Days 31-33 | Why I’m Still Chasing a “Perfect” Wardrobe

sotela shift dress

I recently wrote a post about personal style – mostly wondering if I had one and lamenting the fact that my wardrobe in its current state would not make a compelling Pinterest infographic. The responses from my readers were compassionate and encouraging, but they erred on the side of disagreement with the concept of personal style in general, the consensus being that the all-neutral wardrobe is both a. an Instagram fad that doesn’t represent anyone’s actual fashion preferences, and b. completely unrealistic and unattainable.

I appreciate the reassurance from my readers that my wardrobe doesn’t suck, but I bristle at the subtle insinuation that my personal preferences have been fully hijacked by social media, and that aiming for the sartorially satisfying wardrobe I’ve always dreamed of is a lost cause. It’s what I’ve been working for this entire time.

I’ll concede that the outfits worn by many of the bloggers and celebrities that I admire are unrealistic for daily life (why are they always just like, in a cafe? what do they wear to clean their bathrooms??), and I’ll even readily acknowledge that what I like and don’t like is often influenced by the comings and goings of major trends (hello, wide leg pants). But when it comes to a minimalist wardrobe, I like the rigid adherence to order and I like the rules. The rules are fun. I like the clean lines. I like the understated yet chic boringness of a neutral capsule wardrobe. I know exactly what I like, and I know that when I look at my closet, it ain’t it. Not exactly. Not yet.

Anyway, now that I’ve waxed poetic about the joys of a sterile wardrobe and defended myself against those who would wish color and variety upon me, I’d like to show you what I wore this week. (Spoiler: a lot of black & white).

Day 31 – Friday

LRM_EXPORT_51090042469911_20190629_185438312everlane jumpsuit
Wearing Everlane Essential Jumpsuit (gifted), Eileen Fisher Edge Slides (thrifted, similar here).

On Friday after work my husband and I went for a nice and supremely nerdy date: dinner at a Washington Post food critic favorite, and then to a live podcast recording. I wore this jumpsuit and have officially christened it as my all-purpose fancy-time uniform.

Day 32 – Saturday

eileen fisher tencel pants
Wearing Mott & Bow Boxy Semi-Crop “Noble” tee (gifted), Eileen Fisher Wide Leg Pants (thrifted, similar here), Everlane Block Heel Sandals (gifted), Dooney & Bourke bag (vintage)

These are the Poshmark pants that I mentioned in my last post. I bought these because most of my current pants are too tight, and I wanted a light and comfortable option for summer that still looked polished and professional enough for the office. I got exactly what I was looking for with these.

It took me a while to find them – my goal was to find something akin to the Elizabeth Suzann silk Florence pants without the $235 price tag – but they were worth the wait. Thrifted Eileen Fisher, as I’ve come to learn, never disappoints.

These pants are 100% Tencel Lyocell (an eco-friendly fabric with a lovely drape not quite like silk but not far off) and cost me a total of $43 after a few back and forth offers and counteroffers with the seller. New, they probably would have been between $150 and $200. They are beautiful and they fit me perfectly – my single complaint is that the fabric is a dog hair SUPERMAGNET and I had to lint-roll about fifteen times over the course of the day.

Day 33 – Sunday

sotela sheath dress
Wearing Sotela Shift Dress, Keds

Today I’m wearing a new-ish (to me) piece that you haven’t seen yet: the Sotela Shift Dress. Sotela is an ethical, sustainable brand with a particular emphasis on inclusive sizing. I came to know the brand through my good friend Andrea, who is a sustainable fashion ‘grammer, accomplished musician, and all-around wonderful person. And I’m not just saying that because she sent me this dress when she decided it didn’t suit her wardrobe anymore (short dresses & orchestra rehearsals don’t mix – now I know!). Thank you, Andrea!

While it’s a little too short for the office, this dress is pretty much the embodiment of my personal style, and I’ve come to think of it as my “weekend” dress. It’s a quick throw-and-go, and the Tencel is lighter and cooler against my skin than cotton. This version does not have pockets, but they do make a pocket version, and both are on sale right now. Also, fun fact, Andrea originally bought this dress second-hand on Poshmark, so now it’s third-hand. Sustainable fashion: more fun with friends!

What I’m Reading

I finished up Lab Girl last night and started this morning on The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith, which is making my heart hurt with all its beautiful descriptions of life by the ocean in Newport, Rhode Island. I often joke with my husband that as a native Rhode Islander, I need to spend a certain amount of time in and near the ocean or else my life force depletes, but these days, I feel like it’s really only half a joke.

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One thought on “Days 31-33 | Why I’m Still Chasing a “Perfect” Wardrobe

  1. > I’ll concede that the outfits worn by many of the bloggers and celebrities that I admire are unrealistic for daily life (why are they always just like, in a cafe? what do they wear to clean their bathrooms??), and I’ll even readily acknowledge that what I like and don’t like is often influenced by the comings and goings of major trends (hello, wide leg pants). But when it comes to a minimalist wardrobe, I like the rigid adherence to order and I like the rules. The rules are fun. I like the clean lines. I like the understated yet chic boringness of a neutral capsule wardrobe. I know exactly what I like, and I know that when I look at my closet, it ain’t it. Not exactly. Not yet.

    This really resonated with me, Renee! What influencers do for IG isn’t what they do daily; even smalltimers like me take photos in advance, not on the day of necessarily. But you absolutely CAN have a consistent personal style — even down through loungewear and gymwear, truly. It’s just that on IG you only see a curated, pretty portion of it.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “editing”. The thing is (and I think this is what Lee talked about a little, although with her now you are definitely only seeing editorial looks) — our style changes. We change. Our bodies change! You can have a personal style, and even a “perfect” wardrobe, but that will always be shifting slightly as our lives do. If you can wear something and feel like it is “pretty much the embodiment of my personal style,” you’re on the right track!

    Like

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