Category Archives: Outfits

My ideal closet

One of the reasons Cath and I changed the focus of the blog was to figure out how to dress better. That might sound silly coming from 32-year-old women who’ve spent the better part of nearly three decades dressing themselves, but I think your style evolves all your life.

And I don’t mean how to dress “on-trend” or be “fashionable”, but how to find your own style. That takes time and dedication. It also takes years of giving yourself the freedom to wear whatever you want, like this (holy-moly).

I’m not saying there aren’t some days where I still want to Gaga-it-up, but in general, I love the idea of being comfortable enough in my own skin to wear what I want — not because it looks cool but because it feels like me.

So before I tackled my closet clear-out this past weekend (post to come) I sat down and had a think:
• What sorts of things do I feel the best in (I mentioned this in my Uniform post).
• What do I wear the most and why
• Does my current closet fit my lifestyle (for instance, I bought a pair of Adidas because I thought it would make me feel like a fashion editor if I wore them with a beanie and long, minimalist coat — turns out that “look” makes me feel like a bald hobbit — not the lifestyle or look I am for, though I robustly support elevensies).
• Who are my style icons and why (see photos above)

I then delved into Pinterest with a purpose (no aimless scrolling here, ahem) and made a collage of lovely ladies who fit what seems to be a style that I’ve slowly gravitated toward since the end of my 20s:
• 1960s lines
• Monochrome, clean cut outfits
• Black and bold colors (I look washed out in pastels)
• Very little pattern or accessories
• And a bit of eccentricity thrown in

And I don’t just like this look, it also fits with the way I get dressed. Most of my clothes are solid colors because I think my 5’2 stature can’t handle the busy-ness of a pattern.* I also forget to put accessories on anyhow — and when I do remember I spend all day fiddling with them and clanking my bangles awkwardly on my desk. My closet already has lots of mini-skirts (again, good on a petite frame) and clean silhouettes. I also own a basket that I sometimes use as a purse (thank you, Jane Birkin).

It doesn’t matter what age you are. Any time is a good time to really review your current style. In the past when I’ve looked for inspiration, I would go online and find beautiful images of very stylish women and try to emulate them in order to feel fashionable. But I never did. What works on very tall, skinny models with natural bedhead hair never works for me and will never work for me. But that doesn’t mean you have to eschew your inspiration board, just spend a little more time with your images and really delve into why you were attracted to them.

Find inspiration and then learn how to make that fit your lifestyle and yourself.* Your closet and style will always be evolving, but it will begin to be small shifts that always look like you and no one else (even if you are an identical twin).

*Speaking of which, Cath and I have been discussing this idea of “dressing for your body type.” And we’re not sure this should be rammed down our throats as much as it is. Stay tuned for future posts about “dressing for type.”

Lar’s Winter Uniform

Some days, like Cath, I toy with the idea of having a uniform: a faltering set of clothes that I can buy multiples of and wear the same thing day in, day out. I’ve never settled on one outfit that does it all: looks great, feels comfy (aka I can walk 10 city blocks without falling over and eat a delicious meal without having to discreetly unbutton my jeans) and, most importantly, feels like me.

You know what I mean? Those outfits you put on and you’re like “yeahhh….” Not just because you think you look good, but because you feel good. Boots always make me feel like that. So my uniform would definitely include boots.

In fact, the closest I’ve ever gotten to a uniform is this winter ensemble seen here: black turtleneck sweater, skinny jeans and ankle booties.

It’s not in the least bit exciting or fashion-forward, but I feel so good in it, I can forget what I’m wearing (nothing to yank down or pull up or wobble in) and enjoy what I’m doing. Maybe I should try wearing this all week and see if I can commit to a seasonal uniform. I’ll document it here if I do!

Regardless if I succeed in uniform dressing, there is one rule: I can’t buy all new clothes to create a uniform. I know I own things I already love, which is why I love this winter uniform-ish so much, and a big part of this new blog venturing is learning to love what you already have. I’ve owned all of these pieces for years.

The pic above was taken just this past weekend and the one below is from a visit to Munich three years ago — exact same clothes, just different hats. The turtleneck sweater is from H&M and at least six years old, the skinny jeans are from a charity shop in Edinburgh — a steal at £8 — and the boots are three-year old Cos booties I’ve literally worn to bits (poor sole, it has a hole in it!).