I reached the end of Me Made May in state of some dismay; my largely me made wardrobe was bringing me dissatisfaction rather than joy!
I felt it was static, failing to evolve with the rest of the world. For MMM17 I wore things that (photographic evidence being rather reliable) I had also worn for MMMay16. Although this may imply style-satisfaction, or that I am frugal and sensible, I am nothing of the sort. I know what suits me, I understand style and colour but I also hanker after novelty and freshness. Ceci commentated that on a long holiday with a small wardrobe she just got bored with it. There is a reason we feel a strong need to buy/make new clothes.
I had an overwhelming urge to throw it all out and start again.
A few commentators said the same – I am not really sure where this urge comes from. It is more than adverts and consumerism. I think it is part of our human condition that we like to dress up – emulating others we want to be like or look like, or conversely we want to set trends and influence the world. And perhaps a built in aversion to being satisfied.
My objectives were more specific. I outlined a set of requirements for my weekday wardrobe (for weekends anything goes)
- fashionable and stylish
- authoritative enough for a senior manager working in a modern, cosmopolitan setting
- neat and tidy
- rather plain
I have tried to work through what I want and need.
Now you may remember my slight obsession with trainers during MMM, where I noted that on most days I had big, fat trainers on my feet. Thank you for commenting on the appropriateness of my footwear, and all the suggestions on how to choose comfortable but more work appropriate looks. However I have now decided I don’t want to change from walking shoes to workwear, as this involves carting shoes round in bags and having two personas.
I want my whole wardrobe that works with trainers!
Maybe that seems peculiar, but in the same way I once moved from heels to brogues and “masculine” lace ups at work (which was a little radical and usual at the time) I am now going to make the move towards trainers as my new normal, with the brogues (or sandals or even heels once in a while) as the exception.
I have been looking for the perfect trainers – which has been challenging with an hour wasted in Office in Oxford Street trying on just about every style – but not finding what I have in mind. I shall have to learn to make shoes at some point.
In the meantime I have been planning the rest of the look. I am moving away from variety, towards predictability/a uniform. I have chosen a look similar to the one my sons wore for Sixth Form.
- White shirt
- Leather belt
- Small jacket (lightweight and colour for summer; darker shades and heavier fabrics for winter)
I have chosen “male” looks here. I don’t want to dress as if I am a man, but there is something very compelling about the pared down, androgynous look of trousers, jacket and shirt/plain top.
Although I have habitually worn skirts for work and trousers at weekends, I have got to the stage where I want to wear comfortable but semi-formal trousers for work. Below I am wearing some pull ups from Uniqlo (that have elastic at the back!!). Or “WOMEN SMART STYLE ANKLE LENGTH TROUSERS”. I was aiming for this kind of thing with my disastrous Style Arc Talias.
Here are two or three initial attempts at dressing within my new rule. Two of them feature the same pants (the check ones are from Uniqlo), same jacket, and the same shirt with different belts and scarves. The beige jacket is more summery and fresh. However my belts seem to have a mind of their own in these photos! I may have to put belt carriers on these pants to neaten the look.
I feel this outfit meets the requirements of my brief. And Authority is achieved through the business shirt and jacket, the belt/scarf colour makes it feminine and adds a little personality, and the fact the trousers are checked gives a nod towards fashion/style. I may need to play around with the rules a bit more, but I felt good and really “myself” in these outfits. For an important evening meeting I wore my nice, blue brogues and took the look up a notch.
At the moment, being “summer”, I don’t need knitwear although it may be possible to use a tank top/vest, pullover or cardigan instead of a scarf for colour/individuality. I am going to experiment with the rules I have set. I don’t want many items in my wardrobe, so I will be seeing how many looks I can get with a limited selection of garments.