Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Colors & Cuts

Several months ago, I read that there are over a million different ways in which people individually process thought which means that even when we think we're on the same page, going in the same direction, we're not. We're on our own page, going in our own direction, with some similar but not identical pages nearby.

Add to individual thought processing the fact that we all see through our own experiences and paradigms - meaning that whatever experience someone else is having is layered over and coloring the experience that I am having - and we're definitely not having the same conversation. Even though it looks like it. No matter how I explain it, I cannot explain my experience in someone else's language in a way that they will completely and totally understand on every level.

Put that way, it's amazing that anyone understands themselves never mind another person. I find quizzes around how we think, our personality type, or our fashion personality, or information about people born on our birth day or in our birth month all of great interest. They always contain elements of the truth. Some are closer than others to what I perceive as the real me but none are ever exact.

While I was sewing for Jessica, a number of people (not just on the blog) referred to me as a perfectionist. I was discussing this with my friend Patti the other day because I don't view myself as a perfectionist and yet many people do. She, on the other hand, does view herself a perfectionist and I don't see her that way at all which means that we each define ourselves - or not - as a perfectionist based on what we think a perfectionist is. Oh dear... where's the dictionary and... do we all interpret it the same anyway - LOL.

What I think is that some of my characteristics contribute to the perfectionist impression when they are actually quite separate and not at all the same thing. For instance, I'm extremely organized and highly efficient. Systems come to me easily and I typically finish a task in about a third of the time it takes other people. Doing things quickly gives you a lot more free time comparatively.

I'm also a minimalist and less stuff means less to look after and requires less space to store and less time to maintain which equals more free time and less visible clutter all of which somehow lead to the impression that I'm constantly cleaning and polishing which is SO NOT TRUE. I cleaned yesterday for the first time in three weeks. I just fake it well !

It's not perfectionism. It's an ongoing thirst for knowledge and a fascination with puzzles and challenges. I like to figure out how things work and then make them work even better which is why I'll sew the same thing - say a fitting shell - over and over until it fits exactly the way I want. It's a quest to know and understand AND THEN...

... I love to pass that learning on or to utilize it in new ways. When I measured my daughter, I knew right away that she needed similar alterations to me through the upper chest, waist, and back hip. What took me 3 1/2 years to learn about myself, too two minutes to apply to her. I saw it and organized her information around that fact.

She called yesterday.

The tops and skirt arrived. They all fit. They are all wearable. They could all use a bit of fine-tuning and that's the best case scenario we'd hoped for. How exciting. I told her the blog would like a few pictures and she's thinking it over. Like me, she's not very comfortable in front of a camera which is interesting because on many, many levels, I understand my daughter, I recognize ways in which we think alike and behave similarly and yet, she's completely and totally her own woman. There are things she does that I can't even imagine doing and yet she excels at and is challenged by them. It fascinates me.




As does the question who am I? This week, I've been wondering if I'll ever be dressed in a way that I think reflects who I truly am and if I do somehow manage to get dressed, will I be able to maintain the look? I don't seem to ever meet my goal of how I want to express myself and how I want other to see me but I've met people that I imagine have it all figured out. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they don't. Have you managed to consistently dress you? If so, how?

I know it's all in the details... and the packaging... which has me still thinking about the quote below from Bobbie Thomas' book - The Power of Style.  How many times have you had someone tell you that a garment looks "just like you" and you think, oh my gosh, really, please God no, they can't possibly think that's me.

So when I talk about style, I'm talking about an image that feels real to you and resonates as genuine to others. When there is incongruence, you may find you are not saying what you want, which can result in your not getting what you want from life..... So if the mirrors in your life are showing you a person who isn't who you think you are or who you want to be, there's a good chance you're projecting a style that isn't your own, or at least not your most desired.




