Favorite Outfits – February 2013

At the beginning of each month, I will post photos of my favorite outfits from the previous month.  My reasons for doing this are as follows:

  • To review what I’ve been wearing and search for common themes to help me further hone my personal style.
  • To increase my appreciation for my wardrobe so I am more satisfied with what I have and less preoccupied with buying more.
  • To help myself overcome self-consciousness and excessive worries of what others think of me.
  • To hopefully inspire others to shop their closets, use and appreciate what they have, and hone and express their own personal style.

The Bar is Set High for My Style…

I have to admit that the third reason is the most challenging for me.  Part of why I shop compulsively is because I don’t feel I measure up in terms of my appearance and what I wear.  To add insult to injury, my work as a wardrobe consultant makes me feel as if the style “bar” is raised even higher.

As I looked through my February outfits, I was not especially impressed with what I wore throughout the month. While I was comfortable and happy with many of my outfits as I was wearing them, I certainly don’t feel I look like a “fashion plate” in them.

Style Objectives – Confidence, Body Acceptance, Appropriateness

In truth, I am not really trying to be a “fashionista.”  I am not overly concerned with trends and being on the cutting edge of fashion, either for myself or my clients (unless they specify that’s what they want).  My primary objectives for myself and others are to increase confidence, improve body image, and dress appropriately for one’s body, lifestyle, and personality.

Developing an inspiring sense of style is a process that can take time and using outfit photos to document what one is wearing, as well as inspiration photos from other sources, can be an important part of the journey.  Seeing what you’re wearing in relation to how you want to appear can assist you in identifying disconnects and working to refine your style to more closely resemble your desired image.

My Top Outfits for February 2013

With all that said, here are my favorite outfits from February 2013.

February 2013 Outfits - #1

Stripes, open cardigans, and bowed ballet flats

February 2013 Outfits - #2

Cobalt blue, grey, and navy

February 2013 Outfits - #3

Leopard print, orange, stripes, and black

February 2013 Outfits - #4

Green, teal, stripes, and ballet flats

Common Themes

As I looked through the eight outfits I selected as my favorites from last month, the following themes were readily apparent, some of which were also mentioned in my January favorite outfits post:

  1. StripesNo surprise here!  Stripes have long been a favorite look of mine.  While they are enjoying a moment as a current fashion trend, I have been sporting stripes for as long as I can remember.
  2. Black My key neutral color, but I mostly wore it on my bottom half this past month.
  3. Grey My secondary key neutral. I adore the embellished grey cardigan I bought over two years ago and it’s still receiving a lot of wear. 
  4. Navy & Cobalt BlueMy navy pants are among my favorites, but they almost look black in photos (the pants with the cobalt coat and teal cardigan are navy) .  I love the new cobalt coat I bought in February, as well as the cardigan in that hue I found at a consignment store in December.
  5. Green/Teal – Along with blues, greens are my favorite colors to wear.  Both colors look good against my pale skin tone and dark hair.
  6. Leopard PrintMy leopard ballet flats were a closet favorite last year and I’m trying to wear my leopard print coat frequently as well.  Leopard print has the distinction of being one of the few warm tones I wear on a regular basis.
  7. Open CardigansThese types of cardigans were all the rage for several years and I’m still seeing a lot of them in stores.  I often run cold, so I like to include a second layer in my winter/spring outfits.  In all honesty, I also appreciate the extra coverage which these pieces provide while helping me to look polished.
  8. Ballet FlatsI love this style for its classic look, as well as comfort.  Two of the pairs I wore include a bow detail, which has a romantic feel but does not appear too “precious” for my style vibe.
  9. Necklaces For a long time, I rarely wore the necklaces in my jewelry box and instead focused on statement earrings and bracelets.  As part of my desire to wear everything I have this year, I’ve started incorporating my necklaces into my outfits more often.  I have learned that I really love the look of a necklace with the “v” and scoop necklines I like to wear.

Why Look For Themes?

Why identify common themes?  They help us to see what we enjoy wearing so we can focus on those items during future shopping trips.  While it’s good to push ourselves out of our comfort zones from time to time, the majority of our outfits should reflect a sense of style that inspires us and which suits our bodies and lifestyles.  The items which we gravitate towards in our wardrobes (as opposed to what we feel compelled to buy when shopping) provide clues about what makes our hearts sing style-wise.

A large part of why I have too many unworn clothes in my wardrobe is that I was shopping for an imagined lifestyle and based upon the recommendations of outside forces, such as magazines, bloggers, style experts, sales clerks, and even friends and family members.  I have far too many dressy clothes for my casual San Diego lifestyle and as much as I’d love to be a person who dresses to the nines for all occasions, that’s not who I am.  I am fine with dressing a few levels above those around me, but I don’t want to wear a fancy dress and heels when others are donning jeans and flip-flops (the standard attire around these parts!).

