Minimal Wardrobe: Who Am I Dressing?

One of the basic principles of keeping a minimal "capsule" wardrobe is establishing who you are dressing.  We all have a style - a unique image that makes us feel confident, beautiful and well put together.  In figuring out who this person is, it becomes easier to eliminate items that don't jive.  It also becomes easier to put together chic outfits without really trying, because everything in the closet should cater to your most highly prized and cultivated self-image.

I used to believe that I possessed a strong sense of personal style.  Turns out, I'm a closet schizo.  I am dressing at least 3 totally different people in one wardrobe.

Sure, my clothes need to perform a wide range of functions, but whose don't?  I work, teach, beach, run, and mother - sometimes all in the same day.  But, that doesn't mean that the style of my clothes should span the gamut from Librarian to SoCal Beach Rat.

I am having a difficult time narrowing down a description of my preferred image or style.  The fact is, I like it all.  And I feel limited in choosing just one.

So, I first thought of what I don't like so much.

  • 80s
  • flowing crop tops, colored jeans, etc
  • "sexy" (think Victorias Secret)
  • "outdoorsy" (think Keen shoes) 
  • pleated front pants
  • Victoria Beckham
  • hippie stuff
Then I thought of what I do like
  • 40s/early 50s
  • beachy/nautical
  • athletic - the comfort of warm ups/between games garb
  • structured/tailored things
  • Ivy League
  • academic (think elbow patches)
  • natural fibers
  • knitwear
  • nerd rock (think Weezer)

The most surprising part of this exercise was discovering that my ideal wardrobe isn't necessarily a reflection of all the things I love most in life.  I love Asian aesthetic...in my house.  I love Hawaiian...in my spouse.  I love punk...in my music.  I even love Renaissance...at the fair.  

Clothes should say something about us, but they don't need to say it all.  In order to avoid a closet full of craziness, it needs to be narrowed down to pieces that can interact with each other.  My closet isn't quite there, but if I can look at it through this filter, finding things that adhere to a certain aesthetic and eliminating items that don't, I will be that much closer to a small but functional wardrobe.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I am surprised but it seems like you like preppie style? I think it's a look that you can totally achieve and it doesn't have to be expensive. F21 has a lot of great stuff for cheap. And of course second hand is always affordable. I really like the idea of nautical. Stripes, collared shirts, blazers, sweaters.....it makes me think of jcrew.