Monday, May 23, 2016

The seasonal wardrobe - Autumn/Spring

Dark wash jeans, grey marle cosy knit top, black ballet flats

I've written before about the 'fashion uniform' and was even interviewed by USA Today on it.  Today I thought I'd show you my transeasonal uniform (you can click on the photos to see them bigger).  I work in a semi-casual environment (retail) and my favourite clothing colours are navy/denim/blue-grey, black, grey marle for clothing and black, plum and nude shoes.  Currently I use my tan Michael Kors bag and wallet every day (and have done since I bought them 2.5 years ago).

Bright blue wash jeans, black merino cowl neck top, black sneakers, gold cuff

Even though scarves are tres Francais and I always think they look chic on others, I've not been wearing them much.  I like the simplicity of an outfit without them, instead using a few pieces of jewellery to accessorise.  This may sound weird, but if I wear jewellery and a scarf and my hair goes curly that day if feels like too much.  Simplicity calms me so I keep it simple in the way I dress.

Blue-grey knit top (slightly see-through) with navy camisole, dark blue-black wash jeans, nude patent ballet flats

I have four pairs of jeans that I rotate currently - three are Diesel and one is Maison Scotch (the pair just above), and a few more tops than the ones shown.  In these photos two tops were gifts and the other two - hearts and cowl neck - I bought recently from Farmers (a mid-price department store a bit like Macys from what I saw in Hawaii).  I don't shop a lot so I had hardly any autumn/winter tops.  These two have topped up my autumn range nicely and I will wear the merino one into winter.

Black and cream cotton heart knit top, distressed mid-blue jeans, plum patent ballet flats

Quite a few years ago I started a 'Fiona's Personal Style' Word document and noted down good and not-so-good clothing styles for my figure, along with favourite colours to wear.  I didn't even need to refer back to it that often to remember that slant pockets and defined waist dresses are to be skipped when I'm browsing in clothing shops (round bottom and high waist respectively).

After looking at a few figure analysis books I came to the conclusion that I am a soft hourglass (not really exaggerated, but a defined waist and equal-width shoulders and hips) with a high waist (short body, long legs).  I have to be really careful with my waistline - if I tuck something in or wear a belt on my natural waist it can look like my belt is up under my arms...

I'd definitely recommend doing these things for yourself, they are really useful exercises.  Here's my personal style notes:

Fiona’s Style Rules

Mantra: ‘sexy and sophisticated’
Elegant, feminine, clean lines.

Classic trouser/jean styling.  No side slant pockets, no side zips, mid waist (not low cut or high cut).

Vertical darts, one piece.  No horizontal line at the waist.  To finish just on the knee or below, but above the curve of the calf.

A-line, just on the knee for summer.

Fitting, medium length, not too long, not too short.  Scooped neckline or deep, soft v-neck.  Too high is unflattering and a sharp V is too severe.  Sleeves either bracelet length, fitted elbow length or short/capped-ish.  Not full length unless they can be pushed up and will stay up, not mid-upper arm and too fitted as it makes arms look chunky.

Fitting, medium length, not too long, not too short.  Big enough across the shoulders, darted.  Long enough to tuck in if very fitted.  Enough room across the bust so buttons don’t pull.  Sew a dome on if they do.

Soft and muted, mid tones

Denim/dark navy
Light grey or blue/grey
Pinks – light pink, peony/coral pink
Light mint green
Buttermilk soft cream/yellow

Possible Colour Combos

Cream or off-white/black
Black or charcoal/blush pink
Dark denim/cobalt/black
Light grey marle/denim/tan

When I was young I remember my mum had a little notebook that she kept notes of her wardrobe - 'Have, Need and Want'.  Unfortunately, because I was a horrible child, I found it and made fun of her.  Awful!  It's probably just as well I don't have children to read my blog and make fun of me...  But with mum's notebook maybe I inherited the list gene?  I must say, it's a pretty good one to get, I love it!


  1. Ooooh, I really like your working color choices. You show me that deep blues, grey and black blend beautifully. Well done!

  2. Wow, we have nearly identical style rules! Greys, blues, generally muted tones, keep it simple and minimal. I'm not much of a morning person, and this makes it so easy to get dressed in the morning because everything matches!

  3. Our personal clothes tastes usually vary a little but today Fiona we are in lockstep! For our shop I like a simple look with black jeans, long sleeved T at this time of year and simple accessories. I wear a scarf around my throat on cold mornings but take it off when I arrive.

