The Personal Style Project: Rocking what I got (and figuring out what I need)

First, an unrelated bit of news: I finished quilting the quilt last night! Yay! So now I just have to add in some bits of batting around the edges (my quilt ended up being a little bit too large for my queen sized batting, joy), then sew on the binding, and I am DONE!

Ok, back to thinking about clothes, since I’ve been missing sewing on them lately. Conveniently, the album I’m currently listening to (Rock What You Got by Superchick) kind of fits the theme, haha.

So I’ve been going through the wardrobe, my summer one in particular. Conclusions so far:

  • I really don’t need four white short-sleeved shirts (still trying to figure out what to narrow that down to), or four pairs of blue denim capris. (I’ve narrowed this down to the best-looking pair on me, though I’m hanging on to a second pair so far–thinking I’m going to chop them into long shorts or slightly shorter capris for the garden center job. They’re a bit unstylishly long right now.)
  • However, I really do need those three different Beatles t-shirts. 😉
  • I need to just suck it up and make those alterations I’ve been putting off… I have a couple of really great things that don’t fit me as well as they could, and I’d much rather make them work than get rid of them. Case in point: This skirt. The problem is I attempted to make the pattern myself, and there’s just way too much fabric bulk above the wrap ties. But look how awesome that fabric is!! And I have several other things that could benefit from some reconstruction. So I should probably just do those.
  • I’m also struggling with whether to let go of a couple things–namely these two dresses. (It probably wouldn’t be a huge struggle if I hadn’t made them both…)
  • I’m pretty settled on the green dress…it’s one that I just haven’t been inspired to pull out of my closet in the past year or so. Though part of that is probably because last spring was pretty cold, and I didn’t really have anything good to wear over it. I’m a bit more undecided on the black and white dress–the bodice fits me great, but it just seems like it isn’t fitting my waist very well these days. Like it’s kind of just hanging off of it in that quasi-maternity sort of way. Though perhaps with the proper accessorizing, that could be remedied. Thoughts?
  • Why have I been keeping this button-down long-sleeved white shirt? I haven’t worn it in at least two years, so obviously it’s not one of my wardrobe essentials. Despite what multiple guides I’ve looked at have said.
  • It’s no wonder I like warm-weather clothes better…my spring/summer wardrobe is SO much more colorful and interesting than my cold weather one!

Ok, now the serious part. Based on what I’ve seen out of my wardrobe, I can see some holes for the upcoming season:

