December 12, 2009

All sorts of makeovers

#1: The bedroom makeover. No pictures, because my card reader is currently MIA. That, and it's a disorganized mess in here. My dad decided on Thursday that the remaining furniture that I'm not keeping was getting out of the room that night. So while we were at it, we went ahead and moved my bed over to here. So even though not all of my stuff is out of the old room, I'm officially in the new room. Hopefully, the rest of the moving things and a good chunk of the organization will happen on Monday. (And that I'll find my card reader.)

#2: My little fashion project. I have a confession to make: I like researching things. I know that makes me sound like a total nerd, and maybe I am. When I was in high school, I actually didn't mind term papers because I really enjoyed the process of spending hours in the library delving into a literary topic. I often spend ridiculous amounts of time doing things like clicking through pages and pages on eMusic to find one new band to listen to, or trying to learn everything I need to know to, say, refinish a piece of furniture for my in-progress room makeover. So, of course, to try and get this personal style development project-of-sorts off the ground, I've been looking into what I need to know to, in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, "make it work".

So I've been spending some time over the last couple of days (between bouts of working and shifting things from one room to another) to try and figure out just how to figure out what my style is. In this process, I've learned a couple of things:

1) "What's my style?"-type personality quizzes are pretty useless. I took a couple just for the heck of it, and got told that I was athletic (only when I'm backpacking), preppy (which I generally tend to avoid), and a pair of velour sweatpants. I kid you not.

2) Most sites that pop up on Google are actually for businesses of style consultants. I really don't think I need professional help.

3) Apparently these "must have wardrobe essential" lists want everyone to conform to a classic style. Some of us just simply aren't wired that way. For instance: a trip to the library sent me home with a couple of books, one of which is a guide from the What Not To Wear people. And while it does look like there's some good stuff in there, I'm finding the "essentials" list to be somewhat less-than-interesting to me. And, honestly, not necessarily conducive to my lifestyle.

Examples:
a) After "black pantsuit", they mention "a softer neutral suit with pants or skirt". Now, I don't know about you, but unless it's band concert night, a pantsuit is a bit of an overkill on what to wear while teaching kids flute lessons. So really, why would I need a second when I already have the black one that I made last year?
b) 3 each of winter-weight and summer-weight skirts. Both saying that one should be a tweed. You just don't wear tweed in a mid-Atlantic summer! (Not to mention most tweed is generally wool, and I can't wear wool).
c)3 blouses, 2 cotton button-down shirts. What's the difference?
d) 3/4 length wool coat. Again, I can't wear wool.
e) Who needs a watch when you have a cell phone that you can just whip out of your pocket or purse?

4) Generally speaking, these style guides don't really seem to deal with prints very well. Which is a shame, because I do love my funky prints. But in these books, everything's just so...solid.

So I'm playing around with a couple of things to see if I can sort out for myself what my style is--putting together outfits with a little help from Donna the Dummy, assembling things on Polyvore, etc. And I also want to go through the closet and see what of my crazy print stuff I'm lacking things to coordinate with, so I can start planning accordingly. (Actually, I should probably pull the summer wardrobe out from under the bed too....if I can come up with some basics that would go with both, that might be best, since I'm so far behind on other projects with deadlines that I don't think I'll get anything major done in time to mix it into my winter wardrobe!)

Ok, off to bed with me...was out late at a friend's Christmas party last night, and spent all day today baking Christmas cookies with my mom, and I'm beat.

6 comments:

  1. Good luck with your Style Project. I have always had trouble defining mine. It doesn't help that I'm a work-from-home-mom and if I do work outside of the house, I teach swimming. No real style there!

    Anyway, the best piece of advice I found came from Tim Gunn. I love his book and he suggests you have a great replacement for a jogging suit. So I do! Usually it's a skirt and tights and a knit top. I look put together, but it's super simple. And, as an added benefit, when I run into the grocery store, people don't look at me and think "frazzled, middle aged mom"! Good luck!

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  2. There's a book by Kendall Farr, I think called The Pocket Stylist -- overall well done, but I mention it because the list of essentials is the best I've seen. I like her realistic approach to flattering one's figure, which is really the #1 priority in the book (as opposed to one's specific preference for a "style"). Anyway, I own a copy and I bet your library has one.

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  3. I hit a fashion brick wall a couple years ago, so I pulled a bunch of old magazines out and started going through them and cutting out looks I liked and thought I could pull off. I learned a lot that way and it was a good place to start - and more useful than an ambiguously worded style quiz. ;)

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  4. It sounds like you are making good progress your Style Project. You've eliminated a lot of ideas that aren't you. You know that you love prints and need co-ordinates to go with them. Have fun!

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  5. For some bizzare reason, my email sent all of the notifications for this post to my spam folder, but let a bunch of identical linked-up comments on about five old posts into my inbox. Yay. So I'll respond to all of you at once.

    Salinda--good suggestion. If I can convince myself to maybe not go quite so casual t-shirt with my jeans, I might have that covered. Once I find (or have better luck making) that elusive pair of perfect-fitting jeans.

    Antoinette-- you know, they may have had that one at the library when I was there the other night. But I was in a rush, so I just grabbed three-- one from InStyle magazine, one from the "What Not To Wear" people (which was entertaining, but I'm never quite willing to take what they say as the absolute rules, since they seem to try to push everyone into the same fashion mold), and then one that I think may be the most helpful called "How to Be a Budget Fashionista". I'll look for The Pocket Stylist when I return these.

    Cheesepirate--Excuses to make collages can never be bad. I know I have some catalogs around here, and maybe I can splurge on a magazine or two.

    Rose--thank you for that affirmation. A lot of what I'm seeing so far looking through the library books are mostly solid, solid, solid. Booooooooo-ring! I'm not really one to mix prints on a regular basis, but all solid most of the time is really not me!

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  6. Hey, thanks for visiting me. I hope the Charlie Brown music didn't make you too crazy, LOL!
    I love to do research, too! I wish we could get paid for that kind of thing. And while I'm pretty conservative in my tastes, I never have (and never will) own a 'black pantsuit.' In fact, my favorite one was a 3-piece I had when I was 21--a million years ago--that was red!
    I've had one black dress in my life--back in the 80s, when everything was frilly and lacy. But I honestly have never been able to understand women who wear black to weddings. It's a favorite 'color' among my husband's cousins. As for me, bring on the red, purple, pink and turquoise!

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