Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Summer Style Goals, Inspired by Un-Fancy

In my endless mission to de-clutter and create a more curated life, I keep stumbling across excellent minimalist blogs out in the interwebs. Whilst I'm never going to be the 'perfect' minimalist - I like a bit of cosy chaos - my goal is to only keep the things around me that make me happy, and not to simply accumulate things out of greed or boredom or a sense of lack. Which is why I seem to be forever working on this - I did go through a decade-long spending binge, essentially, and I have always been something of a hoarder as I get sentimentally attached to things very easily! So I am continually trying to gently pare down all the edges of the hoard.

The blog that caught my attention this month is Un-Fancy, and I particularly enjoyed this post about Caroline's plans and goals for her summer style. I definitely don't have what you could call a capsule wardrobe, but I have finally fallen into something approaching a personal style. The only downside is, I sometimes feel lately as though I'm playing it a bit too safe.

For the last few months I have been working on relegating clothes and fashion to the bottom of my list of priorities. I had several reasons for this - firstly, I may shortly be slightly homeless (my mum, who I currently live with, is thinking of moving to a smaller place, and I can't currently afford to either rent my own place or move in with my partner. Mum did offer to get a bigger flat with room for me as well, but I know that long-term it isn't what she wants and she'd only end up having to move again when I finally get my shit together, so I told her to go for what she needs and I'll put my stuff into storage and couch-surf for a bit. Since I'm only in the country for another year or so, it's not a huge deal.).

Secondly, I'm going backpacking with my partner. What would be the point, I asked myself, in getting excited about my personal style, and then putting all my clothes into storage and heading off to Peru with two mosquito-proof shirts and a pair of cargo pants? And thirdly, thoughts of my appearance had dominated my life for such a long time that frankly, I wanted to learn how to just not care.

But the thing is, I like to think of myself as a creative person, and I enjoy expressing that through my style, even if only in a very small way (like a pair of fun socks or quirky earrings). Secondly, whilst comfort is my priority with clothing, paying a little more attention to taking care of how I look does make me feel good about myself. Oh, and I've gone up two dress sizes (this has been a good thing. I now have proper, working circulation in all my digits. Huzzah.) so a lot of my former go-to clothes are currently a no-go (ALL the expensive jeans are not going over the butt now, dammit), and I don't really want to buy new when I still have an awful lot of other clothes.

So I decided to apply Un-Fancy's more intentional approach to my laid-back, fangirl uniform, by setting some goals and thinking a bit more about my standard go-tos (the ones that still fit, heh). (I did try a similar-ish approach before by trying to formulate a style concept; the trouble is I have a tendency to focus more on feelings and imagery than actual items and outfits, which does not always translate well into reality and can produce a feeling of wearing a costume instead of being authentic.)

1. Wear more of the clothes I have
2. Stop buying so much new/buy more thoughtfully (this one comes up a lot! I am getting there with it, this is really just a reminder to keep me focused. I really don't NEED any more clothes yet.)
3. Have fun - with accessories etc.
4. Focus on comfort

Inspiration + Planning
I guess my ideal style would be somewhere between the Parisian artist (I found the book Paris Street Style to be very inspiring; I'm usually far too strange and scruffy for the traditional Parisienne look but I did enjoy the more offbeat styles such as this image of Julie Bocquenet. I also love the glowing-skin, undone-hair, minimal-make-up French beauty looks, although I like to add some shimmer around the eyes from time to time for a slightly more ethereal take), a hint of my nerdy/geeky interests, and some strong quirky vibes. Casual, relaxed, creative, and artsy. (My main Pinterest board for my style is this one.)

Planning-wise, I am very aware of my upcoming trip which will of course involve a level of enforced minimalism! So I don't want to rely too heavily on make-up, jewellery or serious fanciness to feel like myself. I am also a lot more active than I used to be - I am doing a LOT of walking and moving around lately so I like to feel comfortable and carefree and not have my movement inhibited. Lots of bangles or heavy jewellery have become immensely irritating to me.

Summer Staples
(I haven't worried too much about outfit formulas because thankfully all of my staples are relatively easy to mix-and-match and I don't really have to think about it.)
1. Nerdy T-shirt
2. Patterned cardigan
3. Quirky shoes (my glittery Converse, crochet Toms, or my new blue tie-dye skate shoes)
4. Customised backpack
5. Flared jeans
6. Statement jewellery (e.g. my coffee cup earrings, wooden mushroom necklace or the woven bracelets I tend to pick up in souvenir shops. I find a few pieces of jewellery can make a jeans-and-tee outfit look more 'art student' than 'lazy failed adult'.)
7. Vintage-style dress (this is vague, but that's because I love dresses, although I don't wear them much, and I have a fair few, mostly in replicas of 40s, 50s and 60s styles. My current favourite is the 60s-esque dress below which I actually got at the supermarket a year ago.)
8. Miniskirt (I have several basic ones which go with all of my T-shirts, and one or two fancier ones for going out.)
9. Pencil skirt
10. Vest top
11. Jazzy pants (anything not jeans! I have a few patterned pairs and a great pair of pinstriped trews that I have been making the effort to wear a bit more.)

I made this skirt!
Elbow patches are my favourite. (I got this cardigan for 95p because it has holes in it and the elbow patches are functional rather than decorative since the elbows are worn away. I still love it and wear it all the time!)


  1. It is great that you are finding your style! Good luck with couch surfing!

    1. Thanks :) I guess it will be good practice for living out of a bag when we go travelling if nothing else! Happy birthday by the way! :D

  2. I have always been something of a hoarder as I get sentimentally attached to things very easily!-> that's me, sigh!
    I love the backpack in the fourth picture, the cardi in the fifth and the tee in the last. I think your style is getting really personal and interesting :D

    1. Thank you!! I take that as a massive compliment from the queen of personal and interesting style :-D ^_^

    2. Ooops I didn't read your reply.
      Thank you, you're way too kind ^///^

  3. People who can do this are amazing! (Hoarder after losing enough during my moving houses over and over again...) And it is an impressive plan to go backpacking for a long time :-)

    1. I have to admit we are throwing ourselves in at the deep end a bit... we haven't travelled much before. Hopefully it won't end in disaster!

  4. Ah, you're going to Peru! I absolutely loved it. I wrote a blog during my time there. It's called "El mismo sol." I don't know much about backpacking, but if you have any Peru questions, I can try to answer them. Buena Suerte!

    1. Thank you! I will definitely check out your blog! Peru is where we are heading first, most likely, because we want to do the Inca Trail (gulp) so it's the only bit of our trip when we'll need camping equipment. So we thought we'd go there first and then with any luck be able to sell off our excess baggage. I'm so excited! But I've also never travelled outside Europe, so also terrified >.<


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