August 30, 2010

Closet Cleaning, Part 2: The New Look

This post finds us right where we left off, rummaging through heaps of previously un-scrutinized clothing.

Susie would lift an item up, and I'd decide whether or not I was going to continue wearing it.  The idea was to pare down my holdings to the most essential, most wearable pieces.  During the decision-making process, I couldn't resist trying some of the pieces on.  Seeing everything I owned laid out before me, I felt inspired to create new ways of wearing the clothes that put me in my style rut.  I wanted to break free of the conventions that I felt were holding me back (i.e. the preppy look that I had somehow adopted as my default.)

As the No Pile grew and items were eliminated from consideration, I saw a new look coalescing right in front of my eyes.  Addition by deletion.  I took risks; I played dress up.  It felt great, and even if I never wear some of these outfits, it inspired me to look at my closet in a different way.

Here are a few of the looks I came up with that day.  I apologize for the picture quality (bad lighting!)
On the surface, this look is generic Ivy Style with the baggy khakis, canvas sneakers, and cardigan.  I took it a different way by throwing in a few details.  A leather jacket that's been unworn going on a few years now is prominently featured.  It was a staple of my rebellious youth (obv) but now that I've grown a little older (wiser) I think it's ready to be worn in a new light.  This is also the first appearance of cardigan-as-shirt, sans undershirt, which will be a go-to thing for me this fall.  My chesthair cometh.

These are the mauve pants I raved about earlier in the summer.  Oddly enough, I didn't wear them much.  That will change this fall.  Here's one possibility.

 Again the cardigan-as-shirt, this time with another pair of pants that I talked about earlier but didn't end up wearing often.  I think the elements come together very well here, especially the brown at the bottom.  I enjoy the simplicity of this outfit--just three pieces,  but it works.

Things got a little crazy when I started rolling up my pants, so we'll spare you most of the golf caddy pictures.  I just wanted to point out that under my cardigan is a tank top that I haven't worn in years.  It's by J. Lindberg, and the fit is amazing.  I haven't needed a tank top in so long--until now.  Throw in some dress shoes and we're all set.

The thing about my style is that something is always just a little off.  I think I maintained that sense while heading in a new direction, and I'm proud of what we accomplished that day.


Hard Liquor, Soft Holes said...

way into the cardigan as shirt.

Wm said...

Yeah, the cardigan as shirt idea's a good one - I'll just need to procure thinner, less scratchy ones than I have on hand to try that look.

And start wearing those mauve pants constantly, beginning today!

vadim-kontra said...

Having a large wardrobe often is worse then having none. You end up wearing things just because you have them - which messes up the whole personal look concept.
I cant believe you don't wear that leather jacket anymore. Its a crime to be honest - things like that need to be kept forever it will only get better.
Also, one suggestion - invest in wooden hangers. Wood absorbs moisture and refreshes your closet. Just like cedar shoetrees do miracles to your shoes.

Micah said...

Mike, I love the second look so much it hurts.

wecouldgrowup2gether said...