    I too am short waisted (and short height-ed!) with a full hour glass figure. I've learned to be super-careful of what goes at my waist.

    May I snitch that Document idea? I love it! I won't do long analyses but a simple list of good/not so good ideas is do-able.

  4. Thanks Stephanie! Those colours really feel like 'me'.

    Jess, I've taken morning dressing ease one step further and started laying out my clothes on the bed. Even five minutes prior to dressing feels good - everything is laid out and I can see the whole outfit. Doing this feels luxurious!

    Rose, my list didn't start out long. I just started noting down what worked and what didn't. It sounds obvious but before I started that I'd take anything into the changing room and then feel bad. Choosing clothing is much easier now. One other step I did was to google dos and don't for for my figure type and consider them too.

  5. I hear what you say about accessories. I do wear scarves, but when I do, it's with simple small earrings and a basic watch. I like to wear only one statement accessory at a time -necklace, earrings, bracelet or a scarf- and keep the rest simple, otherwise the look feels too busy. Also, to me wearing a print means simple accessories. That's just me though- I frequently see photos of women who accessorize much more and look lovely.
    I also love patent shoes, esp. ballet flats. I find they often bring just the right amount of polish into an otherwise basic outfit.


  6. You've said how I feel so well, SaraK! I never thought of prints that way, but it's true. I know what you mean about the ladies who pile everything on and look amazing; I can enjoy their style while at the same time knowing it's not me.

  7. What a great idea! I love lists, so I should have thought if this myself, but now I think I might have to knick your idea. I have started making notes of what I do and do not look good in, but it's kept in my head. I'm sure it would help a lot to write it down and review it now and again.

    Out of curiosity: what's your take on patterns? I notice you have a lot of single coloured items, apart from the jumper with little hearts on.

  8. Hi Fiona. I noticed all of your jeans are Skinny jeans. I'm personally excited to hear that flares are back in! They really balance out the figure. Leave the skinny jeans for the skinny girls! (you look great in them, though)-Carla.

  9. SmallDisciplines, I don't have anything against patterns, but I mostly choose solid colours, with maybe some texture to liven things up, but usually pretty simple. I have some casual striped breton-style tops and one tiny leopard print blouse but that's it.

    Carla, I only got into skinny jeans years after everyone else and am loving them right now. I like the neatness around the ankle, it feels very chic and modern to me. I know what you mean about bootcut and flares balancing out the figure though. I'm certainly not skinny but I love my skinny jeans!

  10. I love the idea of a notebook or a word document with thoughts about clothes and styles.
    I have edited my wardrobe over the years and always love to keep things simple...I do adore scarves and wear them a lot...lately I have been avoiding wearing my pearls and wonder why as I have several strands and they are all very pretty...
    Your uniform sounds like it suits your lifestyle and you feel great wearing the clothes which in my mind would make you feel confident and poised.
    Thank you!

  11. Maybe you're just not in a pearl season, Hostess. Let them rest and I'm sure you'll be wearing them again one day. That's how I feel about scarves at the moment. I love the ones I have, but I'm just not wearing them right now.

  12. Nice article. I too have started a list, a bit late in life and it would have saved me so many bad-buys.
    In retirement I unconsciously developed a uniform and after a few years I realised that it meant I was not wearing the trillions of clothes in my wardrobe. So I'm on a mission to integrate some back in and by doing so I'm having a glimpse of the old me, which is pleasing.
    But please tell me ... what is "sew a dome on"? Am I missing out? Am I being obtuse?!!!

  13. To The Pouting Pensioner, first of all, can I say how fabulous your name is? And secondly, a dome is also known as a snap I think. They come in two pieces. If a shirt/blouse's buttons are spaced so that they pull open across my bust (even if the shirt fits me well), I sew a dome/snap between those two buttons.

    Good point about getting stuck in a rut too. Sometimes it's nice to wear something different and enjoy all your clothes.

  14. Why thank you, Fiona. My friends used to tease me about my pout and it symbolised a spirit I didn't want to loose as a pensioner.
    And thanks for explaining the dome, it sounds rather like our press stud. Which makes sense when faced with a gaping shirt!
    I love your blog and your look, BTW.

  15. Yes, a press stud, that's exactly what it is!

    Keep on pouting :)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...