January 8, 2010

The Science of Clothes

Sweater- Vintage Goodwill,
Dress- Vintage Riverside Hospice Thrift,
Brooch- Vintage Pilgrim Place,
Necklace- Modcloth
Belt- Vintage Goodwill,
Bag- Vintage Buffalo Exchange in Portland Or.,
Shoes- Thrifted Goodwill
(I really do have eyes, it was just bright.)

Last night I stood in my closet door and sighed. I am so bored with my clothes. The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a dry spell as far as dressing combos go. There were moments (most of which I forgot to photograph) of greatness, but then it would piffle out and I felt like I was wearing the same skirt and shoes for weeks. Granted I have been dreaming in mod and hippie visions ala yesterday, but like I said it was one of the "moments" as opposed to just getting dressed.

Last night I think I finally hit upon what it is that I'm bored with. I feel like when I get dressed I'm dressing for a character, and not for me. Maybe I've done too many musicals, but when I get dressed I kinda feel like I'm thinking "okay who shall I play today?" and work around that. Which is great every once in a while. I mean sometimes we all need a bit of an escape from the monotany of filling out bankruptcy information (oh wait that's just me), and it's fun to wonder "hmm what would _____ wear?" I've done that before and even blogged about it. It's the inspiration for the Meet series that I really need to get kicking on, and it's great. But not for everyday, and that's what I see myself doing.

I tend to dress either "vintage" or "quirky." One day it's red lips, cat eyes, a crinoline, and full skirt, and the next it's beat up sneakers, a ponytail, a plaid shirt, and some random accessories. I've realized that "my" style is more of a blend of those things. I like mixing vintage with modern, or quirky things. I think this is why I've always had a hard time commiting to one decade. I like alot of things about alot of decades and I like to blend those things together. The problem is that right now they are so seperated in my head that I am finding it hard to figure out how to blend them. I think that when I do blend them I tend to do it in a heavily vintage inspired way and ends up looking (at least to me) a little too costume-y. I know I'll get there eventually, but right now I'm still kind of reasearching inspiration. (I come from a family of reasearchers, what can I do?)

The key to achieving the look I want is balance, I think. So if I wear a modern dress and shoes, my accessories should be vintage and vice versa. If I do my hair in a more retro style, my make-up should be more modern and simple, and vice versa. And then if I do end up every once in a while, piecing together something that is blantantly 60's, or 40's, I don't think it will look so out of place and like I'm playing a character as opposed to going to work. So that's what I tried to do with this look. The outfit is heavy on vintage, so my hair and make-up are both more modern and simple, and I added the belt over the cardigan for a contemporary feel and I like the way it came out. This is how I want to dress everyday, a mixture of decades, styles, quirky-ness. That's when I feel like "me," like I just woke up and grabbed a few things from my closet and voila! I feel comfortable in my own skin and confident, not like I'm trying too hard, or desperatly seeking approval (which I don't, I just feel like I come off that way sometimes). Today I wasn't playing anyone else. I was just Ashley, and it was kind of nice.

What personal stamp do you try to work into your outfits?


  1. That was quite a mouthful, but in a good way as you explaind your process very well. I find I don't usually look as vintage as I like, and it is definitely the mix of modern in with the vintage pieces doing that. I'm glad you dressed as yourself today, its a cute look. When I get in a rut I tend to sit down with my closet, pull out a few things I haven't worn in a while and go from there. :)

  2. I love the sweet simplicity of your outfit - that dress is darling on you, and I envy that pendant!
    I'm the same way - I guess us theatre folk can never really escape the idea of character dressing. ;) I tend to mix modern and vintage as well, but I think my personal stamp is always a hint of Victorian or Edwardian flair, sometimes a subtle hint, sometimes an overt one.

  3. I love your "Ashley" outfit! You have paired modern and vintage perfectly for an adorable look.

  4. I totally agree with you. I've also been trying to wear all vintage at the same time, this outfit is something I would also feel comfortable wearing without thinking it's too much.