I'll be honest. I came into this month somewhat skeptical about finding "my style". I feel like I've always been drawn to a little bit of everything and my concept of "style" and "fashion" just didn't allow for me to like lots of types of outfits and still feel like I could have a look of my own.
But I have to say - The Curated Closet has kind of blown my mind. I mean, I've always knows I like stripes and swingy dresses with minimal shape. I could point out pieces in my closet that I love, like the oversized sweater that's almost worn to shreds. I can recognize styles that others wear that I admire, like long cardigans. But I hadn't put all that together as what I would call "my style" until now.
Part of The Curated Closet process is pulling together inspiration and outfits that you're drawn to and then assess what you've found. I've been working on a Pinterest board for a couple of days and will continue to add to it, but you can find it here if you're interested!
What I've found so far:
OVERALL VIBE: When thinking about why I like an outfit, I'm constantly coming back to three key words: easy, classic, and layers. They create a definite theme in my inspiration and pretty much define the look I'm going for.
KEY ITEMS: It's no surprise that there are a lot of striped tees in my board. What did surprise me was the amount of longer cardigans and layering pieces. I'm realizing it's a definite hole in my closet. I also need to accept that I love skinny jeans and will never be a flares girl. It's just not my thing.
COLORS: Neutrals on neutrals on neutrals. Give me shades anywhere on the spectrum of white to black (i.e. grey) and I'm happy. That said, I was surprised to see how many fall hues I'm drawn to as well, like olive green, mustard, and rust. Oh and of course...dusty pink. Ever since I picked up some yarn in this color on our trip to London, I've been in love.
SILHOUETTES: Slouchy on top, fitted on the bottom. Nearly every outfit I saved has this silhouette. I would like to try more chinos and boyfriend pants though!
STYLING: There were more hats on my board than I expected. I used to wear tons of hats when I was younger, but haven't tried them recently. It might be time. I love a chunky heel/ankle boot to elevate a somewhat casual outfit. Classic, yet comfy, yet chic.
Overall, I was shocked to see how cohesive my board seems! Now if I can just narrow down my closet to match that...
I'm halfway through my two week challenge where I document what I wear everyday and take notes on how it makes me feel. It's definitely an interesting activity and I would recommend that everyone try it out. I've never really paid attention to how I feel in my outfits. Which, as I'm typing this, seems like a silly thing to ignore. I mean, I know which outfits are comfy and which ones aren't, but what about how they make me feel? Would I be embaressed to be seen out of the house in this outfit? Do I feel confident wearing these jeans? Do I have to adjust this dress every five minutes to feel like it fits right?
For the most part, I felt pretty good in everything I wore this last week (of course, you can see it all on Instagram as part of Me Made May). But there were a few takeaways that I learned.
- I really need to think about how I wear my knit dresses. For example, I love my Ebony Dress and feel really good when I wear it. It has just enough drape that the volume of the dress still feels flattering. Plus, it's incredibly comfortable. But when I got chilly in the afternoon and put on leggings, I hated it...there was static everywhere and it was clinging in places it definitely shouldn't be clinging. I had to put on a slip so that I could wear it out of the house. While it's great for spring and summer, I'll have to be careful about my styling this fall.
- I felt best in the outfits that had layers. I like to be able to have options and wrap up in a cardigan if I get cold. I found myself reaching to the same ones over and over again. Clearly, I need more.
- There is a fine line between oversized and too big. I love my Maude Cardigan and it holds a special place in my heart - it was one of the first sweaters I ever knit and the first time I bought a sweater's quantity of really nice yarn. It felt like such a splurge. But I knit it a size too big. It can be pulled off as a grandpa cardigan, and Nate keeps telling me it looks fine, but I don't feel good in it. I feel frumpy and silly and keep adjusting it so that it doesn't look so overwhelmingly large. As much as I hate to say it, I should probably re-knit it in a smaller size. Insert heartbreak here.
My last note in a long ramble...I did a little closet clean out, just to get rid of pieces that I already know I don't wear. I'll do another one when I finish my Curated Closet challenge, but I figured I'd get a little bit of a head start.
It was so much harder to say goodbye to me-made pieces than things that I bought in stores! Maybe I appreciate them more because I made them? Or I just really want them to work out? Either way...I found myself saying "Maybe I'll wear that someday" a lot more with the shirts and dresses that I made when I was first starting out sewing my own clothes. I had to really take a step back and remind myself that if I haven't worn them recently, I probably won't wear them any time soon.
There were a few exceptions - things that I thought didn't fit anymore and was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I'll be wearing a few more of them over the next week to see how I feel and if they are worth keeping in my closet.
I also made a stack of outfits that I love, but just don't work in their current state. Most of them are dresses that my hips have outgrown. Bummer. Some are dresses that are just too bold in color for me to wear as my whole outfit. But instead of getting rid of them, I'm going to alter them in to shirts and tanks, as I already know I don't have enough layering pieces. Reduce, reuse, recycle...right? I think these will give new life to things I haven't worn in ages and I'm excited to get them back in my wardrobe rotation.
There are also some t-shirts that I made prior to getting a coverstitch machine and the sleeves and hem flip out and do odd things. I'm planning on re-hemming so that I don't feel like I have to mess with them every few minutes when I'm wearing them. I'm hoping that will make these pieces more staples in my closet instead of things I wear when I really need to do laundry.
Does anyone else have a hard time getting rid of me-mades? Or are they easier for you to pass on to someone else? I'd love to know what your approach has been in closet clean outs!