Wardrobe Architect, Project #2

This one was actually a lot more challenging for me than the first one! This week’s “assignment” is to uncover the styles that make me feel like myself, and attach words and images to them. So I spent a lot of time flipping through Pinterest yesterday and thinking through this. (I should probably warn you now that this is going to be a rather pic-heavy post!)

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really sure where to start with this one. While I enjoy watching shows like Project Runway and flipping through the occasional fashion magazine, I’ve never really been one to follow designers or celebrity styles and the like. I honestly get a lot more inspiration from sewing patterns and fabrics than I do from stores, which may be part of why I’m not exactly sure what my “style” is.

Honestly, if you look at the things that inspire me, like the collection I’ve been keeping on my usual fashion Pinterest board, it looks like I have multiple fashion personality disorder. And maybe I do.

Because the things that inspire me have quite a range. Like “roaming the Scottish Highlands”…

From Pinterest

but hey, that layered skirt is pretty cool. And even though they’re completely impractical, especially this one since it barely covers the one shoulder, I still love capes and wish I could work them into my wardrobe!

There’s gauzy, peasanty dresses and tops, like this one.

Chic Mythology Dress, #ModCloth
From Pinterest, via ModCloth

 Which, honestly, isn’t even a color I like, because taupe is the color of boredom. But I do like the textures, and the hi-low hemline variation, and the overall 60s-ish vibe to it.

There’s a plethora of jackets on there, which range from modern-day pirate…

From Pinterest

In my defense, it looks like it’s actually a fairly classic silhouette, aside from the tails. And the pirate cuffs. Admittedly, I didn’t see the front when I stumbled across this one on Pinterest, I just snagged the picture.

Also, arrrrrrr.

….to amazing modern-day draping…..

From Pinterest, via Anthropologie

Sadly, I don’t think I can replicate this one, because I’m pretty sure felted-looking wool would be essential to this. But the asymmetry! And the sweater collar! And those pleats! 

to quasi-Victorian.

From Pinterest

 I just love all the little detailing on this–the tiny ruffle, that pleated draped collar, the flowers, and especially those sleeves. I am a sucker for a funky sleeve.

And, of course, there’s the “I want to dress like the Hunger Games” look…

From Pinterest, via Polyvore

There’s the modern version of “Fellowship of the Ring” look…

Yeah, I'll admit it, I kind of want a cape.
From Pinterest

Seriously. Capes. I still want one. You have to admit this one is pretty cute! And Elves can wear jeans too, right?

There’s the standard pretty dresses.

From Pinterest

Cute, right? I like that it’s a print, but not quite a print. And the cardigan with belt styling is great, since I’m always cold anyway.

And then, since it’s me, of course there’s jeans and t-shirt looks.

red velvet blazer and rocker tee
From Pinterest

Admittedly, wearing them with jackets is something I do a lot anyway. And mmm, shiny velvet. 

So the trick, for me, is figuring out how to merge all of these different fashion personalities into one cohesive closet. There’s a lot going on here, and while I wouldn’t wear all of these clothes exactly, there’s elements of all of them that do appeal to me.

I’m not going to go through my individual answers on the worksheet this time. Honestly, I was having trouble coming up with words, and certainly didn’t get the 15 or so. But one thing I did do that was helpful was spend some time combing through photos from the last couple of years–most of them were staged (for me) outfit photos for stuff like Me-Made-May and this blog, but there’s some actual “real life” pictures in here, too. So this is what I ended up with, for pictures with outfits where I felt most like “me”.

 Here’s what I noticed:

  • All but one of these photos feature at least one garment I made. (The exception is the bottom right corner. But I did make that necklace.)
  • T-shirts of both the graphic and “nicer” quality do feature pretty regularly (the nicer ones being the two Renfrews on the bottom row).
  • There’s actually a fairly equal balance between skirts/dresses and pants outfits. 
  • Of course there’s no winter outfits on here–every picture I seemed to have from those months that weren’t specifically staged for the blog were just me bundled up in my winter coat. Also, I’ve said before that I just don’t find my cold-weather clothes inspiring. I need to fix that.
  • That being said, layers of some sort are a fairly regular thing.
  • Prints, of course. There’s only two outfits on here that are basically solid. And that black top/skinny jeans outfit at least has an embellished top.
  • There’s also a pretty equal balance between wovens and knits, depending on the garment. Which is good, because I have a lot of wovens in the stash.
  • Perhaps the most important note: For those dress/skirt outfits, aside from the two in the middle of the top row, they’re all pretty casually styled. And the two woven dresses, while perhaps a nicer style, are made more casual by the fabric prints.  (My Lonsdale is a tropical print, which is automatically casual, and the other dress features a tie-dyed looking fabric.)