Your Own Opinion Matters Most

I believe that as the year progresses and I review and post my favorite outfits each month, I will learn more and more about what makes me tick style-wise.  As I wear and evaluate my wardrobe “benchwarmers” and purge the less than fabulous garments and accessories from my closet, I think I’ll love a larger percentage of the outfits I wear.  I will more fully embrace my personal sense of style and hopefully care less and less about the opinions of others.

While I want to look nice and put-together, my goal is to dress more for myself and less to impress other people.  Of course, what other people think matters, but it’s our own opinion of ourselves that matters most.  After all, who else will be around us twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year?

10 thoughts on “Favorite Outfits – February 2013

  1. Debbie – thanks for continuing to inspire with your clothing thoughtfulness. I know that you are balancing how you present yourself to the world everyday with your opinion of yourself. The “common themes,” is a great way to hone this. Using your outfit photographing tip for about two weeks, now, I am already seeing patterns…even in the colors of my closet. I struggle to keep my black things to a minimum and make new purchases in the happy, flattering colors I love. “Street style” photos help me shop my closet and come up with new combos – this photo reminded me of you, with the striped shirt, 3/4 coat, and dark blue pants! http://www.fabsugar.com/Street-Style-Paris-Fashion-Week-Fall-2013-28320657?slide=257

    • Lil, Thanks for checking back in. I’m glad that my blog is helpful to you and that my suggestion to photograph your outfits is helping you to increase awareness and make better choices. It’s definitely had that effect on me. Love the “street style” photos! I will bookmark that site and check it out often. I often look at style blogs and save photos that I want to use for inspiration. No need to “reinvent the wheel,” right? I am enjoying shopping my closet and I’m glad that you are, too. Keep up the great work! – Debbie

    • Jane,

      Thank you so much for your kind words (and for taking the time to comment). Much appreciated! I’m glad you like my blog and will continue to read in the future.


  2. Hi I just found your blog and I’m already taking away some really good ideas , thank you 🙂
    Some thoughts on your style: my very first thought was : a shorter haircut, maybe chin length would suit her really well. Also the bright blue coat looks stunning on you. That’s definitely an ideal colour for you :)And I thought adding a belt from time to time could look lovely and give even more of a finished/polished look without much effort. But of course you are right style should be about yourself and not about others. Nevertheless I thought I would share my ideas 🙂 Looking forward to your next posts

    • Maria, Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you are getting some good ideas from my posts. Also, thanks for your compliment (that blue is one of my favorite colors!) and suggestions. I often do think about cutting my hair, but it’s a difficult decision… I actually have wavy, frizzy hair that I flat-iron, so it’s hard to find a good cut that works. Maybe after I heal my shopping problems, I will work on my flat-iron addiction 🙂 I agree that adding belts to some of my outfits could be a good thing. Perhaps I will buy a belt as one of my accessory purchases this year (don’t have any now, believe it or not). Belts can be tricky, but can add punch to an outfit if done right. I’m glad you like my blog and that you plan to keep reading!

      • Debbie,
        I wanted mention that after having a thorough read through your early postings about you, we share much more than I originally wrote(while I do shop, I can’t say that I am close to that of a shopaholic and do control purchasing items using a variety of techniques-my favorite was finding something and doing the 24 /48 hours wait & see if the desire was still there-over the last few years this rule now is extending to sometimes more than 3 months! I have been eyeballing a tunic since last Jan of 2012 and still can’t say for certain whether I really want it or should I say need it?/my actual goal is to go the opposite way and try to have the well-edited curated closet. While I do not shop frequently anymore-I honestly don’t know if someone would look in my closet and say I have a problem-I have 17 pairs of footwear which included all such as boots, sneakers,etc & yes I do wear them all/rarely do I buy any footwear as I try to keep all very classic-riding boots, ballet flats, converse white sneakers and only one pair of low suede heels for dressing up-approx. 10 pairs of pants which include cords,heavier winter dress pants ,one pr black jeans, white jeans and blue jeans along with gray khakis as well some ankle jeans and dress pants for summer use-a handful of button down shirts, blazers and cardigans of all styles-I am guesstimating that including outerwear,tees, shoes ,etc I likely have about 150 pieces give or take- so again not sure if this is shopaholic territory as I try to wear everything. Again though I KNOW I could reduce and would love to have a simpler wardrobe like those that Vivianne of the Vivianne files shows for the 33 item wardrobe ( I know that you know of her as that is how I found your blog on her bloglist). Okay so after that longwinded intro- the reason I say we are very similar is the other issues that you wrote of growing up- we are actually identical(from parents and the events surrounding growing up right through to the eating disorder and its resulting issues). Which now takes me to something else we are similar on -the wavy frizzy hair- my is long like yours but thick so have it layered which gives great control – so perhaps you may wish to look at doing something like that and allows the disuse of the flat iron-by the way we share the same long angular features(in effect from the pics you have posted, you are a younger version of me!). Something that helps immensely with the wavy frizzy hair and is so simple is eating an avocado a day( I also have a tbsp of organic coconut oil in my morning smoothie)-it took about 2 weeks for all the frizzy to disappear! I was flabbergasted at how I battled this damn hair from teenagehood on and the answer was so simple the whole time
        Keep up your great postings- I really enjoy reading about your journey:)

