YOUR WARDROBE SAYS IT ALL
When talking to people about their brand's aesthetic, I typically hear them describe it in a way that portrays the way I see them physically dress. If they are struggling with pinpointing their aesthetic rather, I encourage them to take a look at their closet at that very moment. What does it look like? What colors dominate the rods? Is there a common theme to the texture? Your wardrobe truly says a lot about who you are.
As I get older, clothes have become more and more important to me. Well, I say that but I know I was always a little mismatch diva growing up. I've always had way too many pieces of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Fun fact: shoe was my first word. But I hadn't begun to truly curate my style until the past couple of years. I've done a few closet clean outs in the past year so that I can whittle away the mass to the perfect end product. Less is truly more, especially in the wardrobe sense. And it goes the same way for your brand.
To define and refine your brand's aesthetic, it's a very similar process as weeding out the unnecessary from your wardrobe. This doesn't mean that either will end up minimal and neutral (like mine has become) but it will mean that there should be a very clear vision present. Take away the things you 'like' and only hang onto the things you love. Get rid of ideas that you 'want' and replace them with what you need - this is truly designing for your audience before yourself.
I've always been tempted by the concept of the capsule wardrobe but haven't ever had the strength to go forward with it. The product is exactly what I want, but what if I miss a piece I tossed out? What if I have an event that needs that dress I abandoned? I've been reading "Chasing Slow" by Erin Loechner, and it's an absolute must-read for so many reasons. She touches on the capsule wardrobe in it and nails it. The attachment we have to our wardrobe is astounding. It's different now than it used to be, when clothes were a luxury rather than overflowing our walk-in closets. My theory is that if we all tailored our wardrobes to be less in quantity but more in value and intention, we'd be much more content. Then, if we were to treat our brands as we would be treating our carefully put together closets, they may mean a little more to us. I see so many business brands these days that, while they likely care a lot about what they do, don't portray the idea that they care what their image looks like. In brands, image is very important... it's what draws potential clients and customers in - a good outfit makes you approachable and draws people over to you. Seeing the connection?
Below I've laid out some wardrobe pieces that represent what I tend towards. My current wardrobe is overflowing with pairs of denim jeans, shorts, and skirts, chambray button downs, neutral tees/blouses/button downs, etc. My project for this year is to eventually work towards a capsule wardrobe, who's with me?