Silhouette or Colour...or both? How do you get your variety?

Over on Elizabeth P's beautiful travel capsule thread I mentioned that I suspect she gets her sense of variety more from changing up her silhouette than her colours. Traci chimed in saying she has narrowed her colours as she has expanded her range of silhouettes. 

I don't think it is an either/ or proposition. Many people (Angie, Aida, and Tanya being three who pop instantly to mind) get a sense of variety from switching up both colour and silhouette -- and why not? :)

For myself, I adore colour. I do stick to cool tones within a fairly tight range of what flatters, but that still leaves me with plenty of options, and colour is a huge, huge mood booster for me! So I will never eliminate it. (Having said that, I do tend toward mostly neutral outfits with one or two blocks of vivid colour or white and my favourite places for colour are scarves, coats, and jackets. Oh, and bags and shoes).   ;)

But even though I love colour, switching my colour palette alone does not give me a sense of true variety. To feel I've worn something truly "different" I have to vary the silhouette. 

Sticking with one silhouette takes away the fashion fun.

That's why I'll never be a true wardrobe minimalist, and why I do like to incorporate trends, especially the big ones like the major silhouette shift we are undergoing now towards wider bottoms.

It's also why I love summer dressing. In my climate and with my lifestyle, it's super hard to vary the winter silhouette. In summer I have far more choice. 

This is inconvenient in some ways; it does lead to greater expense. And it sometimes means my closet lacks full mix-and-matchability. Even though the colours all work together really well, the proportions don't.

Often, I end up with a few favourite outfits (vs a whole range) that incorporate the new silhouette in some way -- and possibly not many other options for tops, say, to go with that cool new bottom. But, oddly, I don't care. I am happy if I have one or two great outfits in the new silhouette -- that will get me through an entire season. (Until I gear up for the next silhouette adjustment). 

I suppose some people get their dose of variety via texture or pattern, as well. 

How about you? What gives you the sense of variety you crave? Or are you just as happy without any variety? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

57 Comments

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    Amen to everything you wrote! My biggest boost is adding a new-to-me color, so I pay attention to new trends in color. This fall it is burgundy, although it's not a great color on my any more.
    In trying to mimic Angie's capsule template some time ago, I found that the key was varying silhouette and adding a little bit of pattern. Like you I found that this means needing a larger wardrobe to hsve the right tops for bottoms. Changing up silhouettes is much more work. Right now I'd like to copy member Bonnie and her tunics over skinny jeans or leggings, but the idea of getting proportions right may overwhem me. I also want to get rid of low rise jeans for higher rises, but trying on myriads of jeans feels like a lot of shopping and work.
    To answer your question,yes, I crave variety. I sort of wish I could be happy in a "uniform".

  • Tanya replied 2 years ago

    I need both color and silhouette variety, as you have already mentioned, Suz :)   I do get bored easily and feel the need to switch things around all the time.    This leads to a fairly large wardrobe, of course, but I am perfectly fine with that.

    However, this does not mean that I wear all sorts of colors and shapes.   For colors, I stick to my cool toned palette, though I will focus on different colors in different seasons based on what is available and trending.  For example, this season I am all about blush, burgundy and ink/navy.   Also, I will occasionally add a bad-for-me color (usually something warm) in a very controlled manner ( e.g. the tomato pants, the rust-navy striped sweater) just for fun; but only if it is something that works very well with I already own and no further purchases are needed to make it work.  In the last couple of years these have mostly been touches of various warm colors that look good with my navies and blues in general.

    The silhouettes are more complicated and involved for me than colors, as I am very sensitive to proportions.  In the past couple of years, I have realized that the most important thing for me is to have the right footwear for the various types of pants/jeans I would like to wear.  In the past it has been happening organically, but this season I decided to purposefully identify three trendy silhouettes I want to focus on, as the trendy ones usually require more thoughtful styling than the modern classics.  For example, I can wear skinny jeans tucked into boots without much thought in the winter.  On the other hand, cropped flares require some styling effort.    I still need to post this, my September really flew past me, but I have defined three pants+shoes combos, and for each three tops/toppers shapes, for the total of nine trendy outfit formulas for me.   This streamlined approach has worked well so far, and helped me focus my shopping etc.   Those nine formulas are by no means everything I wear, but they do constitute the majority of my trendier outfits.