  • I really do need a few more options in short-sleeved shirts I can wear for work. A rather large percentage of my short-sleeved stuff is printed t-shirts. (And I probably don’t need as many as I have, but to quote Richard Castle, “I like it!” Heh heh, I love this show.) Though I do have 3 or 4 of these in my planned sewing queue.
  • Also need some more plain skirts– I do have a black knee-length planned in the aforementioned queue, and I do already have a knee-length khaki one. It probably wouldn’t hurt to add something chocolate brown to the mix, since I seem to be wearing a lot of browns or things that go with brown these days. And a denim one would be a versatile thing to have as well. Also considering a long black flowy-type one, since it would fit right in with my boho tendencies. (Though there is always the option of getting another of the long rayon ones from Dharma Trading Company and just not embroidering it this time… this is seriously one of the most comfortable skirts I’ve ever owned, and I do like the way it looks on me a lot. And it has pockets that don’t add bulk to my hips–a big plus there! Yes, I am keeping this skirt, btw.)
  • A big one is coming up with some lightweight layering pieces, since I do have a tendency to get cold in air-conditioned spaces. So maybe some short or 3/4 sleeved lightweight jackets, or procure some of those lacy crocheted cardigans (since making those myself is not an option.) I’ve seen some of those big wrap scarves and they look nice, but given that I wouldn’t be able to hold it around myself and play my flute at the same time, I’m not sure how practical an option that is for me.
  • When I have more time, I should probably sit down and take a serious look at the skirts I have too, and see if I can or need to come up with some solid-colored tops that would go with some of them. Preferably multiple skirts. I can think of a couple off the top of my head that I’m not sure if I have anything to go with.
  • Some other footwear options might not hurt either. I’m thinking particularly of a flat black sandal, since the only pair of black sandals I own has a heel and that doesn’t go with everything style-wise (and isn’t always the best option for walking.) I’d love to get a gladiator-style sandal, but I’m thinking I might get these instead because they’re less trendy and therefore I can probably wear them longer. (That, and my black boots are getting worn out, and this site has the best price I’ve found so far on a replacement that will actually accommodate my wide feet-normal calf fitting problem. And unlike the boots I have now where the shafts are covered with badly-placed topstitching and elastic fitting panels–the only boots I could find in my size at the time, unfortunately–I could actually wear these with skirts.)
  • And even though I’m not sure they’re still in style, I do think I need to ponder the possibility of a maxi-dress. After all, I am kind of a hippie at heart.
  • Other things I need that could be for both spring and next fall/winter: some khakis in a darker color (like camel–the ones I have now are more of a stone color and that doesn’t go with a whole lot of what I have in the way of winter clothes), a pair of black pants that is actually long enough to not look stupid on me (the only pair that I currently own that comes close to that is a pair I’ve had since the beginning of college that has been worn and washed so often that the spandex is starting to come out of the weave, they’ve gotten kind of shapeless, and the tab on one of the zippered side pockets completely snapped off earlier this winter and now I have to leave the pockets open. It doesn’t look nearly as good that way. But my attempts this past fall to find a replacement pair that fit me really well were a total fail.) And I’m thinking maybe I should get a pair of boyfriend-cut jeans–thanks to a couple of more recent Goodwill runs, I actually do have some bootcut/flares that fit me well now, but a straighter leg might be good to get at some point. Also a new white tank for layering/solo wearing–I should probably just go back to Old Navy and get one like the black and brown ones I got earlier this year.

So that’s my preliminary assessment. I do still need to find some time to just goof off and put some outfits together, but that’s not going to happen today.

p.s. Apparently I’ve inspired one of my crafty blogging friends to take on a similar project–go check out Angelina’s blog if you want to see her take on it! And she found some other helpful sites that I hadn’t, like this one for figuring out your best colors. If I read this right, apparently my “season” is “warm autumn.”


4 thoughts on “The Personal Style Project: Rocking what I got (and figuring out what I need)

  1. Can't wait to see the quilt all done! I've been saying for 2 years I'm going to make one.. when we re-do our bedroom this spring I might have to get one started.. I already have the fabrics!
    On the black and white dress maybe an obi type belt would look cool( I saw one over a loose top in a mag and it looked really nice)
    Bummer about your shoe issue… my only issue with shoes is I always want to buy super high platform wedges (for my short girl complex!)
    I don't think maxi dresses are completely out… I did see a couple in magazines…Nicole Richies new line has lots of long dresses.


  2. Why don't you get a professional stylist. In Australia you can spend about $300 for a stylist to give your wardrobe a once over, show you how to wear what you have and what additional items will built on what you have that works for you. It sounds like a lot of money, but in the long can save you lots of $ on buying things that don't work for you.


  3. Angelia–Hmmm… I have been thinking about procuring an obi-style belt. So if I can figure out a good color, I may need to try that.

    Gail–That's a thought. Not really a feasible one at this time, since between the bad weather we've been having this winter and student illnesses, my income has been quite drastically reduced this season! On the other hand, I'm kind of enjoying the process of figuring it out myself– I'm such a DIY girl. And I've seen enough episodes of “What Not To Wear” to suspect that I might not do so well with being given a bunch of fashion rules to follow!


  4. Wow, interesting thought Gail has there, and your response gives more for thought. I suppose that hiring a stylist means one has already “given herself to the process”, already trusts the stylist's taste and ability, and is willing to follow the stylist's recommendations. Figuring it out on one's own is more about buying into a set of self-created rules over a long period of time, really needing to test the waters before feeling confident that a specific rule applies.

    Thanks for letting me chew on this….


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