Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Style Wednesday: Dressing for Home and a New, More Creative, Life....

Wowza - this has been a lot of navel-gazing about style!

Interesting to see the comments on colour - I know that most of you know this stuff, but for some of us, it is helpful to review!

I truly feel this has been a long process of self-discovery (you have probably been thinking it is pretty long, too!) as I embrace this next chapter in my life. 

I have been taking you all with me because a) you are pretty damn helpful! and b) because someone else might be going through a similar thing in their life and find it helpful.

The real turning point for me was the realization of how little of my spring/summer clothing that I actually wore.  This was reiterated to me when I went back and started working with Polyvore again - so much of  what I had saved is no longer here in the house with me.  As well, looking at my images over the past year here in the blog is like seeing a long-lost friend, a ghost from a different life...

But as they say - when you know better, you do better, right?

Sure there are always reasons why we don't wear our clothes - weight changes, weather realities, laziness. 

In my case, it was all of these reasons but for the most part: that was a style for a different, working life, and for a different, 40-something woman.  They were also clothes for someone who wasn't sure of their style anymore as their life and their body changed with age.

Having revisited my style and truly embracing the quirkiness that is me, I am finally able to make style choices that make sense for the life I have now, not some imaginary life or some previous life.

So how does one build a fall/winter wardrobe for working/staying at home?

In my case, my uniform is going to be pretty basic:

Bottoms
  • knits skirts
  • CafĂ© capris in black and natural in September
  • jeans - straight and bootleg
  • Ponte knit trousers
In fact, I have almost everything I need here.  I could use one or two more skirts, but that's it.
Tops
  • t shirts - plain, but also fun and funky
  • a (very) few button downs and blouses
  • flow-y cardigans and a few fitted ones (lighter in fall transitioning to cashmere in late Fall)
I recently acquired 3 identical Tahari cardigans in 100% merino wool.  I bought them in heather grey, true navy and oatmeal.  They are comfortable and chic.  I can see wearing these with longer tees over leggings and boots or jeans and loafers, ballets.


This year I will have fun with tshirts - they are cheap, disposable and paired with a neutral cardigan, can add the dash of whimsy I am looking for.  My recent J Crew floral tee, and my Paris tee, along with my yet-to-be-revealed David Bowie t-shirt, are how I will get my fun on!

Jackets
  • a few blazers for meetings or outings to "dress" up my bottoms
  • pea coats
  • my trench coat
  • my H&M khaki coat and H&M faux leather jacket


Dresses
  • Knit - lightweight wool and jerseys only, worn with leggings and boots or tights and ballet flats. I am looking for ones like the shapes below, but for every day...Am waiting to see more casual Nougat and Anthropologie wear...




I did order this little one from Gap to see if it could fit the "hanging around the house" bill..

Twist-waist dress

Footwear (flat - under 2"!)
  • ballet flats
  • loafers
  • boots
Am good here.  But shoes are your friend and one must never think it is a bad idea to invite more home with you....
"Dress-up" Clothes
  • several fancier skirts and party dresses
  • heels - black, brown, nude, navy, fancy
  • 2 suits - one navy pin stripe, one black, in case I have to go to meetings or something of a similar ilk.



I am SO set here - honestly, I have been shopping as if I was living in a Jenna Lyons sitcom!

M inspired me this morning to try Polyvore and here are a couple of rudimentary sets showing my at home style:

at home 1
 
at home 2
 
running errands
 
 
The key to at-home style for me is COMFORT.  And I am not talking yoga pants.  You need to be able to bend, lift, stretch, sit at the computer, walk the dog, run for coffee with a friend.

In this case, the comfort is both physical and psychological.

If you can't breath or if the look is not "you", you leave it in the closet...I speak from experience here...

One thing that also helped me was to winnow down my Pinterest picks into a work-from-home style board (where you can see the links for all of the pictures below, plus more as I add them) that is designed to inspire me:
 

 


 







 
 
 This fall I will be simplicity and comfort, but with a twist. 

I will pull out my funky jewelry - antique pins, old bracelets, my earrings. 

I will not wear Spanx (unless George calls!)
 
The pictures above are my beginnings of a stay-at-home/work from home style.  I will take lots of pictures this fall as I put this into action.

