by Diana DeVaul
As 2016 drew to a close, I decided to take a leap of faith. While I had been introduced to GYPO’s Style Blog and Facebook page by a friend, I had yet to commit to participating in a GYPO Style Challenge. I was hesitant because I didn’t trust that I could actually be stylish again. After years of donning comfortable, practical clothing as I raised my two rambunctious boys, I was almost certain my style had completely left the building! I would brush off participating in a Style Challenge for numerous reasons. I didn’t have the time, I didn’t want to overspend and I didn’t want to purchase things I wouldn’t use or actually like. But then, as I kept getting these amazing GYPO emails and I learned more, not only about Style Challenges but Alison herself, it all started to feel very accessible. Maybe I could get my style back, maybe I could enjoy fashion in a way I hadn’t in a long time, and maybe, just maybe, I could find a little bit of that woman I left behind after the birth of my first son.
Finally, I took the plunge. I went all in and signed up for an Annual Membership. It seemed like a great value for all the style support I would get and I liked that ultimately, I would choose my own pieces. I can be particular about fabrics as I live in a hot, humid climate and there are some trends that I won’t do. I won’t list those trends here because one woman’s gaucho pants is another woman’s furry scarf. We all like what we like and with the GYPO Style Challenges, you’re able to keep your closet authentic to you!
Once I signed up, I immediately set to work building my basics. The 14 piece capsule wardrobe that was complimentary after I signed up was amazing. This is how I kept myself fashion focused until the first Style Challenge began in the spring of the following year. Here are a few important lessons that I learned as I built up my wardrobe.
1. Be Patient: First and foremost, be patient with yourself and the process. Know that this is a process. My closet was serviceable (yay to the leopard flats that I bought the previous summer!), but it needed a lot of work.
2. Start Small: I started small and gradually, over time, have amassed a solid foundation of basics.
3. Basics are Key: Basics are your everything! They are the canvas on which you express your awesome individuality and preferences through accessories.
4. Have Fun with Accessories: Accessories are like the cherry on top of a wonderful outfit sundae. You can be as trendy or as classic as you want. It’s all up to you!
Here’s a pic of me in one of the first outfits I put together with the guidance of the 14 piece capsule wardrobe builder. Everything is from Target except the scarf which I purchased on Amazon.
In all honesty, for following trends you love, the likes of Target and even Amazon are ideal. They are cost-effective and allow you to express yourself without breaking the bank. However, there are times I encourage you to splurge. I purchased the Brio Tassel Necklace through Alison’s Stella and Dot affiliate link and I have worn it again and again. It has graced my neck for date nights, when I’m wearing a Cubs baseball jersey (which is a lot during baseball season) and with about every outfit combination I could muster. I love that necklace to pieces! That is the goal, for you to love your wardrobe as much as I love my Brio necklace.
At first, it was hard to imagine, but I actually fell in love my style again! This isn’t to say that I still don’t make fashion faux pas because believe me, I do. I am inclined on some days to run errands post-workout for the mere convenience of it. If you happen to see me out and about in the world, you may catch me in an awesome GYPO moment, or I may be post-workout with my hair in a pony-tailed mess. I’m okay either way because being part of the GYPO community has helped me remember something I’ve long forgotten. It helped realize I am just as valuable as all the people I take care of, nurture and love. Every time I get a GYPO email, I know for those next few, precious moments I am dedicating my attention to only me. This has a cumulative effect. Eventually, if you take the Style Challenge plunge, too, you will feel better about yourself, even on the days you find yourself in your proverbial yoga pants. Because as we know, our true beauty is shining inside us waiting to be uncovered. You already are beautiful. Now isn’t it time you find your way back to you?
P.S. There’s still time to sign up for the 2018 GYPO Style Challenge Annual Membership, check out the reviews HERE!
Diana is a stay at home mom to two remarkable boys, J.R and Keaton. She is immensely grateful to the Cubs baseball organization for finally winning a World Series in her lifetime, and for hosting her very first date with her husband, John (married 14 years). She is also a freelance blogger who writes intentionally that others may find hope in her words. You can learn more about her life and family on her personal blog Writes For All Mommies.