I have been "playing along" with Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect series. I love this series - it's a great idea and so timely for me and what I feel I need to gain focus on. Given I have a series (all of two posts!!) about things I don't like, it seemed only fair to also share what I do like.
In addition, I have fallen into a very common trap for new sewists which is characterised by a few different behaviours:
- I have learned to sew - therefore I should sew everything
- I should sew handmade gifts for everyone I know (then be cross if they don't like them), which means I have much less time to focus on what I actually want to sew
- Everyone else likes x - I should sew some of that
- Maybe I don't wear stuff like [insert style or item here - i.e. dresses] so much because I find them hard to buy RTW. I should sew those, instead of things I wear a lot.
- Why doesn't everything I own look like pinterest / so and so's blog etc.
Anyway - this series is about understanding your style and what you like and don't, with a focus on building a wardrobe of stuff you will actual wear and that feels good. It isn't per se about minimalism or reduction, or even necessarily about buying less and sewing more, but both would be natural by products of this process.
Rather than share all the worksheet answers, I thought I would pick on a few things which stood out strongly from my answers from week one and two as follows.
Week one was about understanding how your life, history, society, culture, body image, work etc affect your personal style. I realised that my style has changed quite a lot in the last 10-15 years, particularly as I moved half way around the world, my career has been built in that time, I have become a wife and a mother and my self esteem is a lot higher than I used to be - so I care a little more how I look. I also realised I am very torn between the greenie hippy in me and the person who is learning about a world of fashion which to some degree is largely based on consumption and trends. On a lighter note - I confirmed my suspicions that while I live in Australia, my style sense is quite European and northern (read: I like winter clothes better than summer clothes!).
Week two was harder for me. We reflected on how you want to feel and how you perceive your style. This is where the self-esteem isn't rock solid and I find myself cringing when I say I want to look elegant (Me? As-if!!!). My style icons were people like Emma Watson, Isabelle Rosselini and Cameron Diaz. I actually found it hard to think of people who dressed how I want to (I don't pay enough attention), so these people were picked because they always look comfortable. The main thing that came out of this week was that the style I aspire to is timeless, elegant and yet relaxed and comfortable and well-dressed (regardless of the style they are wearing). I think my feelings on style tie very heavily in with this post, where a long time ago I mused that I want to look more attentive and pulled-together. I want to look like I dress nicely because I am worth the effort, yet using fewer, better quality, classic pieces.
Our final task for week two was to make a pinterest board (or whatever) to collect ideas of your core style. Mine is here: http://www.pinterest.com/deadlycraft/core-style/. I was very interested when trawling my other boards for things to add to this to discover that I have hardly any trousers pinned. I love trousers and wear them probably 80-90% of the time, so this was quite odd to discover!
Anyone else playing along with this exercise? I think it's a useful process so far - and I guess you could start from the beginning whenever. Might be a cool thing to redo in five year's time!