thoughts on my style
last updated: 2021-11-18
i don't want to have a particular style but i do know what i like to wear. this page is going to be a brain dump on working out how to look cool as all heck while not owning many clothes, and not wearing exclusively neutrals!
note: this page uses british clothing terms! when i say pants i mean underpants (except in the context of harem pants, when they're trousers). trousers are american pants. i think that's the only thing to clarify but that's a thing!
fun outfit combinations!
so first here are some outfit combinations i mess around with frequently, as a starting point.
- colourful trousers
- plainish button up shirt
so this first one, i bought some white trousers from a charity shop and tie dyed them, they look extremely good. thing is, it's quite overwhelming wearing them with anything else bright - for halloween i went as dylan brady of 100 gecs fame, and the garishness of wearing tie dye shirt with tie dye trousers (and a belt as a choker/leash) was quite out there. of course, wearing a blazer with anything instantly raises the hot factor.
- patterned shirt
- hoodie with hood removed
this second one is the other way around, i guess. bright shirt, so less bright trousers. i'm not sure about the hoodies actually. i used to wear them all the time, now i want to wear things a bit more fun. and without the hoods, they just look a bit odd.
- slogan t shirt
i found a cardigan in a charity shop recently and it's pretty nice. not super nice - it's made of some synthetic material and feels kind of gritty - but aesthetically nice enough. i don't have many slogan t shirts as i don't like them that much, but i've accumulated a few over the years for various purposes. it's a nice pretty chill combination.
i'm quite picky, it has to be said.
- my prefered style could be loosely defined as male-facing androgynous. this is mostly because i don't like skirts or dresses, otherwise i'd look extremely feminine.
- i have a strong preference for monochrome earrings.
- i like to wear bright colours.
- i don't like my legs on show. in practice, this means i always wear trousers.
- i don't like to think about shoes. i get attached to one pair and wear them everywhere. so any shoes should be hardwearing and very versatile both aesthetically and pragmatically.
ehh, now i write that out i don't feel as picky. maybe i'll think of more things later.
the idea of a capsule wardrobe is that you have a small wardrobe of items that you can basically chuck together however you want and it looks good. if you've grown up masculinized, like me, this might sound pretty weird because you're used to just slapping on jeans, a t shirt, and any of a hoodie, jacket, or lumberjack shirt to suit the occasion. turns out men basically live with capsule wardrobes already. when i started reading about the concept, i was shocked at the size of some people's closets - i own only around fifty clothes already!
anyway, i want to do a *real* capsule wardrobe now. more colours, more combinations, same-ish style. but less jeans and t shirt wearing. as i say, i already have not many clothes, but i'm gonna do some mad swapping around or whatever to get to where i want to be.
where do i want to be? i'm going to say thirty six items of clothing, including socks, shoes, and accessories, but counting socks in twos. why thirty six? no real reason, it's around the thirty mark that a lot of people aim for, but by including extras i've still cut it down enough from my already apparently tiny selection to be a bit of a fun challenge. also thirty six is 100 in senary and you know i love that stuff.
this capsule will not be all my clothes. i have a smart black shirt and trousers which i keep for concerts, but i don't wear them any other time. that's separate. i'm not counting pants, because i don't choose them based on my outfit (or at least, they don't matter so much).
without further ado, here's a list of the kind of stuff you need in a wardrobe:
- shoes - i personally think nice-ish boots are optimum shoes. i only wear trainers for exercise, and i don't do that very often, and in those situations the aim really shouldn't be looking the best you can. i'd like to get into sandals at some point, but that's a future goal.
- socks - i like crew length. if you wear short skirts, ripped jeans, or shorts, there's a case for both ankle socks and thigh highs, but i don't, so i (kind of sadly) don't need any.
- tops - graphic tees, plain button ups, printed shirts.
- bottoms - probably some jeans, some brightly coloured trousers, and a pair of harem pants or similar. it's probably also useful to have suit trousers for "smart" situations, which can go with the plain button ups above.
- jackets - cardigans, blazers, other over garments.
- coats - a waterproof, a trench.
- hats - winter hat. i prefer sunglasses to summer hats, i think? having said that, i do like a good bucket hat.
- accessories - watches, earrings, necklaces, etc
ok now brb after i've pulled out all my clothes :)
i'm not fully convinced by the follow a colour palette advice. but i figured it wouldn't hurt to look at what i currently wear, colour-wise. the results are in and i wear a bunch of shades of blue, shades of red (including pink), pale yellow (beige kind of), black, and white.
so like, every colour. nice one.
not quite! there's very litte green (except for my green dressing gown which i only wear alone).
digging deeper, there are more links and patterns. guess it's time for another list, these are things i've noticed about colour:
- blue bottoms. i basically only wear two pairs of trousers: a pair of blue jeans, and my tie dyed ones. so that's fifty percent blue. however, i also own a pair of blue pyjama bottoms with a cool pattern i used to wear as trousers and i'd like to start doing again, and my suit trousers are blue. i don't wear those often either, but yeah. blue is a solid colour.