So with those things in mind, and with the help of the Pinterest board that I made specifically for this exercise/the answers to last week’s questions,  I ended up with the following 5 words to describe my style:

Casual – Since the people I know and the places I tend to go the most are more this sort of environment, this is pretty much essential. It’s fun to sew fancy dresses, but it’s not like I get married or play recitals every day, and the people I’m friends with aren’t exactly the cocktail party type. So I’ll be much more likely to wear skirts and dresses if I can dress them down, so to speak.

Colorful – pretty obvious, if you see my stash. Even if those colors do often seem dominated by blue and green. And I crave color so much this time of year, because where I live is pretty neutral-blah colored in the winter. This also covers my printaholic tendencies, along with the next…

Artsy – I can’t exactly call my style “boho”, but there’s a strong influence there. I like things that are flowy, chunky beaded jewelry, funky sleeves, and the thing that often attracts me most to a piece of fabric is the print and/or texture of it. Also, since my primary career centers around music, I can get away with it! (Note to self: I should probably work on getting comfortable with print mixing.)

Geeky – It’s pretty much inevitable, given that I seem to be drawn to outfits that have that kind of modern-day Elf look to them. Or take inspiration straight from fantasy movies. Or sci-fi shows. Or even just science (seriously, I want something constellation-printed so badly) or literature. Also, that’s what most of my graphic tees seem to center around.

Cozy – Since a common thread in both my own personal pictures and a lot of the stuff I’ve snagged on Pinterest seems to be layers, jackets and cardigans and things of that sort are a good investment for me. I actually do have a fair number of jackets, but what I need to work on there are things to wear under them (that aren’t graphic tees). Soft textures play into this as well.

I know this was a very long, rambling post, so if you made it to the end of this, congratulations! Is there anything you saw in my picture collage that I missed? How would you sum up your own style?


21 thoughts on “Wardrobe Architect, Project #2

  1. I really like the fantasy/victorian stuff you pinned! It would be fun to have a few pieces like that to mix in with your everyday wear! BTW, based on this post, i'd say you and Leila are wardrobe twins!


  2. I love all of your pics of style examples…I too tend to love styles that aren't necessarily practical, but oh mama are they cool. I've also been wanting to make an LOTR cape – literally ever since high school! One of these days I'll actually do it…(ever want to do a cape sew-along???)

    Lately I've been poking around at Anthropologie for inspiration. Although I'm not always a huge fan of their construction techniques and they often seem “over the top,” there are a lot of great ideas to be found, and they have a lot of quasi-Victorian flowy/fantasy/generally spiffy things.


  3. I love browsing at Anthropologie–some of my favorite design hacks have come from their website. It's also great for getting ideas for clothing reconstruction, since I generally can't justify paying their prices! (I do have two actual pieces of clothing from their store–the stripey white and green sweater in the pics above, which I bought on the clearance rack specifically for my engagement photos, and a grey dress that I bought to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding this past fall. Which was hands-down the most expensive bridesmaid dress I've ever had, but at least it was a knit fabric so I can actually wear it again in the real world!)


  4. This was very interesting to read, your style is varied, but I can still get that there is a red thread. The geeky t-shirt can come in where the fantasy stuff isn't practical.


  5. I have New Look 6587 (mostly capelets, but some longer ones as well), Simplicity 4492, and Simplicity 3921, which I got to make shrugs for a friend's wedding, but there's some little capelets on there too. I also have Simplicity 5794, which is straight-up costume, but I did make one of these for wearing to the Renaissance Faires and such.

    What I'd really love to have an excuse to make sometime is the Watson Jacket by Papercut Patterns, it's so fun, but I'm afraid the capelet part of the jacket would also make it horribly impractical for things like carrying my flute bag around, since it's more of a backpack style. (But still, look at this! http://papercutpatterns.com/products/watson-jacket)


  6. I'm not very good at the “model” face, so I always catch myself smiling for my outfit photos. Even if it's that big cheesy photo smile, I figure it's better than looking sad!


  7. When I look at your pictures, I think of two of the same words that I use for my own preferences: architecture and storybooks. Almost all of your “from Pinterest” pictures contain unexpected, interesting architectural shapes, and a storytelling vibe–a fairy tale, an historical novel, an adventure story. Your choices include a lot more feminine-vibe elements than I'm usually drawn to–gathers, ruffles, flowers. And I find that I really like that vibe in those photos, so why am I avoiding it when I point to something and say, “That's what I like.”



  8. I stumbled on a knitting pattern the other day on Ravelry that's her funky cowl from Catching Fire–that may have to happen now!

    I've been having fun reading everyone's posts, too!


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