Thursday, October 12th, 2017

What I Wore – Learnings and Ramblings

Talk about a reflective year. It’s one thing to think about your clothes every couple days when you’re writing a blog post, but it’s another thing entirely to track and reflect on your wardrobe every day. I’m a numbers person, so watching the cost per wear and total tallies change over time was right up my ally, but the act of tracking everything I wore forced me to look at my actual behaviours rather than an idealized mental version of myself.

For example, I live in jeans. Three years ago I thought this was a problem, so I tried to force myself to experiment with other clothes. While I’m glad I moved out of my comfort zone, jeans are a cornerstone component of my work and my lifestyle.

On the other end of the spectrum: I hate stiff, restrictive shirts and coats. I love the look, and I admire that some people pull it off beautifully, but dear god I hate wearing them. It doesn’t look good on me! The size disparity between my bust and shoulders makes finding shirts that fit well problematic. Also, if it needs ironing, it isn’t getting worn. Full stop.

Also, I have a toddler to get ready in the morning. Shaving is not happening every day. If I’m wearing a skirt its either happening on a weekend, or a Monday. *shrug*

Spending more on jeans, shoes, and coats is a good idea for me! Quality jeans that fit well and don’t deteriorate after being washed a few times will absolutely see heavy use. Shoes that fit well, and last once they’re broken in, are worth their weight in gold for my hyper sensitive feet. Likewise, after years of trying to make cheap outerwear work, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no substitute for a quality coat. I was reminded of that today when I walked out to my car in the miserable wind and didn’t feel a thing on my upper body.

After that little justification for spending more – it only holds true if you don’t have too many of them! Sure, I’ll spend $300 on a pair of jeans, but I can count all of the pairs I own on one hand. I have a lot of coats too, and some of them are only used in one season (heavy duty parka anyone?), but none of them are fashion pieces. They are multi-year coats. Some of them will be multi-decade coats.

Can I justify spending a ton of money on shirts? Not really. Shirts don’t hold up to the same level of wear and tear as jeans or outwear, so they have to be replaced after fewer wears. Likewise, since I own more shirts than bottoms, they get worn less overall. I’ve spent a little more on some of my sweaters, but other than that I have a hard time justifying expensive shirts.

This is probably evident to most of you, but I really don’t accessorize. I cannot justify spending money on accessories, because I don’t wear them! I have one really nice purse that I love, but I shouldn’t go out buy more expensive bags without a long term plan. That should actually go without saying. Even if I did wear bags daily, given the price point of the bags that draw my eye, I shouldn’t buy anything if I don’t see myself using it a decade from now. That means no fussy materials or anything that needs to be treated delicately. Durability matters. I hate fussing.

This post is getting long, so I’ll finish off with this last point. The act of buying something doesn’t mean I’ll wear it. Style doesn’t evolve through the purchasing of clothes, it evolves through the act of getting dressed, styling yourself and experimenting with what you have at your disposal. I made some expensive mistakes. At the same time, now I have a more realistic idea of what I wear and how I wear it. I’m curious to see how much it will evolve this year.

What have you learned about personal style?

5 Responses to “What I Wore – Learnings and Ramblings”

  1. Jess says:

    I think I’ve come to a similar conclusion about myself–that I have a lot of similar pieces because I really like that particular color or style and want to wear it all the time. Many of the more adventurous things I buy just don’t get worn enough or at all. There’s a reason why the things that work for you work for you!

  2. Kara says:

    I’m so inspired by your tracking! I’d really like to give it a try. I don’t have an iPhone so StyleBook is out for me, but I might give ClosetSpace a try. I also know that Adina (Blue Collar Red Lipstick) tracks her clothes in an excel file that I assume is massive. We shall see what I actually wind up doing, but I really love the idea of being able to crunch the numbers. Data!

  3. Mica says:

    While I haven’t been tracking cost per wear, and I only really see how many times I’ve worn something when I search for it on my blog, I have been struggling to really define my style. I have many thought out purchases that aren’t as worn as I expected, and impulse buys that either fail to work for me at all or become must-haves in my wardrobe. I could clearly define my school and uni style, but once I entered the professional corporate workforce it’s become a lot harder. I think with pregnancies and postpartum and breastfeeding and everything it’s going to take a while for me to really define it. It’s a fun journey to be on though! 🙂

  4. Xin says:

    Spending more on jeans is/was totally worth it. I’d never realized until I bought my first expensive pair that it was possible to have skinny jeans that didn’t stretch out of place rather quickly during the first wear after a wash. (I didn’t make the best choice of what to spend my money on – the Rag & Bone skinnies have overly high spandex content and they’re showing wear now after two years of not that frequent use – but hey, no stretching out!)

    I don’t enjoy blazers at all, though I still need them at work (alas).

  5. I’m the same. I’ve realized that I like to NOT fuss but want the option to be really fancy if I go out and don’t need to worry about my child tugging on my necklace, my bracelet digging into his bum as I hold him up, or my ring scratching him.

    I just really like comfortable but stylish pieces that are less oversized and more fitted. Shape without shape! 🙂

    Also love the high low mix — blazers with jeans. Even leggings…. lol

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I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.