I have been pinning over on my Pinterest Wardrobe Architect board and have been really thinking a LOT about what I want to wear. Not what I like; not things that I think look good on other people; and not things that in the end won’t suit my life or my body–things that I want to actually wear and are appropriate for my everyday life. It seems like such an obvious thing to say and do, but honestly, that’s not how I’ve been looking at clothing and fashion for most of my life.
I also have been thinking about categorizing my clothing. It’s really easy to have a slippery slope when you work from home, and before you know it, your pajamas also become your work clothes and your casual wear etc… These should all be their own thing. They can be similar, and equally comfortable, but they shouldn’t all be the same. I think it’s a healthy to change into your day clothing, and your evening clothing, and then your pajamas later in the day, and on and on. With that in mind, here are some of the images by category from my board and my plans moving forward as I develop my core style. There are more over there, so if you’re on Pinterest, you might enjoying following along!
Core Style: Pajamas, Loungewear & Activewear
I am seriously drawn to cozy neutrals when I’m lounging at home. And as much as I adore my collection of vintage polyester nighties from the 50’s and 60’s, I really prefer to wear breathable natural fibers, like cotton and silk. See... right there I'm learning that though I like one thing, I still prefer to wear something else. So even though I like vintage nighties, I'm more comfortable in natural fiber pajamas, which means I'll look more beautiful in them too. These are the lessons I'm slowly figuring out.
When thinking about my core style for pajamas, I love a traditional pajama top/nightshirt with piping and tailoring, but I actually hate pajama pants. I prefer cozy soft leggings, like those pictured at the center top. As far as I’m concerned, I can pair these two things together! I also love a simple white cotton robe, which I actually already own and wear everyday.
Loungewear for me is something that could be worn by the pool, while doing laundry, or some similar casual situation where something big and flowy is appropriate. The knit stripe maxi dress in the center, the black and white dot dress on the lower left, and the kimono-style robe dress on the lower right all are elegant, timeless, and classic. All those words I’m striving for. And if I am poolside, I adore the swimsuit on the bottom center. I prefer a black suit but also love lingerie detailing on suits, which I think is extremely sexy without being showy.
For my workout activewear, I think I’m the only person I know that prefers to wear simple dark and plain garments to the gym. More often people see it as an opportunity to wear wacky spandex prints and novelty tee shirts. But I 100% feel the dead opposite. I want to wear black, navy, simple tanks and tees, and nothing that stands out or is loud. Perhaps I’m trying to be invisible, but at the gym, I’m totally cool with that!
Core Style: Casual Outfits
The kinds of garments I’m drawn to for my more casual outfits are cozy striped tees, shift dresses that allow me to move, elegant sweatshirts, and clogs. I like to be pulled together, but comfortable and in clothing that will allow me to move, eat, picnic, swing on a swing set, etc. Nothing restrictive!
It’s a newer thing for me to wear jeans, but I have actually been wearing them a lot lately. Not sure why I suddenly feel okay in them, but somehow I don’t feel as weird in them as I used to. I love the idea of a big cozy sweatshirt like in the second row on the right, or a simple classic button down shirt like on the lower center. That same sweatshirt can be paired with a skirt for something a little “nicer” like on the top left.
I also love a good shift dress, which if you follow me at all, you already know this. I like the lack of restrictions and the ability to move freely. The shift on the lower right, (which is actually the Pearl Shift from Green Bee Patterns as sewn up by Rae) is a great example of something simple and easy to wear. The brown shift at the center top is another great version of a casual shift that would look great over jeans, leggings, or tights, and can be very casual but pulled together at the same time.
Lastly, I clearly have a thing for striped tees and skirts, as before I knew it I had pinned a handful of outfits that were nearly the exact same. These outfits check off so many words on my list: elegant, feminine, classic, and casual but polished. Pretty much perfect.
Core Style: Feminine Elegance
When leaving the house in something a wee bit nicer, I basically want to take my “casual” outfits, and step them up a notch. Nothing overly fussy, as I still want to be able to move, live, eat, and have a good time without feeling restricted. But I am not now, nor have I ever been, a tomboy. So feeling feminine is a big deal to my personal style. But feminine and fussy are not the same and I try to ride that line carefully.
Pairing an elegant and feminine skirt with a button down or a fitted sweater, is classic and timeless. A slightly more elegant shift and button-down, when paired with nicer shoes, flats, a jacket, or a vintage-inspired print is another way to elevate my more casual looks. And of course, the LBD on the top left is always a perfect choice!
Core Style: Outerwear
I absolutely adore a classic tailored jacket or coat. But I also acknowledge that I live in Los Angeles and I only need so many outerwear items. But the goal is to have a handful of the basics and nothing else, because I don’t need much else!
I know there’s an obvious odd man out in the group, so let’s talk about it first–the North Face puffy jacket! I already own this jacket, and I wanted to include it because I do own it, and because this is the kind of jacket that everyone needs deep in their closet for those times you go to Tahoe in January for your birthday! I don’t need it often, but when I do, I’m glad I own it!
Outside of that, I like a longer coat with really nice details, topstitching, and collars. In these photos are examples of a range of weights, from a classic peacoat, to a quilted floral, and a couple of feminine vintage-inspired designer coats. I also love a basic black beret and gray scarf for when you want that extra warmth. And since this is LA, a good warm cardigan is outerwear here too. I adore the bottom left, that is making its way onto my to-sew list, and the classic cable cardigan on the lower right.
So, are you ready to make your own mood boards? I found this exercise incredibly helpful. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, to consider not only what you like, but what you want to wear in your life, can be a valuable lesson, as you might discover that they are different things.
Breaking them down into groups by type and situations in which you’d wear them, really got me thinking. Give it a try and feel free to post links in the comments below so we can see your boards too!
Join me here in two weeks when we begin to explore shapes!
The Wardrobe Architect Series:
2016 Wardrobe Architect Project
Wardrobe Architect Week One: Making Style More Personal
Wardrobe Architect Week Two: Defining a Core Style
Wardrobe Architect Week Three: Exploring Shapes
Wardrobe Architect Week Four: Proportions and Silhouettes
Wardrobe Architect Week Five: Your Color Story
Wardrobe Architect Week Six: Organizing Your Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Seven: Exploring Solids & Prints
Wardrobe Architect Week Eight: Hair, Makeup, & Beauty
Wardrobe Architect Week Nine: The Capsule Wardrobe
Wardrobe Architect Week Ten: The Capsule Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Eleven: Planning Your Pieces
Wardrobe Architect Week Twelve: Adding Accessories
Wardrobe Architect Week Thirteen: Overcoming Editing Hurdles