The Sixth Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

What is your default color palate? Describe the colors your usually wear. You can share an outfit if you would like.

When I was a teenager, I went through a very serious goth phase from which I never fully recovered. This has left me with a serious penchant for black clothing. I can’t help myself. Incongruously, I also love wild prints. My favourite prints are geometric or painterly. If I opt for a solid colour, it’s usually a bold jewel tone such as magenta or cobalt blue. I usually feel most comfortable with dark colours on the bottom, but I’m working to get over that. Back in my retail days, I often struggled to encourage women to try new colours. If you have ever worked retail, you know that black outsells other colours by a large margin. Old habits die hard.

There are definite benefits to working within a limited colour palette when trying to build your wardrobe. It does make it easier to mix and match. It’s less stressful if you lack confidence in your ability to put items together. The problem strikes when you avoid certain colours because you don’t think you can pull them off. I’m here to tell you that is nonsense. You can start small, with a scarf or a pair of tights. Try different shades until you hit on the winners. If you feel a colour isn’t working near your face, you could try the same colour as a skirt instead. Sometimes, you just need to switch your make-up palette to make a particular garment work for you.

When I went back and looked at my own wardrobe, I discovered that my palette is very cool. I don’t own many warm colours. That will be one of my personal challenges, adding more warmth. In the 7th step of this challenge, I’m going to put together an outfit that omits my safety colours. There will be no black, no blue, no grey and no bright jewel tones. Stay tuned for the results!

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The Fifth Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

Make a new outfit! Using the item from assignment number 4, make a new outfit . If it’s appropriate, wear it out of the house!

The weather here in Vancouver has taken a turn for the chilly and wet. I’m more motivated than ever to get my wardrobe in order. If I don’t take care of it soon, I’m going to freeze to death. The outfit I’m about to post would not be wearable under these conditions. I’m going to have to buy some new boots and wool tights to make it seasonally appropriate. Still, I wanted to show you how I styled that ASOS dress in order to ease myself in to wearing it more often.I opted to layer it under a high-waisted fuchsia skirt. This particular skirt has slits on both sides, so having a fitted skirt underneath it is very practical. If I throw a blazer over this, I can wear it to work. As shown, I would definitely wear it to a party.  Excuse my cranky face in this picture, I’m new to this whole tripod self-portrait thing.

Dress- Asos
Skirt and Necklace- Thrifted
Belt- Came with another dress
Shoes- Kenneth Cole

 

 

 

The Fourth Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

You bought it but you’ve never worn it? We all have these things in our closet. Things we bought but never wear. Find one of these items that fits you well, but you don’t wear. Take a picture of a neglected item and describe why you have never worn it.

Last week, I shared images of all the wardrobe items I’m keeping for the coming fall season. You can check that out here. The things I decided to keep are all items that make me feel good when I wear them. They fit comfortably, fit my current lifestyle demands and look good. It’s a lot easier to get dressed in the morning, now. I don’t have to waste time weeding through a sea of un-wearable garments. Un-wearable garments are rubbish. They should be donated to someone who can wear them. Sometimes we buy garments that are totally wearable, but for some reason they languish unworn in our closets. In this step, it’s time to examine why we do that.

My neglected item is this ASOS dress.

The road to this dress was paved with good intentions. I first saw a similar ASOS dress on Gabi of GabiFresh, she and I have a similar look (physically and sartorially). As you can see here, she looks fabulous in it…

I later saw the same (or similar) dresses popping up on curvy girls all over the tumblr. Succumbing to the power of suggestion and repetition, I decided to order it. When it arrived, I tried it on and found the fit to be decent, not perfect, but decent. Shopping online is a new thing for me, as I have little faith in garment sizing. There are a lot of things I like about this dress. I love the print, I have a vintage dress with a similar print in a very different cut. I love the length, it’s demure.  I also like sleeves, because I’m always cold. So why haven’t I worn it? The truth is, I am self-conscious about wearing something so form-fitting. I have a taste for draped, amorphous shaped clothing. This is the opposite.

