Hi all! I've not been blogging, but have been faithfully plugging away at some serious wardrobe evaluation, taking stock and planning. For those newer readers, let me present a brief recap of my style journey in this blog. I realized in about 2009 that my childhood dream of having 'the perfect wardrobe' was not that far out of reach, given my circumstances. I began this blog as a tool to use in working towards that goal. The first year or two largely focused on finding out very specifically what shapes, materials, colors and style signifiers i loved enough to commit to and how this would work given my lifestyle and climate. I also explored different ways of populating my wardrobe niches, and realized that i wanted to have a big focus on sewing while also cultivating some shopping resources for pieces i don't want to sew (shoes, lingerie, layering tees and tanks, coats, accessories).
I've always preferred a smaller, more edited wardrobe. Yet i also liked variety, so many of my wardrobe building strategies involved getting the maximum remixeability out of a small number of clothes (through very focused color and silhouette in every piece). I always felt a nagging tension between wanting a very strong, consistent style prescence and a stripped down closet but needing to feel i had "enough" variety.
|The Beatrice Dress - Vogue Patterns 8876 by Marcy Tilton|
Until about six months ago. It started with the Beatrice dress, which i love. I realized that i could wear it over and over without feeling at all deprived or bored. On the contrary, i felt satisfied and invigorated as it was exactly what i wanted to be wearing. hmmm.
|signature look showed up before i knew it was my signature look|
The same thing happened with this chambray Hawthorne dress, which i've been wearing incessantly. I love the way both dresses look and they're infinitely practical as well - comfy for my legs, plenty of room to layer tees, tanks and leggings underneath as well as cardis, jackets, scarves on top. I look pulled together for any type of public activity while my outfit offers no impediment to walking, working, cleaning.....
|eek! i should've matched my stripes on these leggings! ah well, a signature look nonetheless|
I've been sewing fairly steadily over the last year and a half. Towards the end of last year i realized that i'd accumulated a fair number of 'perfect pieces' - items which are comfy and look great, pieces with their own integrity which i can see no way or need to change. I felt like i wanted to evaluate where all this sewing had gotten me and take stock before i kept on. I pulled all these perfect pieces and put them in the left side of my closet (the side i always go to, i don't know why!) and decided to wear at least one piece from this group every day for a month or so. I've been taking OOTD pictures as well so i can keep track of what's what.
Within the last two weeks a couple of major things happened which have led to a major style breakthrough. First, i came up with a couple of outfits that felt like perfect uniforms - signature looks i'd be thrilled to be known for, that worked for my life and expressed my Holy Grail of all i love about clothing, style, who i am.
|Alabama Chanin Daisy Ezra Coat - a mere $4,775|
Then the new Alabama Chanin collection came out. Sheer perfection for ME - in other words, the colors, silhouettes, style details, accessories and styling reflected my signature style to a tee. Love it all, especially the gorgeous new grey/blue colored fabric - divine casual color swoon! I took the above image from the website and have been using it as my desktop wallpaper to remind myself i'd be thrilled to wear this as a uniform daily.
|signature look from a couple of years ago|
These occurrences highlighted a particular outfit from a couple of years ago which kept popping up in my mind as one of my all time faves.
Even i could see where this was headed at this point, so i started searching terms like "chic uniform" & "minimalist chic" which led me to Anuschka Rees at into - mind. This woman is a flat out genius, and she's written a bible of wardrobe building articles. I was particularly thrilled to see this material on how to create a signature look and develop a wardrobe to support this look: How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe, Build a Solid Foundation of Basics, Balance Basics and Statement Pieces.
|feline liminality - a cosmological constant|
This last bit is crucial for me. I've always been great at coming up with outstanding looks which i love. But how to put that into action on a day to day, adequately closeted basis? Ms. Rees' information could not be more pertinent and timely for me. I encourage every single one of you to head on over to her place and prepare for the blowing of your cranium! With the concept of my signature look in mind it was a snap to look at my 'perfect pieces' and highlight the ones which support my signature look. Of 37 pieces, 29 fit right in to my signature look while only 8 don't - a pretty good ratio considering i wasn't consciously working towards a closet based on my signature look at all. The signature look concept also helped me understand why some pieces i love intensely don't get much wear in successful outfits.
My next activities will be to dig into Anuschka Rees' material on spelling out my signature look and developing how that will translate into a specific wardrobe. I'm very excited about this, not only because i'm reaching a goal i've been actively working towards for a few years now, but also because it will make dressing much more fun, joyful, and less of a hassle. For decades i've struggled with any number of clothing troubles - hanging onto stuff i don't need or really want (but not knowing quite why), feeling perplexed about how much and what i actually need in order to have a smoothly functioning closet, being stymied at how and where to find even simple wardrobe basics like tanks and tees, having a truly fuzzy understanding about how to fill wardrobe holes in the most helpful way ......
Getting a handle on a lot of these 'closet unknowns' seems so refreshing. I'm so looking forward to streamlining these tasks so i can focus on the fun of running around, footloose, fancy free and feeling fine. And if you're not here yet - remember, if i can do it so can you.