“The significance - and ultimately the quality - of the work we do is
determined by our understanding of the story in which we are taking part.”
― Wendell Berry
A made a secret board and to it I only pinned images that I ADORE and images that I felt like showed a "part of me." "This looks like what I feel like." Or "This looks like who I am." Not just clothes... sights and food and furniture and homes and the like. Anything that stirred up that "Oh yes!!!" sensation in me. (You know, the way I feel walking down Main Street Disney or watching Mrs. Maisel or listening to The Andrew Sisters and Vivaldi). That made me not just "like it" but know it. I found an interesting pattern... lots of lines, pops of red, smiling/sass, memory-making, and black and white and black and white and black and white. Hm. I know I love blue, but I don't think I realized how drawn my spirit is to red. I knew I loved "playful" but I don't think I realized how sweet a more tailored, classic look could be. I KNEW I loved black, and then I remembered why all over again!
It's so easy to got swept up in the trends and think you love a color or look because it's what is popular, but there are few things I love more than when I am seeing a "creation" of a friend (their outfit, their home, their music, etc) and I can say: "That looks like or feels like you. That's YOU in living room/chorus/clothing form!" I also realized that if I were styling a photoshoot, or producing a play, I would be crazy-attentive to the colors and costumes! It tells a story. Thinking of myself as a little theater show, and having the fun of using all elements to tell my narrative was so fulfilling! As opposed to what I often feel when looking at fashion/passing through stores/etc. Usually the "I want I want I wish I wish!" kicks in, but after this I've found myself so content... so happy with my presentation. It feels true to my spirit. It feels (drumroll!): embodied.
With this little exercise behind me, and using tips from lots of different "Capsule Wardrobe" posts on Pinterest, I did as I was told: emptied my WHOLE closet and sorted through each item one by one. Only that which I LOVED could stay. I also knew I was intentionally pairing down to a color story and vibe for the time being. Put big patterns, lots of color, florals, etc into a bin in the garage. And just keep my favorite items. I ended up being a few pieces for $1.50-$3 on Swap.Com to fill out the corners. I've known what I've loved for a long time, but I definitely "get distracted" from it and end up with pieces that were a waste of money and space. Turning to a more focused, intentional, patient way has been fun.
My closet has a little over 40 pieces (minus pajamas, exercise clothes, bumming-around-cleaning-t-shirts-and-stretchy-workout-pants, etc). I took a whole trash bag to GoodWill and have one box sitting in the garage to re-evaluate in a few months. No clothes shopping whatsoever until then! See ya in May, stores! hahah.
It feels SO HAPPY to open my closet door and see my colors! My trim and piping! My stripes! My brown leather bags!
I left all my shoes in my closet because the just go on their shelf and it doesn't make my life harder to have them there. But these are the main ones I wear day-in day-out!
I also reaffirmed my love for "crystal"/"diamond"/vintage jewelry. It's like wearing a little art deco 1920's window on your ear. Oh! And as for sunglasses? Tortoise shell pattern in vintage shapes or aviators. Those are my ride-or-die's.
- My Clothing
Honed in the qualities I most wanted to embody, I brainstormed words, created mood boards, and paired through the “pieces of art” that I will dress my form and narrate my spirit. The defining words I came to were: “Classic, merry, and sensible.” Classic both for “standing the test of time” and also “classy-ness and elegance.” Merry, a vintage-sounding word for a mix of happy and whimsical. And sensible: both clothing that is practical for a mother of two who really isn’t going to galas or luxe-anything’s, and also “that makes sense” for a woman in 2018 to be wearing… modern not costume-y. (My post detailing the final line-up and more of the process is here)
- My Artistic Details: (this relates mostly to “how I clothe myself”)
Denim (I love how it’s sturdy)
Silk/silky (I love how it’s soft)
Cotton (I love how it’s functional)
“Womanly”/structure mixed with curve
Piping and trim
Brass Hardware (buttons — also buttons in general, snaps, zippers, etc)
Down + Curled
Love one pop of color against neutrals
Love color-blocking with shades of the same color
Love beads or “crystal” sewn into clothes
Things I noticed: I don’t prefer lace on me, most floral patterns, entirely loose and flowy cuts, stretchy/spandex-y/body-con type fabrics (unless I’m wearing dem yoga pants), graphics/writing on clothes, chevron and buffalo check, geometric or natural stones jewelry, excessively trendy pieces, turtlenecks (but man I love them… they just aren’t my happy place on me. Something for me to admire on others hahah).