The worst picture is the biggest because this was my favourite outfit of the bunch. I wore it to the Carly Rae Jepsen concert which felt like it called for something extra me, and I feel like I nailed it. Tulle, heels, gold, and a topknot is a recipe for outfit perfection, apparently. I cannot wait to wear this again.
Not a surprising colour palette; I know that I wear a lot of black, a lot of grey, a lot of olive green, and a lot of saturated jewel tones. This isn’t everything I wore by a long shot, but these were the times I felt like I had put on an outfit, not just clothes.
I started (for the second time, but I think I’mma stick with it this time) outfit tracking on August 21, 2019, and yesterday marked the first 30 days down. Last go I was using Excel, which was awkward and cumbersome. This time around I’m using Airtable and I am in love.
(Interested in trying out Airtable? You should! Please use my referral link so I can snag some credits to put toward upgrading from the free plan to a premium account. I owe a huge thank you to Margaret over at M Gets Dressed who has put together a ton of helpful guides on wardrobe tracking, including linking to her own Airtable base which you can helpfully copy and then use as your own.)
This first 30 days has been incredibly illuminating. When people say the best way to start dressing better is to take pictures of yourself they are so, so right. Firstly, now you have an audience (even if it’s just a camera), so that instantly adds a little (good) pressure to the task of getting dressed. Secondly, you see your clothes in the way that others see them, and not just your own skewed mirror view, so fits, proportions, and silhouettes really start to become apparent. Thirdly, now you can justify buying a tripod instead of assembling a precarious tower of books.
Here are the big themes for this first look back:
- Capsules are not for me
- Why I don’t own any blazers: an epiphany
- Defaults and accidental uniforms
- I have a loungewear problem
Capsules are Not For Me
During this first month I wore 130 unique items, of which 89 were clothing (and I don’t include jewelry in my tracking). This month was a bit of an atypical one in that it plummeted from summer to fall REAL QUICK and I was wearing things from different seasons, and also because I went to Seattle to watch the Jays play, which means my numbers are bolstered a bit by jerseys and hats.
But even if these numbers are a bit inflated compared to what’s typical, it’s clear that I’m going to wear 3-4x as much clothing in one month as is found in many seasonal capsules.
There are exceptions for sure, but capsule wardrobes really seem best-suited to neutral-loving slim women living in temperate climates, who don’t sweat or spill or have pets, and who seemingly have jobs and social lives that all require similar styles of dress.
Why I Don’t Own Any Blazers: an Epiphany
I really should have figured this out sooner. I think the reason that I never feel quite right in a blazer is because I don’t have any examples of what my body type should look like in a blazer. And the reason for that is because BLAZERS TYPICALLY LOOK TERRIBLE ON LARGER BODIES, ESPECIALLY VERY CURVY BODIES.
There’s a whole bigger post I could get into here about how bigger people are perceived as sloppy, particularly in the workplace, and there’s a lot of effort that goes into combatting that impression of sloppiness. Us chubbies can’t get away with as much, and because of this there isn’t a lot of room for garments that inherently look bad on curvier bodies.
Every time I’ve worn a blazer I felt like a phony. They’ve never felt like they fit right and it always felt like SO MUCH FABRIC. It’s like having two flappy wings to deal with all day because of the amount of fabric that’s necessary to cover my chest when the blazer’s done up.
Adding to my strugs is my height, of which I don’t have much. So those cool oversized boyfriend blazers? They’ll be down to my knees. The amount of money I’d have to spend tailoring a blazer to get it to look like it fits would be enormous, and that’s still to likely only get to a place of ‘just ok.’
Anyway it felt like everyone was wearing blazers and looking fire all the time, but then I realized that I don’t see blazers much or at all on people with plus-size bodies. Polished business formal looks are always blouses and cardigans and sweaters and very very rarely blazers. So I feel kind of validated in my frustration with them. I mean just look at this. Half of these pics are from Nordstrom so it’s not like it’s just fast fashion doing a bad job. They are universally unflattering on curvy women.
By no means am I saying ‘don’t wear a blazer’ or that I don’t think bigger women can look good in them. Wear whatever you want. But it feels nice to have finally realized why they aren’t working on me, and now I can focus my business casual efforts on other, more flattering things.
Defaults and Accidental Uniforms
You know what else is helpful when taking pictures of yourself? Realizing how much of the same thing you wear. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I know what silhouettes work really well on me and I am wearing them regularly and that’s good. But I’ve also realized that all of my pants are skinnies. All of them. Even the paperbag pants are fitted through the leg. And like, I knew this? But it’s different when you’re actually looking at the pictures.
So heading into fall and winter I will be attempting to diversify my pant options and trying to find some wide-leg pants or culottes. Maybe some high-waisted pleated trousers, although with my waist-to-hip proportions this last one may be a pipe dream, if not a hefty tailoring bill.
I Have a Loungewear Problem
This is probably its own separate post, and honestly if you are still reading at this point you deserve a break.
So that’s that. I’ll do a proper September roundup at the end of the month, but I wanted to capitalize on my wardrobe tracking motivation and take a good look at the first 30 days. More to come!