Wardrobe Architect 2: Defining a Core Style Part Two



When it comes to defining a core style, the first task was to take a look at style icons I might have. This proved to be a bit challenging, but I pulled something together.  This second part of Defining a Core Style is all about actually putting together vision boards for different categories of my wardrobe. This wasn’t quite as hard.  Even though I’m only at the beginning of this whole wardrobe project, I can already tell how it’s making me really process the clothes I have, the clothes I’m drawn to and the ones that I think I want to buy (or the patterns I want to buy).

I have started a board over on Pinterest that has lots of clothing styles, patterns and more that I am drawn to so head on over and check that out for more visuals.




When it comes to pajamas and loungewear I like things loose. But if I’m being completely honest, I have a soon to be teenage boy in the house, so I’ve reached this point where I truly have to be conscious of what I’m wearing to bed. When it comes to pajamas, I’m not really a robe wearer, so I need to have at least some sort of tee that I can wear to cover up any sort of tank or something that I’m wearing to sleep in. I’ve never been a fancy pajama wearing gal, but I do like a nice, soft pair of pjs. No silk or satin for this chick. When it comes to activewear, I’m sort of in transition. If there’s one area of my wardrobe that is seriously in dire straights it’s this part. I recently cleaned out all my old, old tanks I was wearing to exercise in along with some old yoga pants. I don’t really do much more than going for good brisk walks and some yoga at home, so it’s not an area of my closet I need to spend tons of money on (oh…Lululemon I wish I could) so I’m really trying to be intentional about what I’m buying in regards to activewear. I prefer some loose fitting knit shorts, versus tight bike shorts and while I do like my pair of running tights, I wouldn’t say I’m totally comfortable in them.



Next up is casual outfits. I’ve been a work at home mom for a while now and I do think that’s one reason why my wardrobe has suffered so greatly. The need for a great closet just hasn’t been there. But as I begin to realize that I’ve got few things to wear for church on Sundays and the realization that I’ll be doing some more formal teaching next year outside of my house, I need to really start building this area back up again. I love layers and could have a whole closet full of light cardigans. I like a loose flowing top and I’m just now starting to relax with the whole tunics and leggings thing (which means that people will probably stop wearing them). I used to be a big lover of wide leg pants, but I’m not sure if I still am or not. Colorwise, I’m pretty neutral. I’ve got auburn hair which makes creams, browns, blacks etc work best for me. While I like purple, it’s one of those colors I buy and then never wear. Grassy green is probably hands down my favorite.



If I think that my casual closet is lacking, oh man. It’s the dressy closet that is almost nonexistant. It truly is the one area I really need to do the most planning and buying. I love a flowy long skirt, but I also love the 40-50s dresses too. I love the idea of these layered dresses, but honestly I don’t know if I could truly pull it off. Colorwise, I’m still pretty neutral.


outerwear copy


When it comes to outerwear, I really don’t wear that much. While I live in the South, the winter here can get chilly but not for months and months at a time. A good cozy coat is good enough. I pretty much live in my puffy vest in the Fall (layers!) and a good raincoat is pretty necessary too. As much as I think I like a good hoodie, that’s just not my gig really. Now, when it comes to color, this is an area I’m not all that neutral. I’ve currently got a bright blue winter coat and a very red raincoat. Not neutral at all.


So there it is. My core style. Next up I will be working through Exploring Shapes.

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Wardrobe Architect 2: Defining a Core Style Part One



The next part of the Wardrobe Architect series is Defining your Core Style. I think this one was the hardest one for me to figure out. Even though I do enjoy sewing clothes, I’ve never been one to be enamored with fashion. I mean, I know what styles appeal to me, I’m figuring out what styles I might like but look horrible on me, but overall I’m not one of those girls that loves putting together outfits and accessories.

As I’ve pondered this next phase of this project though and sat with it more and more, I can definitely see where my style has changed as I’ve gotten older and how I’ve really begun to realize what enhances my body type and makes me feel good. I love this quote from Christine Haynes:

If you feel beautiful, you will look beautiful. If you feel confident, you will look confident. If you feel comfortable, you will look comfortable. It’s right there and so obvious, but somehow we often miss this basic lesson.

One of the first tasks with this part was to too think about your style icons. Honestly I had such a blank with this. Just like I’m not a big fashion person, I’m really not a big superstar lurker either. After searching Pinterest for a few days I finally narrowed down a few people that I’m always drawn to. Here’s my short list: Meg Ryan and Lauren Graham. Although it’s hard to figure out if I’m drawn more to their personalities (or rather those they play) or to their actual wardrobes. But ultimately I’ve always been drawn to the somewhat tom-boyish look, comfortable, not necessarily tailored sort of clothes. I love, love a good t-shirt more than anything and will pair it with as much as I can. But when it does come down to it, I do love a good,flowing skirt and a pretty dress.

style icons

The biggest question I’ve started to ask myself when I do see a style or pattern than I’m drawn to is: will I feel comfortable in that? I might be drawn to an actual line of something, but when I really look at the construction of the garment I know that there are certain ones that are super cute, but once I put them on I’ll ultimately feel blech.

Using the worksheet from Colette, here’s My Core Style.

When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel?
I feel confident, like I don’t even have to think about myself and relaxed and pretty.

When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel? What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?
I feel awkward and all I want to do is get home and put something else on – and usually that means pajamas!
I feel generally uncomfortable and it often ruins the focus of what I’m doing because all I can think about is how awkward I feel.

Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is about them that appeals to you?
I love Meg Ryan and Lauren Graham and how simple their style is. It’s not all about crazy prints and patterns, but just simple fabrics and simple lines.
I also love Japanese sewing patterns and the look they create with layers of aprons, tunics and leggings and just everything about it.

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?
As much as I’m drawn to the tom-boyish/boyfriend style, it’s not really who I am anymore. When I was in high school and college that was definitely more my style and what I felt good in. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I’ve really outgrown that. I like to think I’m traditional and preppy, but honestly I can’t stand a tailored skirt or styles like that actually on me.

Look over your answers from the first worksheet and list words that you associate with your answers.
Classy, easy, comfortable, layers, modest, tailored, loose, boyish, copycat, not independent, active, work at home mom, mom.

Are their other words you would like to add to this list?
Individualistic, calm, subdued, natural.

Look over the answers to all the questions above. If you had to narrow your list to only 3-5 words to describe you, which words would you use?
easy, modest, subdued, casual, natural

Next up a visual exercise. I’m working on collecting images that represent these words to me and hope to get that next post up soon.  If you are following along go ahead and create a pinterest board, a folder on your computer, a moodboard, or a collage with styles that speak to you. Be creative and have fun!


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Wardrobe Architect 1: All About Style



I have a brother that is nearly 8 years older than me and he was really the first person who introduced me to the idea of personal style. He was the person who introduced me to the idea of “pegging my jeans” and all sorts of other crazy 80’s fashions. If there was anything I would say about him though, it’s that he’s always been confident in his style and who he is with it. But me, no way. I know what I’m comfortable in but I’m still playing around with what my style is. That’s why I love and hate this wardrobe series. It’s asking questions I’ve never really considered.

The focus for this first section is all about your personal style. You can find the style worksheet here. The worksheet is broken down into different sections that should help me figure out how I dress and what I like. Here’s how my answers shook out.


How has your personal history informed the way you dress?
I think I started out being a little different (thanks to an stylish older brother), but over time I got nervous and I’ve gone very plain and traditional. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really realized what I like, what I feel good in and what fits my body well.


How does your philosophy, spirituality or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits?
I’m not super fond of short skirts or showing off my back. I don’t mind a good tank top, but overall I’m pretty modest. I’m not sure if that is as much a reflection of just who I am deep down or my religion.


How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?
When I was young, I wanted to dress cool to impress my older brother. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to slowly let go of the desire to dress to impress others and focus more on what I like.


How are you influenced by the people around you?
Their encouragement definitely plays a role in what I wear and sew. I do dress for the different communities that I’m in. If I go out, take my daughter to her homeschool cooperative group, hanging out with friends or traveling to a bigger city. Each of those places plays a big role in what I’m going to wear. If I sew something and get compliments on it, I definitely get a boost in my confidence – not only in my sewing ability but also in my sense of style.


How do you day to day activities influence your choices?
I tend to be at home a lot so there are many days that I honestly just throw on something super comfortable and throw out the idea of any sense of style. When I do go out for different activities, I do try to be more intentional about what I’m putting on. But honestly, most of the time I’ve got on stretchy shorts and an old t-shirt 🙂


How does climate factor in?
I live in the Southeastern US and the climate changes for sure around here. Layers are key in the spring and fall. Winter can be fairly cold and summer can be miserable humid and hot.


In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?
I like fairly loose fitting tops, but yet tailored. I like skirts a lot, especially long flowy ones and can live in a soft, knit tee for days. I love cardigans.
I’m not a fan of tight tees or shirts with collars. I have almost completely lost my love of capri pants, although I do like to roll up my jeans just a little bit above my ankles. I don’t like cropped shirts and want my shirts below my hips most of the time. I’m also not a big fan of hoodies.

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Wardrobe Architect: Introduction


The Colette blog has been running a series for the past few years called Wardrobe Architect. I’ve followed it on and off, but never put forth the effort to actually do it. This year, Christine Haynes has started her own Wardrobe Architect series following the Colette worksheets etc and I’m not sure if it’s the way she’s approached it or if it is was just the motivation I need to bring some organization to my closet, but I’m on it.

While I would love to say I’m going to have the same level of organization and planning with posts as these two, I’m know I won’t. I’ve got great intentions to post about it at least twice a a month so I’m crossing my fingers.

Here’s a general overview of my plan:
Post 1: Introduction of the project
Post 2: Making Style More Personal
Post 3: Defining a Core Style
Post 4: Exploring Shapes
Post 5: Proportions & Silhouette
Post 6: My Color Story
Post 7: Organizing My Color Palette
Post 8: Exploring Solids versus Prints
Post 9: Hair, Makeup & Beauty
Post 10: Planning My Pieces to Buy
Post 11: Planning My Pieces to Sew
Post 12: Adding Accessories

There is so much out there on the web these days about a Capsule Wardrobe and I’m not really planning to whittle my closet down to a certain number of items. I really just want a closet full of clothes that fit me well, that are well made, that aren’t 10+ years old and totally faded out and actually go together. I’m so tired of looking at my closet and just being frustrated because nothing coordinates well.

I want to be able to make better choices when I do go shopping, not just based on some random shirt that I love, but purchasing something because I know it will compliment the items I already have. This also goes along with buying fabric and patterns. I tend to buy a pattern without really thinking about it and then it sits unused for ages. Or I buy some fabric and never really use it. I want to be more intentional about my sewing and my purchasing.

You can find the original series through the link above, I will also link to available worksheets that Colette has provided for certain stages as I post. I’ve also started a Pinterest board just for this project too if you want to follow along over there.

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