May 2, 2017

Finding My Style - Fantasy Classic

I have been fascinated with the idea of the capsule wardrobe for the last couple of years. Along with anything minimalism, it appeals to me while remaining something I don't enjoy as much in practice. Which was tough to swallow at first - because I like the idea of it so much, but having finally taken Gretchen Rubin's advice (to basically be yourself and not what you think you should be), it's freeing to admit that I prefer a little excess.

For example, I like my crafting supplies even though they get used maybe once a year. I like keeping extra fancy paper around in case I decided to do a print project. And after regretting donating unused organizers, I've learned to hold onto those bad boys, as they can be re-purposed pretty easily.
As for clothing, I don't struggle with what Alyssa calls "analysis paralysis." I do get ready pretty slowly in the morning but that's due to my zombie morning brain, not an overwhelm of choice. And I like having the extra clothes and flexibility to try out new things or attempt the occasional "everyday cosplay."

So why define a style at all? Since the arrival of Little Dude, I've been struggling to find a balance between comfort and feeling put together. I feel like I have to choose being presentable or being able to breastfeed without getting completely undressed. More and more often, leggings have been winning, makeup and hair brushing have been losing, and I feel just... sloppy.

With absolutely perfect timing, Steph started her capsule wardrobe series and the post about finding your style really called to me. I watched all the Lauren Messiah videos on style types. None fit that well, though I liked the silhouettes of the tastefully timeless look. I also took Steph's suggestion to make a Pinterest board (side note: I heard my dad mention using Pinterest the other day and my heart just about stopped) and started pinning anything I liked, hoping a pattern would emerge.

I searched my favorite celebrities, only to realize the reason I like them has nothing to do with their clothing. I searched Once Upon a Time because I like the fashion from that show. And then I dove into a strange direction and realized I had pinned almost entirely fantasy based clothing. Ridiculous, beautiful medieval gowns. Elven jewelry. Everyday cosplay based on Legolas.

I was pretty stumped at first. A ball gown simply does not fit into my life, in any capacity, no matter how pretty the fabric is.

But I thought about what I wanted - to feel more put together on a daily basis, and what I need - low maintenance clothes that don't conflict with dogs and babies and general comfort. And I did come up with a style that I have dubbed Fantasy Classic.

It consists of 2 main looks: 1) Fitted - jeans and nerd t-shirts, dressed up with a blazer, nice shoes, and accessories and 2) Loose and Flowy - tunics with leggings, sandals or flats, and minimal jewelry

The best part about this is that I don't need to do a huge overhaul of my wardrobe. When I started brainstorming I got carried away with all the different things I could buy and the different color variations and so on. And I realized that, while I love color, I don't usually mix and match it, and a blue blazer would never get worn. Just ask the electric blue slacks I purchased and finally donated after they gathered dust in my closet for 3 years.

So I'm saving the color for the tops (and scarves/earrings) and sticking with black and neutrals for pants, jackets, and shoes (with a couple exceptions because I have teal flats that I love). I also thought about what my weekly clothing needs are and how often I wanted to repeat outfits (every 2 weeks seemed good) and I came up with this base wardrobe:

Fitted Look aka Dressed Up Nerd Shirts


This will be my look for the 2 days I work in an office, and/or the days I attend networking events.  I LOVE that I get to wear my favorite nerd shirts and comfortable t-shirts without feeling like a bum. Once I get home, all I have to do is strip off the outer layer (blazer, jewelry, shoes) and then I've got a reasonably comfortable outfit for home. The amount of effort (not a ton but more than I'm currently exerting regularly) is worth it since I'll be out of the house for a longer period of time.

Loose and Flowy aka I'm Secretly Pretending I'm an Elf or Forest Sprite

This is for the other days I need to wear real clothes - running errands, social events, casual coffee date/networking things. Any time I don't want to be bothered with spending more than 10 minutes getting ready or putting on a real bra because it's not worth it just to leave the house for an hour or two. Like the other outfit type, I kind of want this to have the inner shell that I wear at home (basically workout clothes) and then I can just throw on the outer layer to go out (loose top, shoes, etc).

This is also the category that needs the most work since, despite my love of tunics and panchos, I really don't have that many. I figure I'll intentionally buy 2 or 3 tops and then see if that's enough (I suspect it will be plenty since errands and coffee dates usually only add 1 or 2 "out of the house" days to each week).

Pretty Dresses aka I'm Going to a Wedding or Something Equivalently Fancy

I don't imagine wearing these all that often, but I like my dresses and I have definitely already honed in on the style I'm comfortable in and that looks good on me, which is a fitted top with an A-line skirt. These clothes don't need to be especially quick to put on or convenient for breastfeeding because they'll outlast that age of Orion's life anyway.

I couldn't bring myself to purge the things that don't fit in these styles, so I made a box to set aside for now and if I end up craving more variety, I'll starting dragging things back out. I purge regularly, so I really didn't have much I didn't like which is why I'm reluctant to get rid of them now, but if I can be happy with less, I'd like to get rid of things that don't fit my current lifestyle.

Obviously I've also got workout clothes and stuff for other specific needs: swimming, painting/yard work, etc, and I'm not going to try to keep limits on those or minimize them.

And that's it!  Do you have a defined style?  Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe?

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  1. I love it! And I love that you made it versatile enough that it can grow and change with you without you completely starting over. Looking at what other people come up with is so fun for me, so thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you found the post helpful :)

  2. I have never attempted a capsule wardrobe but I loved Stephanie's series on it and I'm always curious about the selections of clothing people make when they DO partake in a smaller wardrobe like this. I think it's fascinating to have a limited about of clothes that you make work for you!

  3. Love how you narrowed down your style. Such a fun inspiration too! I watched those videos but did not feel helped, LOL. I'm trying to just figure out why I gravitate towards those same items I wear over & overm then go from there.

  4. I love how pretty capsule wardrobes are and love the idea of them....but I have a weird relationship with my clothes. I have tried so hard over the past two years to really purge my closet of things that make me feel bad, things that I dont absolutely love, or things that don't fit me and my current state. Of course pregnancy made that harder because for a year, nothing fit. I am trying to get myself back to "pre-pregnancy shape" still so I have held on to all the things that I actually liked and wore until I couldn't anymore. I am giving myself a few more months and will do one final purge.

    I think my style is sort of classic maybe? I don't have a ton of trendy pieces. Mostly solid neutrals, some stripes and then a few fun floral or dot printed things. With one leopard shirt for good measure. Right now I am loving all the loose, flowy pieces until I can tighten my stomach some more! I like what you said about making a pinterest board and looking at the celebrities you like to get an idea of your style. Though, most the styles celebrities wear, I couldn't pull off . Haha.

  5. I loved Steph's series too but I haven't really found my actual style yet. Working on it still. I have pared down a lot of clothes that I was never wearing though and I feel amazing about that. Your style is so FUN!!!

  6. i LOVE this. i have struggled with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but i think this is way more my speed. i have a very specific work wardrobe - black pants and a loose flowy blouse. i would wear leggings if i could. but i work in construction. ha. as for my personal style.. that's where i struggle.

    1. also i LOVE your 'fantasy classic' style. if i could wear fun nerd tees every day i'd be happy.


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