However, this is only one style.  If you want some other real-life inspiration from others who work at home I suggest you:

Visit Dani to learn about how a classic dresses at home.  Most exquisite!

Tabs is classic too, but with the European je ne sais quoi and a dash of bourbon that can make her style quite salty!  She says she lives in sweats whilst working at home, and likely she does, but when she goes out - oh la la!  Watch out.  My sartorial and body dream!

Visit M to learn how a chic dresses at home.  Her post yesterday on fall neutral styles is to weep about!

Visit Ina to see a classic-preppy chic at home.

Visit Dina who is the epitome of Whimsical style, so elegantly achieved!

Ema at My Closet, My Baby and I.  Ema is 100% Chic with a dash of avant-garde.  For some reason, I keep getting tossed off her blog tonight, so no link!

A Bigger Closet is Classic-Chic to me!

Visit Blue Booby to see a classic-bohemian wardrobe. (BB are you working from home - why do I think so?)

Those are only a few of the inspirational folk I know!

I am really loving my fall wardrobe and feeling very happy with my new Style.  Here is the funny thing - at 50, I find myself returning to dress like I did when I was 20, only in nicer fabrics and cleaner lines.  Full circle moment!

Thanks for reading his long-winded post.  Oh and one more thing - I am actually wearing sweats while I write this (my cleaning uniform that I didn't change out of!).  Oh irony, thy name is Wendy!

Have an awesome day and stay safe out there!
 
 
 


40 comments:

  1. Wendy, you always have the most thoughtful, reflective, and in depth posts, no matter what the topic! I love the trench coat outfit on you, BTW. Effortlessly chic. If you are looking for comfortable knit skirts, I have and highly recommend the merino wool pleated skirt from J Crew that I wore almost every weekend last winter (I, too, live in a cold climate) with tights and knee high riding boots. I recently purchased the Factory version in black as I have regretted not purchasing the retail version in black. It's not lined like the retail version but I don't mind wearing a slip. I sized down one size in the Factory version. I also recommend the Smithfield wool skirt from Boden-I can see myself wearing this throughout the Fall and winter, again on weekends with boots and knee high tights. It can also be dressed up. Dina did a review of the skirt.

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    1. That is so funny! I just got that skirt last week and it is lovely! I will have to go look for the Boden for sure! thanks for the heads up and the kind words!

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  2. Why didnt we get a pic of the sweats as well? ;)

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    1. you know, I should have - next time!

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  3. I also vote for pictures of the sweats. If anyone can make them look stylish, it's you! I have Ben following along on my mobile device but not commenting while traveling, but I must say, I like the idea of investigating and uncovering one's style. I am also moving towards more comfortable fabrics and styles, as I get older, I get grumpier if I'm not comfy!

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    1. HI AB - hope the travels are going well!

      I am now a firm believer that if the clothing is comfortable AND stylish, you wear it constantly - the jeans I bought earlier this summer are like that - they are so comfortable that I love to put them on!

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  4. JUST LISTED WMM you made me LOL with the open shoes invitation and your final confession (for today.) With Coulda and Anthro on sweats evidence request.

    I unwittingly copy variations of that Linda Rodin outfit (denim, chambray, fun jacket, easy bag) pretty much every other weekend. Hubs calls it the colourful Canadian tuxedo.

    Happy hump day to you and all the peeps here.

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    1. Oh my - you are up early today! I think I saw the colourful Canadian tuxedo in Green! I loved it!

      Happy Hump Day back at you!

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  5. Yep, I do work from home although I do venture out for a meeting or two. I too am using polyvore to see my favorite outfits from last fall/winter of clothes I presently own and what I think may be missing. I too like ease...sweater and cords/jeans, socks and shoes. I have tried but I am just not a boot girl. I get a bit claustrophobic if I can't easily slip my shoes off. I love all your pictures especially the one you are all dolled up in and your hair is up. You are glowing (fun night, eh?) and the clothes are secondary.

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    1. Thanks BB! I need to take some pics and load them up there so I have a better handle on things. I like boots quite a lot - but only really got into them during the last couple of years!

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  6. I want to see your David Bowie shirt! Sounds like you've got a great wardrobe plan for the fall. Cute Tahari cardigan!

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    1. I know! I have got to get that on! Maybe that is today's outfit!

