I have a sister-n-law (dont worry I have LOTS of them so I'm not anonymously singling out anyone lol) who is a strict measurer when she cooks. She follows instructions to a tee. Precision is the name of the game. It is quite impressive actually, especially for a non-measuring, non-perfectionist like me (see previous blog on Striving for Perfection..lol). Those who do things in an exact way, achieve consistent, precise results. For them recipes are instructions.
I love to cook. I'm always looking for new recipes. Mostly because I love trying new things but also because I get bored easily. Eating the same things over and over makes me not want to eat at all. Usually the first time I make a recipe, I follow the instructions pretty closely. If it’s worthy of a repeat performance, the next time I make changes to suit my taste (maybe it needs more garlic or basil or cheese or whatever). For me recipes are merely a suggestion, one possible combination of an endless list of possibilities.
The same goes for clothing and how to wear them and what to wear together. Most people get stuck in a rut, creating "Garanimals" for themselves. You remember Garanimals right? Kids clothing with tags that told you what top went with what bottom. Totally a great idea for kids learning how to dress themselves; and, I will admit, I do a version of this for some clients who struggle to figure out what to wear with what. So I START them out with their own "Garanimals." To the point of actually hanging the pieces of each outfit together in the closet so all they have to do is grab the outfit and go.
Unfortunately, some people stay in that stage so that their wardrobes become a uniform. A uniform is not style, it doesn't show who you are and, more importantly, it actually gives you less to wear. A uniform is like making a recipe over and over even though you really don't like how it tastes.
The next step for my Garanimals clients is to swap out pieces from one outfit to another. I have them put on Shirt "A" with Bottom "B", add some extra garlic, so to speak. Simply changing one ingredient turns your uniform into a new outfit. It can even be as small a change as a different pair of shoes or different accessories. Baby steps towards their bigger goal of creating their own recipe box of their style.
Just because you bought that shirt and those pants together doesn't mean they can only be worn together. By trying different combinations you create a wardrobe that suits your taste. It becomes something you love and enjoy and can even make others ask for your recipe. I encourage experimentation in cooking and in getting dressed. It gives you the confidence to toss out the instructions and make your ingredient list up as you go. Now you are stylin'!