  • replied 2 years ago

    I love color, so I'm quicker to change color than I am to change silhouette, especially now that I know which silhouettes look best on me.

  • texstyle replied 2 years ago

    Color  is really the main way I change things up I guess. I am also very attuned to color for my mood in a certain day so I have to keep at least some variety. I could never do with a 3 color wardrobe. I have deep reds, greens, blues, burgundy, whites, grays, cool brown, etc. And patterns - esp. plaids.

    Do you feel silhouette includes changing up a top from say a button down or popover to a knit tee or tunic? Or from a semi-tuck to an untuck?  And same question for boyfriend jeans vs. slim jeans? Is this enough to call it a silhouette change?

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    Great thred and I am much like you Suz: love color BUT stick with my mainly monochromatic outfits (with occasional pop of color) meanwhile I really do crave variety from changing silhouettes.
    I, too, am very sensitive to proportions(like Tanya says) and it  is so much work (like Joy says) to nail it as imagined. Then, sadly, it occurs me  I'll never be a minimalist either....

  • Traci replied 2 years ago

    I'm learning I get easily overwhelmed by options, yet I crave change.  I love color, but find when I have a color rich closet I fret the most about getting dressed.  I'm finding a wardrobe of mostly neutrals just takes away that extra stess factor.  I am trying to figure out when it makes sense to duplicate and when it doesn't.  

    Angie's coat wardrobe was actually very inspiring to me because I realized that I would have viewed several of them as duplicates of each other and not allowed myself to buy them, even though I see they're not duplicates.  Like, I wouldn't "let" myself have two citron pea coats, and that's silly.

    In short, my wardrobe feels good when I can mix and match heavily, across colors and silhouettes.  Right now I feel hectic trying to sort the silhouette piece, so I'm paring back on the color.  Maybe once I lock in on my shapes I will start bringing color back in.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Really interesting thoughts, all! 

    Joy, I hear you on the changing of silhouettes requiring more forethought and planning. This is what many forum members feel as "stress" and "work" and it can be, I suppose, but I consider it fun -- under certain circumstances. Basically, I have to be convinced that I will enjoy wearing the new silhouette and then it is worth the shopping effort to me, and I also have to have a source for the support act. Tanya's approach this year really appealed to me. I'm usually much more haphazard and it often backfires. 

    I also think retailers have to step up their offerings to meet real women's lives. For instance, I was firmly against ankle pants or crops of any kind until retailers began to offer winter footwear options that would work in my own climate. Then I eagerly jumped aboard. 

    Texstyle, you asked:

    Do you feel silhouette includes changing up a top from say a button down or popover to a knit tee or tunic? Or from a semi-tuck to an untuck? And same question for boyfriend jeans vs. slim jeans? Is this enough to call it a silhouette change?

    No. Absolutely not enough change for me. I'll just feel like I am wearing jeans and a top. Bores the heck out of me. When I read that "Into Mind" blog and she talked about a long sleeved shirt being a "silhouette" and a different one than a short sleeved shirt, I thought she was out of her mind, not into it!! 

     Note -- I do think those can be super stylish outfits and the reality is, my everyday wear generally consists of this. But if I can't switch things up more, that's when I get bored. Why I love summer is  I have a huge range of silhouettes to choose even at home.

  • Jenn replied 2 years ago

    I realized, after my latest closet evaluation, that my need for variety is quenched by toppers. I'm perfectly happy wearing the same neutral base day-in and day-out and, in fact, I reach for the neutral pieces over other options. However, I have a wide range of topper options in rich colors, beautiful patterns, and luxurious textures. My toppers also come in a variety of silhouettes--a kimono, a duster, vests, jackets, blazers, cardigans--so just swapping that out can change an outfit completely.

    This is probably the reason I find summer dressing so difficult and uninspiring...it's just too hot to depend on toppers! This year, I learned to embrace minimalism in my summer outfits, but I also added a few new silhouettes (maxi dress, joggers), and I think having just a couple of different options helped.

  • Sisi replied 2 years ago

    In my opinion the best thing would be varying both colors and silhouette. I am far from this goal.  I use color to give myself the illusion of variety. It is easy to add something colorful to my mostly neutral outfits. Varying silhouettes is a bit more complicated.