My friend Barb took these garment pictures while we were out snoop shopping. My daughter thinks the leopard print top I'm wearing is simply ghastly, that it looks like an old woman trying too hard. I think it's fun - just like I think my new purple zebra print pajama pants will be fun and - even so - I wouldn't classify myself as a animal print kind of person. Just a touch now and then when it appeals to me in some interesting way and yet, someone noting that I have two or three animal print garments might think I'm an animal print person and it wouldn't be true. And if they bought me an animal print gift because of what they believed about me, I'd be stuck with it and that seems the way in which we become someone we're not.

The key to not having this happen seems to be consistent packaging. Why does that sound boring?

In their book 10 Steps To Fashion Freedom: Discover Your Personal Style From The Inside Out, authors Malcolm Levene and Kate Mayfield teach wearing an extremely limited number of colors - somewhere in the range of three to five although I'd need to reread the book to confirm that number - and by colors, I mean a specific shade of a hue as in primrose blue and not just blue. 




When I first read the book, I contacted them and booked an opportunity to work together and then I cancelled it because there was no way that I could ever maintain wearing the same colors always. It felt like a prison and yet isn't it interesting that I wear predominately black, denim blue, and a specific shade of my three favorite colors along with statement jewelry. I'm practically doing what they suggest only I arrived at that "formula" through my own evolution and thought processing.

Years later, long after declining the opportunity, I can see some applicable wisdom in their teachings and yet, I still don't want that prison. I want room to move and evolve and I've come to believe that the reason I've never managed to feel like I'm completely expressing myself is because the self I'm trying to express is a moving target, always changing, always learning more about and re-inventing herself. Some things remain consistent; others always shift.




The back cover of Bobbie's book says that along with other practical advice, I'll learn to discover my six best colors and why they matter and the twelve most flattering cuts for my body type. That wouldn't be new information. I've read a lot of these books. I've discovered that information already. Several times. What I seem to be looking for now is ways to make those colors and cuts more fun, more experimental, more chic-avant-garde, more me.

When I'm out snoop shopping, it's the details that intrigue me. The shirt detail above is on a classic, princess seamed, button up shirt with a collar. What's different is the way it's put together... with a twist... that's not at all basic. How many trial tops do you think it would take me to figure out those twists? I can totally see myself making sample after sample to figure it out and - LOL - it wouldn't be perfectionism. It would the challenge and the uniqueness and the opportunity to express myself in a way that resonates more clearly. THAT's where I'm at - at individuality and creativity and uniqueness. All I hope is that I can somehow sew and wear and express that image consistently onward from some point in my life... or... VBG... at least enjoy the journey - because - it seems to be a long one.




Elements that help are knowing the colors that work for me, knowing the shapes and styles that work for me, and a willingness to push the envelope. You can push the envelope once and find out that you're wrong, this style won't work for you or you can push it that same one time and discover a shape you'd never contemplated before and that discovery will lead you to other similar shapes.

Marcy's Vogue 8499 skirt was one of those experiments. I liked the shape and I believed it would make me look all hips and I tried it anyway and it turned out to be a favourite skirt. Since then, I've come to adore that belled shape which is why I tried her V8876 dress and why I'll be trying her Vogue 8934 coat.  Risking just a little can lead us on exciting adventures. It's nicely coincidental that I would like more coats in my collection.

I was thinking about that the other day. It's not my personality to have a lot of anything but I'm not sure if that's because of who I am or because of how I grew up which was not in poverty but also not with a lot of excess. I never had a lot of multiples whether it was pants, dresses, coats, shoes, and so on and I don't now... and I don't want excess... but I would like more choices and variety. I'm so not used to them though that sometimes I'll sew another coat and then forget to wear it. It's interesting to try and change in such an engrained area - like this year's attempt to sew a collection of summer dresses.




I finished my zebra pants yesterday - sort of. When I tried them on, the width is perfect but the crotch length is still too long. I've sewn this pattern a gazillion times as is and now I'm fine tuning it which - I believe - shows growth and learning in my sewing. I'd also like the elastic tighter so I'll take it off, cut the top an inch lower, and then reapply a smaller elastic. The velvet ribbon is to mark the back. It's soft against the skin and a fun touch that makes it easier to define the front and back. See the organization and efficiency? It shows up everywhere. Details. Love them.

