One of the questions I was asked on Formspring was about building a simple outfit. I promised on there I would do a whole post on the subject so here it is! Chose promise, chose due.
I used to have a fairly cluttered style, not necessarily noticeable by outsiders, but I knew it. I would always wear a lot of accessories and a lot of printed clothes (well mostly polka dots and stripes to be fair). I moved away from this half-consciously out of laziness and in the name of practicality (child + lots of dangly stuff = a few bodyparts missing at the end of the day).
What prompted me to write this post today was my participation in Style Wars for New Look TV earlier this week. I had tried to come up with a formula on how to keep an outfit simple, based on my everyday habits, but it was too difficult to pinpoint, possibly because I am so used to my wardrobe I don't actually put that much thought into what I wear anymore. I reach for things that suit my mood and put them on.
For Style Wars it was different, we were given a theme and only five minutes to pick a whole outfit. The theme was so far removed from my usual style (it was Festival Chic) that I felt like I somehow had to inject my own touch to it or else I would feel even more uncomfortable having to catwalk in front of the judges at the end.
While I was running around the store in a panic, arms full of maxi dresses and beaded shoes I suddenly had an epiphany: "you have to keep it simple". And so I did. The final outfit consisted of... a khaki tee-shirt dress. And I won...
On my way home I realised the way I had worked on the shoot was the way I normally operate at home: pick a basic piece (or basic separates), interesting shoes and socks/tights combination and tie the whole thing together with a few carefully selected accessories. I pretty much wear the same accessories all the time these days, but I have a humongous collection of necklaces, brooches and bracelets ready to jump out of my dressing table when summoned.
A key to make this process easier in the morning is to have regular wardrobe culls. I do, which is why I regularly update my shop. The reason why I do it regularly is not to get rid of things that are falling apart (because I do it as I go) but mostly to keep things relevant. My style has pretty much been following the same path for a long time now, but I am evolving, I am growing older, my tastes are changing ever so slightly (and so is my body!) so my wardrobe has to match.
Hopefully that was helpful enough! I don't actually think about getting dressed that much so having to analyse my dressing up process can be a bit tedious!