Wardrobe Architect Revised pt. 2

By Tiffany - Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 3: Exploring Shape

This exercise was about exploring the shapes that make us feel comfortable and happy. The shapes I picked before, are the same when I think about shapes in that way. However, this can lead to a big problem - what if what you like, is not what is what other people are wearing?

On a recent trip to the 'big' city (Vancouver from my small town), I took the time to study current mainstream fashion. In the past, I used to spend this time buy RTW clothing at stores that aren't in my town - even if I didn't really need the clothes. On this trip, instead of buying anything, I peaked into clothing stores and people-watched around me.

I noticed one important thing: skinny pants are 'it'. By 'it', I mean that they are not just what's 'in', but that are all you can buy and all that people wear. They are IT - there were no other types of pant styles available.

J. Crew
While I (along with other wide hip ladies) may feel that bootleg or some other style of pant is best, there is a point where I will just look out of place if I don't adopt current clothing shapes. Sort of like wearing bell bottoms outside of the 1970s or pleated pants outside of the 1990s (until they make a comeback someday). Or, even more extreme, what if I thought I looked awesome in a Victorian Bustle Dress (and I totally do)? Outside of a steampunk costume event, I would look really out of place.

Some attention has to be paid to the social conventions around dress for your area/culture/age group, while picking shapes. You can deviate from the norm and wear whatever you want. But to pull it off successfully, you need to be confident and/or privileged.

So, instead of being overwhelmed by all of this, I'm going to think of the shapes that go with my style (so, somewhat preppy) and that are rated high on my worksheet (e.g. pants). I shouldn't be thinking of all shapes, but the ones that go with my style.

All this to say, I think I've opened my heart a little to skinny pants. And, my other shapes are blouses, tops, cardigans, and pullovers (since I can't really go topless).

Week 4: Building Silhouettes

Week 3 and week 4 almost have to be done together. You can't think about clothing shapes without thinking of balance and the overall look.

To achieve balance, you have to combine pieces that are structured and unstructured. So, if I pick skinny pants as a shape, I then need more flowy, unstructured tops to balance the outfit (as opposed to very fitted tops). That sounds good to me - flowy tops look nice and comfortable. Below are some Burdastyle blouse patterns that would work (I have most of these patterns already - yay!).

Here are a list of silhouettes that I could make (from cooler to warmer weather):
  • Skinny pants, flowy blouse, cardigan
  • Skinny pants, flowy blouse, blazer
  • Crop pants, button-down blouse, tank top
  • Capri pants/shorts/skirt, flowy blouse, cardigan  
  • Capri pants/shorts/skirt, t-shirt/tank top, cardigan
So, not much different than before. Except I think, when I finally build my capsules, they will look more balanced.

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  1. I have been thinking about the same thing with the skinny pants. I've come to the conclusion that denim was really never made for that sort of a fit, but I guess that's where spandex comes in. I think there can be a balance between following what's current and tweaking it a little. You do need confidence to pull that off, but I find that I often get good fashion ideas when I look at people who takes fashion risks, and I admire them for it. Even if it's only a small fashion risk, I think it's worth it, and it makes fashion more fun (and maybe allows us to wear something other than skinny jeans every day). I've been trying to balance out my wardrobe with "fashion forward" and what I already like/own. Good luck and thanks for thinking through this on your blog so we can all participate.

    1. Thanks Ip! Yes, I hated skinny jeans and the like in the past, but they don't seem as bad when they are made to fit and the waist isn't as low (my butt would just fall out). And yes, you need to have some fun and take a bit of a risk. Thanks for the comments!