The image of the dress in the first pictures shows the back. Hmm... bustle material. The tricks that pleats can play are quite intriguing. The top is sewn from a lace that reminds me of a fabric in my stash and a Katherine Tilton pattern. The possibility of combining those two tickles. And the twists - aren't those fabulous ! ! ! ! ! ! ...... I definitely want to experiment with those only later... right now...




... I'm on mess maintenance. When I cleaned the studio on Sunday, I just threw everything into the bottom of the closet which added more to the pile that was already there after a severe case of chuckitis. I need to sort and clean. And I have a reason.

My friend Caroline is not at all judgmental. She's a through thick and thin, I'll take you as you are, kind of friend BUT... having her come to stay for a week and knowing that we'll be cooking together and that she'll want to look at my fabric and pattern stash is great incentive to get things cleaned up. It's always nice to have motivation. Yesterday, I did the fridge. Today, it's the stash closet and - hopefully - the pattern drawer. I have two appointments as well.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - wearable muslins for Jessica

19 comments:

  1. I meant to comment yesterday (but then the day got away from me - still have my boy and guests staying with me!). First of all - yesterday - I've used Janome machines - that exact one in my classroom. If it's basic/metal machines you want consider asking the store about what is being sold for classroom use as that's what we Home Ec teachers want too. Might point you in a better direction. Hope you find what you're looking for. I can recommend the Janome's - loved them in my classroom use. Didn't always love the buttonhole, but with a classroom of students didn't always have time to experiment.
    Today - wow - lots to think about. SO GLAD things fit Jessica - considering you were sort of "sewing in a vacuum" and managed to make some things that fit. I would be super impressed with myself - I am of you, that's for sure!
    I'm not sure I'd call you a perfectionist...more like someone who has the skill and the patience to work until something is the way you are absolutely happy with or that you completely understand the process. I think that takes patience not you being a perfectionist. I hope this makes sense - bad stomach night so no coffee for me this morning. I've been bad (thinking that perhaps I could wean off the meds...NOPE!) So I'm (perhaps, VBG) a little less coherent than usual. In regards to your patience/perfectionism, I'm thinking of your t-shirt series where you were working on getting the armhole the way that you wanted. I thought that was really cool, but could see myself settling due to lack of time and/or interest in seeing the process through. I LOVE reading the process though because it's amazing and neat and I might want to do it for myself someday and I've a path to follow thanks to you.
    While I like the idea of wearing only 3 to 5 colours (simplicity and organization) I too think it feels like a prison. I might get there naturally...but having it applied might be uncomfortable.
    Enjoy your time with your friend Caroline. I feel the same way - when I've guests coming, I'm always way (WAAAY) more motivated to clean house than any other time. Except report card writing time...then I'll clean house RATHER than write report card comments (VBG). Not my favourite task!
    Wow - feels like we need to go for coffee and talk away. I'm having a clean up day too and hope to sew tomorrow. Hope your day goes well and that you continue to feel better.

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    1. I've had a Janome before and really liked it so I'm definitely inclined in that direction. The machine Charlene wants me to look at in the fall is a Pfaff. I do like the built in walking foot so I'll check it out first.

      Yes... it was thrilling that Jessica's clothes fit with only minor adjustments. Definitely a pay off for the work invested in my own.

      Thanks for understanding the perfectionist perspective. I'm glad my characteristics can be helpful to others.

      The book is really interesting. I think you'd enjoy the information and students might find some of it quite applicable.

      Caroline and I have been friends since we were sixteen. We get together once a year at least for a sewing holiday. I'm really looking forward to it. It's such a gift to have a good friend.

      LOVE to do coffee. We'll have to see how we can figure that out - LOL.

