Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Wardrobe 2018

Step 16: balancing the neutrals

My wardrobe has way too little neutrals :-D
So I decided to make one of the "uniform tops" golden brown and the shorts grey.

There are absolutely NO bridge garments.

It is a very nice wardrobe... now, I question the existence of TWO neutrals, because the neutrals aren't that nice together. They go, but... the mere idea of wearing a brown shirt with grey pants... GIVE ME COLOR!!!

But, what became very clear is that it's not MY wardrobe.

I put together brown jeans, t-shirt, and a cardigan.
SOOOO BOOOOORIIIING!!!
I mean, yes, I used to wear things like that. Now I want more. I want the pants to be like Lagenlook pants.
I want the cardigan to be more... alive. Not so neat. More artistic. More art.
The T-shirt is OK.

White shirt. BOOOOOOORIIIIIINGG!!!
Now, if the pants were Lagenlook pants, then, but the shirt should be really soft, and have some clever details. Like... could it be the kind with a huge pirate collar? What would the "5 ways of wearing a shirt" be with a shirt like that?

And I need a belt. A sash belt. Maybe more than one... one wide sash and one brick woven folklore ribbon belt over it.

The same thing with the jersey skirt. Give me more. Right now it's so preppy and I am not preppy.

The same with the grey core four. A jacket/blazer is not a layering piece.
I don't want a fifth cardi. Come on, 4 is enough!

Now, the cigarette pants are OK, but they have to be made in a genuine 50s pattern. Having the waist up to one's armpits is part of the fun. Besides, that's how my body looks. I have REALLY HIGH HIPS:

Also, for some reason, the grey jacket doesn't look so nice anymore... I think I might want one of those Chinese embroidered jackets instead... Damn Polyvore. I would need to get to my sets right now.
But also, I might not need a jacket/blazer at all, I have my padded kimono jacket.

The rest looks OK.

Step 17

Now, I don't have a dark neutral sweater, a light neutral tee, a dark neutral tee - I only have two tees and one short sleeve blouse. Which isn't neutral. I suppose it could pass as a light tee, though. Also, I think one of my cardies would pass as "dark neutral sweater". I don't want a sweater right now. It's spring.
I have NEVER used denim shirts, and I don't think I'll start now. I have never been much for shirts anyway, they are a bit too preppy for me.

 What I do use, and a lot is dresses, so I think I'm going to put in yet another dress, and cordially ignore that that gives me fewer options. It's not like I want to wear a different outfit every day as it is.

I also don't have dark dress trousers. I disagree, not with Coco Chanel, but with Janice, about the need of suits in today's society. Back in the 60s, everyone was wearing suits when they were in public places. At least every well-dressed woman. Today we don't wear suits, except at work, if the work is such. Most people don't even wear suits in such works. So, no, we don't need suits. I don't need suits.

So, let's go through my wardrobe plans and see what we need to get and what of what I already have I can use.

I have some "harem pants". Those will do.
I have a simple white t-shirt. I have enough of tops of all kinds.
That jersey skirt sounds like something I would use.
I have white shirts and blouses
I have enough cardigans

I would really like to have cigarette pants.
I would like to have a teal/red cardigan
I would like a flirty little blouse.
I would like to have a French striped boatneck.
I need a fitted waistcoat, folklore model, like a national costume
I would like a ruana. If I win the auction for the plaid, I'll give myself one.
Culotte shorts.
I want a red wrap dress.
I also want the padded kimono jacket. I really need something light and easy I can just grab and go.
I also want the red trenchcoat.

Something that wasn't on the list, is a pair of red pants and a floral skirt.
I also want a pair of flower pants. 

I have all the shoes and bags and jewelry I can need.
What I need is
a bronze watch
leather gloves
spring hat
eyeglasses
and the belts.

Spring wardrobe 2018

1) Decide the color

Two neutrals: soft tan and grey; two accent colors; teal and coral; soft white
Tan leather, bronze metals

Things to note:
- the style and impression I wish to make: Like that freesia flower - sort of bohemian, eccentric, fairly feminine, colorful, happy, playful, forest fairy maiden, sensual, exciting, soft natural, ethereal, a bit of fairytale...
- lifestyle and needs: I'm living on a disability pension. I am chronically ill, with fibromyalgia. I basically do nothing. I like writing, crafting and making art. I like cooking and baking. I need clothes that are comfortable and easy.
- climate: humid continental. The weather is SLIGHTLY colder (a couple of degrees, not more) in Stockholm than in Boston, but practically the same.
- body type: V/O - I do have a waist, but it's very, very short, and disappears between my large chest and a big tummy. I also have square hips and not much bum. I'm fat. Size 52-54EU. Figure problems? Nah. But I would like to look less fat and like I have a waist. Best features; face, cleavage, hands.

