Wardrobe Architect – Week 2

Because I can, I’m not going to wait a full week between each Wardrobe Architect post. And because I can, I am also going to intersperse some inspiration from The Vivienne Files’ Starting From Scratch series. Because, really, that’s what I am doing.

Week 2 is all about defining a core style and identifying your style icons. At first I thought this was going to be very difficult, but once I really started thinking about the questions it became much easier.

  • When I am wearing my favorite clothing I feel confident, sophisticated, and powerful. Like I can tackle anything that comes my way.
  • When I am wearing something not quite right I feel ill at ease and uncomfortable. I want to avoid feeling fat or dowdy – I need a middle ground between stuffed sausage and tent. I also want to avoid feeling indifferent about my wardrobe. I want to love wearing everything in my closet and have that confident, powerful feeling all the time.
  • My style icons – this is the one I thought was going to be difficult. But when I started thinking about the types of garments that fall into the first two categories, I realized that I resonate most with Katharine Hepburn’s feminized masculine style. Wide-leg trousers (maybe not quite as exaggerated as hers) are my absolute favorite. I also really relate to Cate Blanchett and Rachel Roy style-wise. I am not a girly girl, but I do like feminine elements. I love timeless looks.
  • What am I not? I am not ultra feminine. While I love the idea of flowy gowns and super feminine silhouettes, when I wear them I just don’t feel quite right. They are just not me, no matter how much I wish they could be.
  •  What is my core style? Classic, timeless, simple.

Which brings me to the Starting From Scratch series. Because rebuilding my wardrobe is going to be primarily “basics” with a few fun pieces mixed in. I will also be focusing on accessories more than I have in the past and building up a cohesive collection of items to give my wardrobe that extra oomph. The Starting From Scratch provides a great formula to determine the holes in my wardrobe (there are many) and help me develop a more concise plan. First, I need to create a color palette. I am starting small, and using a Summer palette – since Summer can last easily into October in Reno. The suggestion is to pick two neutrals, two accents, and white/cream/ecru. This is what I came up with for my first palette:

White, Aqua, Coral, Dark Gray, Taupe

White, Aqua, Coral, Dark Gray, Taupe

I love these colors, they make me happy, and when thinking about the items that I gravitate toward in my closet this season, these are among the chief favorites. I chose a darker gray and taupe as my neutrals because, while I do love me some black, my gray RTW “Katharine” trousers and me-made taupe culottes invoke those feelings of power and confidence that I am looking to embody.

Step 1 is identifying a nice pair of pants. This was one of the top things on my list of items that I need to make for myself and I have already begun the process of modifying my culotte frankenpattern for a pair of wide-leg trousers. These will be in a charcoal gray wool suiting and will replace my favorite pair of RTW trousers that are in need of retirement. Similar in style to these Gap trousers, but with a slightly wider leg and a cuffed hem:

Next time I will tackle Week 3 of the Wardrobe Architect and a few more steps in the Starting from Scratch series.


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