Monday, February 2, 2015

January's Wardrobe Challenge post

The exercises for January (weeks 1-4 of the original Wardrobe Architect) have helped me start to coalesce what I want my style to be at its core.
When I was a teenager, I was not at all conscious of the body I was in.  It took until sometime later in college, maybe even after that, to understand what fit my body and that showing it off was ok, and even fun sometimes.  I took a lot of cues (and even got a lot of clothes) from my mother, whose primary concern was being able to move and get dirty if need be - she's a gardener first and foremost in my mind.

Even when I didn't know how things looked on my body or what the correct proportions to anything were, I always loved to experiment with clothes.  I love putting on a costume or seeing what I look like as a fairy, a goth, a raver, a 1930s screen siren.  I'm addicted to the drama in clothes - you walk into a room and everyone takes a look at you, if even for a moment.  (Often I'm of the opinion that all attention is good attention.)  I want to maintain the ability to costume and take a chance with fashion sometimes, but to pay attention to proportion and fit when it enters my wardrobe for good.

My history has kept me covered up, and I still hang a great importance on being able to keep a conservative wardrobe.  My body will often make clothes skew trashy if they're cut in the wrong way.  I do want to start taking the proportions and cuts to a flattering place, but it's important to me that it doesn't cross that line on a daily basis.  (I have a lot of skirts and dresses that are too long and need to be shortened - and on a smaller person such as myself, the increments there can sometimes feel dicey.)

I look forward to keeping plenty of color and joy in my wardrobe.  I love being the girl in the bright green coat every winter - it keeps me noticeable and makes me feel like I bring a smile to some people as everyone else goes by in black, black, black.  I think that my community has helped me maintain and blossom in this wardrobe joy - they encourage me to be silly and cute and fun.

I also have to keep my daily wardrobe active-ready.  I walk over a mile each day, to and from work, and I'm considering biking as a commute, at least some days, during the spring and summer.  So, a four-season wardrobe is critical to me, as I don't have the luxury of a car 7 days a week.

In defining my core style, the words I chose were: bright, cute, distinguished, active/comfort, and drama/shock.  Those last two are couples because I feel like they're two sides of the same coin I can't find a word in the middle for.

In my shapes, I look for somewhat fitted silhouettes overall.  I prefer a natural or high waistline (though being petite, my waistline is naturally somewhat high) and a very long or above-the-knee length.  As I now own a mirror again, I know that skirts that hit me at or below the knee are not flattering to my height, and long tops may as well just be minidresses.

I haven't selected any patterns yet for this challenge.  I bought the lovely Butterick 6130 this past week, which I hope works with my proportions.  I think maybe a jersey version of Vogue 8728 a la Jennifer Lauren Vintage.  I'm going to go through my giant pattern library soon and find more patterns to add to this.  Maybe also the Syrah Maxi Skirt.   Expect wacky fabrics (I bought a shrimp African wax print recently) and bright colors.  I can't help it.

I also recently got an amazing pair of Old Navy high-waisted jeans in a clothing swap.  If I get the gumption, I'm going to try pants - wide leg, high waisted pants.  They're so amazing!

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