- pink on top. i only own two pieces of pink clothing, a pale pink dress shirt and a hot pink corduroy overshirt. they're both on top. i don't know if this is important, but it's a thing.
- pale on top. aside from a tie dyed button up, my tops are all quite understated. pale blue, pink, beigey, black, white. even the patterened ones. thinking back on an old piece of clothing that i had to stop wearing because i wore it out, that was a printed shirt with an understated colour palette.
- bright overs - i have a bright red cropped pea coat which is great. the hot pink overshirt. my most worn hoodie is pretty bright orange. i've always been taken by the brightly coloured jackets when i go shopping.
- neutral coats - coats which i take off, like the trench and waterproof, tend to be plain. the trench is beige, and the waterproof is black.
regarding socks, i have all sorts. i tend to wear them odd and just pick whichever two, but sometimes i pick out complementary ones. but there's no real direction there.
back to colour. pale tops and shirts in pink, blue, beige, potentially with understated patterns, trousers in bright colours or patterns, and contrasting bright colours for jackets seems to be the vibe.
regarding trousers, those bright colours or patterns should probably have a neutral base. the dominant colour on the tie dye is white. i mean, that's not what jumps out at you, but they started out white and that's what's in between every other colour. i think it helps to ground the design.
i mentioned i only wear monochrome earrings. this isn't a hard and fast rule, just a preference. other accessories i mess with colour on. i'd like a bright watch to provide interest, and further induce conversation and eyerolling when people see me with three (is that worse than two or better? at least i'm more committed i guess).
another thing - i don't think i want any blue jackets or whatever, because i don't want a fully blue outfit. but i would like a jumper, maybe. i've not worn jumpers in years and years. on the subject, i'm pretty tempted by the idea of a pair of cords. bleached cords maybe?
how to split the clothes?
so how many of each of these categories of clothes am i going to have? i hear you ask. great question! the great answer is guesswork and trial and error.
i know that i can get by on not many trousers and a few more shirts, so i'm gonna stick with that kind of formula. and fiddle around with my thirty six items to make it all work out.
so let's get this show on the road!
three coats. currently i have two, and i will keep it that way for the moment, with a gap for a third one when it is necessary. you'll see when that is in the handy list below:
- trenchcoat - just an every day coat to wear and look cool. mine is beige and quite thin, but with a wool lining which can get hot. but generally it does a good job. it's not waterproof.
- winter coat - thicker, for the purposes of keeping me warm in chilly chilly britain. mine is black, only goes to my waist, and is waterproof. decent coat, it's held up well actually.
- waterproof jacket - i don't have a thin waterproof jacket at the moment. that's fine for now, but last year whenever it rained i was stuck wearing the warm coat, and in the hot british summers that's not always fun! so i'm leaving a space so when summer comes round i can decide if that's a good thing to grab.
three pairs of trousers. for now. maybe i'll rejig and stick a fourth in at some point if i see some cool trousers.
tie-dyed cotton trousers - these are cool and totally ✨unique✨ what with me making them all by myself and all. they seem pretty hardwearing at the moment and run slightly large. but if they break, i can get something similar. the main thing is they are light and bright.
blue denim jeans - a classic, goes with everything, lasts a while, etc etc. i like slim fit but not skinny.
harem pants - i have my pyjama bottoms at the moment, but i'd like something with a slightly thicker material and the brought in ankles. i want these to be brightly coloured as well. maybe dark based. these will replace the pyjamas.
a bigger category! six seems good for the moment, that's what i wear. i might have to expand it at some point. who knows?
black slogan t-shirt - currently this is my "eat sleep boo" tee, but that could change. actually, i'm not entirely convinced about slogan tees at all. i think i might have expressed that somewhere else. but they're fun, and it's fun to have something funny or show the world something you love, you know? i probably won't get something like this again, seeing as i'm not so into the idea of on-demand shirt printing. i'd rather get something from a charity shop.
- white slogan t-shirt - currently this is my cnd symbol tee, but that could also change. i also have the "defund the police" shirt, but the issue is i wrote that on wonky and my hair covers "de" and i'm not quite here to fund the police. this shirt is also a decent counterpoint to the above shirt, where i said i wouldn't get something like this again. i'm down for fabric paint and a steadyish hand (or stencils). obviously the effect will look different: half the charm of the boo shirt are the tiny discrepancies in colour or whatever that a computer makes so much easier; but in general i guess i do still have an opportunity to do fun stuff like that.