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  7. Third picture from the bottom is very me. The whole lot of the pictures taken together seems very you, although I think they are a bit short on funkiness but you can fix that like you said with accessories when you feel like it. Always enjoy your style posts!

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    1. Hi Cate - I find it really hard to find a lot of funkiness in the pinterest world - some of it is too boho for me. I am going to keep looking! However, I am thinking of actually "adding" to a Michael Kors grey velvet jacket that I have and that I almost never wear. I am thinking some lace and bling could make it interesting..

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  8. Love all your inspiration pics, and pics of some of your fave outfits. I think you're going to look and feel smashing in your new at-home role Wendy. :) Thanks for the shout-out as well!

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    1. Thanks M! As I promised Anonymous below, this is the end of these posts!

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  9. Another great style post and thanks for the shout put!

    Love to see and read everybody's style evolve(including mine).
    You are right on with the classic part hopefully my "hip part" is showing too:)

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  10. Hi Wendy, it is so much fun watching your style evolution! I am also impressed by your "rudimentary" Polyvore sets. I tried Polyvore a couple years ago and I couldn't get anywhere with it. I work from home with the kids so I am almost always in skinny jeans or JC's khaki utility skirt, a tee-shirt and ballet flats.

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  11. Wowza is right. You've discussed this ad nauseum and I can't even read one more post.

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    1. Ha! Promise there will be no more!

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    2. Thanks Jill - I know they aren't for everyone, but it has taken me quite a while to figure this all out and I share the journey - exciting or dull or whatever! ;-)

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  12. Wendy I for one love your style posts. It is so interesting and refreshing to read about personal style in its real approach. Also you are so funny, you are always cracking me up.
    Thanks for the kind mention DollFace!

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    1. Thanks Dani - I often think of your style journey over the last couple of years as you have found your real and lasting style, which is so elegant and so you!

      What I ought to have said in my post, but forgot, is that truly feeling comfortable in my skin again, after such a major life change, has taken awhile. It has been humbling and frustrating to figure it all out. I often felt like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride - what kind of eggs do I really like? kind of thing...I think some people have this innately, or else they have great role models at home for that. I don't think I did, so I had to be a little more tedious about it and struggle along!

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  13. I wear prison sweats at home, I just saw the first few episodes of Orange Is The New Black and there I was, all I need to do now is commit a felony.

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    1. OMG - that is funny! That would probably make me RED!

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  14. LOVE the post, and following your style evolution. I have learned so much from reading about your journey, which has helped me refine my own style (I am clearly Classic, after doing the quiz you posted).
    Please continue to share the wonderful pictures and your style journey.
    Diane in Ontario

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    1. Thanks Diane - as I said to Dani - I am surely a work in progress!

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  15. Well Wendy, I too love these posts and find them very helpful indeed.

    I would say that my style is pretty pared down so these simple silhouettes that you've shown are right up my street. Just add a scarf and some jewellery, done! I'm going to bookmark this one for the ideas - thanks.

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    1. Thanks Patricia - I find this kind of style very easy and simple - which is what I want in love. Well, that, and bit of flash...

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  16. That Tahari cardigan is just gorgeous! And I do need to get another pair of cafe capris, or something similar. I think I would like to try a pair of chunky heels and I should be set after that! ;)

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    1. I so wish I could wear high chunky heels! I am always drooling over Audrey Bella's shoes (wait - that doesn't sound right...)

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  17. Oh you are so inspiring me to pay attention to what I wear as I work from home. And I have been doing it for ten years now and really spend most of my time "saving" clothes to wear out of the house. Not anymore. Closets here I come.

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    1. Good for you! Oh by the way - I am having trouble commenting on your blog - the last post was so interesting!

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    2. Oh Rewired I have been an awful one for saving clothes etc , 'for good' as we say here, good rarely comes , no more fancy!

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  18. Hello Wendy,

    I love your blog and have enjoyed watching your style evolution but never comment. I too was surprised that I couldn't access Ema's blog. Please keep us informed (if Ema wishes to share, of course!) if you have info.

    Have a great day and bet you look great.

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    1. Hi Anon! Thanks so much for the nice comments! Well I am kind of like a Sherlock Holmes, so I will let you know if I find our Ema!

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    2. Thank you, Wendy!

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Kindness is a virtue...