If you are like me, you like choices. You like different looks and styles on different days. It is possible because we have an economic market that allows for so much variety. We have endless stores, catalogs, malls and internet ads. Our capitalist economy encourages consumerism. Most of us are flooded with commercials since birth, so we've grown up with companies enticing and encouraging us to want the next, bigger and better thing. (Being able to afford it, or fit into it is another discussion for another time.)
Fashion-wise, isn't it amazing to see so many choices? We can experiment with classic styles, urban styles, traditional styles and bohemian styles. You can wear your choice of silhouettes: billowy shirts, fitted tops, flowy bottoms, skinny pants. You get your choice of pant styles: narrow legs, flared legs, capri pants or ankle pants. Then, to make it look right, sometimes you need tall-heeled shoes, flats shoes, knee-high boots, ankle booties. SO MANY CHOICES.
After reading about Jennifer L Scott's observations while living in Paris, she describes one variable to have smaller-limited wardrobe on the ability to find a look and stick to it. She briefly touches on it "Define Your True Style" in her blog, but goes into more detail in her book. She says that French women are shown from an early age how to accentuate their best features and stick to styles that flatter them. In other words, if a woman looks best in a A-line skirt and three-quarter sleeve top - then she'll have a few different colors and fabrics for variety, but keep the same silhouette. If a woman looks best in flowy tops over draping pants, you won't see her in a crisp, structured, business suit another day. She'll stick to a similar silhouette in different colors or fabrics, but will stay true to the style that suits her. She won't be a chameleon switching looks daily. She'll find what works for her and not deviate.
It really makes sense in some ways. It seems liberating to follow the Parisian example and know what works for you and stick to it. It saves time knowing what to buy and it wastes less money trying new trends. But by nature, the American in me wants to rebel and say "but I want it all". I like a variety, and want some days to be classic, or bohemian, or sporty, or demure. That's where it gets messy. More options = more clothes = overflowing wardrobe. That is what I'm trying to avoid and eliminate.
So, that is where I'm at. You've been with me through my decluttering. You know I am working toward a simpler wardrobe, but am still trying to figure out what style suits me best and be happy with it. If I have that in mind, I can eliminate what isn't suitable.
I'm making some progress. I've been analyzing the thought behind why I choose certain things to wear and why I don't. I've found that my two favorite outfits have the same silhouette, so I am taking that as a cue and using it. Also, I realized that when I wear them, I feel the most like 'me'. So that is another cue. Now, to eliminate what isn't 'me'. One blogger calls it 'your uniform'. To find an outfit you like and duplicate the combination. It makes sense.
I'm working on it.
The sketches above are mine. I did quick, little, individual, gestural drawings to show different proportions and scanned them into my computer, and combined them into one image.