* I want to have folklore inlay, wildly colorful and eccentric, but stylish and well put together like Miss Fisher's wardrobe

My favorite clothing from my past:
- a skating dress. It was turquoise and teal, knit, with pompoms.
- 50s little girl dresses. I wore them even to school. Now, I was born 1969 and went to school in rural Eastern Finland. All my classmates had like sweaters and jogging pants. Every day. I still love dresses.
- This... thing. It was like a sweater and tights in one piece, rib knit, cotton, with a zipper in front. I loved it. Used it all the time. Don't know what to call it. Bodystocking?

 - cream corduroy pants and navy corduroy blazer. Loved that thing.
- pleated skirt
- knit t-shirts - basically twin sets, liked the cardies too
- one of my favorites was one of these cardies together with faded black jeans
- Another cardi I used until it started fall apart was Gudrun Sjödén's embroidered one.
- a cashmere sweater with short collar
- a purple sweater my sister knit
- brown jeans
- tights worn with wool shorts (like cycling shorts, really, wool pettipants) and short dun jacket.
- an overall - with wool tights and dun jacket, all year around.
- my mom's old cigar pants
- I love the 80s long sweaters and sweatshirts. I had two, about as long as that red tunic-pinafore thingy the lady is wearing. I paired them with skinny pants, leggings or tube skirt. Long. The sweatshirt was oversized, and the impression was that of a lollipop. Loved it.
- my mother's old grey blazer. It has black satin collar and buttons.
- I wore a lot of kaftans and khalats and tunics and such.
- jodhpur pants
- harem pants
- a lot of different soft t-shirts and tops. Especially one pink peachy colored, long, roomy... loved that one. And the sage colored one my sister made.
- a grey suit with pleated skirt and short jacket
- sweatpant "jeans" - made of sweatpant material, cut like jeans. Cream white. Loved them.
- there was this one layered skirt... made of four layers of soft, thin cotton, in soft apricot, with long belt.
- a skirt in thin jersey, knit, tricot?
- jersey dress black - there has been many of these. :-D There was a time when one could only get black, burgundy or navy clothes in sizes over 46EU :-D
- my red flirty dress... god, I loved that dress!
- my purple waistcoat.
- my medieval white linen dress
- my long green-white cotton skirt.
- my favorite shoes... I wore a lot of cloth shoes, like the Chinese velvet mary janes and tennis shoes. I liked sandals. I like moccasins. Ecco mary janes.
- my trenchcoat
- my swede coat
- my kimono jacket... it was red cotton with gold print and slightly padded
- the duffel coat.

I'm sure there were others, I just don't remember them at the moment :-D
Not important, but there are two specific styles here, one classic and one natural


So, Vivienne Files's Janice starts with a pair of pants. Good quality, neutral, year around, classic model. Like jeans. Both my favorite jeans were "boyfriend" model. Jeans are good all-year pants, and straight jeans have been around since the invention of the item.
Now, I think I want them tan.

The next step on her list is to choose a pair of all-day shoes. She loves loafers and oxfords, very unisex models. Ugly.
I need a good pair of walking shoes, that pass from spring to autumn. I have a pair in mind. Now, originally I had a teal pair in mind, but I would have had to order them from Denmark, and I can get a tan similar pair here in Sweden half the price. I think I take that.

The next step is cardigan and t-shirt. Now, I love twinsets, but for this, I want a simple, white t-shirt. Slightly fitted but roomy, v-neck, very simple.
The cardigan should be one that can be worn as a layering piece; jacket/coat and by itself, so the simplest classic v-neck will do.

Now, one could choose something like Donna Karan's Cozy. I'm a sucker for multi wear things :-D
Now, Donna Karan is a bit boring to my taste.


Her next item is a pair of jeans. Yeah. Another pair of pants. I am not a pants girl. So I am going to take this as a skirt. Now, a neutral kind of skirt, that can be worn year round, and that works in many possible situations.
I used my jersey skirt like that, so that is what it will be.
Now, she is a bit boring - this, too, is neutral, so in my capsule, it should be tan.

Another multiuse piece is the Magical Sari Skirt :-D You can wear it in 100 different ways, as a skirt, tunic, dress, top... probably also as pants or a hat or cape. :-D You really don't need any other clothes. Well, well... Let's move on.

Next item is white button down. That too can be worn in many different styles :-D
Now, mine should be so big that I can do all those fancy wrapping thingies with it, and very soft. I think viscose would be better than linen or cotton.

