Hello, YLF friends -

A year or so ago I posted a thread requesting assistance from our own Mrs. Eccentric (Steph) to help me refine my style. http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....e-my-style

Steph suggests picking ONE beloved outfit and trying to distill its key elements as a way of moving toward a more consistent and coherent personal style that rates high on what Jayne calls the "happiness quotient." I was very taken with her idea and wanted to put it into practice!

I have a history of buying mostly boring basics. This is partly because I genuinely LIKE classic clothes, and partly because I'm practical and historically have been on a tight budget. But it's also partly because I was too scared to buy anything else. How on earth would I wear it?

With Steph's help, Angie's, and yours, I figured out that I was aiming toward something that I then called an "artistic professional" style. And I also learned the importance of the "third" piece in lending the slightly more dramatic element to my core classics. Bingo! I instantly felt a whole lot better. http://dashingeccentric.blogsp.....-case.html

Last year, this formula worked pretty well for me. I bought a few fun, distinctive, and functional jackets last winter and wore the heck out of them, along with my basic jeans and skirts. I bought some nifty footwear for the first time in …decades! (And saw how much it added value to my life.) My wardrobe might not have been perfect, but I certainly felt better in my clothes than I have felt in many, many years. My outfits felt more like true expressions of who I am, and I enjoyed my clothes much more.

But. (And you knew it would come to this, right?) I am now at a crossroads. I need a style refresher. Because in my heart of hearts I know that I haven't yet achieved what I was originally aiming towards. I've reached an approximation, but ONLY an approximation. And now I need help to move further.

Angie's blog post the other day about mixing fashion-forward pieces and classics http://youlookfab.com/2012/08/.....n-forward/ was especially pertinent to me. Because lately I've recognized that what I REALLY want, what I've wanted all along, is to figure out a way to add an element of the…I don't know…avant-garde? Definitely more fashion forward and modern.

I don't really even know the words for it. Nor do I really know the designers who make it. Linking through Femme d'un certain age http://www.unefemme.net/2012/0.....pired.html I find this blogger who wears a lot of Rick Owens. I can't afford Rick Owens. But you know…I like the simplicity. The interesting structure and drape.

I am wanting now to shout out to our own IronKurtain who could be a great inspiration to me. And I know, I know, IK - Eileen Fisher!! But. Eileen tends to be a bit softer and "floatier." Plus, Angie has warned me that her stuff will swamp me, as a rule. And this, in general, is a problem of the general style for me. It overwhelms my small frame.

Also...what I don't like - and what seems to be the issue with all such designers and lines? Too. Much. Black.

WHY do they all design in black only??? I don't want to crowd my closet with unflattering clothes that may meet my "cool" quotient but look like hell on me.

My next problem would be how on earth could I create a cohesive look together with the retro elements I also enjoy, if I am drawn to this kind of style? I'm feeling sartorially confused! How do I mix my retro funky whimsical Fluevogs or Docs with something like this?

What I would love from you, if you can help:

Designers and lines of clothing or bloggers I might look at for inspiration.

Any other ideas you might have about this. Including the idea that I am nuts and should just leave well enough alone.

Oh - and here's a new rubric for you: Sophisticated, urban, simple, arty (but not boho), novel. Susan.

This post has 1 photo. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.