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  2. Wow, this is a lot of ideas in one post! I'll focus on one - the fact that your daughter's clothes fit although you made them for her from afar. That's the wonderful convergence between learning for yourself and applying it to others. I have found that my painstaking fitting work on many previous posts has really made a huge diff during this round of bra fitting.

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    1. LOL - feel free to comment more on the others. I'm always interested in your thoughts. Yes, it's fabulous that her clothes (mostly) fit and I totally agree with you that the work done in one area transfers to another. You're doing so well with your bra journey. It's going to be great.

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  3. I understand what you are saying about perceptions... How we perceive about us vs how another person may see us ... (wow!! There must at least that many perceptions about us as the number of peoPle we've met )...

    I like how you define yourself as very organized and highly efficient person.. I am not that person but I do aspire for that ...

    Glad your daughters clothes fit her well.. That's awesome considering you worked long distance..

    As always, great read, Myrna!! I'd like to thank you again for the post you made on - ' You don't have to make it; just play' I have it on my inspiration section on my blog.. It made a BIG difference to me... Between that quote and the book 'The war of Art', something in me - a particular attitude has changed and as I type this, I am wearing a well fitting dress that I made this month. Super proud!!

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    1. Perceptions of all kinds of things are fascinating. It's interesting to see how our perceptions of ourselves evolve as we age and mature and learn more. We (I at least) am less likely to accept someone else's label for me. I want to figure it out myself.

      I am SO THRILLED that my just play comment has resonated with you. That's exciting and so one of the major reasons I blog. Thanks for sharing your shift. I'd love to see a picture of the dress.

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  4. Speaking of finding individual style, I thought back to my working days (before my much loved retirement). I'm not sure that I ever had an "individual signature look." While some of my best friends always laid out their clothes the night before (including shoes and jewelry), I knew I could NEVER do that. I dressed for the "mood" I was in that day when the alarm sounded (within the bounds of what was on my work schedule at the office, i.e. meetings with folks outside the office; whether I was teaching a class; etc.) AND, I never got up any earlier to do that. Some "comfortable" winter days were simply wool slacks, crew neck sweater, my fake 18" pearls with pearl studs, and the shoes that made the pant hems fall at the right place. In my office, that drew lots of compliments, plus it was appropriate for staff meetings and the training room if I was teaching a class that day. Dresses were quick too; slip on dressier or not so dressy, depending on the mood of the morning - low heels or flats as to how my feet felt, gold hoop earrings and necklace for the mood of the dress.

    I suppose I was/am the odd man out, but that was (and still is) me. Some days it was "classic" and some not. So as far as 'my look' - not sure what if I ever had a 'my look.' funny, huh? or maybe just plain "weird." but ultimately - just me - and I'm good with 'just me.'

    Oh, and happy to hear daughter's tops worked out!

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    1. The only time I plan what I'm going to wear in advance is for an occasion like a party or wedding otherwise, I'm very much like you. I wear what I'm in the mood for... even when I travel... I always take more than enough outfits just in case I don't want to wear "that" one.

      Perhaps your look is more eclectic. It's a factor of the chic-avant-garde category I most often fall into.

      YES YES YES YES YES YES YES - the tops fit. Happy dancing over here.

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  5. Okay, I am totally IN for trying to figure out the construction on the princess twist top! Surely you have more than one picture! Also, the first photo of the brown dress is so intriguing, I'm hoping for more photos of that one, too, as I sit here wearing out my imagination trying to visualize what the front looked like.

    I would totally wear everything in this post, so I can see how closely our thinking and desire to dress for what feels "right" for us is parallel.

    Of course, this is why I love reading your blog. The thoughts you express about dress, construction, fit, and individualism are the same ones that tickle my brain. Thank you!

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    1. LOL - that's it. The only photos. We have to work from there. It was enough to tickle and not too much to constrain.

      And now I want to see your wardrobe. I love meeting people who think like I think. I'll link your name to see if you have a blog otherwise, I'd love to receive some pictures of your pieces.

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  6. Congrats on the clothes for your daughter! I'm sure that was a huge relief....

