Though the weather here has recently been more summer-like than we’ve had all summer, we’re just a few days off from the autumnal equinox and the official beginning of fall. This has always been the time of year I mentally hit the “refresh” button, on my routines as well as my wardrobe.
With regard to my wardrobe, I’ve been feeling restless lately. Sometimes a groove starts to become a rut, and while I still believe in developing and working within a style formula, I’m ready to push the boundaries of mine a bit. I’ve built up a good foundation of solid basics over the last few seasons, and don’t need more of those. But my style is feeling a bit stale, and I need to shake it up.
So I’ve embarked on a targeted wardrobe refresh. I’m craving some color and a little more verve and yes, even a little more structure. Dressing a short, curvy frame has always been challenging, and because of that I’ve leaned heavily on certain brands and styles. It’s hard to get structured pieces right, which is why I keep going back to softer shapes and cuts. Likewise, too much visual “busy-ness” on a short frame can be overwhelming but I’m feeling a little stuck in a (solid) safe zone, and want to experiment a bit. I’ve come to think of my ideal style as something I’ve dubbed Refined Casual, so am looking within that framework. The challenge is adding variety while maintaining wardrobe cohesion with my tried-and-true basics.
A mental refresh is part of this process as well. I’m trying to give myself more latitude with regard to the concept of what’s flattering, and what I “can” wear. Years of hearing my mother’s refrain “you can’t wear that” when I was growing up have had an effect, even if a subconscious one. I still find myself automatically ruling out trying something that might break one of her rules of figure flattery, only to later realize why. At other times I’ve replaced her rules with prevailing style “wisdom” or rules of my own that may too often go unquestioned. Yes, it’s important to know what clothing works for our bodies and lives and consider those parameters, but important also to keep an open mind and try things that appeal to us, and see if they can be styled in ways that work.
Style is a form of expression; who we are and what we want to say can shift over time. Locking ourselves into something rigid on principle does not serve us. (But on the other hand, if what you’re doing is working for you, no need to change.)
Do you find your ideal style shifts periodically? Are there elements you’re looking to add to your wardrobe this season, or conversely, those you’d like to clear out?
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