So why did I keep this dress for fall? I am keeping it because this fall, my aspiration is to stop being self-conscious in form-fitting clothing. I know that with the right styling,this dress will work for me. I will probably start within my comfort zone, layering it under a maxi-skirt or an oversized cardigan. That is okay, baby steps. When I do finally get the guts to wear it, I will make sure to post a picture.

Since some of you are following along and doing the wardrobe challenge, I thought I would help by listing a few of the main reasons wearable items go unworn.

  1. Self Consciousness: This is a big one for me. Negative self-image is not easy to overcome. It takes work and time. Be kind to yourself. It may take a few tries before you are comfortable. If you try a few times and you can’t get comfortable, there is no rule that says you have to wear that particular style. You dress your body the way you want. 
  2. Too Fancy: I own a very pricey leather jacket. I purchased it with a gift card I won. In the 2+ years I’ve had it, I’ve only worn it 5 times. It’s just so nice, I’ve been scared to wear it. This is dumb. If you have something fancy in your closet you should wear it. Think about ways you can wear it so it doesn’t collect dust.
  3. Minor Flaws: Sometimes all you need is a tailor or dry cleaner to revitalize a garment. If it’s worth keeping, have a professional fix it.
  4. Lack of Context: Often, the reason something goes unworn is that you don’t have anything to wear it with. If this is the case, I suggest taking the garment with you when you go shopping and trying it on with complimentary items.

If you have other reasons, I’d like to hear them and add them to the list.

The Third Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

What are you keeping? Photograph the key items in your current wardrobe that you wear often and plan to wear in the fall.

After the solemn chore of sorting through my existing wardrobe; I narrowed things down to the items I actually wear. If you missed it, you can read about that process here. So what do you do with all these clothes you’ve decided to keep? The practical thing to do is hang it or fold it and put it away. I know you aren’t going to leave everything piled on the floor like a spiteful teenager. I always never do that. Before you put it away, take some time to catalog your wardrobe. It’s picture day for your clothes!

I organized all my clothing in to categories so I could shoot them in an orderly fashion.  I didn’t bother photographing workout clothes, black leggings (I have a zillion) and underwear (sorry pervs). I also didn’t photograph accessories, outerwear or shoes. I’ll get around to that later. Right now I’m working on the core of the wardrobe. That fun stuff comes later.

This isn’t an exercise for your photography skills. You don’t need a fancy Digital SLR. Any point and shoot camera will do. You can use your iphone if you want. You don’t need fancy lighting. I don’t care if you suck at taking pictures. Just take the pictures. These are going to be an important visual reference as you move forward through the upcoming steps.

I will admit that this step takes a long time. I probably spent about 2 hours taking pictures. I spent another few hours making collages of the photos in Picasa. Picasa is free and easy to use, so don’t worry if you don’t have photoshop. You are only making these collages for yourself. They don’t have to be perfect. My collages were grouped by type of garment. Now, I can see what I’m working with at a glance! I also have gained a lot of insight in to my preferences and habits, but I’m not going to address that in this post. That will be covered in steps 6 and 7.

It’s so enlightening to see everything laid out like this. I’m already coming up with new combinations and outfits in my head. I definitely recommend taking the time to do this step. It’s worth the effort.

Here are my garment collages:

 


The Second Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

Closet organizing time! This is not always fun, but it’s essential to know what you are currently working with. If you live in an area that cools down in the fall, it’s a good time to put away those summer items. Schedule a donation pick up from a local charity organization so you have a deadline to sort your clothes.  

This is not my idea of a good time. I’m not an overly sentimental person, but it is always hard to part with clothes. I have items that haven’t fit me in years, but I keep them because they were expensive or have good memories attached.

The reality is that hoarding clothes is not helping me. There is no reason to keep clothing that fits poorly. It’s uncomfortable to wear and when you are uncomfortable it’s hard to go about your day looking confident and stylish. It’s time to get rid of all my non-fitting clothes.

I’m also getting rid of my sentimental items and my expensive non-fitting items. If they have monetary value; I’ll sell them online or consign them. Photographing the items can preserve the memories. By selling off these garments, I can raise money for new clothes! Hooray!

