The Curated Closet Series No. 2

Welcome back to round two!  Before we get to talking about clothes, I’d like to congratulate Becca G for winning the random drawing for the Kalle Shirtdress pattern!  Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on that post – it was a lot of fun and I hope to be able to do more giveaways in the future!

Alright, back to business!  Last week, when I introduced this series, I showed you some selfies and shared my style goals.  (You can read about it here if you missed it.)  The next step is to gather inspiration and figure out common themes among my favorite looks.  The idea is that I will eventually try out these ideas and see what works and what doesn’t.  Like doing the literature research before planning and performing an experiment.

At first I started collecting pictures online (the book suggests making a folder on your computer), but it got a little overwhelming.  There are so many editorials, style bloggers and clothing websites out there to choose from, and I had to keep reminding myself that I was only collecting inspiration, not planning each and every piece of my new wardrobe.  I also wanted to be able to see everything all at once.

So I decided to do it the old fashioned way and cut out pictures from the magazines I’m still getting as free gifts from old Sephora purchases.  The difficulty with this method is that magazines push certain trends and only focus on the current season.  Still, it was a lot more manageable this way, and I think I was able to capture my tastes pretty well.  I made a collage of images that grabbed my eye – some for the garments themselves, and others for the colors, details, or styling.

Have I mentioned how hard this was?  As I said in my last post, I like a lot of styles.  I honestly go “ooooh!” at every other page in a magazine.  This is probably one of the biggest reasons why my wardrobe lacks cohesion.  However, being forced to narrow down my tastes has brought out a little practicality in me.  I do realize that sequin dresses and feathered earrings are not huge necessities in my life, when special occasions are few and far in between.  I also know that there are certain garments I won’t ever wear.  Like shorts and mini skirts, for example.  No need to even glance at them, unless there’s an interesting detail I can use.

There are still some things that I’m not sure about.  A suit is one example.  I’ve got it seared in my brain that I hate them, but now I wonder if I that’s true or if I’ve just always worn the wrong cut or fit.  It could also be that I associate suits with stressful memories (like interviews and public speaking).  Now I probably don’t need a navy pinstripe power suit in my life, but a rusty orange pantsuit with a sunny yellow blouse sounds really appealing all of a sudden.  I could even go for a simple shift dress made out of houndstooth patterned wool.

Colors and prints will probably take some time to understand.  So far I know that I like larger scale florals, stripes, and polka dots.  Small scale prints feel a little young to me, which is probably why I don’t covet Liberty fabrics (well, that and the price).  I definitely lean toward warm tones, but can’t resist a nice powder blue.  It just looks so fresh!

And this is the whole point, right?  Since I don’t have to subscribe to a particular, defined style, I can experiment and create a look that is entirely my own.  At the end of my pinning and page flipping, I looked closely at the selections I had made and came up with this list of my preferred style elements.

There’s quite a bit that still doesn’t feel quite right about this list, though.  I have to remember that it’s just a starting off point, though.  The next step is to go “faux shopping” and put this list to the test.  Of course that means leaving the house and going to the mall, but people, it’s December!  And we’re less than two weeks away from Christmas.  If I can muster the will power to drive through holiday traffic and fight my way through the crowds, I’ll share my efforts next week!





  1. Elizabeth Farr

    What a cool exercise going through all of this! I admit, I’m not sure what my wardrobe style is. Definitely I lean casual, but I love dresses yet have little place in my life for silk (4 kids!). As a sewist, I know exactly what my aesthetic and style is–all the details, lots of fabric manipulation, and Spring all the time. I’ll have to pick this book up! I’m interested to see what you learn from your snoop shopping experience!

    1. Post

      Yeah it’s interesting to think about, isn’t it? Having a wardrobe that fits my life is really at the root of my efforts – I made a party dress once that didn’t get worn for 10 months! But I’m also realizing that some of this introspection is due to the fact that my life now is much different compared to when I started sewing. There are some fabric purchases I made when I was 25 that I flat out regret now. I’m excited for the “shopping” too! Trying stuff on is a luxury we don’t really get when we sew our own clothes!

Comments are closed.