Last week I spent a whole day picking clothes from my wardrobe and trying them on to see what outfits I could create. I learned a lot that day, so I thought it would be good to share my musings on style and outfit creation with you in a blog post.
The aim of my day was to just pick an item of clothing and try styling it in a way or ways that were comfortable, would suit my mostly casual lifestyle* and felt like me. If I liked how an outfit looked and felt I took a photo so that I could keep it for reference and didn’t forget the combination.
*I mentioned casual lifestyle but I adore dressier clothing so I aim for what I think of as elevated casual in my style when I’m out and about*
Recently, I’ve been more mindful of my own body proportions when putting together outfits. I feel like an outfit is more pleasing to my eye when I lengthen the line from my waist to the floor. My legs and body are pretty much the same lengths as each other so if I wear a top that finishes at lower hip level with cropped trousers and flat shoes this would really draw the eye down and give the illusion of me looking much shorter than I am. If I switched out the top for a short one and made the trousers full-length I instantly have a longer-looking line with the illusion of more height. If I then put on a mid-heel-height shoe the proportions of my lower half are elongated even more…throughout my day of dress-up, I kept these thoughts in mind.
For the first few outfits, I wanted to try on both of my pleat-front trousers the Tatjana’s and the Adelines. The fabric in both of the trousers has flow and a drape with a smooth texture and I came to realise that they would be more suited to Spring or chillier Summer days because I disliked them with any of my winter coats. I’m not sure but I think it’s a texture thing…to me the smoothness and drape of the fabric didn’t sit as well with the weight or texture of a winter.
A combo that I absolutely loved with both pairs of trousers was with my blush and blue trench coats I loved the long drape of my blush coat with the flow of the trousers. I also really loved pairing the trousers with my bright graphic print long-sleeved tee…the elevated casual vibe of the pairing really surprised me in a good way and I would never have thought to try that particular combo before.
Next, I tried on my short cream jacket with the pleat fronted trousers and I didn’t like it at all and not that much with my wide-leg jeans either. In fact, I only liked it paired with narrow-leg jeans. It’s funny because when I made the jacket I 100-per cent believed I would wear it with wide-leg trousers.
And while I’m talking about my cream jacket you know how I changed from the original designer-intended mandarin collar and made a regular collar instead? Well, it was a mistake I’ve realised I don’t like the collar it gives me the wrong style vibe completely… maybe it’s too sweet… I don’t know, I can’t quite explain it, but when I tucked the collar inside out of the way I instantly loved the jacket more. I plan on unpicking the collar and making a mandarin style one instead.
Another jacket that I tried out was my beloved wool leopard print one and I found out that I preferred it with slim jeans or trousers more so than wider legged ones.
Anyhow before this post turns into a really, really long essay maybe it would be easier if I share a few of my likes dislikes and revelations etc in a little bullet point list.
- Love a longer layer worn over a soft trouser
- Not at all keen on collared tops. I have my Grasser polo top which I do really like a lot, but I wasn’t keen on how the collar worked with the collars on some of my coats, They seemed to fight for attention and I think overall I prefer, round, scoop, ‘V’, or draped necks
- A soft trouser is strictly for me to wear in Spring/cool Summer. They don’t feel right for Winter
- If I wear a soft trouser I like either a tucked in top or a semi-tucked top to add structure and shape definition to the silhouette.
- I need to work on styling my leopard print coat a bit more
- I surprisingly loved pairing my grey peacoat with my wide-leg jeans
- I need to shorten a cream cable knit sweater to wear with my wide-leg jeans and leopard coat
- I realise now that I don’t like midi skirts on me after all. I have to work too hard to style them and I think a shorter style works a bit better with my proportions and existing footwear My grey ribbed knit midi will be shortened to above knee and my rust rib knit one will be repurposed into a top.
- My grey cable cardigan (which I shortened a bit a while back) will be useful in Spring as a topper. I like it worn casually over flowy trousers and with my wide jeans.
- I love my sparkle blouse with my wide leg jeans.
- I rediscovered my black and maroon flat loafers and will love them worn with my grey knit skirt once it’s been shortened.
- I really like my black, white and grey waterfall front Lisette coat worn wrapped across and belted. Loved it styled over a shorter skirt and loafers.
- I often like some contrast in an outfit…. like adding one bright colour or in the form of tonal contrast. Cream and ivory are often my go-to shades for adding more contrast so it makes sense to have a lot of items in these colours to help me build outfits.
- I want to add a few bolder colours that I’ll take from the Deep Autumn palette. I was once typed as a Soft Autumn, but I think I can take more contrast with my dark hair. I occasionally steal Soft Summer colours too 🙂 If I don’t add complete new coloyrful garments, even a colourful bag will add that colour pop that I’m after.
- I think I should try to add a few necklaces here and there. I’ve never been much of a jewellery wearer, though I quite like wearing earrings occasionally, but I could see how some of the outfits that I tried on lacked a little something extra.
And there you have it lots of little revelations from just one day of playing dress-up and I barely scratched the surface, to be honest. I could easily spend another 2-days doing just the same. I didn’t create any summer combinations and I could have done a whole lot of deep winter outfits as well.
Here are some photos of outfits I tried. These aren’t all of them that I tried, however, and I haven’t accessorised them with jewellery or bags. It wasn’t a very bright day either, so the photo quality isn’t as good as usual and my hair isn’t at its best so you’ll have to excuse that too 🙂 I concentrated on my wider legged jeans and trousers for many of these photos and looking at the outfits overall, I can see that I think I need to add a few brighter coloured items, maybe red/pink/aqua…Anyway here are the photo collages:
Moving forward, as I already mentioned in my notes I have a few actionable things to consider when sewing more clothes and I also have to schedule a trip to a charity shop because I purged three pairs of shoes a pair of boots two sweaters and a top.
As for actually organising my storage…well, I decided to move all of my dressy going out shoes to the very top shelves of the wardrobe so that just my everyday footwear is visible in the bottom shoe rack. I also decided to group items on the hangers by type first and foremost rather than being arranged by colour first. I’ll group by colour within each category instead. My jeans and all of my sweaters are on shelves above the hanging area and very dressy items for evenings out are stored under my bed. Off-season things plus a few coats are in the spare room.
Well, I think I’ll bring this post to a close because it did turn into quite a long one, so if you’ve read this far thank you! I don’t think of this as the end of my style research though, more like the beginning of a work in progress. I’m sure my tastes will change again over time and more sewing mistakes will probably be made, but that’s life, isn’t it? For now, though, I feel like this was a good exercise for me and I have some new outfit ideas plus some plans for upcoming projects.
Feel free to chat in the comments. Let me know if you’ve done any outfit creation sessions yourself or maybe you’ve decluttered or found out new storage solutions etc I’m always happy to chat.
See you soon!