Mar 142017
 

I am not affiliated with Betabrand in any way; I haven’t even bought anything from them. This post comes from Betabrand to accompany their capsule wardrobe graphic which is philosophically compatible with my approach to wardrobe building. At least today 😉

Have you ever thought of building your own capsule wardrobe? I’ve come across this guide from Betabrand and it’s super helpful! When it comes to building a capsule wardrobe, the whole idea is quality over quantity. With just 27 staple pieces and a few accessories, you can have 100 outfits to fit any occasion. Check out this guide, and when it’s time to get your capsule wardrobe started, check out the selection of multi-functional pants to get your capsule wardrobe started. And be sure to take a look into the rest of their collections. Every item they sell is designed and funded by their customers, which is a really fun change of pace from the old-school way of fashion design. Everything on their site has a dual purpose, and comfort is a HUGE purpose! Take a look at the five-step graphic for building a capsule wardrobe and let me know what you think!

Mar 072017
 

Last year, in an effort to streamline my ongoing wardrobe development process, I built a month-by-month shopping schedule. My assignment for March? Spring Wardrobe.

That sounds huge, doesn’t it? But I don’t have to start from scratch: I have spring stuff I am pulling out in my Winter/Spring switchover (while it is currently snowing out). To facilitate the process, I plan to use my Updated Capsule Worksheet, which you are also welcome to download and use.

What I mean by spring wardrobe is the basics of covering my nakedness. By keeping the pieces within a single proportion template (not just within a color palette), they can be mixed. Adding in the optional accessories bundles creates head-to-toe infrastructure.

This is my plan. I confess I am much better at creating the plan than completing it. Let me know if you are joining me.

Mar 022017
 

If I only get one thing done in my wardrobe this month, this will be it: put away the winter stuff and pull out spring. Am I the only one who starts craving green clothes this time of year? Even though I am not seeing alot of green outside –  yet! –  spring is on its way.  It’s inevitable! 😎

Today I am wearing my long sleeve cashmere turtleneck for the last time this season. After this, I will wash it and let it dry, then pack it away for the season.  Or maybe not. This year, I invite you to join me in adding a step to the process, not even a step really, just a question:

Does this garment fit within my signature style color space?

If it doesn’t, this is the least painful time to make that decision! We have months to find a replacement for the item before risking nakedness, months of not having to store the thing only to have it potentially ruined by moths or mildew, months of letting it be enjoyed by someone for whom it is better suited. 🙂

Want help defining your signature style color space? I do that!

 

Feb 132017
 

It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally going to be launching an email newsletter.

Here’s who should sign up for it:

  • local ladies (Spokane WA area)
  • people looking for wardrobe planning systems and structures
  • anyone interested in what is going on in the world of Between My Peers and Signature Style Systems

Give me a week or so to see what I can do with Mailchimp and then look for the Just Between My Peers newsletter in your email inbox!

Do you still use email?



Feb 082017
 

After investigating a number of capsule-building methodologies, I realized the reason they didn’t make sense to me is because they didn’t explicitly explain how to coordinate the shapes – just the colors. So this framework popped into my head. I am posting it here without alo of instructions for the benefit of some people who will be seeing me in person soon.

If you have questions about how to choose the right pieces for you, I will do my best to answer. Or ask me about a Visual IDentity Analysis.

Download worksheet here: Capsule Worksheet.

Feb 292016
 

Style essence: the “character” of the look.

Some examples of commonly-used essence terms are Classic, Romantic, Natural, and so on. Which style essences resonate with you? There are many style systems out there; my opinion is that they work great, if you find the right one for you as an individual. My training, through Carla Mathis (author of The Triumph of Individual Style: A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self) and The Style Core, focused on building a look “from scratch”; my work revolves around helping women discover the elements of their Signature Style; my brain is constantly trying to systematize everything.

One well-known style essence system is that of Personal Style Counselors’ John Kitchener, popularized by Andrea Pflaumer in her book Shopping for the Real You: Ten Essential Steps to a Better Wardrobe for Every Woman – Fashionistas, Fashion-phobes and the Over Fifty. Kitchener likens the seven essences he uses to circus animals, with Classic in the middle as ringmaster, keeping the animals somewhat controlled.

Takeaway: the degree of Classic present in your face, body, personality, and/or lifestyle informs the appropriate amount of refinement for your Signature Style.

Btw, I am going to try to start posting little tips like this more regularly, but not promising anything. If you don’t want to miss one, they can be emailed to you. Enter your email in the subscription box in the sidebar.

Apr 172015
 

So, I have been having a ball, but also wearing myself out – in a good way. Alot is going on behind the scenes. As I have been working my tail off this week, I have also been thinking – the hero says that is my greatest strength 😉 – especially about how I can be most helpful.