      • ABgurl, Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed learning more about you and seeing the many similarities we share! You sound like you are doing very well with your shopping and wardrobe – much farther along than I am, to be sure. I like the idea of the 24/48 wait before buying and I have tried to do that more and more lately. It’s easier to do that with online shopping than when out at a store/mall. I usually end up buying because I don’t want to have to go back to the store again, but maybe I will decide NOT to buy and won’t have to go back. Also, if I buy and regret it, I will have to go back to do a return, so it’s probably much better to use the “power pause” that Jill Chivers mentions in her My Year Without Clothes Shopping program.

        Thanks for the tips regarding my hair. I do have some layering in my hair, but not a lot. If I let it dry naturally, it looks like a brilo pad, so I don’t know how else to deal with it other than the flat-ironing (which I’m tired of and is damaging my hair). I do eat avocado often but not a whole one per day. Perhaps I should try more avocado and coconut oil (morning smoothies sound yummy!).

        I love “The Vivienne Files” and have been reading it for probably a year. Lots of great ideas and beautiful visuals shared there. I’m sure that she has more than 33 items in her wardrobe, but I know she has done Project 333 at least a few times. I am going to do it soon, too! Will post about that next week. I’m scared but also excited for the growth I will have.

        I appreciate your comments. Take care and enjoy your weekend, Debbie

      • Debbie,
        Here’s another tip re the buying of items that I find really effective these days ( on anything from clothes to misc. other items)-if the urge to buy it when I see it either in a store(which my number one tip for that problem – is to avoid going to the mall,etc like the plague:) or online is to ask myself how nice that item will look in the bag of clothes that are off to a donation center in the months to come after I realize I have never worn it or in fact really needed it (and of course it is far too late to return). Along with that picture, I also then visualize myself standing on a street somewhere throwing the dollar bills away or driving while throwing the money out the car window which is what we are doing if the item is not needed. While not a skinflint or cheap, we all know that we work hard for those dollar bills and can’t afford to waste them & into this mix , I remind myself that for every dollar I am wasting personally on an unneeded clothing item, I am giving someone else( the manufacturer, the clothing store,etc) the pleasure of enjoying my hard earned dollar and making them “rich” while I get poorer(and get to enjoy the guilt over the waste of cash).
        Abt the project 333- I think it is a great thing too and can be very beneficial in helping to drive home the point of not needing all the items we think we do(or have been conditioned by the fashion industry to think we do and bottom line is that they need to make us think this or they will never make money and go belly up/so instead they use reverse psychology to make us think we will go belly up as a “worthwhile ” person (into this worthwhile person idea can go the idea you discussed in another recent post about poverty which for both of us I think is particularly salient given our background-I know for me as a teenager and surrounded by those who could afford,I always felt like I was less coupled with embarassment and shame although as an adult one knows the “clothes don’t make the man” so to speak but try telling that to the teenager and young woman who is trying to figure out the world- I know this has been behind much of the extra shopping I did as I vowed when I was older and could afford to purchase ,I would have a closet full of nice clothes and I do!!) if we don’t have all the trappings, in this case, clothing and in N.America,LOTS OF IT!!! Perhaps another great idea is take a couple of weekends and make that ” 33 ” or even a few more pieces if the idea of 33 makes you too uncomfortable at this point easy to do by putting together outfits(try to build at least 3 from each item) and then if you have a camera or I use my ipad, taking the photo of it and saving it. This way you do not have to think abt what to wear and have an easy reference. It is very strange in that I have personally not yet done this but have done it for a friend ( we first defined what she wanted as her “uniform” which was khakis, easy tops, various types of sweaters & some accesories that she really loved/then we took a set amount of clothes and built 3 to 6 outfits including the accessories and the shoes/took photos with the ipad & now she doesn’t have to think when getting dressed-just picks up her ipad, thumbs through and choses the outfit that strikes her fancy for that day. She says she can’t believe how wonderful it is to have no stress over what to wear and to see that from the few items we put together she had so much variety that she doesn’t feel the urge to add any new things.

        Have wonderful weekend as well

      • Thank you for your continued wonderful comments! I’m sure your tips will help others, too. I love the visualization exercises and will use them!

        Regarding Project 333, check out my guest post there today: http://theproject333.com/fear/. I’m excited to start the Project. I will post later this week about why I decided to do Project 333 and I will post a number of updates as the 3 months progress, including my P333 outfits. I know I will learn and grow a great deal from taking on that challenge!

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