    As others have noted, lots of thoughts in this post to mull over. I too am organized and efficient--I've run 3 national publications, and you (and the people you work with) can't survive and maintain any sanity without you either having those traits to begin with or developing them ASAP.

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    1. It was. I loved hearing the enjoyment in her voice and the belief that only a little fine tuning was necessary. I think it was a significant moment for her. We'll see.

      How fun to have run three publications. I'm so curious. I found the same thing with teaching on-line. I needed a system of working so that I answered everyone in a timely and thorough manner. I find I use something similar to respond to blog comments. Love the way learning shift through our lives.

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  7. w00t! i am so psyched that Jessica's clothes are great - but not a bit surprised :) yuk, no one likes pictures. my most popular blog post EVER is this one on how to pose for curvy ladies (and i do mean curvy, not just large):

    http://dashingeccentric.blogspot.com/2010/10/contrapposto-photo-posing-for-curvier.html

    i've enjoyed learning how to model, as in spontaneous snaps i have always looked wretched. it's just the medium. I look great in those 7-11 surveillance videos ;) movement loves curves!

    Personal style can take a lot of pondering and experimenting. At this stage of my life, after a couple of years of specifically working towards making the wardrobe i always told myself i'd have 'when i had enough', i can say that i dress to suit myself and the style i project is about 90% there about 95% of the time. i always knew i just could not cope with tons of clothing, altho i have known ladies who do just that with aplomb (Sheila of Ephemera is totally this archetype). And wow those ladies are fun, fun to see, fun to look at, fun to talk to about clothes, just fun! and smart with an incredible eye (No surprise Sheila's mom is an artist).

    But, like you Myrna, i was really worried about having enough variety in a small closet. However, after a couple of years of taking OOTD pics consistently, blogging them a lot and talking/writing about them, doing a couple of challenges, making up seasonal wardrobe lists (what i have, what i need, what are my workhorses and categories), i was able to really hone in on what i need, my actual lifestyle and how it relates to my clothing, and what i really really love. As i said in my Beatrice dress post, when you have exactly what you want you don't need other choices. So then it becomes a question of laundry and weather ;)

    cont'd.

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    1. Another tool has helped me tremendously in hashing out my own, individual style. It's an outfit checklist i developed over the years, and i outline it here:

      http://dashingeccentric.blogspot.com/2011/04/intro-to-my-outfit-analysis-checklist.html

      The vast majority of people with outstanding personal style get there by focusing on a couple of elements, playing those ones up, and just avoiding 90% of what's out there. Can you imagine Katherine and Audrey Hepburn happily trading outfits?

      My list has eight categories: silhouette, color, pattern (printed or woven in fabric), detail (3-d elements like buttons, zips, pintucks, etc.), drape, texture, style references (1940's, nautical, etc.), and accessories. The bulk of successful casual outfits choose 2-3 elements as the focus and let the rest play in the background or just sit out the game. For me, this list is a great tool for analyzing an outfit that i love to the extent i want to go in that direction - i break it down, see how it's put together, and it's much easier to develop outfits with a similar feel. i do this with my own looks, and also those of others'.

      Putting some parameters on your closet can feel limiting, but in practice when it's well thought out it's incredibly freeing. Limiting colors, shapes, textures, level of formality means that you have a lot more outfits in there (plus, you'll like them!). It is very possible (and sadly pretty common) for people to just acquire whatever they want with no limitations, so you end up with gobs of clothing but only a few outfits and many orphans.

      I really enjoy reading Angie of YouLookFab, as well as her forum, and i have seen people come to this realization many many times. But the key is to know yourself and your practical needs well enough to be able to set parameters which work for you. I do like mini challenges adn such as a way to help figure things out - no harm in working with a small part of your closet for a week or three to see what happens, you can bring your 'verboten' clothing back at the end (or sooner!) if you like.