One conclusion: There are some categories of high-value items that I seem to have a skill for finding, like fun leather jackets and cashmere sweaters; I may think of some others. In addition to continuing to offer coordinated outfits, I will start posting some of those items too. You might as well benefit from my finds.

(I know it is not sweater season, but it will be again. Did you know you can put your sweaters in the freezer to keep the moths out? And I wash my cashmere sweaters all the time – just don’t dry them.)

Eventually, I would love to offer mini-capsule wardrobes. Do you think that would be helpful?

Mar 312015
 

Could you use more time in your life? Lately I have been experiencing growing pains in my lifestyle. On top of the household responsibilities I have been accustomed to fulfilling, I have been trying to create space for the following priorities:

  1. helping women achieve their personal style goals,
  2. building the muscle I am gonna need when I am a little old lady
  3. repurposing various areas of the house to better serve the Empty Nest season

Running in the background are these concepts I heard from Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs and Procrastinate on Purpose. Basically, (click here for the official explanation) the idea is to focus on those activities which create more time. For example, consider #2 above: when I exercise in any given day, I typically get the time back immediately in sleep quality, and it is expected to multiply in longevity.

But, of course, it always comes back to how this applies to creating/curating the wardrobe and other elements of the personal style idiom. Because, when I became a Personal Style Coach, I kinda gave up the option to slack on getting myself ready as a way to gain time. I didn’t realize just how much I was relying on that one strategy! Lol.

Help me brainstorm!

What else?

Mar 172015
 

This is a fun season. I don’t mean spring, although this year (my first with an empty nest) is not bad so far; I mean this season in my professional/sartorial life. After years of reading, studying, talking, blogging, and generally obsessing about what to wear and, more significantly, how to know; I have a whole new world of technical information available to ponder. And one of my favorite things to do is to ponder a number of ideas concurrently. You never know what insights might emerge.

So, one day last week, these two excellent posts landed in my inbox on the same day:

And these two posts really got me thinking: about why I haven’t warmed up to the capsule wardrobe concept, about why it doesn’t really feel like it would work for me, about for which body types the styles pictured would work. Along with all the other resident concepts knocking around in my brain recently, these two confirmed my thinking that a capsule wardrobe is doable. But I don’t think it is as easy as we have been led to believe.

The three complications:

  1. silhouette: ideally, if I am to wear a fitted skirt, it will be with a top with a little volume, and vice versa. The best capsule wardrobes would be assembled of pieces which, when combined, create a unified silhouette.
  2. proportion: how many times have I tried to make an outfit with a really great top and bottom that don’t actually meet in the middle? It will be easier to create a cohesive capsule from pieces with length proportions which play well together.
  3. color harmony: even if I get the color values right and there is no apparent clash, there are just some colors I don’t feel as comfortable wearing together. Color combining preferences seem to be rooted in personality. What color is your coat? The simplest capsule wardrobe would include pants only in colors you like with it (your coat probably covers your skirts, otherwise same concept).

This is not a comprehensive list, just a peak into what that burning smell is coming from my ears. After chewing on this for a few days, an example of a smart casual capsule wardrobe that I think really works with these concepts arrived in my inbox via Youlookfab.

Thoughts?

Feb 172015
 

Since the early days of this blog, I have advocated a concept I called the uniform template. Basically, it is a formula of pieces which create a look you feel comfortable wearing in a given season and lifestyle segment. for example, I used the following templates last summer (illustration):

Leisure – shorts and sandals + tee + blazer
Casual – dress and summery flats
Active – yoga pants plus sleeveless top

Recently, I began to doubt the concept. Is it a little bit boring to repeat the same formula every day? I doubted until I began exploring the minimalist wardrobe-building material at Into Mind. What I call uniform template, she calls proportion. And it was the use of that particular word that made me realize the brilliance of the idea.

One of the more complicated elements in an outfit is the proportions. And it is a big deal! Once you have a really great outfit design, doesn’t it make sense to replicate it, rather than starting over from scratch? Using different colors, fabrics, and accessories will create enough variety that you will not look like you are wearing the same thing – a uniform.

I have reached a couple of conclusions on this topic –

  1. I think I like the idea of changing the vocabulary from “uniform template” to “proportion template”. Like? Or perhaps there is an even better alternative.
  2. I want to offer this, the creation of a personalized proportion template, as an add-on service to the Style Line Analysis.

What I would do: starting with the base you like to use (bottom and shoes), for the particular lifestyle segment, I would design a proportion template for your unique body type including the shape of the skirt or pants, how long the top should be, placement of the belt, etc.