Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wardrobe Architect Week 12: Accessories

For Week 12 Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect series addressed accessories.

I seem to vary my attraction with accessories. I'll go through periods where I carefully select what shoes, jewelry, hats, bags and scarves will set off my wardrobe and then I'll have another phase where I just grab the same shoes and jewelry and wear them everyday. I'm currently going through a more minimalistic period, but I have a TON of accessories lying in waiting.

Most of my accessories are cheap costume pieces that I've picked up over the years, but I also have some pieces that I have made and some costume jewelry that I inherited from my grandma. I tend to pick out one bag and use it all season long and I have several jewelry/accessories that I wear nearly everyday including my wedding/engagement ring, my watch, an antique silver ring that my husband got for me, and the same earrings and nose ring that I received when I got pierced (side note: my nose piercing is still healing, but my ear piercings are more than a decade old). I also love wearing hats especially in the summer and on the weekends.

Listed below are my requirements for the accessories that I acquire:

Functional Accessories

These can be decorative accessories, but they also have some functionality to them and serve a purpose.
  • Shoes: Comfortable, long-lasting, fashionable, mostly flats.
  • Bags: I tend to swap these out seasonally. Spring: bright or pastel Summer: Neon Fall/Winter: neutral. I prefer bags with long shoulder straps and lots of pockets.
  • Hats: Warm knit hats for winter.
  • Belts: Simple, leather. In black and brown primarily.
  • Scarves: (For winter) Warm. Not itchy.
  • Gloves: (For winter) knit or leather. Black.
  • Glasses: Classic. Face flattering. Black or tortoise.
  • Sunglasses: Face flattering. Trendy. 
  • Legwear: Neutral colored leggings in long length for winter and short under dresses and skirts in summer. Classic colored tights/ hosiery for dresses.
Decorative Accessories

These are accessories that you wear to enhance your style and don't necessarily have any other functionality.

  • Jewelry: Hypo-allergenic/ nickel free. Vintage (or vintage inspired) or minimal and timeless.
  • Scarves: Silk or cotton scarves in fun colors and prints.
  • Hair: Headbands and hair scarves in fun colors and prints. 
  • Hats: Wool/ Felt hats for fall/winter, cotton and woven hats for spring/summer.
How Many?

After evaluating my accessory requirements, it was time to evaluate what items I already had in my closet to determine which items and how many I want to include in my capsule wardrobe. I already had the two pairs of shoes that I wear the most in mind when I made my original capsule list and I've been carrying my neon bag pretty much every single day, so the biggest factors were hats, jewelry and scarves. Most of the items below are similar to those in my closet. 
Spring/ Summer 2014 Accessories

I still need to sew a hair scarf (using Tilly's Brigitte pattern) and I'd like to purchase some midi rings, a navy/white floppy hat, a new nose screw and some black sandals.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Ylivis- Stonehenge

This weekend my husband and I visited the majestic Stonehenge which reminded me of this NSFW song, Stonehenge, by the What Does the Fox Say Norwegian comedy duo, Ylivis. If you haven't heard the song, check out the video above.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Wardrobe Architect Week 11: Planning Your Pieces

This week on Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect series, they began making their spring sewing plans, but I'm not a confident seamstress (especially now that I don't have easy access to my Mother-in-Law to fix my mistakes), so I'd rather buy garments that would be above beginner level sewing. Also, I like to knit. So I decided to compose several spring wish lists.

To review, in previous weeks I selected my Spring 2014 color palette and silhouettes.

Spring 2014 Colors
  • Black
  • White
  • Heather Gray
  • Navy
  • Icy Pink
  • Hot Pink
  • Red
  • Icy Blue
  • Icy Lavender
  • Teal, Turquoise, Aqua
  • Silver
  • Gold
Spring Silhouettes


As you can see, I added a few more spring silhouettes.

1. Shop Your Closet

Before I could determine what my wardrobe was lacking, I first needed to evaluate what pieces I already had in my closet that would fit into my chosen silhouettes and pallet. 
Spring 2014 Capsule

2. Find the Holes

When I tracked my wardrobe I discovered that I didn't have very many pairs of shorts and I was lacking in woven tanks, blouses and casual skirts/dresses that are also work appropriate. I'm also lacking in pieces in heather grey, icy pink, icy blue, icy lavender and hot pink.

