Tuesday, 13 March 2018

A Personal Style Mathematical Formula

 Personal Style = Everything - ( Dislike + Not comfortable + Not flattering )

It would be a simple matter of subtraction, I thought. Once I subtract what I dislike and what I am uncomfortable in, what I am left with will be my personal style.   The dislike/not comfortable list is long. 

I dislike:

chunky accessories, accessories that move, statement necklaces, dangling and flapping pieces of fabric, constrictive and binding styles, high collars, high heels, polyester, animal print, bright colours, candy colours, sparkle, baseball caps, jeans with heels, ripped jeans, wearing earrings and a necklace, brands/logos/slogans, hardware as decoration, cute/twee/fun looks, stiff and voluminous shapes, vintage fifties dresses, skater dresses on adults.....

But, it’s not actually that simple because this was mental mathematics.  I applied the formula in my head, not in my closet, and thus the equation I began with isn’t my reality.

By that, I mean not everything I would want to wear is available to me.  I don’t have my ideal wardrobe, I have what is currently my most realistic wardrobe and it boils down to basic clothing with nothing from my dislike list.

Here are some more things I don’t have:

-more than $40/month to spend on clothing
-access to quality second hand clothing
-a body that is average size and thus likely to fit much second hand clothing
-a high chance of finding my best colours
-access to variety ( also fit and good colours ) in quality clothing which I can afford
-a formal or busy lifestyle
-a career or even much need to leave home
-an interest in spending much time on shopping
-an interest in or aptitude for sewing and pattern adjustment

Here is what I do have:

-a wardrobe that spans the seasons and contains about 30-35 pieces of clothing.
-colours I feel good in and which flatter me
-fits that flatter although perhaps not perfectly
-comfort and simplicity
-style through signature accessories and completer pieces
-enough variety for my very simple needs and lifestyle
-outfits to wear while painting, writing, walking outdoors and sitting in caf├ęs

Fantasy clothing, or what I would own and wear if I could just wave a magic wand would be different from my reality.  There would be a bit of menswear influence such as waistcoats and tweed jackets, man-tailored trousers and hats.  There would be more dresses because they would actually be the styles I like and would be made to fit my proportions.  There would be skirts worn with leggings if I could find brown leggings.  I would wear just about anything and everything Sarah Pacini.

But the reality is still that my lifestyle doesn’t require much.   I do things that require comfort and ease of movement and I spend approximately 10 percent of my time in public, doing casual things.  Owning clothing that would be worn only a couple of times a year doesn’t make much sense to me though owning one or two pieces that are more formal is generally useful.

This makes me a clothing minimalist by default though I don’t maintain a certain number, make rules about one in and one out, create capsules or wear black and white.

Subtraction might be the formula but addition is certainly more fun.  I recently bought a skirt at the charity shop so now I'm on the hunt for brown leggings. 


  1. If you bleached black leggings would they turn brown?
    I picture something quite gorgeous. Hmm I might have to have a go myself...if I could stand the smell of bleach!
    Funny story. I was in the supermarket the other day and a lady put some bleach in her trolley. I could barely stand the smell of the closed bottle. She turned to her companion and remarked on her use of eucalyptus the other night and how her eyes stung all night. Huh?! You just put BLEACH in your trolley!!
    It takes all kinds to make a world.
    I am remembering how I first met you with your constant trial and discussion of what suits you. I'm so glad you've found some peace even if not your ideal wardrobe.
    I just learnt about Sarah Pacini. She is my cup of tea too!
    xo Jazzy Jack

    1. Yes, bleached black things do often turn brown so I may give it a go. As for smells that people can and cannot tolerate it does seem to be quite an individual thing, like tastes. I can't stand thyme oil or clove oil, bleach is tolerable if I don't stay in the room. Eucalyptus is nice though I wouldn't rub it all over my body! xoxo

  2. I hate shopping and I'm starting to be increasingly uncomfortable with any kind of clothes shopping. I feel like I lack even the energy to contemplate what I might buy. I think it is because I need to analyze my buys, I'm not an impulsive shopper, and since I don't have energy to shop the way I would like, I just skip the whole process and wait for something to present itself, which happens like once or twice a year.

    1. I don't really enjoy the shopping either. It feels good to score, but that good feeling doesn't really last. Most of the time I am not scoring. I am not finding what I want and getting frustrated. Quality is often lousy, it's all black black black and so much polyester. I am a power shopper. I know what I am looking for so I walk into a shop briskly, circle through scanning for colours and shapes, rarely see what I am looking for and out I go again. In some stores I have to flip through a rack but even then I am scanning for certain colours and there may only be two or three potential hits in a very long rack. I love clothing, I love personal style in all its variations, I just can't easily get what I want and so I'm tired of trying and failing. I'm giving up in a way, though not giving up on looking put together. I am just giving up on making clothing any sort of artistic expression for a variety of reasons and the shopping part is certainly a big one.
      You always look great in the clothes you show on your blog and have a good eye for combinations. You can definitely wear styles I cannot so I enjoy them vicariously. :-)


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