Now you have 2 bottoms and 3 tops, and you have 12 different outfits
Jeans + t-shirt
Jeans + cardigan
Jeans + t-shirt + cardigan
Skirt + t-shirt
Skirt + cardigan
Skirt + t-shirt + cardigan
Jeans + white shirt
Jeans + t-shirt + white shirt as a layering piece
Jeans + white shirt + cardigan
Skirt + white shirt
Skirt + t-shirt + white shirt as a layering piece
Skirt + white shirt + cardigan
The next step is to accessorize. You have shoes. You need probably a handbag. Perhaps a watch. Earrings? A scarf? A belt? Necklace? Janice suggests a handbag, a watch, a silk scarf, a pair of earrings and a bracelet. All neutrals, fitting the shoes. *sigh*

I am really bad at accessorizing. I have a lot of jewelry, I just don't use any.
What I have used was a pretty, girly watch. A shawl. My phone hanging from my neck. A pair of earrings. A bag.
I have been using a hat and gloves, which might fit my dream of being Miss Fisher :-D

The next step is to add some color. She adds two accent color tops and another silk scarf.
Janice's suggestions are a t-shirt and a shirt/blouse.
I think a pretty blouse and another layering piece. My accent colors are red/coral and teal/aqua. A cute little cardigan in stranded knitting would be nice, using all the colors on my palette. And then some embroidery...

Two more tops add 6 more outfits. (Top, top + cardigan, top + white shirt)
Now, if the other top is a layering piece, you get 4 more outfits. (t-shirt + layer, cardigan + layer, shirt + layer and top + layer)
Janice says one is never going to wear these accent tops together, but I say why not.
Also, if your t-shirt is knit, you can use it, too, as a layering piece, as a pullover or vest.

Next step is another "base" in the second neutral.
That is; pants, comfortable shoes and a cardigan or jacket.
THREE PAIRS OF PANTS!!! Oh, my! She really is not the same kind of gal as I am!
No pants for me. Another skirt that is. Ballet flats... maybe. If I want to embrace my history, this should be a grey jacket with satin collar and buttons :-D

Now you have 3 bottoms and 6 tops, of which 3 are layering items (or I have 4 layering items, but one of them cannot be used as a top by itself.)
That gives us 18 simple outfits, and 45? doubles. It's a lot, anyway.
bottom + t-shirt
bottom + cardigan 1
bottom + t-shirt + cardigan 1
bottom + white shirt
bottom + white shirt + cardigan 1
bottom + t-shirt + white shirt as layer
bottom + accent top
bottom + layering
bottom + t-shirt + layering
bottom + accent top + cardigan
bottom + layering + cardigan
bottom + cardigan + layering
bottom + accent top + white shirt as layer
bottom + white shirt + layering
bottom + layering + white shirt as layer
bottom + t-shirt + cardigan 2
bottom + cardigan 1 + cardigan 2
bottom + cardigan 2 + cardigan 1
bottom + white shirt + cardigan 2
bottom + cardigan 2 + white shirt as layer
bottom + accent top + cardigan 2
bottom + layering + cardigan 2
bottom + cardigan 2 + layering

and this 3 times
- that's 69 outfits with 9 pieces of clothing!
The next step is to go through this wardrobe plan and see that all the chose pieces to fit the requirements set in the beginning.
Do they go together to create outfits you love? Can you change anything to make that happen?
Do they fit your desired image?
Do they fit your body? Climate? Lifestyle?
I'm starting to wonder if a capsule wardrobe fits my lifestyle :-D
I am a bit torn between the image thingy. According to my past, I should choose comfy, loose tops, and ignore the layering, multiple uses and maximum amount of outfits one gets from the pieces. I shouldn't be choosing the pinup girl / sexy bohemian/quaintrelle kind of outfits. I'm torn between the classy, stylish lady and the natural comfy homegirl. *sigh*

Now, I could choose the tan/golden brown/beige neutral as the comfy kind of thing, with a soft, loose, big t-shirt, perhaps even with long sleeves, and a comfy cardigan; jeans and a jersey skirt.
I could choose a bit bohemian, pirate kind of white shirt... or a peasant top kind of thing with embroideries.
I could choose the grey neutral as classy, tailored look, with cigar pants and blazer.
I could use one accent top to be a flirty blouse, and the other to be a comfy sweater.

I will think about that, later. Let's move on for now.

The next step is 2 more tops and a necklace.

An oversize sweater or cardi and a henley. A Kalevala koru necklace.

A skirt, a top and skirt shoes.
Finally :-D I might want to recreate my childhood skating dress by having a short pleated skirt in teal and a sweater in aqua. Though it's spring, so it should be a lighter top. It could be interesting to actually make these two of the same fabric, so that it looks like a dress, even though it isn't.

A casual jacket, top, and shoes.
Everything I have is casual :-D But this has to be a kimono jacket, to honor my red gold one. A long sleeve tee, and light canvas shoes.

A complete outfit (bottom, top, layering top)
A little teal dress. A jersey wrap dress. Now, the best LBD is sleeveless so that it can be used as a pinafore dress.)
A fitted waistcoat.
Another cardigan? A sweater? Or a shawl? Ruana?

The next step is "winter coat, boots, scarf" - so basically seasonal outside wear.
Now, it's spring, and I will be putting my winter coat and boots in storage, and I need spring coat, spring footwear, and spring outside wear accessories :-D
The spring coat is a lighter jacket or coat I can just grab and go. I used to love my trenchcoat. I have a new trenchcoat, but I'm not that fond of it. It's too light and flimsy. It's also ugly color. I think I'd like a red trenchcoat.
I need a pair of sturdy walking shoes that can manage the occasional moistness.
I need a pair of leather gloves and a scarf, and following Miss Fisher lead, I need a hat. A spring hat should be decorated with flowers.

