Thursday, January 10, 2013

Re-Learning How to Dress

In general, if you wear three pieces, you'll look more polished.  
~ Dawn Miller

People look so much more put together in the fall than in the summer, don't they?  It's because they are wearing three pieces: a shirt and pants with a jacket or cardigan or scarf to complete the outfit.  Even in the summer you can put on a lightweight scarf for more polish.  
~ The Three Piece Rule as explained by Rachel Meeks

So, step one, of course, is filling my wardrobe with the right pieces.  But step two is learning how to wear them.  

Awww.... Darn it.  Looks like it's time for more internet research!  ;)

Not surprisingly, I tend to think of my wardrobe as having "outfits" - this top goes with this skirt and that top goes with that pair of pants.  Apparently this is a very limiting way to think and I need to switch my mindset to "mix and match."  

There are tons of examples out there, but this one was particularly powerful - 12 pieces become a month's worth of different outfits!  

Okay, I'll admit that not every outfit is dramatically different from every other one, but it's still a vivid illustration for me of how I want to think about my wardrobe.  

Along these same lines, I found Audrey's blog, Putting Me Together, and she has tons of pictures and advice.  (I am valiantly able to overlook the fact that she is half my age, half my weight and adorably cute...)  

When I look at the list of wardrobe basics that I compiled and images like these, what I come away with is the idea that I want to have a full range of pieces in neutral colors and then a handful of bright, colorful, "pop" pieces, such that each pop piece can be paired with most (if not all) of the neutral pieces.  

A colorful top that can go over any number of neutral pants (jeans, khakis, dress slacks) or neutral skirts.  A colorful skirt that can go under any number of neutral tops.  A colorful cardigan that can go over any combination of neutral tops and neutral bottoms, etc...  

And, while I hadn't gotten quite as far as scarves, I was beginning to sense the vague figure of the 3 piece rule emerging from the mist.  Top and skirt?  Throw on a cardigan and it's somehow more "put together."  

So, I feel like I've got a start on knowing WHAT should be in my wardrobe and HOW I should be putting the pieces together...  

Where does SEWING come into all this?  Well, I think my best plan is to focus on sewing the "pop" pieces for tops and skirts - that's the stuff that I love to sew anyways - now I have a vision as to how my handmade pieces can fit into my wardrobe.  :)


  1. I just poked around Audrey's blog. She has some good ideas, but she also has lots of stuff I don't have - vests, dress pants, boots, more than one actual jacket ... I think my wardrobe is currently in statis; I tend to replace stuff that's worn out, or buy pieces that do lots of "go with."

    1. Hey Mary,
      Sounds like you are already doing exactly what I need to learn how to do:

      buy pieces that do lots of "go with" !!

      Once I have some basic pieces in place, I really need to learn how to follow your example! :)

      Take care,

  2. A newish to me blog is The Vivienne Files. She does polyvores of wardrobes, including shoes and accessories, based on color choices for just about any lifestyle. Her style is classic/traditional so they stand the test of time. If my computer skills were better I'd do a direct link but somehow that one still escapes me on blog comments.LOL Do check her out and plan to loose an hour or two going through the archives!

    Off to check out Audrey.

    1. Oh my goodness! I've just looked at the front page of her blog and I already see what you mean about losing hours!!! Thanks so much for the recommendation! :)