3. Shop for Inspiration
This was the fun part. I just started browsing on Pinterest to see what inspired me.

4. Make a List

Finally it was time to list out the pieces that I want to acquire. I'm pretty sure this list will be ongoing, but here's what I've come up with so far:

To sew:
  • I already have Gertie's slip pattern (B6031) and I'm waiting for my black and white sewing kit to come in the mail.
  • I would love to make a few Colette Sorbettos- maybe in hot pink or icy lavender. I'd also like to make a Colette Jasmine- maybe in icy pink or icy blue and black and I like the way that the Sencha cinches at the waist.
  • Grainline Studio's Tiny Pocket Tank also looks like a winner.
  • Since I'm lacking in shorts, Colette's Iris would be a good pattern to sew up in Icy Blue and Icy Pink. I also wouldn't mind a pair of Clover's in red and a heather grey suiting.
  • I have some Mondrian inspired fabric that is screaming to be made into a Simplicity 1609 1960's vintage dress.
  • Tilly and the Wall's geometric skirt is 100% awesome! I recently purchased her Coco pattern, but have put it on hold. 
  • I love the look of this wrap blouse below from Burda style that says it's for a novice, but I'm not sure if it really is. 

  • Since I'm lazy, I could always purchase a pink button down and sew on some ribbons like this Victoria's Secret top:

To knit:
  • I'm currently working on the Aidez cardigan pattern.
  • I'd love to make a little 3/4 sleeve cable knit sweater in icy blue.
  • I'm obsessed with the pink angora sweater from Ed Wood. I'm trying to decide if I'd like to use the Jackie-O tee pattern or the fluffy jumper pattern.
  • I think Aiken would also look great in icy blue.
  • I'd love to knit a Vashion in icy lavender.
  • Who doesn't love a brightly colored Featherweight cardigan!?

To buy: 
  • Comfy black sandals ( I nearly bought a pair of these black Topshop sandals last weekend)
  • Cut-off and rolled hem denim shorts.
  • Bright colored maxi skirt.
  • Red trousers.
  • Shorts (just in case I don't get around to making them).
  • I'd really like a kimono wrap in navy blue.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What I'm Listening To: Kaiser Chiefs- Coming Home

Since watching the finale of The Voice UK, on which singer, Ricky Wilson is a judge, (and by the way, how did Christina Marie or Sally NOT win!? They were both tied for first in my book) I've been listening to the latest single from the Kaiser Chiefs, Coming Home, from their album "Education, Education, Education & War". And how fitting to be listening to this song the same week that my husband has returned home to me after being away for work for a whole month. Indeed. And if that's not motivation enough to listen to it, I also think that Ricky Wilson is looking pretty hot lately. He's like an English Ryan Gosling. There, I said it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Wardrobe Architect Week 10: The Capsule Palette

Last weekend I decided to hide away all of my heavy winter sweaters and coats and pull out my warm weather clothes because spring is officially here! I ended up sending 3 bags of clothes away to the thrift shop, and I have one bag of clothes that I'm hoping to sell/ consign (I didn't even count those clothes in my wardrobe tally).

This week Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect and I are focusing on color again so that we can narrow down our palettes for spring.
original color palette from Week 5

I started off by selecting a few colors from each category of my original palette (neutrals, near neutrals,  statement and metallics) that resonated with spring.

I decided to lump teal, turquoise and aqua together because they're so similar to one another (and I could add an extra color without looking like a statement color whore).


So my spring 2014 colors are:
  • Black
  • White
  • Heather Gray
  • Navy
  • Icy Pink
  • Hot Pink
  • Red
  • Icy Blue
  • Icy Lavender
  • Teal, Turquoise, Aqua
  • Silver
  • Gold
I would also like to focus on floral and geometric prints for spring -like this one:

It is key to remember that not everything you own needs to fit into your spring capsule palette. This is just a guideline to keep your style focused but we can all wear what we like. Next week I'll start planning my spring wardrobe.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue, Cameron Diaz and Richard Ayoade on the Graham Norton Show

Oh how I wish that I could make my American friends watch the Graham Norton Show (I know it's available on BBC America, but I'm sure they edit it a bit)! I just love that show! This week the Graham Norton Show returned to the BBC after a brief hiatus and this week's episode was hilarious.