      It sounds like you are well on your way - it just takes a bit of time. Oh - and sewingplum(Lisanne)'s personal minimum wardrobe worksheet is brilliant! I marked mine up all over the place and now my closet makes so much more sense - physically as well as in my head :)

      http://sewingplums.com/2011/04/29/your-personal-basic-wardrobe-plan/

      http://sewingplums.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/wardrobe-sewingplums2.pdf

      Happy Day! steph

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    2. LOL ----- LOL ----- LOL ---- big breath. My goodness Steph. You had stuff to say. Too fun.

      I'll check out the posing pictures. I'd definitely like to be more comfortable in front of the camera. Not sure if I'll ever lose enough inhibitions.

      Personal style does take a lot of pondering and experimenting and it's completely fascinating - at least to me. I think I've fine tuned a lot of it and now I'm working on details and drama. The fun stuff.

      I am concerned about variety. I never seem to get enough stuff together to have any kind of quality. Would help if my size would stop fluctuating. VBG - perhaps I need quantities in all sizes. What are OOTD pics?

      It's fascinating to me when I find a shape that clicks - like this bell shape or a trumpet skirt or a princess top. Once I know for sure that this is me, experimenting with other ways to interpret those lines becomes the fun part.

      I've done some lists and I like the idea of working from them and it never seems to work. I'm better with a general sense of direction and an in the back of my head list. A written ones becomes too much of a prison - as does a theme - or an extended challenge. Never seem to get anywhere with those like I do with exploring a question.

      I've read about your style checklist. It's fabulous. Hmmm... need to think about my elements. I'll re-read that posting.

      I learned through art that parameters are actually more freeing than limiting. They give your thoughts and creativity a space to work within instead of runny willy nilly in every which direction. It's good.

      Haven't read Angie in a while. Should probably check that blog again. I did read Lisanne's wardrobe worksheet quite a while ago but - again - I think I know what I wear now; I simply need more of those items. More variety.








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    3. ha! yes, wardrobe planning's intersection with personal style is a huge, decades-long passion of mine so what i've said here is the teeniest tip of a huge, lurking iceberg - heehee! you are very good natured about it :)

      "I learned through art that parameters are actually more freeing than limiting. They give your thoughts and creativity a space to work within instead of runny willy nilly in every which direction. It's good." i would just humbly submit that the same principle may be applied in the closet.

      The way i look at it, and what i've found in practice, is that in real life lists and rules and challenges are just little experiments to learn from rather than 'prisons'. So you may decide to develop a vacation capsule strictly limited to two 'neutrals' and a 'color' and see how you like it. Or dress out of the 'fancier' side of your closet for a week. Or keep OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) records (photo or written) for a month to find out what you wear, what you don't, and so on. Or write down a list of what you think you could use/need for the coming winter, then analyze later to see how you did.

      No one is going to force you to only dress in Caltrans orange and eat bread and water (and body cavity searches? let's not go there!!!) All these ideas and practices are just tools that you can choose to experiment with or adopt at your own discretion. You can stop at any time. The reason people keep bringing them up is because a lot of them have tried them and found them very helpful.

      In my late twenties i had very little money (chronic illness doesn't pay as well as people think ;) My closet had plenty of variety, but a lot of crummy quality, inappropriate garments (for the weather, my lifestyle, my personality...), and it was hell trying to create outfits. I heard about a method of wardrobe building that went like this: choose a lite neutral and a dark neutral and a color, all that you like and that you like how they 'go'. Acquire a top, bottom, and third layer (jacket, cardi, etc.) in the lite neutral. Next, the same three in the dark neutral. Third, in the color (maybe get a dress instead of the third layer).

      I started along this path, & by the time i had 5 new, boring pieces it was exponentially easier to dress. I chose black and ivory as my two newts. Guess what? They're newts, so they went with everything else i already had, not just each other, which was a lot of their power in my closet. I tell this story because it shows how confining oneself in the prison of rules can actually lead to the thrilling breakout of wardrobe variety (i don't think i'd have the patience to wait for parole ;)

      cont'd

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    4. cont'd

      But for me the key is - do your experiments and plotting before committing whole hog to some scheme, so that you know you'll enjoy the impact this will have on your closet. I love my newts and it was not a huge commitment to make a black skirt or top, and then i could see how things were going before committing to keeping up with this scheme. At that point it was obvious how much this was helping, so it was no constriction, more like a guideline i'd be crazy not to follow.

