inspiration and the modular wardrobe

think of manhattan.
the film, not the city.

yes, yes, we all love annie hall and her androgyny and her eschewing overt femininity and her just-so way of wearing ill-shaped, but impeccably-fitting trousers and ties and vests and whatnot. but...that trend is on its last legs. let's find a NEW androgynous character to obsess over!

i watched the movie last evening and this is one of the two that stuck with me. here, she walks through the museum with allen with a straight leg pant and blazer. not shown are the pumps that peeked out of the hem of the trousers which just barely skimmed the base of the heel. i'm not sure why, but this image and that of anne byrne hoffman (who played yale's wife; yale being the best friend of allen's character, carrying on an affair with keaton) wearing a silk (?) blouse--seemingly braless--tucked into a long, almost fluid skirt. such effortless but coordinated ease is what i aim for.
nothing can take the place of a pair of well-cut trousers. indeed, you can dress it up or down for nearly any occasion. i have 3 pairs of these at the moment in 3 different colors, but rarely wear them as i feel such items are best left for formal or semi-formal occasions. being a student, these are few and far between. they are, all 3, understated and simple, but paired well, i have been able to work them into various outfits. with the foundation of a good pair of trousers and a versatile blazer, i just need to build my collection of tops. i feel i will be well on my way to my dream of a wardrobe based on simplicity, form and function.

the modular wardrobe; all parts are interchangeable.
there are 2 pairs of patent shoes because sometimes you don't want to be all sexy, but still chic, although it has been noted that kitten heels cause greater back problems in the long run than stilettos...oh well. it feels better, dammit.

 things i have learned this year:
  • i have very little use for items that are 'girly'. this means no frills, bows, pink or lace. ever. period. 
  • i like deep colors and earth tones. blues, greens, greys and browns, with the occasional pop of red.
  • i prefer crew necks to boatnecks v-necks to turtlenecks. though i have a fairly long neck, turtlenecks are not flattering. perhaps i'm buying the wrong ones. i have a jutting collarbone that is best flattered by simple jewelry or full coverage. decolletage...i'm working on it.
  • for every single shoe i have owned, if it's too high, uncomfortable or unflattering, i won't wear it.
  • there IS a boot for every occasion.
  • a good wool cardigan can take you from day to night, casual to formal, summer to winter with the greatest of ease
  • a true 'investment' piece will never give you buyer's remorse. wait it out. sleep on it. even if it takes months. i'm all for instant gratification, but have found that the patient path is also deeply satisfying.
  • i really, really, REALLY, like leather. jackets, pants, skirts, shorts. you name it, i want it, lol. and can usually incorporate it seamlessly.
  • one good bag, one clutch, a pair of studs, a watch, a string of pearls are all i need to accessorize. i lose the rest or they end up discarded or forgotten at the bottom of my closet or jewelry box. so-called statement pieces are rare (and distracting) for me.
  • my hair is a permanent accessory; if my hair does not 'go' with the outfit, i find myself frustrated and at a loss. i often have to build my outfit around the shape and style of my hair (silly? is it just me?) and as such, i spend a fair amount of time trying to maintain it. lately, i've been favoring double buns at my nape. sexy? no. chic? no. me? all the way.
  • i don't like to be on trend. i seriously avoided wearing blazers because everyone and their mother had one. whenever the next best thing comes out, i will likely revert to them because i feel they are a great modular element in any wardrobe.
  • i favor comfort far more than i favor what's supposed to be in style.
good things to know when shopping, eh? i think this list, though mental on my part, has been useful more recently. i shop based on need. though nowhere near deadfleurette status, i am less of a recessionista (oy...really?) and more of...well, just me. my needs and staples are not dictated by vogue, blogs, or erin wasson. just me.

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Blogger Prêt à Porter P said...

Blazers are a classic! What sets you apart from being trendy is the fit/quality. I don't care for the trendy oversized 80s blazer. You have that beautiful black blazer. Though the upside of something you like becoming trendy is that it's easier to find. I agree with you about cardigans. I like merino especially since it's not precious. It sounds like you're coming along in knowing what does/doesn't work for you. :D

29/12/10 04:03  
Blogger urbanrhetoric said...

i found myself disagreeing w/ a couple of these items, as i am:

1. completely into girly stuff
2. obsessed w/ turtlenecks
3. tend to be trendy, even though this is something i want to avoid in the new year

i am completely w/ you about cardigans and i LOVE the looks in the movie 'annie hall'. love love love.


ps: just received your email. i'll talk to my sis. maybe brunch this weekend?

29/12/10 08:17  
Blogger Marie said...

Say it ain't so about the kitten heels!!! I've never heard that before. I mean, logically it doesn't make sense. LOL
I enjoyed reading your list of what you learned. You sound very confident in your dress & what you like/don't like. And that's a really nice way to be!

I don't know what I'd do without bows though;)

29/12/10 11:50  
Anonymous Vegalyn said...

Great Post!
Love the final comment on how your needs are not dictated by Vogue. (BTW, what looks good on Erin Wasson problaby won't fit majority of women)

As a petite woman, I choose to stay away from girly details. As they make someone like me look "cute" in a bad way.

Neutral colors, great fit and material (buy the best possible quality at the prices you can afford). And I love boots, definitely.
Never understood the hype on clogs and high platform shoes anyway.

Happy new year!

29/12/10 11:55  
Blogger koko // res pulchrae said...

Hm, sorry to hear you're having trouble. You say you're going out? As in out at night? I say slap on some skinny black pants, borrow a button-down from the boy, a black blazer or coat though it's not so cold today, and a scarf. That's my go-to emergency outfit!

Also, I got my druid hood from Century21 - have you been lately? I need an update!

30/12/10 09:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post! I agree with you about the hair. If the hair looks bad, the whole look is bad. Unfortunately, I am really lazy when it comes to styling my hair. I actually don't like anything about it.
I love almost everything in the second pic ( I can't see pic 1). Especially that YSL clutch. It's lovely!
Happy New Year!!!

30/12/10 12:37  
Blogger carla said...

How did you come up with this list? It's great!

3/1/11 06:32  
Anonymous joelle van dyne said...

i loove her style in that movie! i don't think anyone pulls off the menswear look quite so well, and still manages to look totally feminine. ~joelle

3/1/11 14:05  
Blogger samantha. said...

i just watched this movie the other day too, and was again, struck by how effortlessly beautiful diane keaton is. love her style.


5/1/11 10:00  
Blogger Aïssa said...

Great post, very insightful on your style. I find that suprisingly blogging's really helped me focusing on what was best for me style-wise and rationalize my shopping habits.

7/1/11 06:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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18/4/13 08:25  

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