Highlights include:

  • A clip from a 1987 episode of the Australian soap, Neighbors, featuring Kylie Minogue and Russell Crowe.
  • Bad wax museum likenesses of the celebrities.
  • Cameron Diaz discussing why women should keep their pubic hair.
  • A brilliant performance of "Into the Blue" by Kylie Minogue.
  • And this monologue from Russel Crowe about how he began acting without his front tooth:
  • Now I really want to head to the theaters and try to catch The Double.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What I'm Listening To: Arctic Monkeys- Do I Wanna Know

I know that the Arctic Monkeys have been popular for awhile now; they nearly stole the show at this year's BRIT Awards and they're currently number one on the US Alternative songs charts, but I'm only just starting to listen to this Sheffield band and so far I like what I hear.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Wardrobe Architect Week 9: The Capsule Wardrobe

So far we have examined color palettes, clothing silhouettes and hair and beauty. This week, the folks at the Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect are trying to put it all together into a functional wardrobe by building a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is made up of a manageable subset of your entire wardrobe, typically consisting of 20 to 33 pieces (depending on what articles you're counting as clothing). You can organize a capsule wardrobe bi-yearly, seasonally, or monthly. The idea is that once you've figured out how to mix and match a select number of clothing items on a regular basis, it will be easier to mix and match other pieces that you incorporate into your wardrobe.

The blog does a great job explaining and breaking down how to construct a capsule wardrobe. Basically, a capsule wardrobe is composed of basics, mid-range and statement pieces. To create a capsule wardrobe, we first examine our preferred silhouettes, create a color story and then select pieces a few pieces from your wardrobe that fit in with your silhouette and color story. If you find certain elements to be difficult to find, you'll know that you need to buy/make more of that item.

Here were my Spring/ Summer Silhouettes from my previous post:

Typical summer wardrobe 2013
Outfit 1, 2, and 3

And here's a new one:
Outfit 4 (image link)
Outfit 1: Flowy top with skinny pants

Outfit 2 and 3: Fitted knit top with printed/ high waisted shorts

Outfit 4: Bold cropped pant and neutral top

Outfit 5: Boot cut jeans and button down shirt (my uniform)

These silhouette's aren't set in stone just yet, they're just ideas I'm just toying around with. I'll get to breaking down this wardrobe a little more after I create a seasonal color story in future posts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tracking My Wardrobe

I've been in hardcore spring cleaning mode and this week I decided to tackle my closet. Inspired by Coletterie's Wardrobe Architect series, I decided to take an inventory of my current wardrobe using Coletterie's wardrobe inventory template in order to see what all of my hard-earned spending money has been going towards, see what items need pairing down, and what items I need to add.

My total came to 293.2 items (Including bras, panties, purses, scarves and outerwear).

Accessories, shoes and outerwear = 77
Shoes = 22
Handbags =  6
Winter Hats = 7
Belts = 8
Scarves (winter and all season) = 20
Coats = 2
Jackets = 10
Gloves = 2

Intimates = 89.9
Panties = 18
Bras = 8
Sports Bras = 7
Socks = 27
Tights = 12
Pajamas = 4.5
Work out tops = 8
Work out bottoms = 3
Swimsuits = 2

Dresses = 13

Bottoms = 33
Jeans = 6
Black pants = 1
other pants (including wool pants, white pants, and cords) = 9
shorts = 5
skirts = 12

Tops = 63
Blouses = 13
Knit tops = 50

Here's what this exercise taught me:

  • I have WAY too many socks and knit tops. I don't need to purchase/make more of these items until I pair down what I have.
  • I have nearly as many sports bras as I do regular bras but I don't nearly wear sports bras as often.
  • I am lacking in woven tanks and blouses to wear to work or on nights on the town.
  • Although I have more 'going out' dresses than I need, I don't have very many casual dresses that are casual enough to wear to work.
  • I don't have very many pairs of shorts.
I will definitely be considering what I learned from this exercise as I start re-building my ideal wardrobe. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Kevin Bacon's Footloose Entrance on Jimmy Fallon

In the States, Kevin Bacon has most recently been known for his dramatic role in the FOX tv show, The Following, but we here in the UK know Kevin Bacon has a funny side as seen in his EE cell phone network ads (see above). But this week Kevin brought his funny side to the States as he revived his Footloose role for Jimmy Fallon in order to end Jimmy Fallon's ban on dancing.


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