Love your blog! I find this time of year frustrating. All of my winter outfits seem too dark but it is too early for spring clothes, even though I want to wear them. What should I do?
I feel the same way. So this tends to be when I pull out my winter garments in brighter, more spring-like colors that held little appeal for me just a few months ago. I also lean heavily on the color Navy, as it is seasonless, goes with all of my sartorial genres, and can seem somewhat fresher this time of year.
|Enjoying Today's Warm Sun|
I am a regular reader of your blog since January 2011. I am very grateful for your style and advice. After becoming pregnant, finishing work in London and starting to look after a baby full-time, now toddler, I was in need of a change of dress, reflecting my new life. I also have a role in my local community as the wife of the Rector, so I also need to look reasonably presentable in and around home and the parish. I am now pregnant again and was wondering if you have any wisdom to offer on maternity dress. I found last time that the selection of maternity clothes pretty hideous-looking as well as uncomfortable (waist bands that dug in and pulled awkwardly). I have a few ideas: sewing super-soft waistbands onto old trousers and possibly skirts, but that's it so far. Ordinary clothes in a larger size looked odd and rode up over my bump. I would be extremely grateful for any advice. With best regards.
The best thing I can think of is a blog called SouleMama. It sounds like you can sew, so it might be of some help. SouleMama is a lovely blog about rural Maine living, with a focus on knitting and sewing. And given Amanda Soule has had five children, she has some experience with maternity wear. This entry is specifically about that: http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/2011/01/woolie-skirts.html
How can a person personalize the classic lifestyle? A Norwegian sweater looks great, but if everyone is wearing the same sweater, then it seems like everyone in the room is following a trend. At the same time, there are certain articles of clothing and lifestyle choices that seem off. Where is the middle ground? Where, in clothing and lifestyle choices, is it acceptable to look a little different from the rest of the pack?
This is also an area where people hate the thought of "rules" or guidelines as it sounds too prescriptive. Almost any conversation here will invoke "are you kidding me" eye-rolls from at least some people. All I can say is there are people who like to apply literary theory to a novel, and others just want to read it and enjoy it. Some people like the adjectives applied to a bottle of wine, and others just want to drink. This conversation is for people in the first, not the second, group.
The issue of sameness is a tough one, in part because it is so highly contextual. Two navy blazers, with two different tartan ties, may be indistinguishable to most, but mean the world of difference to the people whose clans the ties represent. Similarly, one can look at two different soldiers; if one is in that culture, the amount of information presented by a uniform is staggeringly high, and if one is out of the culture, it all blends together. One friend of ours, a Coast Guard Admiral, was mistaken for a waiter at the Harvard Club in Boston.
There are a few over-iconic items; the Norwegian Sweater is a perfect example. They may go through steep curves of "everyone has to have one" followed by "no one will touch them." Lacoste shirts ran that gauntlet as well. These have their own issues, but I don't think is generalizable across most classic clothes.
As a sidebar, I would also suggest two other quick thoughts. The first is that there is a lot of variability in a tasteful, classic wardrobe.
Given all of that, a heuristic is that a wardrobe is there to highlight the wearer, not be center stage itself. So the best way to look interesting is to be interesting. Then just throw on some clothes that gently frame yourself. (See When Does an Outfit Become a Costume for the other extreme.)
We all are of our time.Trying to dress differently often results in its own sameness. Most attempts at rebellion from one style simply puts one squarely and rigidly into another. Even trying to be deliberately eclectic or ironic puts one into a predictable sub-genre with as many rules as the ones that people thought they were circumnavigating. Finally, most people who don't think they think much about clothes end up being the most impacted by fleeting styles and thus have the most waste in their closets.