  • anchie replied 2 years ago

    I must be the opposite, since I don't like to vary the silhouette at all. I know which ones work for my body type and I stick to it. For example, from all types of skirts and dresses, I wear only pencil skirts and sheath dresses. I don't even look at the other silhouettes. I don't wear v-necks, only crew. When I find pants or jeans in my silhouette that fit me good, I buy in multiple colors. I was miserable for couple of years when all the tops and sweaters were oversized and I could not find almost anything in my more tailored silhouette. I satisfy my craving for variety with colors and accessories. I try following the trends with the shoes, bags and outerwear. For some reason, I am more open to try the new silhouette when it is outerwear. 

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Anchie, Jenn, I think your responses are related and I can identify. Using toppers and outerwear would probably be my own fallback / preference for adding variety also but living in the climate I do (extremes, where half the year a topper is useless/ unnecessary and the other half I pretty much have to wear a puffer coat) has limited that possibility for me. If I lived in a temperate climate I could see having a uniform of neutrals and a wide variety of jackets/ shoes/ bags to switch it up! 

    But then again, even there... my "uniform" might consist of various shapes. Hmm. 

    Anchie, also, I rule lots of things out for flattery reasons. I stay away from scoop necks or deep Vs, don't wear many fit and flare styles (though I have a couple of A-line skirts and now, culottes), don't wear mini skirts, don't really wear tunics and leggings at all (despite liking them on others.)  So there are definite limits to my experimentation. :)

  • Gaylene replied 2 years ago

    I like the idea of changing silhouettes, but the reality often bogs me down. Getting dressed takes time and I find myself getting exasperated. I never seem to have the right top or shoe and that means spending more time and money in shops when I'd rather be doing something else. I'm also happier with a limited color palette of neutrals and aren't attracted to patterns. All these factors make me a good candidate for uniform dressing

    What your question has done, though, is make me realize I satisfy my need for variety not through silhouette or colour, but through texture, line, and accessories. My palette might be neutral, but my wardrobe includes leather, silk, fine and nubby knits, and tone-on-tone embellishment, I pay attention to necklines and hemlines, layering, and how fabrics drape and move on my body. I like quirky footwear, unusual jewelry, and interesting scarves and bags (but only cross-body bags because I like my hands to be free--uniform dresser here!). These are the ways I create variety and experiment with trends.

  • Sterling replied 2 years ago

    Evidently, I don't need a lot of variety.  I am quite happy with a limited number of silhouettes.  My color palette is pretty consistent as well. 

    For myself, I like simple.  I like classic. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 2 years ago

    I was wondering if that conversation would lead to a separate thread :)

    I'm going to have to think about this more, but something Tanya said really resonated with me.  I seem to be suffering from MSD (multiple silhouette disorder), and the best thing to combat this is to spend time, playing with proportions.  I often find I've purchased something new and trendy (the black crop flares for example) and am truly not sure what to do next.  Now I know... figure out the footwear, then play in my closet.  Truly the one thing I am VERY bad at doing is test driving outfits... I tend to do this in the morning (I can't plan ahead to save my life, the weather can be so variable, as can my mood) so I tend to have a lot of early morning frustration.  Which results in a pile of clothes to put away when I get home.  Not good.  I think coming up with 2-3 starting outfits for each new silhouette of bottom/top and logging in into stylebook would be a great idea for me.  Hey, that can be my next personal style challenge!

    This is a great thread!

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Off to see a client now Suz, but wanted to chime in quickly to say that you are dead right. I like to swap out colour and silhouette a lot - AND add pattern and shine. I swap my bags daily! I would be a VERY unhappy wardrobe minimalist, and thankfully don't need to be one. I can have all the fun I want within the size of my budget and closet. 

    I don't wear a lot of accessories and jewellery though - only pearls - and will happily repeat favourite outfits (like you). 

    (Traci, I have a citron trench coat, a citron wool peacoat, and neon green retro short coat. All different from each other - and thanks for noticing). 

  • El Cee replied 2 years ago

    I am another one that craves variety in both color and silhouette. Only problem is that this, for me, requires a large wardrobe. Add to that the four season issue and YIKES! ;-)

  • catgirl replied 2 years ago

    Remember my silhouette challenge? I need to reinstate that. I am not a one note dresser but neither am I a maximalist in terms of creativity. This is why I am looking for statement pieces in the trifecta of color/print-style-price range. I have purposely narrowed my silhouttes and colors which I find helpful, though I don't want to be strict to the point of boredom. At the same time I find when I stray too far or compromise on one element, I end up with orphans.

