A New Direction: my year-long creative challenge

Monday, November 16, 2015 0 No tags

Jeneric Generation is taking things in a new direction for the next 12 months. I hope you will follow along on my kind of crazy style experiment!

Before I tell you what’s changing around here, I thought you might like to guess.

The following is a summary of the thought processes I have gone through in the past several months to get to my decision, which will serve as hints.

Please note that when these thoughts were going through my head, I didn’t see them as hints of what was to come. I saw them as mere moments of frustration all the way up until my light bulb- moment. Did I learn a very important lesson about the purpose of frustration in all of this? Why, yes. Yes I did.

Here are the seemingly unrelated thoughts that led to a concrete conclusion. See if you are smarter than me and can connect the dots:

  • After having a baby, I got tired of wearing ugly t-shirts and yoga pants really quickly. I wanted nothing more than to have my old wardrobe fit again.
  • I knew my body would change after having a baby, but I wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. If my body wasn’t going to return to pre-baby state, so be it. But it just performed an amazing feat, and I’d like to reward it for its efforts by taking really good care of it.
  • Taking good care of myself with the goal of being a better mom for Violet reminded me that my appearance plays a big part in how I feel about myself. And that means more than brushing my teeth and wearing workout clothes all day (and not always engaging in physical exercise).
  • We are a one-income family. I am so thankful I get to stay home with Violet, but it means we make lots of sacrifices. In practical terms: we have a tight budget to stick to.
  • In this season of tight-budgeting, I have tried a time or two to make myself believe that I really don’t care about what I wear, or at least, it’s not a big part of who I am. But that’s not true. I have always loved fashion, and while there is always something else to put our money toward, wearing clothes is a big part of life. They might as well not be ugly.
  • I love writing about style, but I don’t want to be a fashion blogger. I follow several fashion blogs, but the thought of becoming one myself sends me into a panic. Kind of like how I feel while shopping…
  • Shopping, and the world in general, makes us feel like I shouldn’t be content with what I have. And I hate that feeling.
  • I hate the battle inside me that wants things, but also wants to feel content all the time.
  • I believe that limitless options are limiting.
  • I have loved curating a capsule wardrobe over the past few years.
  • I have learned a whole lot about being content with less stuff in the past few years.
  • I hate feeling constricted. I hate feeling like a victim of my circumstances.
  • I believe in the importance of creativity in everyday life–even more so now that I have become a mom.
  • I want to keep writing Jeneric Generation, but I don’t want to feel like I have to write about being a mom all the time, or that I have to make my life as a stay-at-home-mom sound more interesting than it is.
  • I want my real life and my blog to work together seamlessly and effortlessly.
  • I want more creativity in my life, and not just in the form of writing!
  • After four years of blogging here on JG, I’m in the mood to switch things up. I am up for a new challenge because I want to see what it will teach me.
  • I am ready for a change.

So here’s my plan:

Thrifting a capsule wardrobe by Jeneric Generation

I have decided to narrow the focus for a while on Jeneric Generation.

For the next 12 months, I plan on mainly blogging about developing a capsule wardrobe, and more generally: developing a distinct sense of personal style.

Wait. So, Jenny, you are telling us that you are essentially turning into a style blogger? The thing you just said you didn’t want to be?

I can see why it may seem that way, Dear Reader, but I haven’t told you about the twist, yet!

Okay, so what’s the twist?

The twist is this: for the next year, I will be solely buying my clothes at thrift stores or second hand (consignment) shops.

There are a few reasons for this. Sure, it’s cheaper than buying brand new, full-priced clothing. But that is not the main reason. I believe it is possible to spend very little money on a great capsule wardrobe without thrifting.

The main reason is that I want to train my brain to see possibilities in a long rack of mismatched clothing. Rather than developing my style with the help of trends or what is supposedly “in”, I want to develop my style based on what really speaks to me, and what fits me really well, without the temptation to try to fit into what I think looks cute on other people.

So maybe that technically falls into the “fashion blog” category. But I’m going to be viewing it as an experiment–a creative challenge–above anything else.

Fashion is fun. I love the opportunity to express who I am to others through my clothing. But I hate excess and I hate feeling the need to acquire more stuff in order to stay on top of being stylish. Blech!

I want to dedicate a little extra time and energy to figuring out my own personal style, and figuring out exactly what works best for me. I want to focus on this so that I can eventually not give it a second thought.

The goal is to take away as many decision-making-dilemmas as possible. Does this fit? Is it flattering? Is this “me”? Is this too risky? Is this too safe?

I don’t want to be asking myself those questions for the rest of my life. I’d rather spend those hours reading, quite frankly.

My hope is to learn to be super speedy in making fashion choices, to have a strong sense of what I like and what works for my body, so that I can spend less time tilting my head and squinting my eyes in front of the dressing room mirror.

But also…and this is a huge part of it:

I hope that this topic is something you are interested in, too. Or, at least something I can persuade you to be interested in. :) Not interested in MY closet, but interested in solving your own style mysteries or insecurities.

I don’t want it to feel like you are watching me on a super serious “style journey”. I want to simply be the guinea pig in a style experiment that I believe others can relate to. In my wildest dreams, I’d love to just have a great discussion about the meaning of personal style over the next 12 months. 

This might seem silly to some of you. Or maybe talking about style just isn’t your cup of tea. And that’s fine! I’d love for you to follow along and join the discussion, but if it’s not your thing, there will be no hard feelings.

So for the foreseeable future, Jeneric Generation is going capsule wardrobe/personal style on you! I don’t know about you, but I totally didn’t see that one coming.

I’ll be sharing a lot more right here, really soon.

What do you think of all this? Is developing a strong personal style something that is important to you at all? Do you have wardrobe frustrations? Do you also loathe accumulating more “stuff” just for the sake of it? I’d love to know what you are thinking right now!


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