Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Developing a Personal Style

I’ve never been particularly fashion-conscious, and I hate to shop. That means that a lot of my wardrobe has been put together as I make my semi-annual run through a department store or two, hoping desperately to find enough stuff that fits so that I’m not going to work naked. This “method” has resulted in countless mornings of frustration as I (almost) literally have nothing to wear.

Such a state of affairs was not making me happy. I have no desire to be a fashionista or anything, and I’d (ideally) do most of my buying on line, which is tricky when shopping for clothing. But, at the same time, I do like to look nice and appropriately dressed wherever I am- work, casual family dinner, or just hanging out at home, and that does require some planning.

So, one of my “life list” items is to develop a personal style. I started reading some fashion bloggers in the last six months or so, and that’s helping a bit. I was daring enough to purchase some bright blue tights, and I wore grey shoes with black tights one day. I’m pretty picky about the bloggers I read, too, since I don’t want to get bombarded by the “buy meeeee” thing that I see on a lot of blogs. It’s been super inspirational to see other people’s outfits, and I’m trying to incorporate some of their ideas without slavishly copying a style that’s clearly not going to work for me (belts, I’m looking at you!!).

Today I got the brilliant idea to write a list of what I’m going for in the clothing that I purchase and wear. Ideally, I’d like a high quality “core” wardrobe into which I mix the occasional trendy or thrifted item. In terms of style, I came up with the following:

I love vintage looks - pencil skirts, cardigans, ultra-feminine dresses with heels and pearls, etc

I also love awesome shoes, and I want to work on work on getting good, leather shoes that will last a while in classic/vintage shapes (either mary jane style, or pointy toed pump style). Supplement with trendy, cheaper shoes - but core shoes should be good quality. Would be awesome if I could have a pair of good shoes in each color of the rainbow, plus black, brown, and grey and excluding yellow, because I never wear yellow and don't like it.

Wear wide legged trousers/jeans with heels, when possible.

Collect interesting accessories and learn to wear them well, but simply. Have a well-edited collection (since I don’t like clutter!)

Try to go for a somewhat minimalist wardrobe, but functional as well

Work on developing a good core wardrobe of basic pieces, and supplement as necessary - but have those core pieces that I wear to death and then replace as necessary

Try to get high quality items - wool, leather, etc - and learn to care for them to make them last longer.

I tend to like solid colors. So, work on 1. incorporating more prints into wardrobe; 2. coming up with good/fun color combos; 3. keeping outfits fairly simple and adding statement jewelry

Work on vintage details – wear my pearls more, heels, skirts with interesting details

Learn to iron...and find a tailor

Figure out good lounge wear and cute pj’s. Dave sees me in my comfies most often, and while I don’t subscribe to the belief that one has to be perfectly dressed, coiffed, and made up while with her man, I’d like him to see me in something other than old workout pants and a minimally stained t-shirt!

Purchase good quality underwear and bras and learn to take care of them appropriately (as much as I loathe hand washing…). Replace when necessary, 1-2x/year.

I’ve found the following blogs helpful and inspirational – and maybe you will too!

www.alreadypretty.com – great advice on style along with fab links and feminist commentary
www.fabfindsunder50.com – awesome, budget friendly clothes. I wish I could wear belts and scarves the way she does!
http://fashion4economicallychallenged.blogspot.com/ - budget friendly workwear
www.blogforbettersewing.com – this fabulous lady makes me want to bust out my sewing machine! And, uh, learn to use it. Love her vintage style.
http://myslifeoflife.blogspot.com/ - love this blogger’s simple but fashionable look. And she wears skirts exclusively – even though I like my pants, I love the skirt inspiration!

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