Saturday, November 26, 2011


 I just loved this outfit and got a real kick out of wearing it! This is the first time i've worn this top tucked in. I was worried that it wouldn't come off, but it worked okay. And there wasn't so much extra fabric from the peplum that i had to pull off some weird clothing-judo in order to cope.

I love re-mixing, as you well know. Nothing thrills me more than busting up an outfit, though to be honest i don't buy clothing as outfits, don't make items with an eye to creating outfits, and have not repeated an outfit since sometime in 1983. Really!  I don't know how i got into this habit of NEVER repeating the same configuration of clothing. Maybe it was an attempt to make my tiny wardrobe seem more varied. Maybe it had something to do with reading this Ellen Wallace piece on French style secrets, published in Cosmopolitan in 1982. (Kudos to the brilliant Dead Fleurette for digging it up and making it available on the internet!)

But recently i've been feeling drawn towards repeating once more. I definitely had my favorite 'outfits' when i was a girl and in college - i can remember many of them to this day. I loved feeling that what i wore was flattering, stylish, comfortable, 'just right'. These 'just right' outfits often grew from 'just right' articles of clothing. As i've managed to get my hands on some 'just right' pieces once again, i suppose it's not surprising that i'm feeling the lure of repeating 'just right' outfits again as well.

This longing, of course, goes straight against the grain of the style blogging world. I have to admit, the more time i spend style blogging the less i'm attracted to some of the blogging world's main tenants. I want to repeat outfits that make me look great and that i love. I don't want to wear a belt as a necklace. I don't want to wear dresses as skirts and hold it all together with a belt. I want my clothing to fit as well as it can, with no fussing. I don't want to 'stretch my style boundaries' just to stretch them -  i want to look as great as i can as much of the time as i can. In my view, experimentation is only called for when i have no idea what i can wear that will look great.

One incident brings this home to me. A little over a year ago, a certain style blogger decided that she wanted to wear a particular item of clothing. This piece represented many things to her - edginess, rocker-style, out-there-ness, extravagance, boldness. It was also very trendy at that time. Let's say it was a purple ostrich skin moto jacket. It took time to find just 'the one', to develop an outfit that she felt was 'her' around the jacket, money was spent in abundance, etc. This blogger wore the item proudly on her blog, talking about how edgy she felt in it and how much it was completely outside of her 'style boundaries'.  The blogger looked fine in the piece - not great, or outlandish. Just fine. The blogger may have felt edgy and outrageous, but it didn't seem to come across in the photos. And i've never seen that item again.

I am aware that an argument can be made that this was a learning experience, well worth the time and effort, that has affected this person's style in many ways. And it can be considered rude to make these types of observations about what another person chooses to wear.

But i wonder. What if the same energy had been put towards finding a great, edgy, rocker look for that particular person? If the focus had been in finding what items, colors, shapes, details, proportions worked to give this person an edgy, outrageous look instead of focusing on a certain trendy item of clothing? If the focus was on this person instead of on a certain piece of clothing? The ironic thing, to me, is that this style blogger had previously shown herself in some outfits that looked very edgy and very her.

But they weren't trendy or outrageous, and relied very heavily on certain elements that she had decided she wanted to avoid. I am in no way knocking this person. Like many style bloggers, this person has fairly recently become interested in clothes and fashion - making up for lost time is completely understandable! And wearing a wide variety of colors, shapes, styles, can give you a feeling of really participating in their own unique style, and is a tried and true way to hone in on what you really love. Yet, the more i blog the more i finding i'd rather wear the same clothes and look and feel great!

The fashion chameleon, with boxes of clothes in the attic whose contents she has memorized, is a true style type. But so is "The French Girl". It's interesting to me that through participating in style blogging, a world ruled by the chameleon, i've come back to my roots, in love with the small, gorgeous, flattering closet.

Do any of you find yourselves at odds with some of the main "Holy Commandments" of style blogging? Which are they? How much does it get in the way of your enjoyment of reading or writing a blog? Any great 'French Girl" blogs you can turn us on to?


  1. First of all, I love your top and jacket, they are gorgeous! Style blogging is such a curious forces us out of our comfort zones in good and bad ways. In the beginning, I think I did things just for the fun of it, that I might not do now...I have set style guidelines for myself and they help me from going too far into places that are just not me. I actually think blogging has toned me down rather than ramped me up!! I hope this makes sense.There are so many blogs that I like and learn from that I hesitate to begin a list.

