Thursday, 27 March 2014

Wardrobe Architect, Week Nine

This week's post is about building a capsule wardrobe. This might be more useful for some of you, but I feel I differ from the post here a bit. I've already written a list of a base wardrobe, which I actually posted here before, and I don't really feel the need to buy much outside of it. But I'm very into basics, and not having to buy more clothes unless one of the items needs replacing appeals very much to me. It might not to everybody.

Anyways, I decided rather than doing this week's exercise, I'd review my base wardrobe list in light of what I've unearthed over the last few weeks. And because that's what kind of person I am, I went ahead and prettied it up and attach it here as a pdf in case anyone else is as nerdy as me and wants something like this to print out and carry with them on shopping trips! (It's really pretty. I think I really will print it out and keep it in the enormous purse my husband got me when I had my second child. I can fit practically anything in it; we call it 'the base camp'.)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Link: Does Simplicity Ever Go Out of Style?

Adventure Journal recently had a great blog post musing on "the line between collecting a reasonable wardrobe of attractive, functional clothing and excessive consumerism". You can read it here, but I wanted to include a quote that I thought might inspire you all:

"My friend Becca is an awesome example. She’s been living out of her car, taking photos and pretty much living the gypsy life for the past couple of years, so she doesn’t have some huge closet full of stylish clothes. She keeps it simple. But every time I see her, she’s in the same two beautiful silver bracelets from a shop in Lander, Wyo. They’re her signature. I’ve seen her wearing the same simple outfit of jeans and soft blanket-weave shirt on multiple occasions, which totally fits her easygoing, nature-loving personality. She doesn’t need a whole wardrobe to make her interesting because she is interesting. Between her glowing smile and those bracelets, she’s a complete knockout."

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Wardrobe Architect, Week Eight

This week is about hair, make-up, and beauty. I've done a long blog post on my other blog on why I don't wear make-up except on very special occasions but I do care about aesthetics a great deal-- I just choose to express that through no make-up. Still, it's a topic I have thought through thoroughly and intentionally so I'm excited to go through the questions for this week.
  1. What hair style has been most flattering and comfortable for you? How did it make you feel about yourself? Did it invoke any of the words you came up with in our core style exercise? I've had my hair in a shingled '20s bob and I've had long hair, and I've dyed it everything from bright red to bleach blonde to nearly black. These days, though, shoulder-length and natural are what I'm happiest with. Just long enough to wear up on the days when life is too busy for blowdrying and such, but not so long that it takes a lot of work and upkeep (and gives me a headache). It's really low-maintenance; I just got the ends thinned so it's lighter as my hair is thick as thieves (can I say that?) and it's really quick to blowdry now. I basically just roll out of bed and occasionally comb it between washings.
  2. How much makeup are you comfortable with? It could be no makeup, or a full face with contouring (and all that jazz I could never figure out). Or it could vary day to day. Again, when I was younger (and more insecure) I wore plenty of make up: eyeliner, startling lipsticks, shadow, etc. These days, I wear a little mascara and tinted lip balm to weddings but more and more I feel like it isn't actually doing anything for me. 
  3. How does your makeup and hair reflect your personal style? What do you feel they say about you and your aesthetics? I feel strongly that among the various reasons women wear make-up (confidence, fun, experimenting, to look younger/more powerful/more interesting) a lot of them are driven by feeling not good enough. Not always, but often it's in the mix somewhere. Having reached a point where I do feel like my face is beautiful as it is, I feel like it's a bit of a duty to me to do my bit to normalise going make-up free. I think I'm getting my first wrinkle around my mouth, and I was thinking about the word 'patina'. I love the patina on leather, on wood, on a well-worn-in pair of jeans-- why not on my face, too?
  4. How much product do you want to own? Do you like collecting products, or would you rather just have a few essentials? How much bathroom clutter are you ok with? You might guess I keep things pretty simple: all-natural locally made shampoo bar and conditioner (made in Aurora!) and body soap, vitamin E oil and baking soda for skin care, and all-natural lip balm are the only products I really need. I also own natural mascara and sun-protection tinted lip balm but rarely use them. I'm inspired by my husband's routine: I use more tools than products, so, for example, we have a full manicure kit-- buffer, file, cuticle trimmer, cuticle cream, clippers-- but I don't own any nail polish. I'm more into meticulously maintaining what's already there than covering up or reforming it.
  5. What requirements do you have for the products you buy? Do you stick with all natural products? Are there ingredients you avoid? See above. All about natural products, and honestly, my skin is flawless because of it, and hairdressers consistently remark how strong and healthy my hair is.
  6. What colors feel best near your face? How do they relate to the color palette you created? I use a coral tinted lip-balm. I've always had a soft spot for a bright red lip but it doesn't fit with my list; like we discussed in the very first post, seeing and liking something doesn't make it right for you.
  7. What colors never look right near your face? What colors have you tried and given up on before? Not really an issue since I don't use colours on my face...
  8. How much time do you realistically want to spend getting ready in the morning? O minutes! I'm nearly there, if I could only figure out a way to get my clothes on while multitasking something else. I have a toddler who will wake up the baby if I waste time choosing socks and stuff.
  9. What types of scents do you gravitate towards? Do you wear perfume? Other scented products? What do you feel the scents you like communicate about your personality? I have this scent I absolutely love, called Gathering Apples from CB I Hate Perfume. It smells exactly like a fresh, cold apple you picked on an crisp autumn day. Exactly like that, none of this artificial apple scented nonsense. This is the real deal. It is the best thing ever, and if it doesn't sum up my words (heritage, intelligence, essential, depth, rooted), I don't know what does.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Wardrobe Architect, Week Seven

This week's exercise is to think about prints. What percentage of your wardrobe do you want to be prints? What types of prints do you like? For me, this is a bit of stretch because I've got basics shopping down pat, but am always wanting to incorporate prints and not being sure how. I have lots of solids in an interesting range of colours, but the only garments in my closet with much in the way of prints are a few dresses, none of which fit me since giving birth to son number two.

I had a trawl through my Pinterest fashion boards and came up with a little list of prints I know I like; now I just have to bite the bullet and incorporate some of them into my wardrobe.
-small dots on dark backgrounds
-realistic or watercolour florals on dark backgrounds
-ikat, especially in blue tones
-gingham in neutrals
-stripes, in neutrals
-ink-wash or watercolour look prints
-digital prints, especially of sky or water
-colour blocking
-African prints (in small pops)
-heather (this is a total print cop-out, but heather grey especially is a nice way to add a very subtle texture)
-plaids in nearly-neutrals (nothing too whimsical/colourful. If a lumberjack would turn up his nose at it, so would I.)
-lace (also not sure this counts as a print...)

Now I just need to add some prints to my Wardrobe Architect pinboard and, you know, actually buy some.