Slow Fashion October just wrapped up (as I finally get around to posting this) and in addition to creating a space to discover inspiring new makers and slow style bloggers to connect with, the weekly prompts got everyone to consider their style and slow wardrobes and discuss their thoughts and process…my jam!
Week 1 posed the question What’s Your Look? and begins with a mood board. Don’t have to ask me twice! Sometimes I feel like I spend more time making mood boards than actually sewing, but each one is edited a little closer to perfection than the last, more and more images are carrying over from one to the next, and my thrift store, pattern and fabric purchases are resulting in a lot less fails so it’s feeling like a productive exercise.
What’s the difference between what you admire and what actually feels like “YOU”?As a lover of the art of fashion, I admire so many things I’d never have a reason or desire to wear in real life. I recently split my Pinterest boards up into ‘Fashion‘ and ‘Curated Closet‘ with categories for seasons, accessories and hairstyles and it’s been a real game changer. I’m getting better about using my Curated Closet boards to gather inspiration that combines a statement piece I could actually see myself making with neutral cotton basics I already own that suit my day to day life. Then my fashion board can be a total free for all for any beautiful thing I may want to reference again at some point.
How has your style evolved? In high school (mid 90’s) I went through look after look, with total dedication. Like all trendy, hippie, grunge, goth, punk, vintage, preppy…and basically hit the thrift stores to stock my wardrobe each time I wanted to try a new style. Eventually I’d amassed an enormous amount of clothing and began juxtaposing different looks to make it my own. As the years went on, I continued experimenting and buying lots of clothing but I found my groove with just putting together things I liked in a way that could no longer be defined by one style category. In my late 20’s, there was a period of time I felt like I lost my style identity working in a corporate office, but after 4 years home with my son I’m coming back to my naturally eclectic way of dressing. In fact, a lot of current closet favorites are perfected grown up versions of looks I tried in high school!
Do you have a color palette? Yes and no. White, cream, mustard, sage/olive/army green, shades of indigo and gray dominate but I love color, so with some exceptions, I won’t rule colors out completely. My wardrobe definitely doesn’t fit into a pretty collage where everything matches everything else, but it’s improving in time and there’s a lot of opportunity to create unexpected color combinations which is something I really enjoy.
Whose style inspires you? Do you you have a muse or icon? I have many! I don’t aim to emulate them, I’m just inspired by women with their own distinct looks to always stay true to mine. Chloe Sevigny coming on the scene in the 90’s was a real defining moment for me. Suddenly, it was not only OK that my clothing all came from thrift stores and I didn’t dress like anyone else at school, it might actually be considered stylish!
Is there a brand you’re always drawn to, for their clothes and/or how they put them together? Why? Right now, Gucci. In this article about Alessandro Michele, his first collection was described as “eclectic and vibrant pieces jumbled together in a colorful melange of vintage and new.” That’s always been my goal for my own wardrobe, albeit in a much subtler (and less expensive) way. It reminds me of how a dear friend in fashion school used to call my style vintage thrift store revival. There’s a wealth of color combinations, layering, styling and embellishment ideas I can translate to my own clothes and sewing projects in ways that fit into my world.
What shapes and styles of garments work best for you, your life and your body? Casual but well tailored pants with a mid-high rise, softly structured blouses and sweaters, comfy cotton basics and shoes that can be worn anywhere. My life is very casual, but I love getting dressed, so I like to balance a more dressed up statement piece with basics to keep my look put together without being too “done.”
What are your clothing pet peeves? I’m not sure if it’s age or motherhood since these things happened simultaneously, but I no longer have tolerance for anything fussy. If it slides up or down, squeezes too tight, requires adjusting in order to sit down or when standing back up, anything off the shoulder. I used to live in shelf bra cami’s under everything and low rise pants and can’t stand the thought of those items anymore!
What is your favorite garment or outfit (now or always) and why? I’ve always had a thing for granny blouses, and now I love to update my thrift scores with buttons of my choice to make them perfect for me. A loosely tailored granny blouse with a comfy bralette underneath, perfectly fitted cone denim skinny jeans and moccasins is my current go to look that feels just right every time.
What is the image you would like to project with your clothing? I read somewhere that you can’t tell if a french woman is a mother unless she’s holding a baby and that really spoke to me. Where I live, a “momiform” of leggings and athleisure is totally acceptable but just doesn’t feel like me. Reading that somehow gave me permission to dress myself how I wanted even if my day will be spent at the playground surrounded by Lululemon! I aim to be organized, creative and pulled together every day and that’s how my clothes make me feel.
Can you describe your style in five adjectives? Creative, Natural, Classic, Eclectic, Feminine
What showed up in your mood board that surprised you? The pink suit! I worked in a corporate office for 13 years, eventually learning to dress the part, and when I left to be a stay at home mom I couldn’t clear those clothes out of my closet fast enough. After 4 years, I’m finding myself attracted to more polished clothing again, but with a creative twist of course. I have a pattern that includes pants and a jacket that I’m considering sewing in a fun color to create the option of wearing them together or separately with other things I own and I’m pretty excited about it.
What’s an example of something you own and love (had to have!) but never wear, and why not? There is one item in my closet right now. I bought it from a thrift store for $1 a few years ago and just haven’t been able to part with it even though it gets no love. It’s a cropped crochet tank that I strictly placed in the summer category and never found the right layering piece for. Coincidentally, just a couple week ago, an image popped up in my Pinterest feed layering a beaded piece of the same color and shape over a tailored suit jacket and I ran straight to my closet and tried on my crochet version over a long sleeve button down blouse…LOVE! Thankfully I wasn’t too quick to discard it just because it didn’t get wear because I knew I truly loved it and trusted it would eventually work somehow.
Did you participate in Slow Fashion October? It’s my favorite event of the year! I’ll be back with weeks 2-4 and simultaneously I tried out my first 10×10 challenge this month so I’ll have more on that as well. I’m loving the chance to sit in a quiet house with a hot cup of coffee to write here more often now that kiddo’s in preschool.