Monthly Archives: February 2014

My style personality and what identifying it meant for my wardrobe

This post is my personal experience about implementation of style personalities theory described in …but style is forever post, so if you didn’t read it, some things may be a little bit cryptic.

When I figured out what my style personality was it meant that half of my wardrobe should go.

But that wasn’t really a loss, it was more like a revelation. I don’t miss a baggy shirt which was kind of cute, but made me feel sad about myself, a frilly sundress which made me frumpy and kind of rough (oh, great power of contrast, ultrafeminine and delicate clothes could make any strong line in your face or body look masculine and rough instead of making you look more feminine), tracking sandals which were comfortable and kind of good for rainy weather, but totally out of place for my wardrobe. I can go on and on, but I think you got the idea 🙂 .

And when clothes which wasn’t about me, clothes, which were bought because they were functionally closing some gap in my wardrobe or because one of my friends liked them began to go away, I was able to built something new, something more about me and something that was much more easy to mix and match. I’m still in the process right now and I haven’t get rid of all the clothes which are not not my style, there are several items I haven’t replaced yet, because great transitions are not that easy (not only financially, but also in terms of time spent and it’s just difficult to throw away that much). But now I’m in a much better place than when I started my journey.

When I first read about classification from …but style is forever post I was curious, but totally unable to identify myself. Dramatic was very obvious, but what was also very clear for me, that it’s not the only part of the equation, I’m bold and sometimes extravagant, I like when simple things are developed to the level when they can be called art, but in the same time my approach to life is much more practical, it’s also more calm and not that much of an attention seeker. I value comfort and effortlessness of everyday life. But I was unable to identify myself with Classic style personality until I stopped concentrating on stereotypes. Two styles are usually described as comfy: Natural and Town&Country. So I tried to apply myself to one of these styles (because I value comfort very much) and failed miserably (I was even unable to differentiate them sometimes in the beginning and options proposed for them never looked right for me to wear). That time I thought that it should be some problem with the system or with my analytic abilities, or most likely I just don’t have enough background. So I stopped my attempts to identify myself, but didn’t stop reading about the system, because it was fascinating how harmonious capsules created by stylists looked and after awhile my sartorial satori just hit me: every style personality could value comfort, we just understand it differently, so I shouldn’t be blinded by word ‘comfort’, I should think about how I understand it.

It is actually laughable: my understanding of comfort is cashmere and silk for clothes, regular dinnerware and table for a picnic (lets make it in the yard, instead of going out of the city), spinner bag instead of rucksack, every item on its place and outsourcing cleaning. Sounds snobbish and outdated, maybe? That’s ok, we, Classics, often accused of that. I don’t wear my only power suit, because I don’t have environment with business formal dress-code in my life, I don’t own a pearl necklace and a mink coat, either. I have an allergy for yellow gold (and I’m not sure if I want to experiment with white), so I wear stainless steel fashion jewelry in my ears, not half-carat diamonds and not pearls. But aforementioned facts don’t make me less Classic. Because it’s in my approach to life: effort-effective, practical, weighed, but with great accent on aesthetics. It’s in a habit to think twice and to do some research before trying something new (even if it’s something small like material for kitchen spatulas I never used before). I definitely prefer quality over quantity. And if this quality is timeless then I’m happy.

So my personal style could be described as Classic+Dramatic. Dramatic adds spice and Classic balances boldness and extremes of Drama.

How does it look in real life?

Most of this I own, some are very close analogs

Most of this I own, some are very close analogs

It’s quite large fashion jewelry and bold colors (mostly as accents, but I’m one of that people who can wear large blocks of bright or shiny and look good, but then I need such items to have simple cut and impeccable fit and I wear them with something very neutral). But most of the time I tend to wear bright colors in accessories (bags, gloves, scarves). I’m not afraid of patent leather shoes. I often wear headscarf with large sunglasses. It’s associated with Jackie Kennedy and Old Hollywood in my mind, it have some vibe of keeping distance and luxury of walking slowly. I wear a lot of blacks. Actually I always did, but now I stopped fighting it. I also wear a lot of light grey, navy and darker shades of purple. I think these colors are great alternatives to black as neutrals.

Being hourglass I prefer to accentuate my waist and this means that my clothes are usually quite close fitting in this area. They can be very fitted all over, but I never combine this with clingy and open. Actually they rarely are very open (and if I wear one item like this, it should be balanced with something providing a lot of coverage. I avoid thin clinging fabrics. I always combine softness with something structured. I’m a big fan of very fitted button down shirts, an item which is ideal for X-shaped Classic+Dramatic, because it accentuates the best features, but looks very put together. There is a problem, though, they are impossible to buy from high street for true hourglass, especially if larger bust comes to play (in this case proportions between front and back should be different). The most close to good fit ready-to-wear item I have is Campbell & Kate shirt reviewed here, so if you have similar needs, check them out (and they do custom alterations now!). The rest of my shirts are bespoke.  

I think that leather pants are great item for windy and cold weather if you don’t need to sit in the office in them. And I’m definitely prefer leather jackets and coats for spring and autumn. I’m in love with cashmere and I mostly wear silk with matte finish in summer (I think that it feels more cool to the skin than cotton). Once I read that cashmere sweaters provide much better fit through the bust for those of us who are D+ and I tend to agree. It’s more relaxed and form-hugging in the same time. I like their luxurious touch, I like luxury in general. Guilty as charged. But I don’t like luxury which makes me ‘stand on tiptoes’, so I usually mix cashmere with leather and keep it very simple.

As you can see all accessory, fabric and cut choices are in the limits of that Classic+Dramatic combo.

Sometimes I wear denim and cotton T-s (mostly when I’m on vacation or have such plans for the day as to play with my aunt’s dog /hyperactive German shepherd/), But somehow I don’t feel like myself in them.

My wardrobe preferences are not very good for my budget, but in my defense I can say that I don’t have a lot of clothes. My wardrobe is actually pretty small. It’s one rack which is 1 1/2 yard long and I have each garment on a separate hanger (and they are not super-slim hangers which deform clothes) and a shelves unit which is about 1 yard in width. And I need clothes for 3 distinct seasons. So I have rather small amount of sometimes expensive clothes (and sometimes I find things like $60 Italian leather bag or $29 silk blouse) without spending money on clothes I don’t wear at all. So when you will be reading all the further reviews you will know that this is an opinion of a little bit  snobbish and boring girl in her mid thirties who’s trying to minimize quantity and maximize quality. Not everyone’s cup of tee )