The current leg of my style journey involves some quite significant changes. As I mentioned earlier this year, I want to amp up the feminine integrity of my outfits with tailoring, visible softness, lighter colours and pretty items. The obvious route to femininity would be to wear more skirts, dresses, and heels, and to grow my hair. But that’s not what I have in mind. In fact I want to wear trousers, white jeans and flats more than ever this year. And although my hair is morphing into another style, it will still be blonde and short.
Instead, I’m focusing on changing the silhouettes of my tops and bottoms. But even with this focus, I’m discovering that the changes are taking more discipline than I thought they would. I constantly have to resist the urge to add items that would have been a no-brainer on the previous leg of my style journey.
When I walk into a store, I’m immediately drawn to modern classic button-down shirts and simple crew neck pullovers in luxurious fabrications. My intuition tells me to try them on because they work with my body type and appeal to my style sensibilities. Especially crisp tomboy button-downs. I pop the collar, scrunch the sleeves, and it’s a slam dunk. Yet, I must walk away.
It took me a while to find the tops that I bought on our recent trip to Hong Kong because I kept getting sidetracked by my old favourites. But after a little soul searching and a lot of experimentation, I found four warm weather tops that are very different from my norm, but that feel completely right. The light grey round-shouldered pullover that you saw last month, an ink and black wool pullover with a front chiffon inset, an off-white pussy bow blouse, and a chunky open-weave ink blue turtleneck.
Back in Seattle, after more experimentation, I was able to add a few more tops to my Spring and Summer capsule. Each one is definitely a step in a new direction, but also has design details that are completely within my comfort zone. First the Trouvé Contrast Underlay Sweater, which is different because of its attached underlay shirting detail, but not out of character because of its crew neck and graphic integrity. Second was Madewell’s Shirred Dot Print Shirt, which is soft and romantic, but still fairly crisp because of its clean lines and geometric polka dot pattern. And third was the white eyelet empire blouse from Anthropologie, which seems a little boho, yet is also beautifully crisp and has the elements of a strict button-down shirt.
The silhouettes of these tops don’t work well with boyfriend jeans, so I find that I’m reverting to tailored skinnies, straight legs, and flares. I’ve already added the first two pairs of tapered bottoms to my wardrobe, and am in the middle of finalizing a pair of white flared jeans. After wearing boyfriend jeans almost exclusively for three years, I was happy to change things up.
It takes discipline, patience and a good chunk of your budget to bring about a more significant style change. It would have been easier for me to give in to buying more fabulous button-down shirts, but easier is not always better. You need to question the intuition that is working to keep you in your comfort zone, but not compromise your fundamental style sensibilities. It is a tricky balance, and it took me quite a lot of time and effort to get the shift underway. I’m glad I persevered because things are coming together and, so far, I’m happy with the results. Change feels good.