Being a perfectionist can make a lot of things difficult. It's not an easy trait to drop; it takes work to let go of or loosen one's grip on the ideal. For me, it's a constant challenge and one area where I might be keeping my head above water is in terms of my clothing. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that if you are going to create a capsule or a minimalist wardrobe that the goal is for it to be perfect. After all, you are going to have less, concentrate on fewer but better. It's true that is the goal, but better is not the same as perfect. Perfection is a myth and my true goal is to aim for perfection in the hope of achieving betterment.
I have spent quite a bit of time studying colour, line and proportion as they relate to dressing the human body and most particularly as they relate to mine. In order to understand my own I needed to understand the big picture, the principles underlying the theories and to have a good visual concept of what different lines or colours look like on different people. When considering what clothing suits an individual’s particular shape, lines and colouring there are ideals and there are the best matches, but in real life these are not always easy to find. It depends on how well you match up to the most popular, and thus most available styles and colours, and there have been moments when I briefly wished I did not have this knowledge about myself because my best options are not the most easily found options.
However, I also remember that before I had this knowledge I was frustrated because I knew something was off. It was knowing this that took me on a journey of learning more about clothing lines and colours as well as about myself, and that path lead to another one, the path of abundance.
For some people abundance of choice is a very joyful thing. Sometimes ignorance helps with that. If you do not have a concept of certain options looking best and wanting to rule out the rest, you automatically have more choice. Having preferences that allign better with what is available in shops also makes abundance an option and so does sewing your own clothing. If you are struggling to accept anything less than best, you have significantly less choice in many cases, though not all. For me, it certainly works out to be much less choice. This means I have to accept good enough. Possibly I also have to accept ‘not the worst’. The last one is difficult for me and probably does not lead to any sort of joy or peace of mind.
I have a list of ten must-haves for clothing and one specific set of shoes I look for.
1. easy to move in
2. colours that are medium in value and very warm ( yes, there are partly warm colours )
3. body skimming, slightly tailored or structured, non-waist defining, simple lines.
4. medium weight and softness, neither gauzy very draped nor thick/rough. stiff
5. no have dangling, flapping. seemingly superfluous bits
6. fit my extra height ( including legs, arms, torso, rise, sleeves )
7. no high or stiff collar
8. well made
9. natural materials-sometimes a blend is acceptable
10. solid colour or minimal, graphic pattern in low-medium colour contrast
Shoes should be medium-light golden browns, flat or 1 inch heels, oxfords, loafers, ankle strap flats or pointy/almond toed mary-jane style
When I shop the majority of the time I don’t find what I am looking for and that has both pros and cons. It keeps me from purchasing what doesn’t work, it keeps me from spending too much on clothing I don’t need, and it ensures that I make far fewer purchasing errors. On the down side, it can lead to a bit of frustration because as I said, more often than not I don’t find what I am looking for.
I live in these shoes and they are showing signs of wear so I am beginning to panic about ever finding something just like them again.
Here’s OOTD without me in it-the only way I am likely to take such a photo now.
Today’s outfit, contains compromise. The light weight knit is a good colour for me and stripes are okay, though I think narrower spaces between the stripes is better. The stripes are an ivory colour and so is the blouse I am wearing underneath. Ivory is better than white but cream is better than ivory. Cream is more difficult to find so ivory is the compromise. Ivory reads as white on me whereas cream is a different colour and obviously not white. Sorry about the blurry photo. I've not got the patience to re-take photos.
I wore this with the blouse and sweater tucked slightly at the front and the cuffs of the blouse folded over the sweater sleeves giving a balanced but casual vibe, I hope.
Jeans are a challenge for someone looking to wear only warm colours but the more the denim leans to a teal blue or a turquoise blue the better it is for reading as warm. I over-dyed these ones and they are not as dark as they appear here. Other denim I own is very dark blue and reads as a neutral the way dark denim generally does, but isn’t technically warm enough. I wouldn’t wear dark denim blue near my face.
And speaking of warm blue, this is my daily bag.
Not pictured is the muted gold scarf I usually wear at this time of year and the olive coloured parka-style jacket, my watch and earrings.
Change the top, swap boot cut jeans for straight leg, add a camel coloured wool coat instead of the parka but basically this is my uniform.
I find compromise difficult to accept and I suppose most perfectionists do, but I prefer to be happy and not dwell on what I can’t change. When shopping for clothing I am looking for too many non-standard qualities so I simply have to accept compromise since my goal, after all, is to get dressed and get on with life, not to give a second thought to what I am wearing. Yes, I do come home from some shopping trips empty handed and grumbling, but this is better than wasted money and a closet full of things I don't wear.