Tuesday, 21 February 2017

le uniform

My wee "how I dress" epiphany

Following on from my confession of having lapsed into disorganisation, and therefore, untidiness, I have had a massive biff-out. Wee abode has lots of bags awaiting transport to one of my sisters, so they have created a sort of an inside traffic jam.

I live in Auckland, my sister lives in Tauranga, about 3 hours drive away (for my driving!!), so I am doing an expedition there. She is an artist who regularly does markets, including the odd get-rid-of-your-stuff type market, so she is quite happy to dispose of good stuff and have a nice day in the process. And I'll trot along too, and do some readings. These are fun days, and sister days are very special.

One of my other sisters, decided to send some "stuff", via yours truly, too. It turned out to be a clean-out of her garage-cum-storeroom, so two expeditions just might be in order.

As I ruthlessly went through my "stuff", throwing out things with great determination, whilst berating myself for having gotten slack, I realised that I had not been dressing as me, lately. But rather, dressing as I thought that I "should" be dressing: always a mistake.

Sophia Loren and le uniform

Image result for sophia loren guess

I used to have Sophia Loren's beauty book, which I found in an op-shop, and Sophia said how, away from the spotlight, she had a uniform that she wore. I took that to heart, because I liked the idea of defining oneself through clothes. Sophia's daily uniform was:

  • jeans or black pants
  • boots
  • and a shirt. 
Then if she had to go out, she would pop on:

  • her very glamorous black Burberry type raincoat
  • and also add a colourful, long scarf, and, viola! Her "other" uniform. 
Both current, both timeless and glamorous looks. Sophia is, of course, the epitome of glamour. Her book was written when she was about 50.

             Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, night and child
                               (with my son, years ago)

I used to be a monk

I love unusual uniforms. I lived in a yoga ashram for a few years, where our "uniform" was:

  • bald head
  • orange shirt or tee
  • orange cloth tied around the waist
  • and jandals. 
I loved the freedom of not having to decide what to wear. And, ever since I left that ashram......I have kept my hair longish. When I was teaching yoga a lot, here and there, it was yoga pants and a tee, short or long sleeved.

This woman has it all sorted

I was reading fiftynotfrumpy blog, here, which has now a new site called susanover60, here, because the blog owner got older. And Susan writes a lot about her look. She definitely has a uniform, and has learnt how to mix her base items that make up her uniform: 

  • pants in a certain shape because these are the pants shape that looks best on her
  • a top, tee or shirt
  • and a third layer as a jacket
  • she likes to wear either a necklace or a scarf
  • and really trendy shoes
Susan looks great. She also sticks to neutrals: 

  • silver-grey
  • navy
  • black
  • white 
for the basic items in her wardrobe, and adds strong colour with a top, or scarf.

This look would not be suitable for my life. I would just look so overdressed. Auckland is a casual city, and our style of dressing here, reflects that. 

But what mostly fascinated me about Susan's blogs, was that it seemed as though she had found out what:

  • shapes
  • lengths
  • and colours

suited her. Whether through trial and error, or a colour and style consultation, I don't know. And she has stuck to what suits her.

I've had my colours and style "done"

I had a style session as a gift, once. No matter what my weight is, I can truthfully say that my style booklet from all of those years ago, is always spot on. 

I have done training as a colour consultant, and "had my colours done" four times. In one of those sessions, I was a soft autumn, from the other three I am a winter. Either way, I do know what colours make me feel happier (and it is from one of those colour palettes), and when I stick to those colours, I am happier.

                   Image result for twiggy dressed casual in black

                         Twiggy: "black is the new black"

For some inexplicable reason, when I wear brown, I get a bit depressed, so I use black for my neutrals. And when I wear a strong, clear blue, people always remark that I am looking good. Not my favourite colour, but I do wear it.

I would have to say, that when you know the:

  • shapes
  • lengths
  • fabrics
  • patterns
  • and colours 
that suit you best, you are halfway to your "look". 

Lifestyle matters too

The next step is deciding what suits your lifestyle, and the society that you live in. If you live at a beach, in the countryside, on a snowy mountain, for example, then formal type clothing would be so wrong. 

And being a mum, teetering around in trendy high heels whilst you run around after wee kiddies, is silly, too. 

Auckland has beautiful summers with amazing beaches, a proper spring and autumn, and a very rainy, cold winter. But even so, when I look at overseas fashion blogs, I can see that wearing some of the gorgeous clothes that they feature, is just so wrong for this city.

Le uniform which I love

I love:

  • black clothes
  • tees
  • small cardigans
  • ballerina shoes
  • plain clothes
I am short so there are a lot of looks whereby I would just look so ridiculous. I have been wearing floaty, patterned tops and black or navy tights, all of which I do not like. Why was I wearing them? I think that I had just got it into my head that, I "should" be wearing them. Because it is The Current Look. And I feel that I got a bit lost dressing that way.

When I look at how my many sisters dress, I would have to say that each has a distinct "look". Different from me, and unique to each person. 

I think that this is what uniform dressing encapsulates: our own distinct "look"

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