The second step in The Curated Closet is all about collecting images of clothes that speak to you. Ooh, I have a ton of those! (Hello Pinterest 😄)
But the caveat is that they have to be clothes you’d actually wear in your normal life. Hmm, that… maybe I don’t have a lot of those.
So I set out to look through my old Pinterest boards, with inspiration pictures collected over the years. What have I saved that I’d want to wear vs. things I just enjoy looking at? What repeating themes can I identify?
Overall, the vibe is relaxed elegance, with a strong dose of playful, colorful joy.
There’s no maximalist chaos and also none of the quiet drama of stark minimalism. There is a sense that details matter – with a contrasting trim here or coordinating jewelry there. Prints are mostly stripes and polka dots rather than florals or abstracts.
But that’s as far as I got.
I mean, I started writing this post back on April 10th. And then… nothing.
Or rather, not nothing, but a lot of distraction. First on Pinterest itself, where it sometimes feels like influencer central, with all the women wearing a variation on the same old, same old. When I could get past the influencers, I’d fall down various rabbit holes including Alyssa Milano’s pixie cut. (Yep, that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.)
And second, the job. Yes, I got one. And it took up a lot of time and energy both before and after I accepted the position.
Needless to say, I didn’t add much to my already existing Pinterest boards.
Instead, I was inspired by Nancy Nix-Rice’s wardrobe and ideas. Her pattern reviews show that she tends to stick to a flattering silhouette, using just a few outfit formulas. Her book Looking Good… Every Day and her Craftsy class covering the same topic explained and illustrated the concepts further, and I decided I’d start there.
And so on May 1, I sat across from Nancy and watched as she selected color swatches for me.
Unlike most other color consultants, Nancy doesn’t give you a particularly wide range of colors. Instead, she gives you a fairly tight color palette of what she calls your mountain top colors. The best ones that bring focus to your face.
Three weeks later, I got my new color fan in the mail. And last weekend, I went shopping with it 😄
I’d never been to Ginny’s Fine Fabrics before so when my husband offered to drive me to Minnesota, I said yes before he could change his mind. It’s a bit of a drive, about 200 miles each way, and we got to see some gorgeous parts of rural Iowa along the way.
The staff at Ginny’s were friendly and helpful, the fabrics beautiful and well-organized, and the whole trip was a success.
I tried to find fabrics in all of the fan colors, and I think I did a good job.
The five colors in the lower left corner are lightweight rayon knits for summer tops. That’s where I’m going to start – the bottom one is washed and cut already.
In the top left corner are two winter whites – one is a light to mid-weight knit with a sueded feel to it, there’s enough to make a couple of long-sleeved tops for fall. The other is a sweater knit that feels just heavenly and warm (very important for winter here, hehe) and I’m thinking a nice long cardigan with enough left over for a serious shawl wrap.
In the top right corner, a bright red wool double knit, fairly lightweight as wool double knits go, that will make a nice funnel neck top for winter. Under it is the only woven in this group – a drapey gauzy linen blend in dark spruce that will make a nice big shirt for summer.
And in the lower right corner are a super dark brown heavy rayon ponte and a less dark brown wool double knit, both of which will probably become fitted dresses. The pale pinkish fabric is my splurge – a gorgeous Loro Piana cashmere knit for a comfy funnel neck sweater for winter.
Well, so much for gathering inspiration pictures. Turns out right now, I’m much more inspired by colors and fabrics.
Let’s see where they take me.