Here is a pile of clothing I’m going to sell…

As I organized my clothing, I took pictures of all the items I plan on keeping. This will serve as a visual catalogue. I plan to share those photos in my next post for step 3 of this challenge. In the meantime, here is a picture of my newly organized closet.

 

The First Step…

In this series of posts, I am working through 12 steps I created to help refresh my wardrobe for fall. If you would like to follow join me in the challenge, you can find all the steps here.

Describe yourself and your lifestyle. If you have a job that requires a certain type of clothing, that is going to affect your choices. Give us an idea of what is important to you when it comes to clothing. You can also describe your personal taste.

I’ll start with work, since that is where I spend most of my waking hours. I work as a college admissions representative at an Art and Design school. We offer programs in Fashion, Interior Design, Gaming, Animation and Graphic Design. The environment is creative, but I still have to look professional. I am not allowed to wear jeans to work. I tend to wear dresses because they are easy to throw on in the morning without much fuss. Cardigans and jackets are essential because I am always cold inside the office.

I don’t go out to bars and clubs these days. If I do go out, it’s for dinner with friends or an art opening. It’s very casual here in Vancouver, so most events are pretty lax on the dress code.

This fall, I would like to take more fashion risks. I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut lately. I’ve fallen into the black legging trap. They have become a crutch for me. I want to wear real pants this fall.

I have varied tastes. When I was young I jumped from skateboard culture to goth to rave to hip hop to whatever was the hottest scene at the moment. Now that I’m a real live grown-up, I don’t have to define myself by a scene. That frees me up to wear whatever I want.

I’m looking forward to pushing my own boundaries this fall. I’ve become too safe and that bores me to tears.

 

Time to Get Serious about Fall Fashion

12 Step Clever Wardrobe Challenge

Holy smokes, it’s the middle of September! That means it’s time to get serious about fall/winter clothing. I am officially bored with 99.9% of my clothes and I’m ready to move on. To jumpstart things, I propose a challenge. You don’t have to post something daily, but try to work your way through the twelve steps! 

  1. Describe yourself and your lifestyle. If you have a job that requires a certain type of clothing, that is going to affect your choices. Give us an idea of what is important to you when it comes to clothing. You can also describe your personal taste.
  2. Closet organizing time! This is not always fun, but it’s essential to know what you are currently working with. If you live in an area that cools down in the fall, it’s a good time to put away those summer items. Schedule a donation pick up from a local charity organization so you have a deadline to sort your clothes.
  3. What are you keeping? Photograph the key items in your current wardrobe that you wear often and plan to wear in the fall.
  4. You bought it but you’ve never worn it? We all have these things in our closet. Things we bought but never wear. Find one of these items that fits you well, but you don’t wear. Take a picture of a neglected item and describe why you have never worn it.
  5. Make a new outfit! Using the item from assignment number 4, make a new outfit . If it’s appropriate, wear it out of the house!
  6. What is your default color palate? Describe the colors your usually wear. You can share an outfit if you would like.
  7. Break your color habit! Now that you have described your safety zone, try something different. Put together an outfit that doesn’t include your default colors.
  8. Confidence booster! Is there an outfit in your closet that makes you feel unstoppable? Describe or photograph it and share with us.
  9. What do you need? Make a list of things that you need for fall. I’m sure we can all think of a zillion things we want, but what are the essentials you must buy for your wardrobe to function for the season. Make a polyvore of these essential items.
  10. Let someone else dress you! Have a girlfriend, boyfriend, family member or sales person pick out an outfit for you. It can be from your own wardrobe or you can do it at a store. You can photograph it on or off your body.
  11. Fantasize a little (or a lot)! Create a 10 piece fantasy fall wardrobe using polyvore or link photos. Don’t worry about price, we are dreaming here. Try to pick styles that you would actually wear. You want to use this for inspiration when you go shopping for realistic items. You can use unlimited  shoes/accessories in your fantasy wardrobe, but stick to 10 clothing items.
  12. Go shopping and buy yourself something new for fall! Share a picture with the class!

Have fun!