I have ALWAYS wanted to write about style and fashion, so right here, right now: dream come true. I should also mention that everything I'm about to write is highly personalized. Clothing and style is unique and specific to every person. I love getting inspiration for style from all sorts of places and so all I'm hoping to do here is give you a glimpse into my thought process (which might start to sound a little terrifyingly specific and picky...but so be it). Also, I know there is a lot of debate about fast vs. slow fashion, and whether or not clothing should be purchased locally or if it's OK to order online. Seriously, the conversation around these sorts of things is endless. My take on the whole situation: there's no right way. If you love buying your clothes from H&M or Forever 21 and then wear them for years. Great. As long as you're not tossing them out every season. If you solely purchase from local makers or thrift stores. Also, so cool. That choice definitely requires a specific wardrobe style and a little more work but so worth it.
My personal approach changes based on the season and I don't find or purchase my clothes in one specific way. I try to use moderation and I personally choose not to shop at stores with the reputation for having WAY more seasons than there are in an actual calendar year. Part of that decision is ethical and part of it is that over the years I've really tried to move my closet towards higher quality fabrics and materials that will outlast trends and specific seasons. But again. I'm not perfect and every so often I'll buy something that's entirely frivolous or I'll make a purchase that I regret. So. There you go. That was a very long preamble to the main point which is: you do you.
As I started to prep and write this post, I also realized that I think about wardrobe coordination A LOT. Like. You're about to get a glimpse into my brain and the considerations I make before purchasing a piece of clothing and wow. It's a weird time.
I have a number of things that I keep in mind when I'm wardrobe planning for an upcoming season. The first thing is obviously budget. This is something I struggle with CONSTANTLY. I overspent on my winter clothing budget this year, which I always tend to do because winter in Winnipeg is long. And buying clothes is fun and gives me something to be excited about when the weather sucks. Is this healthy? Probably not. But that's just what happened this year. So, for Spring/Summer 2018, my budget was a lot smaller than usual and I focused on a few key pieces to round out my wardrobe since a lot of the stuff that I have in my closet will easily transition.
Ok: other things I consider, other than budget and the realities of the weather. The big ones are colour, fabric, and lines (aka, the cut and drape of the piece). I try REALLY, really hard not to buy things just because they're on trend for the season. I usually allow myself one or two pieces that are "trendy" or that I'm seeing a lot on Pinterest or Insta every season. But I won't ever invest in pieces like that. I'm more likely to find knock offs from Zara, Mango, or ASOS and purchase slightly less expensive versions of those types of things. Again. In moderation.
When it comes to colour, I'm insanely, over-the-top picky. I was shopping with a friend recently who thought I had lost my damn mind because I was trying on no less than 5 grey, crew neck sweaters. I actually think this is one of the strengths of my wardrobe. No one can make everything work, and I'm just really into neutrals. I always feel uncomfortable in pastels or bold colours, so I stick with a colour palette of black, grey, taupe, beige, and creams. The craziest I'll get when it comes to colour is subdued blues. I can handle a nice chambray. But seriously. That's my limit. The result of this decision to forgo any colour means that basically everything in my wardrobe coordinates with everything else. Which makes me happy. And that's the whole point of clothing, isn't it? To feel happy and confident when you're wearing them? I'm just happy being a neutrals girl.
The next consideration I make is the fabric. Again, this is a nuanced issue and maybe something that no one else thinks about. I recently bought a blouse that was 100% polyester. Ack. But it was from a brand that I love and respect and it hangs so beautifully and it doesn't wrinkle. So. For a blouse that wasn't too expensive and will probably leave my closet rotation in a year or so, I was OK with it. For pieces that I'm going to wear a lot, I try and go for cottons, wool, and cashmere - basically fabrics that will last and are high quality. But realistically, this only works if it fits in my budget. So again it's a consideration, but not a rule. One of my favourite sweaters right now is 100% acrylic (which I didn't know when I purchased) but I still love it. It'll probably disintegrate after 6 months but it's a beaut and it's beige so for now, I'm just looking past that little tag.
The last consideration that I'll talk about is lines. The make of a piece of clothing is something I've learned is a make or break in terms of longevity in my closet. Also, the fact of the matter is that the more you invest in a piece the higher the likelihood that it'll last longer than a few months before you're sick of putting it on and not being happy with how it looks. I'm a fairly small person, and so I often fall into the trap of buying things that *almost* fit. I literally made this mistake a few months back when I bought a coat I'd been eyeing for awhile even though the size was one notch bigger than I usually purchase. Mistake. I spent a lot of money on a coat that now doesn't fit quite right. Every time I put it on, I'm just not quite satisfied. I'll likely have the coat restructured next winter but I don't have it in my budget right now. Anyways. Lesson learned for the millionth time. I know that for me personally that I like clothing to have straight lines, minimal details and a slightly oversized fit. I only buy crew neck t-shirts (or slightly scoop necked). I prefer sweaters to have a mock or turtle neck - no v cuts or boatnecks. These might sound like really stringent rules but it just means that when I'm shopping I don't get distracted by pieces that might look really cute and fun but that I'll end up hating or simply not wearing shortly after I buy them.
Holy shit. This is a lot of information and hopefully you find it somewhat interesting or useful!
A huge thank you to Olya Shendrik for the photos!