Next step: more accessories; 2 pairs of earrings, brooch, bracelet and necklace

"A bag in one of your accent colors, or in each of your neutrals, isn't outrageous" :-D

What if I don't really do accessories?
Now, Janice is basically saying to do them, anyway. And that is not an answer. The answer is to look at the accessories you already use without being aware of that they are accessories.
Shoes. Most of us use shoes. Nothing stops you from actually considering how to use the shoes to accessorize, in stead of just picking a comfortable pair and that's it.
Some sort of a bag. If you use one, you can use two.
Belt is an accessory.
Eyeglasses.
Anything you have on your hair to keep it out of your face. Hair in itself can be an accessory.
Hats, caps, scarves and other such things one uses to keep the sunlight out of one's face.
Do you have a scarf to keep your neck warm? Nothing stop you from choosing a pretty or beautiful or good looking scarf for that purpose.
Watch? If you are used to wearing a watch, you can add a bracelet.
I'm sure you get the idea.

Considering my past use of accessories, I could get used to wearing a watch and bracelets.
I need glasses.
I want to become a hat wearing person.
I like my scarfs
I love my gloves
I want to remember to use my brooches.
I would need a belt...

I also want more jewelry with turquoises and coral.

So, next step: leisure wear

All my clothes are leisure wear :-D
Two tops and two bottoms.
Now, I think I'd like those jersey jeans back. They were nice.
I could get some sort of culotte shorts - shorts that look like a skirt.
The tops are pretty easy, just square pieces of clothing, with a boatneck... perhaps I could get the French striped boatneck?

I also should start going through my "wear for night and lounging" board and give me a new thingy every month.

Step 15: A Versatile Dress and an Accent Cardigan (+ sandals)

I already have a "versatile dress", so let's add another. It could be red. I did love my red dress and wore it all the time.
I have my sandals, I bought them last year in sale. Brown leather, classic model. Not "skirt sandals", but they will do. I just have to adjust my skirts to my sandals :-D
And another cardi... *sigh*
The problem with most capsule wardrobe "tutorials", suggestions and walk-throughs are very limited. People are trying to give advice that most people can use, and most people are pretty boring with pretty boring lives. Most normal people are OK with creating the "normal person" image, and have a normal, ordinary work. I am not a normal person and I don't want to give that impression either. I am highly abnormal, I am eccentric and flamboyant and I am an artist.

So - let's do a recap. Right now we have the following pieces of clothing on our capsule wardrobe.

- jeans
- t-shirt
- cardigan
- jersey skirt
- white shirt
- flirty blouse
- stranded knit cardi
- cigar pants
- blazer/jacket
- henley
- comfy, oversized cardi
- skater skirt
- top to match the skater skirt
- a kimono jacket
- another long sleeve tee
- dress
- waistcoat
- ruana
- trenchcoat
- French striped boatneck
- some sort of knit top
- sweatpant "jeans"
- culotte shorts
- dress
- cardigan

- accessories and shoes

Firstly, I need to rethink "neutrals". Why wold I need neutrals? I am totally comfortable wearing red all the time. I don't need to fit in, or choose neutrals so that my clothes can be used with each other. So no "first neutral and second neutral" rules for me, thank you.

Now, I do have clothing in neutrals, and in that I need to think a little. I really don't want to be wearing black all the time, even though it suits me and I have a lot of black things. There is that stigma of "big women can only wear black, burgundy and navy", and I want to get rid of it.
The point is that my Spring capsule main colors are red and teal. Not tan and grey.

tan jeans - to make them pop out, I need to decorate them. I embroidered a dragon on my black jeans and added a colorful lining to the legs, so that when they were worn rolled up, they had a colorful cuff. Boyfriend cut. I always used straight jeans most. Roomy, not skinny. And I want a soft waist, or at least not the classic jeans waist. Maybe side closure.

The t-shirts don't need fancying up.

simple V-neck cardigan; a layering piece; jacket/coat or by itself as a top. I used to have a cardi like this when I was 7th to 9th grade. Very simple, but I had made it my own. It was embroidered and I had replaced the buttons. They were all different colors. Now... how to make that pop? Maybe add some metallic threads to the knit. Maybe use different stitches to create some difference. Maybe add some embroideries or ribbons or something.

red jersey skirt - It would be good to embroider it or add applique. It would be good to make it handkerchief hemmed or something else fancy. Different.

Big, classic white button down in viscose, big enough so that I can do all those fancy wrapping thingies with it - maybe a bit bohemian/pirate/gypsy kind of, or like a national costume.

 ruana - I would love it of some very textured but one-colored plaid... maybe some applique, too?

