22 June 2014

My Style - 2 years ago

I was browsing through some old photos recently and came across this one taken in Paris, in February 2012. It really brought home how little my style has changed since then, and how I would be more than happy to wear this exact same outfit again. When I started this blog, I wanted to:

"hone and define my style, and really drill down to what I like and what works for me. I want to have a clear overall vision of my style, so there is a common theme running through it and a feeling of cohesiveness."

Looking back on this photo, and others taken over the last few years makes me realise that I have made a lot of progress in figuring out what works for me. I finally feel like 'me' in the clothes I wear and not like I'm emulating the style of someone else. I still make mistakes from time to time, and of course I occasionally look at other people and wish I looked as good as them, but for the most part I'm pretty content with my wardrobe right now.

What is also nice to observe is that I still own most of the things I'm wearing in the photo, which is a very good sign to me that I'm buying things with more longevity now instead of tiring of them after one year. I did upgrade the black bag for a Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir and have recently donated the black sweater after 4 years of wear (and bought almost the exact same version from COS), and am happy that I'm finally moving towards a slower, more thoughtful buying process.

My husband and I are going to Paris in October and I'm so excited I can hardly wait. I'm pretty sure my packing list will be pretty similar to what I packed last time, but I will be sharing more on this nearer the time.

V x

14 June 2014

What I'm wearing right now

Above is a polyvore image that I created which shows my current capsule wardrobe (not including work clothes). In total I have included 20 pieces, not shown is another long sleeved stripy tee and a couple of vests for layering. Since the beginning of this year I've been following minimalist blogger Courtney Carvers wardrobe experiment Project 333
and have really embraced the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe of 33 pieces to last 3 months. I have tweaked the idea to suit my own needs and I generally pick 30 items including clothes, shoes, bags and outerwear but I don't include accessories and jewellery. It also doesn't include at home clothes or exercise clothes. I also switch mine up every 2 months because in England we have quite changeable weather and I like to make sure what I have in my wardrobe is tailored to the season. Having said that, we do have very erratic weather here so thats why you will find shorts and a raincoat in rotation!

I'm really happy with how this is working out so far and feel like it does make getting dressed each day a little bit easier and stress free. I feel like for me 30 seems like the perfect amount, not so much that it becomes overwhelming and not too little that it feels restrictive in any way. It also works well for my lifestyle which encompasses working in a formal office environment 3 days a week and being at home with the children 4 days a week. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has tried anything like this?

V x

7 June 2014

Here we go again

Ok, so this has been a very long time coming but here I am again, ready to give this another go. I'm sorry to anyone who read my last post (2 years ago!!) and waited for another post that never materialised but a few days after I wrote it I found out I was pregnant and was faced with 9 months of non stop sickness. Needless to say, blogging fell way down my list of priorities as I barely managed to look after my daughter and make it to work each day. Two years on, life is full and busy and lovely, and I am still on an endless quest to look stylish with a small wardrobe!

I would say that my progress has been mixed along the way and unfortunately a few mistakes and impulse buys have occurred over the last couple of years and I've bought more clothes than I would have liked. Although I managed with a pretty small capsule wardrobe throughout both my pregnancies, I did need to repurchase a lot of clothes second time round since I wore my maternity clothes so heavily first time round. Also after my son was born last year and the baby weight didn't drop off as quickly as I would have liked, I felt like I never had any clothes that fit me so I bought a few 'interim' pieces. As much as a new baby brings so much joy into your life it is also hard dressing a 'new to you' body and dealing with all the hang ups that arise from not being entirely comfortable with your weight.

At this point in time I do feel like I have a really clear idea of my style and have been pretty disciplined this year when it comes to shopping. The thing that never seems to get any easier is the constant urge to shop, there is always so much temptation around and it is a daily battle to stay away from shops and my biggest weakness which is online shopping. That said, I do really think hard about what I buy and try my utmost not to be a mindless consumer. I think this is something we all struggle with in some ways, as people who want to look good and create a perfectly formed small wardrobe, we are always going to be faced with temptation and inspiration from so many different sources. I'm trying to accept that these urges will always be present, but find ways to manage them without stressing myself out and feeling guilty if I make a mistake. One thing that I have found helpful this year is to take a break for a few months, so for example I went to London in March and bought a few new things from COS so I then took a 2-3 month break from shopping and tried to stay away from shops, both real and online. So far it is working well but my issue is then trying not to get too consumed with shopping and online browsing when I'm not on a 'break'.

I'm brimming with ideas and things I want to write about, mostly just to find a sense of clarity from all the crap swirling round in my brain so I will hopefully find time to write again very soon. I'm not sure yet whether I will keep this blog totally focused on my wardrobe as I'm very interested in seeking simplicity and minimalism in all areas of my life so we will see where this goes. Thanks to anyone that reads this and a very big thank you to those that commented, encouraging me to write again. It means a lot.

V x