short, questionable
    Anything not in my list of tried and true silhouettes/colors
    Getting rid of warm tones in my wardrobe has simplified things tremendously! I have one awesome purse that goes with everything. All my coats, jackets, accessories go with everything.

    1. Totally agree on anything tight/short; full skirts; ruffles.
      And you’re right – figuring out a tone area to play with is really key. I can just skip over whole sections of clothing knowing they may be great colors but they’re not “my” colors, and everything I own is likely to play well together. More on that tomorrow!

  4. Oh, and of course, anything pilly, cheap, stained, etc.
    I do sew so I will consider a high quality item I can alter without too much trouble.

    1. Envious of sewing skills!! I saw a gorgeous cardigan by a good quality brand the other day but it was already well on its way to pilldom and my experience is that sweater stones/shavers can only do so much. Skip!

      1. Sewing is my downfall. My husband says I immediately start to remanufacture items to my specifications. :D I often can’t tell about something until I see how it hangs/moves on me. Even shortening a hem drastically – from maxi to midi or knee – affects how it moves.

        It’s funny about pilling. We have ripped jeans and frayed edges and visible seaming and distressed leathers. We have tarnished and oxidized finishes and patinas. The Japanese have the concept of wabi sabi, where the beauty emerges with somethings aging and deterioration, plus they have a whole textile art form of visible patching and overpatching and visible overstitching on rips. Why, then, do we condemn pilling so much?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *