Curate Your Aesthetic: Style Insights from VIBE Before You Buy

Transform Your Shopping Habits and Go From Impulse Buying to Styling Mastery

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a huge impulse buyer. Or at least an in-progress reformed impulse buyer. In today’s world of constant Instagram ads, TikTok shop features, and the convenience of ShopPay, resisting the urge to click ‘Complete Purchase’ on a whim can be challenging. That’s why I was so excited to take the VIBE Before You Buy class by interior redesigner and personal style consultant Yun-A Johnson, aka Your Aesthetic Style (YAS). The YAS community is all about embracing your intuitive aesthetic sense as a tool for curating, editing, and styling your closet. YAS focuses on ditching “must-have” trends and instead honoring what you find personally beautiful. The hour-long VIBE Before You Buy class, which is available for free on the YAS website, teaches fashionistas how to turn their shopping wish lists into outfits from their closet, style new outfits they LOVE but have never worn before, and apply this sustainable styling skill throughout their lives.

If you, like me, are trying to cut back on consumption, you’ll be happy to know that style can’t be bought – instead, it comes from intentionality and personal taste. Yun-A notes that when you see an advertisement for a brand or piece, it’s selling the entire look, not individual items. This is why learning how to put the pieces you already own together is critical.

Styling is less about buying that trendy new pair of pants you saw your favorite influencer wearing and more about shopping your closet to create a similar overall look.

Learning How to Style Through the Science of Design

There is a science to design, which ties back to the design components that attract each of us. We are drawn to both elements of design (shape, color, form, etc.) and principles of design (pattern, contrast, balance, etc.), the two of which make up our personal aesthetic style. When used intentionally, these components are excellent for sustainable styling. It can be less daunting to style your closet when you know what you’re attracted to. And, at the end of the day, your closet probably holds more than you think! Keep reading to see how I styled my closet using the YAS method. 

four influencers with style I admire including Nik Pollina, Allisons Archive, Lucie kx and Tori van Breugel

Step 1. Search for Inspiration

The first step, Yun-A says, is digital “window shopping.” Scour the socials of your favorite influencers or pull up Pinterest and identify the looks and pieces you love – and focus on the unpractical! I started by grabbing some looks I had already saved from my favorite vintage and style content creators. 

Step 2. Reacquaint yourself with your clothes…and go Styling!

Once you’re done pinning your favorites, open your closet. Take out anything and everything that reminds you of your inspiration. I focused on selecting vintage or thrifted pieces and ended up with a messy jumble of fabrics, colors, and patterns on my couch, some of which I’d never considered pairing before.

Pieces from my closet I pulled based on my style inspiration images above.

Now comes the fun part – styling! Based on what you’ve laid out on your bed, pull together anything you think might go together. Try to aim for looks that you’ve never worn before. An unexpected mashup of colors and textures just may surprise you. And worry not about missing certain pieces from your closet. If you get stuck, think about what draws you to your inspo. Is it the color? The delicateness? The way it falls? Use this method to sharpen your personal aesthetic style.

Step 3. Share your style

A few final looks that I never would have come up with, without taking this class.

Here are three outfits I styled using all these tips from YAS. Once you’re done styling, share your look on your favorite social media page! You never know who you’ll inspire.

–Sara Marsh

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