How to define your personal style: The ugly

This is an ongoing series on how to define your personal style. Part 1: “Shopper, know thyself” is here and part 2: "The good" is here

OK. So now that you've thought about what your perfect world would look like and have picked your favorites from your real wardrobe it's time to take everything out from your closet.


(Don't worry, you'll put things back. For the most part.)

Then separate your closet into sections: Tops, pants, dresses, skirts -- whatever works for you -- and put things back in each section. If there are any items you hate, or haven't worn in a while, or can't remember how on earth they got in your closet, leave them behind.

When you're done, take a look at the pile of rejects. Forgive yourself for past mistakes. (It's OK, we all make them.)

It's time to analyze the ugly.

Why don't these clothes work for you?

Are the clothes poor quality? Are they falling apart?

Did you buy them in a panic?

Did you buy something that you simply doesn't fit into your life? (I have a black strapless gown that I've never worn and never will.)

Do the clothes make you feel silly or uncomfortable?

Think about what pattern emerges -- are most of your rejected items panic purchases? Are they clothes that you've outgrown? How do these clothes compare to your "love" pile -- did you buy things because you *thought* you needed them, but not because you loved them?

The mistakes you've made are just as important as the successes - pay attention to them.

Next, we're going to put it all together!