Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer Wardrobe Planning, Part 1

To tell you the truth, summer is my least favorite season for getting dressed, because it's always boiling hot outside and freezing cold inside, making it impossible to be comfortably dressed for both ends of the temperature spectrum. So far my solution has been to wear shorts and a t-shirt most days so that I don't melt the instant I go outside. I also always have a jacket or cardigan on hand in case I get too cold. This formula doesn't make for very interesting outfits though, and it doesn't help that I feel very uninspired by my current summer wardrobe. I would like to buy a few new pieces for summer to "refresh" my look and also better tie together the pieces I already own. I wasn't sure exactly where to start, but thanks to the power of Google, I found this wardrobe planning worksheet from Un-Fancy (does anyone else love her style too?). It's supposed to help you figure out your style and pinpoint missing pieces in your wardrobe. Since the planner is pretty long, I decided to break up this post into two parts. Part 1 covers what I like and don't like about clothes I already own, my lifestyle needs, and my personal style.

Step 1: Identify pieces I already own and love to wear. I tried to include a few pieces from each category: tops, bottoms, shoes, and dresses, along with reasons for why I like each item.

Favorites from left to right: a) black cotton tank; b) denim jacket and navy shorts; c) striped maxi skirt and sandals; d) striped tee, jacket, and sandals; e) linen shirt, jeans, and sandals

  • black flowy cotton tank (old, similar): love the scoopneck, longer length, doesn't emphasize stomach, super soft, wish I had more tank tops
  • classic denim jacket (new version): classic wash, cropped fit
  • skinny stripe tee: classic color combo, close fit is good for tucking into skirts
  • white linen button-down: thicker linen, not too sheer for white, flowy fit, not tight in shoulders/chest (I also loved my blue striped version, pictured above, which sadly ripped earlier this week)
  • navy 3" chino short (similar): no muffin top, I especially like the way it looks now that the color is faded to be kind of navy/grey
  • navy/grey striped maxi skirt (old): really comfortable, classic color scheme, warm enough for A/C, I always get complimented on it
  • white skinny jeans: crisp clean look, no muffin top
  • navy/white striped dress (not pictured, similar): one of the few casual dresses I own, loose fit, simple
Step 2: Look for common themes from Step 1. What I like to wear during summer:
Fabrics:  cotton, linen, denim
Brands:  J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, Everlane
Colors:  white, blue, navy, heather grey, stripes
Fit:  doesn't emphasize stomach, comfortable, flowy, not tight
Miscellaneous:  scoopneck, tank tops, neutrals, would like more casual dresses, simple/basic

Step 3: Identify pieces I own and never wear. There are very few pieces that I never wear, because I got rid of those when I moved, so instead I picked pieces I only wear sometimes and/or wear only when I run out of better options
  • silk ruffle blouse (old): afraid of stains, too shiny, too frou-frou/twee
  • ivory scallop cami: double-layer polyester too hot, too tight in the stomach (maybe need size up?), need to wear strapless bra
  • tie-back blouse: polyester too hot, itchy around the neck, need to wear strapless bra
  • black ripped jeans (old): love for fall, but looks too dark for summer
  • short skirts in general: they look nice, but too cold to wear in A/C, self-conscious about sitting/bending over
  • nude low heel sandal: love the look but rubs foot, can't walk for very long in even low heels
  • black Vans: love for fall/winter but too dark for summer
  • printed cami dress (old, similar): top fits well but waistband too tight
  • wish I had more casual dresses, I mostly own semi-formal dresses for weddings

Step 4: Look for common themes from Step 3. What I don't like to wear during summer:
Fabrics:  polyester
Colors:  black
Fit:  too tight, too short, need to wear strapless bra
Miscellaneous:  semi-formal dresses, uncomfortable shoes, heels, frou-frou

Step 5: How do I usually spend my time?
50% working at school
20% being active (gym, climbing gym, outdoors)
15% lounging at home
5% daytime out and about (mostly lumped into active, also not really a morning person)
10% evening out and about

Step 6: Upcoming special events and travel
No confirmed travel plans yet, maybe just a few short weekend trips
Need more sunwear for outdoors: sun (UPF) shirt, sun (UPF) leggings, wide-brim hat

Step 7: Identify the weather where you live.
June: low 80s to low 90s (feels hotter due to humidity), mostly sunny, occasional rain, humid
July: high 80s to high 90s (feels hotter due to humidity), mostly sunny, occasional rain, very humid
August: high 80s to high 90s (feels hotter due to humidity), mostly sunny, occasional rain, very humid

Step 8: Write a list of words or phrases that you associate with your style. Identify your favorite 3-6 words.
My style now: classic, simple, neutrals, stripes, casual, comfortable
What I want my style to be (the worksheet doesn't ask this): effortless, feminine tomboy (like Alterations Needed or Un-Fancy), Parisian chic
Favorite words: neutrals, comfortable, feminine tomboy, Parisian chic

I will post Part 2 soon, which covers brands that fit my style, my summer color palette, some uniform ideas, and a wardrobe shopping list.

Have you ever tried wardrobe planning? How would you describe your personal style?

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