Sunday, February 28, 2010

Naval-Gazing: Spring Wardrobe Capsule Challenge --

I'd been mulling over ways I could get on the Navy bandwagon Privilege and Une Femme recently set in motion. My work environment is so different from either of theirs that I have never had the same resistance to the colour. And with spring almost here, my mood's ready to shift the default black aside.

So I thought I'd do a navy post, and then along came Small Fabric's Annual Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge. Two birds, one stone, and a week full of posts! Minor problem is that I have to get over my discomfort with getting in front of the camera and modelling what I'm wearing -- especially given a few recent cases of being "outed" as a blogwriter, I've been wary of exposing myself to ridicule, particularly of the student variety. At the same time, the politics of my blog, subtle, generally in the background, but implicit in its very existence, I hope, is that women my age still care about our appearance, that women of all shapes, sizes, and looks participate in matters of style and fashion, and that a "life of the mind" (a phrase I've always found tiresome) does not preclude attention to the body. May this quiet manifesto mitigate any "What? Does she think she's a model or something?" foolishness you perceive here next week!

Okay, that's the wordy and defensive preamble done.
On to the spring capsule wardrobe. The rules allow for ten items of clothing and five accessories, with outerwear (coat, scarf, gloves, and weather-appropriate footwear), hosiery, and underwear not included. So without further ado, I present

1. wide-legged Michael Kors trouser jeans
2. Banana Republic skinny-leg navy cords

3. Banana Republic navy cardigan
4. Denim skirt, but a hand-knit version with a deep "lace" hem.

5. Scoop-neck FCUK pullover, bought last fall on sale and not yet worked into rotation.6. Grey wool flannel GAP dress

7. Red cotton scarf, bought in Paris several years ago

8. Hermes silk scarf

9. Liz Claiborne cardigan. 10. Joe Sanchez shoes, bought in Quebec City at least nine years ago, still love them!

I'm going to take advantage of the "weatherproof footwear allowance" to sneak these boots in for variety.
So now I have room for 5 accessories, having included my scarves as "items of clothing." I debated doing without earrings all week (the Challenge runs Monday to Friday), but I think I'd miss them. Instead, I decided I'd wear 1. the same pair of Tiffany silver-ball studs everyday, 2. the matching bracelet, 3. my everyday (silver) watch, 4. my silver First Nations-carved bracelet, and 5. my red bag.
I have to admit that right now this seems almost too easy -- I had originally thought the challenge was for a full week rather than five days, and I included the cords primarily to have something comfy for the weekend. If that had been the case, I'd have swapped out Accessory # 4 and subbed in a pair of flat shoes, probably my black patent oxfords, for walking around the city next Saturday and Sunday. As is, I suspect the biggest challenge will be trying to find the time to photograph and post outfits -- I'm going to try to set the camera on a mini-tripod (on a countertop) tonight and remind myself how to use the self-timer. It's likely I'll combine several days into one post, but if I can find time to upload photographs and write a few words, I'll try a daily post. I'm looking forward to seeing what all the other participants come up with. Now, back to watching a certain rather tense game . . . Go Canada!


  1. Pleased to see the right team won! And good on you for doing the wardrobe capsule challenge. I blanch at the thought of those kinds of things ...

  2. Great job so far! Mindful dressing seems to make it easier to get out of the house in the mornings...I bought wide legged trousers recently and am having fun wearing them and if I recall you are shortish like me, ooh nice Hermes scarf...looking forward to seeing that baby...on purse or neck...I await with baited breath!

    Wow it's a great day to be a Canadian!

  3. What a great capsule you're starting with! I can hardly wait to see how you pull these together.
    (I love that BR come I can never find anything that fabulous there anymore??)

  4. Tiff: I'm beyond blanching -- almost ready to renege, in fact! I'll just have to pretend no one's looking, right?
    HHB: Yes, I'm not quite 5'4" -- so I'll be wearing these trouser jeans with the heel (in fact, the way I had them hemmed, I have no choice about that, sadly!)
    And yes, that was quite a game -- not that I watched much of it, the tension being too much for me. I just counted on Pater's yells to let me know what was happening. ;-)

  5. This looks interesting, I'm looking forward to the photos. I have loved navy blue since my school days (I think I liked the uniform much more than actual school). I, too, love the BR cardigan - that would definitely be a staple for me.
    The last 4 days were spent in 100% Canadian company - it was great! Didn't see the game as I was travelling, but I probably couldn't have watched much either - as you say, too tense. Patricia

  6. Go Canada indeed, How lovely to live in a country who's sporting stars actually deliver!
    As someone who prides herself in never wearing the same thing twice in a week, that challenge would indeed be a challenge! I will enjoy watching.
    I too have pulled back a lot from self portraits as I too have been outed by a colleague, so annoying, but as you say it is important to show & tell to preserve the sanity of this baby boom generation. it definitely has helped me.

  7. This sounds like fun. I often face a mini version of this challenge....the three/four day conference and a walk-on suitcase. I have two very useful reversible jackets (a wool plain black on one side and blue on the other, and a patterned one with reds/golds prevalent on one side and the black and tans on the other). Want to book them for the next challenge?

  8. We wwwwoooooon! And I predict you will too. This is a great discipline whether or not one enrolls in a challenge, as lizhk says, like we need for a conference.

  9. I love the wash of those Michael Kors jeans. So much so that I am going to go look for those.

  10. Well done. You're right on the cusp or the cutting edge or whatever other cliche applies.

  11. The challenge is a great idea. I'm reluctant to try, because my choices are so lame! Maybe I'll work up to it another time.

  12. Pseu: I don't know why I don't wear that cardi more -- it really is a great piece and it's true they haven't offered many of those lately.
    Patricia: I'm happy you were able to enjoy some homey company at your getaway conference -- and the boys would have been well-occupied watching the games together, I suppose!
    Alison: My students are a bit older than yours, but just the same -- can you imagine the fun they'll have should they find me plonked in front of the camera? I'm cringeing already!
    Liz: Why am I not surprised? You always have interesting solutions to problems . . . Last year, I went to two conferences over the month I was away from home, all out of my carry-on, but luckily, no jackets required!
    Duchesse: Wasn't that a party! And yes, it's a good challenge, good discipline -- if only I found a mannequin to dress up instead of myself ;-)
    LBR: They're great, quite a light weight, perfect for summer.
    Tish: Why, thank you!
    G: Given the creativity evident on your blog, I can't imagine any of your choices being "lame"!

  13. First off, belated congrats to your Olympic hockey win. Poor Sidney was not treated so well when he returned to Pittsburgh ice, and that is just shameful. Honestly, should any team other than Canada triumph at hockey? No.

    On to the clothing. This is a very interesting challenge, and I can't wait to catch up on the more recent posts and follow along!

  14. Gina: You're a very generous neighbour/competitor! Poor Sidney -- but I guess he gets a few benefits as compensation for his woes ;-)

  15. What a lovely capsule, and congratulations on the win too! I'm way behind but I am catching up. Do the jean-trousers have as nice a gray/black tint as they do on my monitor?


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