Monday, March 2, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: Week 1

Moving has been way more life changing that I ever thought it would be (and I think there will be more changes over this year as we get to know our new home town). When life changes, the wardrobe needs to adapt to keep up. Thus the great closet clean out. Emileigh of Flashback Summer is also overhauling her wardrobe and she mentioned the Colette Pattern's Wardrobe Architect series which started in January 2014. I read through it last winter as it was going along but didn't pay much attention because I loved my wardrobe.

But now my wardrobe needs some work so I've decided to chronicle my journey through the Wardrobe Architect series and see where I end up! There are currently 14 week projects in the series and I'm planning on doing one a week as they were publish. I'm usually an over achiever and would try to do a bunch at once but I really want to take my time and let my style ideas marinate so I can come up with a great niche style that really works for my new life.

Week 1 is about exploring seven areas of your life that affect your personal style. The goal is to look at your life and your style and help you find something that works for you rather than chasing the latest (or in my case, old) trends.

Awkward high school Stephanie (=nerd) with some friends and our AP Physics project.


Growing up, I went to a private school with uniforms from grades 5-8 which definitely put me behind in the fashion department. I was definitely awkward in high school and focused on comfort over style most of the time. Comfort I could wrangle but fashion seemed a bit out of my reach. I was in college when I discovered vintage and I haven't really looked back, until now.

My life is changing. I graduated school just over a year ago and entered the work world so my wardrobe definitely needs some updating in the professionalism department. At 25 going on 26, I'm also looking for a classic wardrobe that will be able to transition into my 30s (which I know isn't old but definitely shouldn't look like 21 either!).

My best friend from high school and I at my wedding rehearsal. Also, this is the longest my hair has ever, ever been.


I try to not talk about religion too much on the blog (because I know you are all here for the pretty pretties) but I'm a rather conservative Christian. Modesty is very important to me because of my faith. I've found that it can be hard to dress modestly when you are as curvy as me because either things fit too well and show everything off or they don't fit well and there's awkward gaping and underwear hanging out of the back of my pants.

Making an effort with some early sewing projects.


I didn't grow up with "fashionable" parents or relatives around. As the oldest, I didn't even have an older sister to look up to. I also heavily invested in the "nerd" identity which doesn't really put an emphasis on fashion. Finally, in my senior year of high school, I tried to be more fashionable but I didn't really figure it out. I just looked like I got dressed with the lights on rather than in the dark.

A newly wed look and trying to be classy at 20.


My husband has very different tastes in style than I do. He personally dresses almost completely in neutrals and avoids colors. He also loves the hippy drippy peasant type skirt and blouse with long flowing hair look. (So never going to happen.) While I don't want to dress just for him, I would like to keep some of his preferences in mind. I also feel like full on vintage all the time can keep people at arms length because it is intimidating. Now, a more extroverted person wouldn't have a problem with that but little old introverted me would rather have people come to me rather than me go to them.

Gardening and my idea of garden wear. Maybe you'll be distracted by the carrots and forget I'm digging in the dirt in this outfit.


I have three birds so wash and wear items are key in my wardrobe. Poop galore! I now live near the beach and walking the beach is one of my favorite activities. Beach wear is going to be key in my new wardrobe. Working in a professional field also means I need to dress like it. Things are more competitive down here so I need to step up my game especially being so young. I also have come to realize that flats are perfect for an active lifestyle no matter how much I love heals. So I'm on the look out for more cute flats.

Walking the beach over dressed.


New location, new climate, new wardrobe.  I definitely need to stock up on light weight options for mid-summer heat and humidity. What I wasn't expecting was the insane levels of a.c. most public buildings have even in the winter! Brrrr! So I need great layering pieces that I can easily lose when I go outside. I also want to keep my pale complexion, so things that cover me from the sun are a plus.

Trying to be fashionable because a button down and a vest say cool and sophisticated.


I am super curvey and it's hard to find ready to wear that fits my curvy figure. I purchase mostly separates because it's much easier to fit when I can have one size on top and another on the bottom. I prefer styles that accentuate my waist but I've been more open to at least trying on other styles lately. Modern "fashionable" shapes look horrible on me. Skinny legs accentuate big hips and loose flowy tops make my waist look thick. This is one of the things that drew me to vintage in the first place.

How do your history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location and body affect your style?


  1. This is great! I think it will be a good wardrobe adventure for us, and I'm excited to see where we both end up style-wise!

    1. Yes, quite an adventure! And it's so cool that we are doing it at the same time. :)

  2. Engaging, fantastic post and look at the history and influences in your terms of your personal style thus far. I really enjoyed seeing a few of the bloggers I follow do this challenge last year and love that you're tackling it in 2015. Good for you, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I'm attempting to go through this challenge as well due to the major need for a wardrobe overhaul. I was supposed to empty my closets this weekend and got started but didn't get nearly as far as I had intended. I did the opposite move from you, I went from Florida to Ohio and now have to amass some warm winter wear that also fits my vintage style.

  4. I'll enjoy seeing where you go with this. I have just got married (like you, married at 20), and though I feel like I know my style I still need to cohesively pull together my wardrobe, especially with a lot of sewing projects in mind

  5. I'm struggling with the location part right now! It's been snowy and cold for the past two weeks, so I haven't been able to wear skirts, heels, or dresses like I want to. :/ I'll be glad for spring when I can actually choose what to wear from a fashion standpoint and not, what will keep me from freezing/getting soaked standpoint. :p

  6. I want to do this as well ~ mostly because even though I can pull outfits out of my wardrobe quite easily, I feel like it's lacking coherence and perhaps that over-all style statement. Being the crazy artistic type A, it's driving me a little bonkers!

    So wardrobe series, here I come ~ just need to get out of the newborn zone I'm stuck in atm.

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  7. Isn't it interesting to look back at how we used to dress? What a fun post, a sort of style timeline. I am so jealous that you live in Florida!
    I have the same problem with a curvy bust. It is hard to dress in certain styles without feeling like I am trying to attract unwanted attention.

  8. Thank you for sharing this very personal post with us. I also went to a private school and wore uniform until i was 14 years old, so I had the same struggles as you. I don't especially try to dress modestly but I know that I do it more than many people around. I guess it comes from my family background and I partly hate it. My upper body is slim and I have a very good waist definition but my hips are quite wide, so nowadays fashion (loose tops over tight pants) doesn't do me any favors. Vintage is great for our body shapes, but it's true that being vintage 100% of the time is not easy. Looking forward to what you'll be wearing in this new phase!