The accessories and shoes:

So... Janice gives us five pairs of shoes... which are basically all the same. Sigh.
I'll have my study walking shoes. They are tan mary janes.
I have my sandals.
I have my red mary janes with heel for skirts
I need light canvas shoes. Preferably a light color, perhaps red or teal.
So - two more pairs... Let's say my boots and my teal fancy girly shoes :-D

Two or more bags. I have my Marimekko messenger bag. I have my trusty small shoulder bag. Now, I would want it in red. Maybe I can sew myself one in red canvas. Or maybe I can fancy it up a little. Or a lot.

I need a pretty, girl watch in bronze.
A couple of bronze bracelets
Two large silk squares that is big enough to allow me to make all those things Hermès suggests one can do with a scarf, like wearing it as a top :-D I suppose the best is to actually paint them myself.
My phone hanging from my neck.
2-3 pairs of earrings.
A Kalevala koru necklace.
Leather gloves
A spring hat. It should be decorated with flowers
I need glasses.
A brooch
A belt

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ways to wear a cardigan

10 ways to wear a cardigan (though in my mind the mini-skirt and the other skirt are the same thing)

Now I would say that
wearing it open without a belt
wearing it open with a belt
wearing it buttoned down with a belt
wearing it buttoned down without a belt
wearing it over a beltwearing it under a belt
are 6 different ways of wearing a cardigan, but some people do. So - consider that as an option.
Also, you can consider wearing it over the bottom or inside the bottom. 

One way not mentioned on that first list was wearing it backwards as a top

There are also a couple of ideas on this video you could try with your cardigan


And here's another fun video about what you can do with a simple button down shirt :-D

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More about basic wardrobes, capsules, uniforms, what ever you like to call it

Re-introducing the capsule wardrobe by Susie Faux, who coined the term

Vivienne Files; Starting from scratch

Wardrobe planning: a basic approach

 While the key pieces in every capsule wardrobe will differ depending on personal tastes and body shape, Gok reckons he has the must-haves sussed:-

White shirt - "A true classic. Like your best friend, you can always depend on it," Gok says. He advises revamping an old shirt with a good brightener to keep it bright white, or change the buttons on your shirt to add designer-like detail. Length is also important. "I'd say err on the long side as you have more fabric to play with," Gok advises.

Jeans - "Don't be quick to keep denims in the comfy bracket," Gok says. "A good pair of fitting jeans are not only considered smart casual but workwear too." Straight leg jeans are Gok's tip for a good all-rounder that never date and give you a "leaner look and dynamic derriere".

Tailoring - "Good tailoring is a key buy because you can mix and match a suit - you don't have to wear the bottom and top together," Gok advises. Up the feminine factor by teaming your suited separates with a girly blouse and sky-high heels. "If you've got a difficult body shape get a dressmaker to re-fit it for you - it costs less money to do that than buying 20 pieces that don't fit properly," Gok says.

Mac - "You can wear it from day to night, from spring through to winter - to 2050 and beyond!" Gok says. Don't be afraid to go a little generous in size as a too-tight style will spoil your entire look. "You need some fabric to gather in at the waist," Gok advises, "or wear it loose and belted at the back for a casual take."

Gok's Guide To Making The Most Of What You've Got
Developing a colour palette for your wardrobe

1) create the color palette

If you believe in the different color theories, you probably know - or believe to know - or at least have preferences and hopes - your basic color palette.

If not, I suggest you create your own, personal color palette.

Go to Pinterest and create a board for every color; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, and one for neutrals.
Collect at least 20 pictures to each board of the color in question, BUT KEEP IN MIND THAT THE COLOR YOU PIN MUST BE A COLOR YOU LIKE. Be ruthless. There is no "good enough" in this game, it must be 100% perfect.
It is possible that you can't find any pictures with some colors. I don't like purple much. A lot of people hate orange, any hue of it.
It is also possible that you might like a color in combination with other colors, and all your pins are color combinations. It doesn't matter.

When you are done, you have your basic color palette.
It is highly likely that ALL your colors already exist on a "seasonal color analysis" palette. If so, great. You can use that.

It would be wonderful if you could copy the colors in some way, like printing them images (with a good printer that's faithful for the colors. You can also look for the colors in magazines and go to fabric stores etc. and collect "your colors" in a little notebook.

Now, adjust your color palette to the seasons by following this list:

Spring: the lightest and brightest colors from your palette, colors of flowers and butterflies; your yellows, pinks, blues and greens, your pastels
Neutrals: your lightest browns and grays, white

Summer: the lightest soft colors from your palette; your pinks, purples, blues and greens
Neutrals; your greys and whites, your navy, lightest browns

Autumn: the most muted and warm colors from your palette, your browns, oranges, yellows, reds and burgundys
Neutrals: browns and burgundy

Winter: the darkest, purest and strongest colors from your palette, your reds and darkest neutrals
Neutrals: black, grey, white, navy and burgundy, darkest browns

* Choose 1-2 neutrals and 1-3 accent colors
Now, burgundy and navy/teal are considered neutrals, even though they might not be in every situation... it depends totally on the amount of color and combinations.
Also, brown is just muted orange or yellow and orange and yellow are not neutrals, so be careful about when you move from brown to orange, and from neutral to non-neutral. I love cognac colored leather, but in some cases it acts as orange, and is not neutral.

