This half of the month ended up returning to more of my usual style rather than pushing myself to style my white sneakers in new ways. Going to save discussing a lot of these individual outfits for a theme post on OG Banana Republic inspired style (and for all of you who still aren’t sick of it – the WHOLE PROCESS, starting from an inspiration board, picking out key elements of the style, deciding which parts I wanted to focus on most and which ones to avoid, and then implementation details).
I’m quite pleased with the variety of colors and textures in these past two weeks, especially that they extend to bottom pieces and outerwear! Gone are the days of only black and gray pants and jackets, and I’m happier for it. I also see that when left to my own devices I do indeed stick to the staples of relaxed but tapered pants and A-line midi skirts, though I did get in one wide-leg pants outfit and three skirt/dress outfits of different silhouettes.
Now that I look at it, I think this may actually be the first two-week period EVER where I at least solidly liked every outfit and would happily wear any of them again 🙌 Although to be fair any time you push yourself to style a new item or try a new aesthetic, there will almost always be some stumbling involved, so I shouldn’t knock myself off for a few off outfits as long as I learned something. Still, it feels good to have a streak going.
The two main things I focus on when thinking about my outfits generally, regardless of style, are depth and whimsy and wonder.
🌊 Depth – do textures, layers, and accessories provide a feeling of richness? Are there small, medium, and large shapes throughout the outfit?
In terms of depth I’ve noticed that because it’s warming up, I also have a wider variety of outfit heft throughout the collage, which adds another dimension of depth.
✨ Whimsy and wonder – my general aesthetic goal is to have outfits that feel like they could be out of a storybook or movie (see the My Style page for more details on this). Erring a little on the dramatic or costumey side is good.
And just because I can, I’m going to bring up the how-to-create-a-magical-feeling-in-visual-art list by artist James Talbot again. Not all of it is applicable to outfit design (I think this is originally directed at designing physical spaces and sets), but there are quite a few things that can translate to details you can add to any look to make it feel richer.
This is kinda cheating because it’s for a more formal-artsy event, but I was definitely channeling this with this outfit I wore to watch the SF Ballet. What better time is there to try and channel a fantasy vibe in your outfit?
🌷 Nature and the four elements – got that with the florals
🐍 Suggestion of danger – black base color + that sweet snake hardware on the purse + witchy boots
🖋 Shape and line quality – while still not as sharp as I’d have liked, I made sure to use a cami that had a bit more of a v-neck to add some more directed lines under the rather shapeless mesh dress. Also opted for the cropped moto jacket over something like my drapey coat to include some more distinct shapes.
🌿Abundance/multiplicity/change of scale – all-over floral embroidery and then also the floral drop earrings
🔭 Layering and multiple views – literally two layers of visible skirts! I find that I do like this styling more than when I wore this with a longer dress underneath because the effect of the embroidered mesh is just so much stronger when you can see two layers of it. I guess this also has some novelty. Don’t often see this kind of item out in the wild (but it often appears in Alexander McQueen pieces 😍).
✨ Sparkle – I think I wore five rings across both my hands as well as a gold cuff (which has leaf/feathery sort of shapes, which also add to the nature motifs)
The list items are all very melodramatic, but I find that it’s an effective way to drill in the “add different fabrics! try a print! add some more jewelry! keep the silhouettes clear! mirror a color/pattern/texture in another spot of the outfit” specifics because of that.
Knowing all those little details makes me happier, even if it isn’t something visible at a normal scale. For example in this outfit I have a cable-knit sweater
but also these DNA EARRINGS OF SCIENCE which also have a twisty visual
I also had the charcoal gray in two items to tie the look together and the lace-up boots add a sense of “arrested time”.
On the less magical end of things, I’m pretty happy with the two retro casual looks I had in this two weeks. I like the first one with the wide-leg pants and fleece bomber a little more because it’s more extra.
It’s harder for me to come up with fun fits in this area simply because it doesn’t get any fun from novelty. T-shirts and jeans, the core items of this look, are pretty much everywhere and don’t elicit a feeling of excitement for me. Compare to the “storybook” style, where the core pieces are A-line midi skirts and trousers in rich fabrics and oxfords, which feel a bit special even on their own. I suspect that I’d be happier with this as a mini capsule if I tightened up the color palette a bit among other things. Don’t wanna change a load of stuff at once, but I’ll probably start focusing more on polishing this section of my wardrobe up after the 30×30 challenge wraps up (which for me should be on the 20th since I opted for a 20×20).
Looking forward to that because it’s always fun to fiddle with the sub-capsules. Feels similar to curating a Pinterest board except at the end I can wear any of the items immediately 😂