Thursday, January 13, 2011
I’ve always been envious of those who have a clear vision of their personal (clothing) style and the appropriate edited wardrobe.
At any one time I will have a couple of different sizes of clothing and if not plentiful styles, more than one. Every time I think of having a huge cleanout I think ‘what if I lose weight, what if I change my mind’.
And I’m constantly thinking of ways I can streamline my wardrobe into its most perfect and purest form, without actually getting rid of anything.
I enjoyed Euro Chic’s post recently where she went through her wardrobe, listing under the bottoms which tops go. This seems a good place to start, and shoes too I think. Different shoes go with different bottoms.
My plan is this:
Pack clothing which is a touch snug but which I still like away, for hopefully some time close in the future.
Box up clothing which, regardless of size, I don’t like and isn’t my style. Give away.
Enjoy the rest, and go through the process of listing tops, bottoms and shoes.
I keep coming back to the French Chic style. It’s a very broad generic term and really covers whatever someone wants to put under that genre. What I choose to put it under are true classics, cut to a flattering fit. Pieces I have already which fit the bill are:
Flattering t-shirts in cotton with a tiny amount of elastane – in white, black and true red. They have a scoop neck (not ‘v’ or crew) with quite short sleeves which flare out a little, so they don’t cling and emphasise the upper arm. No one wants their upper arm emphasised.
Perfectly fitting jeans. Finding a perfectly fitting jean is a work in progress, and sometimes one pair fits better than another. Aesthetic Alternations wrote a post on J Brand and I have to, simply have to find out if they are available in New Zealand.
Flattering and slightly dressy tank/singlet tops. I have a couple that I wear when it’s really hot (it's summer here at the moment). They are sleeveless yet drape slightly over the shoulder so are more work-appropriate than a straight out singlet top.
Beige cotton knee-length trench coat, which I love. I bought it in Paris on my first and only-so-far trip in 2001. Paris is a really, really long way from where I live. Until next time I make do and daydream. And wear my trench.
Short beige cotton trench-style coat. Bought from a très-inexpensive store this year. I unpicked the label, sewed a few loose threads in and haven’t looked back. I wear it more than my long coat even though the long coat has a far better pedigree.
LBD. I wore this to my cousin’s wedding last month with red and white polka dot slingbacks, and a white leather handbag which has a red and white polka dot silk scarf tied around the handle. I asked my husband if I should wear my gold coin necklace or pearls with this ensemble. ‘Well of course the pearls’, he said.
Along with classic clothing goes the classic accessories:
A Cartier Tank Francaise stainless steel and gold small size watch which I have worn every day for the past ten years and will wear every day in the future until I take my last breath.
A small wardrobe of earrings – real pearl studs, faux diamond studs and small yellow gold hoops (about 1cm / ½ inch diameter).
A few necklaces – my main ones are cultured baroque pearls or a chunky gold necklace with French coin attached. I always have the quandary of ‘should I wear earrings and a necklace, and then how do I wear a scarf at the same time. My personal opinion of what I feel comfortable in is earrings and scarf or necklace and nothing else (but then I miss wearing earrings and a scarf!). I know, I have huge problems compared to others.
Shoes. I am happy to have a small number of pairs in rotation.
What actually made me think about my wardrobe as a concise collection was planning what to wear when I go away on a trip. When I travelled to my cousin’s wedding I flew there, so I had to take only what I would definitely be wearing (as opposed to driving there, when you can pack everything including the kitchen sink).
This necessitates a plan, what am I doing for each day and what should I wear, right down to accessories.
It’s actually really fun, and for a staycation we had a while back at the Westin hotel, I even took photos because I was enjoying myself so much. I love those magazine interviews where someone stylish shows their favourite things (they always include Diptyque candles, always!).
My Westin wardrobe was sort of like that, as it wasn’t just the going out clothes, but the lounge wear and what I was going to read. It gave me a flavour for the night we were staying there.
Below is my relaxing outfit, and at the top of this post is my clothing for the evening and the next day.
My plan now is to do this for my everyday wardrobe, which will be a little bigger, granted, but a cohesive look that I want to portray to the world.