A closet make-under

Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Wardrobe Items
Now, again, adjust this a little to your own personality. Instead of a "classic white shirt", choose a less classic, but nevertheless a white shirt. They come in every style, shape and size, and can be used many different ways.
The trenchcoat might be too "classic" for you, but this means a coat that protects you in every weather and one you can wear to grocery store and to opera.
The "basic black dress" is the "little black dress", which is special, because you really can wear it anywhere, to a cocktail party, wedding, funeral and work. This means that it is not a black cocktail dress.
So, the one on the left is NOT a LBD; but the one on the right is.
Imagine yourself wearing loafers and a cardigan with it at your work,
and then with high heels and fancy jewelry at a party.
If it works in both pictures, it's a LBD.
If not, it's not. Even if it's a little, black dress.


Friday, March 31, 2017

The 5 Piece French Wardrobe à la Bohemienne

Most capsule wardrobe are built on very classic style, and that's not me. I am not your "silk shirt and pencil skirt" kind of gal, I'm your eccentric forest fairy crazy Bohemian witch artisan kind of gal.

So, I created this Bohemian capsule wardrobe at Polyvore.
The colors are sort of peacock. As can be seen.
This is based on the "5 piece French wardrobe". There won't be leather pants or a trenchcoat on my list, nor loafers or Hermes bags. :-D

There's plenty more clothes than five pieces here, so why is it called "5 piece wardrobe"? The idea is that you have a basic wardrobe of neutral pieces that can be combined with everything else in your closet, so that you can invest in only five pieces - or less - to keep your wardrobe à jour. These basic pieces are to be of good quality and easy materials so that you don't need to take them to drycleaning, timeless, so that you can use the same pair of jeans in 20 years, when the fashion has moved from baggy 80s to retro 00s with bellbottoms :-D
 This capsule wardrobe is also based on my personal preferences and habits.

 The basics:

6 t-shirts or alike - 3 with short sleeves, 3 with long sleeves.
2 tank tops. (I am going to change these in the future. I don't use tanktops.)
1 white button down shirt. Mine is of soft linen and sort of shapeless, not meant to be buttoned at the neck, ever. White buttondowns are among the most versatile and useful pieces in any wardrobe. You could easily have several.
2 pairs of pants and 3 skirts, of which one is double-sided multiuse piece. I managed to find the exact right color of these recycled silk skirts, made of old saris. They are multiuse, like one of these "infinity dresses", one can use this skirt as a skirt, a dress, a top or a cape, and I am sure there are several other ways to use them :-D A bit like a pareo.
There is two large shawls that can be used in many ways as well, and a cardigan, that can be used as a top if need be, and another that is used just as a jacket, to replace the black suit jacket, which is a piece I have no use what so ever.
There is the "little black dress", except that mine is sort of navy.
There is a soft blazer, a lovely, vintage leather jacket and a long coat.
Then there are the accessories.
One pair of long boots and one pair of ankle boots (or moccasins). One pair of pretty heels. Sandals. (Now, there's another pair of ankle boots on the picture, I suppose they are replacing the sneakers. I think a pair of canvas shoes would work better. Or flats. Ballerinas. What ever rocks your boat.)
Then there are several bags, one for evening wear, and some jewelry.
Now, accessories, like scarves, don't count on the 5 piece wardrobe, so learn to accessorize!


Now, on a capsule wardrobe there are pieces missing.
- underwear and socks etc.
- sleepwear
- sportswear
- any other special occasion wear, like ball gowns and riding habits, because that depends on your needs. I don't need either, but I need a swimsuit to be able to go and swim and do pool exercises, and lounge-wear, because I spend a lot of my days bedridden.

As coats I will need one for summer, one for spring/autumn and one for winter.I would like one of those 70s "Indian" hippie fringed deer suede jackets.


Here's some good advice for you to help you create your capsule wardrobe.
1) Peggy Sagers 365 plan
2) The Vivienne Files
3) 333

My three events are
1) lounging home doing basically nothing (reading, writing, arts and crafts, housekeeping...)
2) going out doing "business" - meetings with doctors etc, shopping etc. Comfortable, casual but nice clothing. No need to make any impression on anyone.
3) spending time with friends and family

My "six patterns" would be simple tees from tanktops and short sleeved Ts to henleys and t-shirt dresses; easy pants and easy skirts. I like dresses.

