June 5, 2012


Above: It can't be a coincidence that 14 of my most-worn shirts form a perfect grey-to-black scale.

Part of my on-going quest for a Uniform Wardrobe (full of Liziforms) includes evaluating trends I see in my clothing consumption. In what I give away (and can therefore assume is not working for me), and in what I keep. What kinds of things do I actually end up wearing all the time? What kinds of cuts and fabrics am I intuitively drawn to? What pieces do I love when I buy, only to wear once and then avoid? Things like that. I don't often shop for clothes, but when I do, this awareness helps me to make more impactful and informed decisions.

For example, I know I'm drawn to (dark) silky racerback tanks, (dark) drapey deep-v tees, and simple short black dresses. Why? Because when I look at my closet, I can see it's filled with 7 of those black dresses, 6 - 8 of those deep-v tees, etc. Articles of clothing that have survived multiple rounds of the Never-Ending Edit. They're also all in a very narrow and cohesive range of color, so they're almost all interchangeable, which frees me from having to make a few decisions.

(Note: I'm drawn to grey/black/navy as a rule, and accents like BRIGHT FUCK-OFF YELLOW/CHARTREUSE as an exception. But it works - those occasional accents POP against my sea of dark neutrals. It's just funny how often I find myself trying to decide between two very different color-versions of the same piece. Life is hard.)

I recently realized something that doesn't work for me: pattern. A lot of people rock it, but time and personal clothing donation trends have shown it's not for me. In my entire wardrobe, I only own two pieces that have pattern on them, and they are both 3/4-sleeve black-and-white striped shirts. Whenever I buy them, they make me want to move to Paris, wear bright red lipstick and spend the rest of my days sitting at those tiny outdoor cafe tables, alternately drinking coffee and wine, and people-watching. A powerful fantasy, right?, and one I obviously have fallen prey to multiple times.

For some reason, I can legitimize combining almost any two or three colors, but pattern vexes me. Or rather, distracts me. One more thing to think about, to consider. And that goes against the point of the Uniform Wardrobe.

(I truly do think about the Never-Ending Edit a lot. It's something I'll write about here from time to time - I find it forces me to articulate ideas I've previously only felt in my gut.)