Moving my outfit overviews into their own posts out from the monthly round-ups because going over outfits one by one without any other arc is redundant since I already have that content on my Instagram. I’ll embed the instagram posts for the current set of outfits referenced to include the original description for reference but feel free to skip the captions on them. Going forward I will put my Instagram caption footer in a comment so it doesn’t get repeated everywhere in these posts.)
Edit: for some reason the wordpress editor is inserting a load of spaces before the embedded Instagram posts. I will try to fix that or change to just normal photos later, sorry.
These posts will be ramblings on how my outfits have been doing in the following categories:
🌊 Depth – do textures, layers, and accessories provide a feeling of richness? Are there small, medium, and large shapes throughout the outfit?
✨ Whimsy and wonder – my general aesthetic goal is to have outfits that feel like they could be out of a storybook (see the My Style page for more details on this). Erring a little on the dramatic side is good.
☑️ Goals for this month – this month I wanted to try making more outfits with jeans, since I haven’t been getting a ton of wear out of mine (I just have two pairs of the same washed-black straight-leg jeans).
Jeans don’t particularly fit my primary “storybook style” aesthetic because they have a modern feel (I usually have found that I like sticking to trousers and midi skirts of various kinds), but there are certainly some times when I feel more comfortable dressed down and swapping denim into an outfit is an easy way to make things more casual. Taking time on random days to create jeans outfits will make it easier to make a less blah look when those times I “need” a jeans outfit actually come around.
Some other things I usually think about are cohesion at the wardrobe level (if you just had the clothes, does it feel like they’re all part of a curated wardrobe? This makes it easier to mix and match things.) but also maintaining coarse variety. Are there a variety of silhouettes, colors, and color values in each category of clothing? A wardrobe with those qualities will feel larger and less repetitive than a wardrobe of the same size that varies less in those dimensions. But at this point, I think the items I have are pretty solid on these fronts so I won’t delve into how I could improve here as much.
So here we are! The first 14 outfits of February 2019:
Click image to view it in full res in a new tab! I still don’t feel like shelling out for a business wordpress plan so I can’t embed galleries. When possible I’ve tried to stick with the images that just have full outfits because let’s be real, no matter how well-chosen your dainty tiny accessories are, they aren’t going to be noticeable in the scale of the gestalt of the outfits.
This has been a bit of a wash so far. I’ve worn two outfits with jeans and both of them are pretty boring (although the first one was worn to a volunteering shift that requires a utilitarian outfit, I did make an attempt to accessorize a bit).
Looking back at my old outfits with jeans, my favorite ones that also fit my primary aesthetic are ones that include long cardigans. I think this is because it increases the depth and drama of an outfit, and also makes the denim less of a focus.
I’d be totally cool with even just getting in the habit of wearing my existing simple cardigan-jeans outfits more often, but it’s been really rainy the past two weeks, and I don’t have any long coats suited to inclement weather and I can’t be bothered to tote my cardigan around in a bag on the train and then change into it at work. I certainly don’t think basic sweater-jeans-boots outfits look bad, but in previous winters I’d just get so. bored. with my outfits and I’ve found that combo doesn’t tend to make me feel anything more than just fine.
I think my strongest outfit in terms of pure visual interest this month was actually the second column fourth row “reluctant grocery run” outfit. It has a strong color scheme (muted primary colors).
On the whole, I think I did okay, mainly because I’ve made it a point to keep mostly just items that have some sort of texture – a lot of corduroy and chunky knits in particular. But I haven’t been doing too well at layering or accessorizing. Many of the outfits are just a top + bottom + shoes which is not terribly interesting, e.g. the following outfit.
On the other hand, while this outfit is a bit different from usual as it’s athleisure, I quite liked it especially with outerwear and hat and socks because then there are more small and medium shapes in the outfit, not just large blocks like the topbottomshoe fits.
“Third pieces” would help a lot here, but the reality of my life is that I take a nice ergonomic backpack to work 5 days a week for my public transit commute and it has been quite rainy and I’ve been wearing boring utilitarian outerwear. I have a nice raincoat on my wish list so hopefully by the time the next rainy season rolls around I can upgrade there.
My preferred silhouette for cardigans has been long cardigans, but perhaps it is time to figure out a few outfits involving my two relatively cropped ones that are suitable for winter weather so that I can fit them under my existing weather gear.
I do have a few scarves that I could try incorporating more. I have a few hats but I haven’t reached for any of the brimmed ones simply because they are not practical at all for sitting on a bus or being outside in any amount of wind. I’m convinced that most blogger photos featuring wide-brimmed felt hats in SF are only-for-the-photos things. IRL in winter I never see anyone wearing brimmed hats, only beanies, because it is often breezy and if you take the subway it’s always windy there.
I think this is a dimension I’m still struggling with, because it’s harder to identify and communicate than something like a color palette. Looking at my outfits, I think the ones that come across as best in this category are the ones that are more highly-accessorized and include pieces that are more old-timey feeling. Most of my pieces right now are plain with some slightly interesting silhouette detail like pleated culottes and blouson sleeved sweaters, but they are still aren’t interesting enough on their own (lack of buttons, collars, prints, structural details) that I’d peg them as whimsical. Similar to depth, I think going harder on more visible accessories would help here. I love my jewelry collection which I think definitely fits this theme, but most of my pieces are really small and honestly not visible unless you’re right next to me.
An outfit that does a solid amount of more visible details is this one with the 1940s style blouse and trench:
While I didn’t love how this turned out with the chunky cardigan, I liked the strappy shoes and belt with the puff sleeves as well as the pleat and cuffs of the trousers. All the straps and buckles give a bit (but not too much) of a pirate feel which is fun.
Or this one which someone commented that “You look like you’d give me a sidequest if I talked to you. “, which tbh is one of the greatest outfit compliments I’ve ever received. I think the small purse with the snake buckle + the patterned tights really leveled this one up. If it was just the cotton dress without the accessories I don’t think this would have read the same way at all.
I have very few printed items in my closet but I noticed every time I wear them I definitely feel more on point in the whimsical direction. Here I don’t think this was a stellar outfit, but I did like that there were buttons on the skirt as well as oxfords with socks for vintage vibes.
While this was a solid outfit, I think the minimal color scheme as well as the fitted mini skirt don’t feel quite exciting enough to fit into whimsical. Hence why as mentioned in some of the captions I’m going to see about focusing more on style subcategories. But also I’m def not holding myself to dress super ultra wardrobe goals every single day! That’s exhausting. I’d just like to make it easy to make these kinds of outfits as possible through contents of my wardrobe as well as habits around actually accessorizing.
For the next half of the month, I want to try and get in outfits with the following properties in an attempt to improve along depth, whimsy, and my month goal:
- attempt an outfit with cropped orange cardigan
- attempt an outfit with cropped tan cardigan
- outfits with long cardigans when it isn’t raining
- outfit with a scarf
And for shopping I will consider:
- a raincoat that is actually fun (not black or gray, probably a longer one for practicality as well as being able to fit more types of cardigans under it)
- more prints (especially florals and more ornate ones)