My five accessories... I love shoes and handbags, so keeping these at five... er... two pairs of shoes for each season, a handbag and the rest depends on the season. In winter I must have gloves and shawl, perhaps even a tam, in summer a fan and parasol or wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are on the list. I love my fan and parasol, and so does my friends, because I bring my own shade and wind with me... it's always cool when needed with me :-D

There are many different color plans, like the seasonal color analysis and Zyla colors, but I am not quite sure those rules work for everyone. I think we all should wear colors we love, whether they fit any plans or lists. Whether you "find" your colors or not, I recommend you decide a color plan for your wardrobe. All the base pieces should be of a neutral you love.

But here's my Zyla colors:




Also, do a Konmari closet go-through.
Gather all - ALL - your clothes in one pile. All your clothes, those from laundry (wash them first, of course), those from storage, those currently borrowed by someone, those from that box you are saving all the "when I'm of different size" clothes, every piece.
Go through them, one by one. Keep the pieces in your hands and feel how they feel. Do you love that piece? Or do you keep it just because you don't have anything to replace it with or because they don't do the piece you desire in your size or country, or it was already sold out when you got to the store or what ever. Keep only the clothes you love, that make your heart sing, that make you happy to own and wear and see.
When you have gone through everything in the pile, look at what's in your "I F-ING LOVE THESE CLOTHES!!!" pile and if that is enough to keep you clothed. If not, go through the other pile and rescue the best pieces, FOR NOW. The goal is to replace even those pieces with "I F-ING LOVE THIS!!!" pieces in the future. Go through the other pile and put everything that can be given forward in a bag to be taken to goodwill, and what cannot in trashes. (You COULD save this pile for all those thousand recycling projects you pinned on Pinterest, but promise yourself that if you haven't done anything until next month, you throw it all away. Because there will be material for when you are inspired, because you won't be inspired before this crap is out of your hair. Be prepared that you are really, really, really inspired to do everything AFTER you come back in from throwing those things away. Resist the urge to run back and rescue your garbage. It really is just garbage. Good riddance.

NOW write a list of what you NEED in your capsule wardrobe and start hunting the pieces. It will take time, several years even, but before you know it, you will have the wardrobe you deserve, you dream of and that will keep you clothed in bliss. :-) It will be worth it, you'll see.



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Clean Eating the Ketutar Way

My experience is that nothing works like cold turkey when it comes to changing habits. So you need to decide that you want to start clean eating and then do it.

Clean your home from everything edible and replace it with good food. Usually my diets fail because I'm hungry and I have nothing good to eat, so pasta it is. If I have no pasta at home BUT I have food that is quick to prepare and good for me, I will eat the good food.

1) REPLACE ALL DRINKABLE WITH WATER

Coffee, tea, soda, juice, milk, wine, what ever it is, replace it with water. It won't be pretty before your brain gets over the addiction to caffeine and sugar and aspartame and what ever, but it will be worth it.
Also, no flavored waters. If you don't want to drink it because it's "boring", you're not thirsty, and you shouldn't drink. It really is as easy as that.
All these "you should drink 2-3 litres of water every day" gurus are wrong.

The only exception is that if you need "sport drink" or some other such, DRINK MILK. No energy drinks or sportsdrinks or other such things. Milk or eat a banana. Or both.)

2) CUT ALL SWEETENERS

You don't need anything more than what is in fruits. No sugar, no raw sugar, no honey, no aspartame, no stevia. (I know, Stevia is 0 carb, 0 calories, 100% herb, but we USE it as a sweetener and the point is to get you used to the natural sweetness of things like fruits, because fruits come packed with vitamins, minerals and other important stuff in perfect combination.)

READ THE LABELS!!!

Learn the different names of sweeteners. Like anything "-ose" or "-ol" is probably sugar in some form or another, which makes it a sweetener. (Now, this counts only in ingredients! There is lactose in milk and it's OK, there's fructose in fruits and berries and that's OK, it's only when they ADD lactose, fructose and other -oses in food when it is a sweetener and should be avoided.)

This means that you can't eat cured meats any more. There's sugar in curing brine. This means you can't eat sausage, ham, bacon... (Well... there ARE some varieties made without sugar. Read the labels.)

3) Cut WHITE FLOUR. 

Refined wheat is... well, totally useless.
You can cut all grain and cereals. even things like quinoa and the other pseudocereals, to make it easier to stay on the right path, but it isn't necessary.

4) COOK FROM SCRATCH

Try to use ingredients as fresh and unprocessed as you can. No ready-made meals or sauces or mixes and boxes and bags and cans. No freezer meals. No microwave food. The only processed food that is allowed is frozen ingredients, like frozen peas.

6) REPLACE CONDIMENTS WITH SPICES AND HERBS.

Have salsa in stead of ketchup. Add a pinch of mustard powder in stead of mustard. Learn how much you like. It can be potent :-D Most condiments are loaded with sugar, which is on "no-no" list.

You can make salad dressings if you want, as long as you don't use any sweeteners... which makes it sort of impossible to make some salad dressings like mayonnaise. ("But there's no sugar in mayo!" you might say. There's mustard in mayo, and sugar in mustard. So there is sugar in mayonnaise.)

