One of my new year’s resolutions for 2015 is to become more of a minimalist. To me, this means being more intentional about my physical belongings, among other things. With this in mind, I started a Wardrobe Architect project to guide my sewing this coming season. The Wardrobe Architect is a series of blog posts on the Coletterie blog aimed at helping one design a wardrobe, with the principle of “crafting a small wardrobe that reflects who you are.” One of the other bloggers at Coletterie, Kristen, started her own journey through the series and I’m following along with her! January is aimed at finding your core style and exploring shapes, so I thought I’d share this with you all. It’s a lot of writing and thinking “out loud,” so I hope it’s not too boring! I pulled a couple of the answers and thoughts I wanted to share, so my apologies if they’re a little all over the place!
Philosophy: How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected? My spirituality or religion hasn’t affected my aesthetics, but I do think that my love of nature and the world around me definitely has. I love floral prints, and colors that remind me of certain places (like the bright blue of Santorini, or the rich greens of the forest!). This whole effort is indeed a reflection of trying to be kinder to the planet and to live my life with more intention and thoughtfulness.
Community: How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in? This is quite an interesting question that I’ve thought a lot about recently. When I got to college, one thing I instantly noticed was the lack of other girls in my classes. I felt like my gender made me stand out (in a not so good way). I started to dress less feminine, and would essentially wear jeans and a loose fitting t shirt every day. It wasn’t until someone called my style “sporty” that I realized this! I was not a “sporty” person, and yet my clothing choices clearly were. My choices were inadvertently down-playing my gender and not reflecting who I am. Since starting graduate school, I’ve begun dressing more feminine on an everyday basis and more like “myself.” It is sometimes very obvious that I’m one of few women, but I’m much more comfortable now with owning it.
Activities: How do your day to day activities influence your choices? I can answer this in one word: easy. I like oufits that are easy to wear. I don’t like layering because it requires more than one garment to be clean. I don’t like needing to dig around in my closet for that ONE matching pair of pants, or top. My clothes need to be versatile and easy to wear to accommodate the fact that I have other things to prioritize. (Such as sleep, staying healthy, work, etc.)
Location: Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in? Oh yes! I am very fortunate that I currently live somewhere with nice weather all year round. Additionally, I grew up somewhere the weather was NOT nice year round, so I can easily handle the “cold” 40F winters and “hot” 80F summers that we get here. I can wear dresses year round, and there’s not too much variation between what I can wear in February and what I can wear in July. One thing, though, is that it does tend to get chilly at night and in the mornings. Because of this, my cardigans and light jackets get a TON of use. I do miss being able to wear thick, cozy sweaters all winter long, but for now I will embrace my California location and save those for when I move next!
The next step in this process is to “Uncover the styles that make you feel like yourself and attach words and images to them.” I went through the exercises and came up with these five words:
I think they pretty well sum up my style and aesthetic! I started a Pinterest board to gather all my images and ideas. You can find it here. I pulled a couple inspirations out to show you all. These colors are also what I’m incorporating into my spring and summer wardrobe planning: Next up is: “Determine what shapes make you feel comfortable and happy, and which feel foreign and wrong for you.” There is a nice spreadsheet where you rank what shapes and silhouettes you feel most comfortable wearing. I came up with these garment shapes:
- Flowy knee length dress with cinched waist
- Dress with a structured bodice and a pleated, gathered or other flared skirt shape.
- Jeans with a semi-fitted blouse made out of crisp yet soft fabric (think cotton lawn here!)
- Jeans with a flowy/loose top over a fitted t shirt or tank
- Jeans with a basic t shirt made out of a knit fabric.
Disregarding the colors, these are the types of shapes I like: One thing I’ve noticed is that I like stand-alone tops and dresses, mainly because I like wearing lots of different colors and prints. The jeans I wear are pretty standard, dark and fitted, which is good because then I can wear any top with them! Dresses are–mainly by definition–stand alone, so if I have the right cardigan and shoes I’m good to go. Besides the ‘main attraction’ pieces that are very colorful, I plan on making cardigans in greys and black that go with everything. I have black, brown and silver shoes that will also go with pretty much anything, so I’m all set in that department, too! In my next post about the Wardrobe Architect series, I’ll be talking about specific patterns and fabrics that I have chosen. Thanks for joining me on this journey! Are you participating in the Wardrobe Architect project, or ever done something similar with your own wardrobe?
PS: What do you think of the new design? Let me know in the comments!