- understated hawaiian shirt - it's a neutral tone palm beach scene. i like it, it's a nice size. there's enough colour to make it feel fun, but can be worn with colourful trousers and not feel (very) messy, and jeans without feeling boring.
light pattern shirt - this is a gap in my wardrobe. it used to be filled by my beloved giraffe shirt, which had little giraffes all over it; i mentioned earlier it started falling apart from so much use. i want something like it again. for now i'm filling the gap with a distressed look denim style shirt.
dark pattern shirt - currently this is a black shirt with alternating yellow, red, and white stripes, and little black circles. it's nice.
light dress shirt - i have a pink shirt, long sleeves, designed to be tucked in and in need of cufflinks. currently i only wear it sleeves up because i don't have cufflinks. but yeah that's that.
this category is going to be equally as big as the tops i think. if i expand that one, i probably won't expand this one. anyways.
navy blazer - plain, smart, looks pretty cool and all that.
- solid colour blazer - like above but with more emphasis on looking cool and less emphasis on being plain. you get me? i'm not certain what colour i'd get, but i'm tempted by red. red makes a lot of sense with some of the other clothes, more than something like yellow or green. orange and purple are both tempting, but i'd have to do significant testing first.
solid colour corduroy shirt - mine is hot pink. i really like it.
solid colour pea coat - i guess this is technically a coat. i mostly wear my red one indoors as part of an outfit, so i'm counting it here.
neutral tone long cardigan - as i said above, mine is made of quite a hard thread. but aesthetically i really like it.
- brighter tone cardigan - i did have jumper here for a bit, but i think i like cardigans much more. so if i see a bright cardigan that suits, i'll grab it.
i only need pants and socks. i'm not counting pants, but i'll take six socks. well, twelve socks, but as i said above i'm counting them in their pairs.
at some point, i might put more effort into coordinating socks with my outfit, or just get a single colour of socks or something, but for now i'm willing to let them be their own little fashion community made up of whatever people buy me at christmas.
shoes, hats, other accessories
probably another six category. no, a twelve. i want jewelery choice. i'll be counting earrings as pairs here. but obviously i can totally mix and match.
- leather boots - i really love boots. my current ones aren't in the best shape, but they're good enough. they're brown, which i prefer over black personally. i'm not super bothered about black and blue being together, but i do know i prefer brown and blue.
- bucket hat - for summer. haven't had a hat i just wear for a long time, but i do like hats.
- wooly hat - for winter. currently mine is grey and i don't wear it that much. but it's useful in the cold cold.
- chunky metal watch - i really like watches. i've had a chunky metal (metallic) watch since i was thirteen, it's digital and i needed to set alarms to remember music lessons.
- smaller watch - these watches aren't mutually exclusive. i have a mondaine watch with a leather strap.
- brightly coloured watch - i'm tempted by the classic casios in bright colours. then again, i'm equally tempted by the twenty four hour single hand watches that a few people do, which are quite a bit more pricey. but still very affordable as watches go. this is probably gonna stay a watch category, but which watch will change.
- dangling earrings - the best kind of earring.
- dangling earrings - ditto
- dangling earrings - ditto. six earrings. i like simple metal design earrings. currently i only have fish from jewel thief brighton, a shop i highly recommend. (i also have my studs but i never wear them). i want to get two pairs in a similar size so that i can mix and match.
- belt - i have one belt, it's brown leather and it was my dad's and now i use it and it's probably on the way out but i'm not going to replace it until my trousers start falling down. i'm not that bothered about belts. it could be fun to have a brightly coloured one, but this one is fine and versatile for now.
- necklace - i have a necklace, also from the jewel thief brighton, with a matching fish. necklaces are sometimes cool, and sometimes annoying.
- necklace - it'd be nice to have another necklace. i'm thinking one with a string string, which is long enough that i don't need a clasp.
that was kind of a catch all. it's twelve items, but i've added in earrings and necklaces that i don't own, and may not for a while, and not put any extra shoes in. really, i only wear one pair of shoes, but i'm wondering about something a little less hefty than boots. we'll make it work. also i didn't add sunglasses. they should probably be a part of it, right? once again, we'll make it work.
oh also for posterity, i do sometimes wear slippers. but i don't match them to an outfit so i'm not including them <3
closing remarks (for now)
so i got to thirty-six items. just as i wanted. actually not quite, i did bend the rules slightly from the original rules where i counted pants as part of the set and got to forty-two. then i wrote here that i could just change this if i wanted because my list my rules and you'd never know. well now you know.
i don't own all the things here, it's a speculative list. they're guesses at what i could do with based on what i feel i miss. until i find clothes i really like to fill the gaps, i'm going to try and capsule wardrobe it with this smaller capsule wardrobe. if that works, very cool. i'll probably still add the extra stuff so that i can have more combinations.
also at some point i want to add some pictures. so you can see how hot i look, or at least how hot my clothes are.
so it's been a few days since i last updated this. i've been using the clothes i listed above to look great so far :)
(except to the red taylor's version listening party, where i went for a two-tone red and black outfit. that's an exception)
anyways, i have a new criteria i'd like to try and satisfy, which is to be able to pack all my clothes into a carry-on bag (that's usually about forty liters). along with the few other things i need (toiletries bag, tea set, book, etc). obviously i can wear some of the clothes. i'll be messing with rolling and stuff in the days to come to see where i can get to.
stay wonderful !