It's easy to make vinaigrette. 
1 part of acid (like lemon juice or vinegar (any kind is OK); 2 parts of oil (like olive oil. It must be extra virgin and fresh. If your nose doesn't detect the slightly old flavor, your mouth will. A teaspoonful of fresh olive oil doesn't taste oily. If it does, it's not fresh.)
any extra flavoring if desired. Like salt and pepper, spices, herbs, onion... no mustard.

You can also use sourcream or Greek yogurt as salad dressing. Or cottage cheese. Or a squeeze of lemon. Some vinegar.

7) REPLACE POTATO/PASTA/RICE WITH VEGETABLE SIDEDISH.

You can eat sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, swedes, parsnip, pumpkin etc. etc. as much as you like. Most potato dishes can be made with these vegetables, and are better for you.

----------------------------------

* Dairy is OK, as long as it's not sweetened. All the cheeses are OK. Read the labels, though. There might be some sugar added to some of this stuff.

* Fat is OK as long as it's natural, like butter and virgin cold-pressed oils. Never, ever, ever use warm-pressed oils, margarine or shortening, and avoid deep-fried foods. Most deep-fried foods can be prepared in oven with results that are close enough to satisfy your desires. Non-fat and Low-fat products are usually bad for you, unless it's naturally that (like fruits) and if the fat hasn't been replaced with something worse for taste's sake.

* Use locally produced, organic, ecological, sustainable, small companies, farmers' markets... Go as close to the producer as you can.

* Divide your eating between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. You can basically eat anything [except sugar (sweetener) and white flour (and other starches)] during that time.

* Be kind to yourself. Have a day every month when you allow yourself to eat anything you want to. You can even have a list of "forbidden foods" and then go buy all of it on your "pig day", and eat all you can. Just remember that next day you need to clean out all the left-overs. All of it.

THIS IS IMPORTANT

Really.

Get a list of foods you MAY eat, not food you may NOT eat.

There are two things we are USED to, with EMOTIONAL CONNECTION, and these things will be the hardest to replace.

Everything baked and snacks.


* Find alternative to EVERYTHING BAKED. Like pizza. Sandwiches. Tortillas. Pancakes. Muffins. Cakes, pies, buns, doughnuts, cookies, biscuits, croutons, breadcrumbs, breading...
Your brain is just addicted to the combination of fat, sugar, salt and starch. We are programmed like that. You don't need any of it and will find life easier without them.

If you just HAVE TO get pizza, make a crustless pizza. That is, put all your desired toppings on a plate, put some grated cheese over it, and bake it in the oven as if it was a pizza, and eat it.

Eat a salad in stead of a sandwich. Just put all the meats and whatnots you want on your sandwich in a bowl with some lettuce. It is almost as satisfactory to your senses. If you want some crunch, add nuts.

Use a lettuce leaf in stead of tortilla to wrap.

You can use nuts in stead of croutons and breading, too.

* Find alternative to SNACKS and CANDY. There are tons of lists of "clean eating snacks". Search with "LCHF", "clean eating", "Paleo" and "healthy" (though that last one is a bit shady. Some health freaks think "low fat" is the same as "healthy", and have no problems in recommending sweeteners and low-fat or non-fat products which are full of chemicals and other scary things.)

* Write a list of 20-30 different clean dishes you like
for breakfast
for dessert
for snack
for every other occasion you find it hard to eat clean.

You can get ideas online. USE them!

Buy the house full of good, clean food.
Take some time to make some freezer meals ready that you can just take off the freezer in the morning and have a good, clean meal ready for dinner.

Because if you don't, you'll end up at closest store with resentment in your heart, feeling punished and deprived, and buying the most sugary, wheaty, starchy, salty things you can find.

The point with clean eating is to treat you well, not to deprive you.
The point is that you may eat the best food available, food that tastes good, looks good, smells good, feels good and nurtures your body and soul.
You don't need to eat the crap most people usually eat. You don't need to eat junk food.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

An evil circle

I have feeling really bad lately.
The worse I feel, the worse I take care of myself, and the worse I feel...
It is an evil circle.
I have gained about 20 kilos this year. Some time last January I gave up and started eating what ever I wanted when I wanted. And apparently I wanted to eat sugar. I have been eating carbs the whole year.
It shows.
And it shows in my health as well. I have been aching more than before this whole year.
I hate myself.
And that shows in my dreams.
I have always been very easily influenced by my dreams.
Last night I dreamed I was on a summer camp, and they had planned this little game, where all the boys were in one group and all the girls in another, and then they'd pick randomly one girl and one thing to do, and I was to be kissed by one of the boys.
And not one wanted to do that.
I ran away and my sister-in-law ran after me and told me that maybe if I was nicer...
That it's my own fault no-one wants to kiss me.

I got up and was very determined to do something about this whole situation I'm living in, and I was sitting on the toilet when my tears started running down my face. I brushed my teeth and sobbed.

I can't imagine any reason why anyone would care about me.
I feel ugly and disgusting and worthless.