Try Before You Buy - The Curated Closet Pt. 2

11 March 2021

curated closet clothing

In a previous post, I introduced the idea of Redefining My Style where I examined what my ideal style would look like. I concluded that the overall vibe I’m going for is a casual, feminine style that is comfortable, well-tailored, and effortlessly chic. I found a bunch of inspiration photos online that demonstrated this perfectly. While those clothes looked good on those girls, what will actually work on me?

That is the second part of the Curated Closet homework - field research! The idea is to try on as many different styles as possible but NOT buy anything just yet. I ended up going to Nordstrom to conduct most of this research. Their fitting rooms were open despite COVID, whereas a lot of other stores were not. Luckily, most of the fitting rooms were quite empty, so I got to try on clothes after clothes after clothes…

What worked

Classic black turtleneck + high waisted jeans
Slouchy white sweater that's a bit cropped
Puffy sleeves! And love the olive green color
V-neck peplum blouse that hits at the waist
Pleated blush skirt
Puffy shoulders + paperbag pants

What I saw is that I love a good puffy shoulder and bubble sleeve. There have been some pieces where that style didn’t work on me (you’ll see that later). But in this case, I liked that my arms still had some definition, and they didn’t get completely swallowed up by the sleeve. Additionally, any bottoms that cinch in at my waist are perfect. Tops that can be either tucked in or are cropped worked well with those bottoms!

Ok, onto the disasters…

What didn’t work

Love the idea of a camel sweater dress, but shape too baggy
Biceps for daysss! Body-builder is not what I'm going for
Maybe it was this shade of gray and style sweater, but too grandpa-y
Boxy top, difficult to tuck without weird pleats
Uh faux fur is a nope!
Maybe printed cami's are too busy? Stick to a solid color
Turtleneck too baggy and wrong shade of camel
Ok yeah...I still hate bodycon dresses

While I love a puffy sleeve, I learned that certain puffy sleeve styles are not for me, and that’s ok. Because there are SO many variations! Also the shade of camel I wear is important. Both of those pieces pictured above are too yellow and melt into my skintone. I eventually found some great camel pieces in a warmer/darker shade of brown. Finally, I saw Wendy’s Lookbook wear a gorgeous faux fur scarf. Turns out, that is definitely not for me! Faux fur is just not a material that belongs in my wardrobe.

My Style Profile

Now that I have a better idea of what looks good on me and what I can toss, here’s a summary of my style profile.

What’s the best name for your personal style?
Casual yet tailored that can go from day (work) to night (romantic)

In one or two sentences, what’s the overall idea behind your style?
My style is casual but looks put together. It is tailored to fit my body well. It is all about balance (think hourglass shape dresses, heavy top + skinny bottom or skinny top + flared out bottoms)

What does a typical outfit look like for this style?

  • Fitted jeans + oversized top
  • Slim top + flared out pants/skirt
  • A-line dress

What does this style say about its wearer?
This wearer can easily transition pieces from day to (date) night. Her casual pieces can be dressed up for a nicer occasion.

What three character qualities does it convey?
Classy, powerful, feminine

What are the key pieces of this style?

  • Skinny jeans
  • Sneakers or boots
  • Chunky knits
  • A-line skirts

What are the dominant colors?
Pops of color (red, yellow, green) balanced with black, white, or camel

Which silhouettes, cuts, and fits are a part of this style?
Jeans are skinny. All pants must be high-waisted to add definition. Cropped top or longer top can be tucked into pants or skirt. Coats are fitted, trenches are long, cardigans are open with neck detailing. V or turtleneck tops

What type of materials and fabrics work well with this style?
Jeans, chunky knits, leather moto jacket, cotton or linen button-downs/t-shirts/shorts

What does the styling look like? Think accessories, specific styling techniques, and hair and makeup.
Shirts are tucked into high-waisted or paperbag pants/shorts, long curly hair, top knot

Do you think my assessment of my style was correct? Was there anything that I thought looked good but was actually bad (or vice versa!)? You can be honest with me here!

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