      So again it comes down to identifying what's going on in your own closet that you'd like to improve. Myrna: "I did read Lisanne's wardrobe worksheet quite a while ago but - again - I think I know what I wear now; I simply need more of those items. More variety." Well, do you want more of the same or do you want more variety? And what's the variety that you would love, as opposed to variety that will be a big bummer/irritation? That's the questions i have after reading what you've been writing about your closet. And that's the kind of questions where simply keeping an OOTD record for a couple weeks or a month can be really helpful. I like an OOTD log also because it's low commitment and low hassle, you don't have to spend a lot of time or money and you can learn a lot in addition to it being fun (well, if you like clothes that is ;)

      It's all food for thought, no matter how certain 'celebs' like to push their own particular scheme. There's a billion approaches out there, it's great to try out different ones if you're unhappy or ready for a change, but if you're happy with what you're up to and like what's going on in your closet i say more power to you and keep it up! We love happy closets :)

      I humbly thank our hostess Mrs. Giesbrecht and surrender the soapbox. steph

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    5. LOL - you're so funny. Love this soapbox. SO...

      I think I know what I wear... means I know which styles of garments and which particular garments I wear often and regularly and which are special occasion only. With the regular garments, let's take jeans with a t-shirt for an example...

      I simply need more of those items - more variety - means that I want more than one pair of jeans and more than three black tops. I want four or five pairs of jeans and several casual and several more dressy knit tops and I want the statement necklaces and shoes that will dress up or dress down the outfit so I'm maximizing what I actually wear and extending my wardrobe in a similar but not identical way to what you were describing with the two neutrals. I have those. And I have the core wardrobe. It's building out from there. Mine neutrals are black and denim blue and this concept definitely works because my entire wardrobe does mix and match and multiply itself even as small as it is.

      I also want more casual pants and not just jeans - filling out the categories. It doesn't help that my weight fluctuates so radically. I've been spending a lot of time looking at styles - like the summer dresses - that are more fluctuation friendly.

      I've been wanting to build on that core for a long time but I never seem to amass enough quantity to keep up with attrition. That's something to work on. I agree with the better quality of fabrics aspect both because quality lasts and I like my clothes to last and because having my clothes last is about the only way I'll ever manage to get any quantity.

      VBG - I go by Ms. Drives my family crazy.

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    6. "I've been wanting to build on that core for a long time but I never seem to amass enough quantity to keep up with attrition. That's something to work on. I agree with the better quality of fabrics aspect both because quality lasts and I like my clothes to last and because having my clothes last is about the only way I'll ever manage to get any quantity." This - my situation, my thinking about improving it. Y.E.S.

      Well, just to point out for anyone bored or masochistic enough to be reading this (besides you, Myrna!) - when my mom needs more and finds something she likes she just buys ten. Or other multiples. Like 3 of the exact same black pull on pant, or seven of the same J. Peterman tee (at least in different colors). Which is why i asked those questions - i've know several people who love to get multiples and be done with it!

      hmm, with black and denim you can go a lot of places with color. Any blue would work, also your purples. Do you like turquoise - it would be super pretty. And you're already adding hot pink, which looks fab and shakes things up. All the colors i've seen you wear look great on you, it just depends what you feel like adding.

      I know from experience how hard it can be to dress a body which cannot settle on a size. Dresses with more & flowing fabric are a life saver, as are bigger skirts with elastic waists. Ties at the side you can tie at the back, belts, vests, shrugs, little jackets, all can add a more structured feel to these kinds of dresses if you like.

      well, dusting and the vaccuum await! Have a great day Ms. G!!! steph

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.