  2. I love repeating outfits, which is one reason why my blog posts are so sporadic. The other is that my closet is a little schizophrenic and many items cannot be worn together, making it hard to come up with new outfits all the time. Sometimes I'll attempt to remix an outfit with different accessories, but that's about all I can do, usually.

  3. Have not repeated an outfit since '83! You've got more than a versatile wardrobe, you have an astonishing recall.

    Many items that I bring home will, not surprisingly, go with lots of other pieces and make up various outfits. But do I want all those variations on a theme or do I want to recreate that wonderful small closet feeling I had when a young woman where I repeatedly wore the same thing? Once in a while, even something I made myself.

    This Best Version idea is something offered in Simple Isn't Easy. Find the best outfit you can make with that piece and hang it together.

    I don't get much out of reading What I Wore blogs (except this one - you're a wonderful teacher: "What if the same energy had been put towards finding a great, edgy, rocker look for that particular person?").

    Perhaps the only one I still like is
    She has nothing like my own figure or coloring but she is so consistent with the template for what she feels looks good on her. And I agree it does and it makes me want for a second to go out and get the same thing until I remember it wouldn't look the same at all on me. But I find it very inspiring, her strong vision.

    Lots of people hold something up and say to me, This is you. And they're usually right, I would wear it. But they see something more coherent than I do and I aim to arrive at Budget Chic's strong inner vision.

  4. Do you know Tamia of Style Sample? She's one I really like and I would wear most of what she does, though it would help to be model tall. ;)

    Usually, she's extremely eclectic but just now she seems to be on your wavelength and wanting an easy "uniform" to grab and get dressed in with no angst. Here's what she's chosen:

  5. Great top and jacket! I have found myself wanting to scale back my buying and cycling of clothes in my closet and working towards really having a full working wardrobe of things that I truly love, that really suit me (in all the styles that I like to play with). I'm going to be doing another year-long challenge starting in 2012 to help myself tighten up my look more.

    I haven't repeated an outfit since 1983 either! :-P

  6. Hi Pam! "I actually think blogging has toned me down rather than ramped me up!!" i think it has me as well -nice to know i'm in such faboo company ;) your 'black friday blackout' look just knocked me out! sleek, so so so easy looking and just bang-on gorgeous! i'm becoming more attracted to that type of look (which you nailed), more than the frosting on top of frosting looks of my youth.

    Hullo Ravina!! that's so interesting, i've not gotten that impression from reading your blog. it's kind of a shame, and ridiculous, that the current state of blogging makes it almost like you can't blog unless you fit this formula (i don't want to put words in your mouth - let me know if i've mussed it!)

    i personally think it would be very interesting to see what a 'repeater's style evolution would look like, how she develops her style- is there a focus on coherence, or does she like a bunch of different types of looks? what type of wardrobe structure makes sense? it's a new territory!

    (heehee, scrolling down we may get some excellent info. on this topic from Sheila in future!)

    Vildy, those are all interesting and excellent ideas. And Thank you for the two new to me blog recs! i've nosed around a bit and am very you say, developing that inner style compass is so important but can be so elusive. it's fascinating that others see that more than you feel you see it yourself! (and i want to get a inexspensive copy of Simple Isn't Easy, it sounds worth looking at!)

    Wow, Tamia blows the 'uniform = boring' idea right out of the water! what a find! (and you make me blush - you are very kind :)


    wow! that's quite the scoop! it's funny, because though you do have a vast wardrobe and you have a lot of clothes cycling in and out, i don't feel that a less expansive, more stable closet would totally work for you - or you could make that type of closet work! i'm thinking it's because your own individual style is so well thought out and you really adhere to some pretty strict structures for it.

    I'm so excited to see what you come up with and how you get there!

    heehee - i think i've figured out a main trigger for getting me on the no-repeat be continued! ;)

    Happy sunday! steph

  7. I'm drawn to the blogs where the person happily repeats (& remixes) ensembles with small changes that aren't what I consider outrageous. I love to see the colours & patterns others wear together as that's an area where I'm not confident but I will happily emulate a colour/pattern mix I find attractive using my pieces. I read your blog every week & study your ensembles very carefully . . . thank you.

  8. Welcome Ann!!! ( ;) Thank you for your kind words and for your appreciation of this style of blog! It's very encouraging to hear that there are people out there who receive inspiration from what i do and the direction i take here. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts here, and to read and think about what i write!!!!

    Best Wishes, steph