    I still find it hard to find edgy items in colors and patterns I prefer, as my recent post on "where are the prints" demonstrates!

    I also think Angie, Tanya and Aida have body types (slim hourglass) that are more conducive to a wide range of silhouettes. I would love to wear a tight turtleneck and swishy widelegs but as a short IT with other fit issues, some silhouettes are just not within my reach.

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    I think I'm okay repeating things forever, be they silhouette or color. I've limited my colors, and I'm still fine with that, and if I can find a silhouette that works, hallelujah!

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    El Cee, I hear you. That's probably why my own wardrobe keeps growing....gulp....(ordering more stuff today, oy!!)

    Angie, yes. You wear the new trends wonderfully and always find ways to show us all how to wear them. This is part of what makes YLF so unusual and special -- so your love of variety is a major professional advantage. Plus, it makes you happy and that is always good! 

    Elizabeth, I think those outfit testing sessions are key to my own happiness quotient with new trends. If I don't try it on first with a few items and see how it works, I won't wear it. I need to be able to grab and go, and once I've found a few great combos, I know what they are and can rely on them. I have a few items that I've failed to test that way before cutting tags and they are the ones I end up consigning fast. ;( 

    Sterling, that's consistent with what I have seen. It seems you are happy with a limited palette and limited silhouettes. But you are very particular about the items you choose and care a great deal about texture.  Also, you do sometimes switch things up a little bit, for example with the BR tweed top with adds a twist to your usual because it is not smooth in texture. 

    Gaylene, I hear you -- I think you and Lisa P may be similar in this regard. You have certain silhouettes that you know you can rely on and you also have an unerring eye (and great available shops)  for the accessories (bags, shoes, jackets/coats, jewellery) that will elevate the items and make them shine. I know jackets and coats are not, strictly speaking, "accessories" -- but they are often statement pieces and in your wardrobe have played that role.  I wonder if this preference is also related to your shared preference for local boutique shopping? Maybe local boutiques work best for people who find their variety in this way?

    I really love this idea of dressing but in practice it doesn't feel like enough variety, maybe because I don't wear a lot of jewellery? I do like a neutral column of some kind, however. Hmm. 

  • carter replied 2 years ago

    Although I may change up shoes, tucking, belting, yada, yada, I consider that I have 3 silhouettes (plus the occasional dress): 1) long top + slim bottom, 2) fluid/boxy top + slim bottom, and 3) fitted top + slim bottom. I have no interest in adding to that list at the moment. Certainly not the wide bottom trend...I already have one of those that follows me everywhere;-).

    I like options, but I don't crave variety. For me, different colors--including the range of neutrals--give me options in order to satisfy the need for variety in those around me. I'm not sure I'm explaining it well. I love color, but I would happily wear a black top everyday with either black, white or denim blue bottoms.

    Did that make sense?

  • tulle replied 2 years ago

    I'm with you in finding new silhouettes easier (and cheaper!) to introduce through a couple of  complete outfits, rather than renovating an entire wardrobe.  After all, many trends last only a year or two, and I find that having a couple of current go-to outfits, and a lot of personal classics works pretty well.  Color changes are unrestricted:  I pay a lot of attention to colors (scents, too) that make me feel and look better in different seasons, as well as what's on trend.  Better believe I'm stocking up on pinks this year!

  • texstyle replied 2 years ago

    I've been wondering if I change silhouettes at all. I wear A-line or "boxy" tops over slim bottoms, mostly in summer. I wear slim tunics over slim bottoms. Sometimes tunic length tops over shorts. I wear slightly more fitted knits with boyfriend jeans and chinos. I wear cropped pants with chunkier shoes. I also wear my usual button downs of course but the others are about as different as I go on a day to day basis.

    I'm not counting toppers - I have those in a few different shapes - field coat, double-breasted coat, slightly cropped motos, soft knit blazers, etc.

    Do any of those differences actually mean a silhouette change in the eyes of YLF?

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Tulle, you and me both!! I hope you'll show us some of your  pink Finds! I am on the hunt for more pink tops for sure. And maybe scarves, but finding a pattern I like seems a bit tricky. 

    Carter, that makes sense, and your carefully curated wardrobe works so well for you. I think you and Sterling share a preference for a limited set of silhouettes as well a fondness for neutrals. I wonder if the hot conditions you live in influences this to a degree. I always feel more chic in the heat when wearing neutrals. 

    JAileen, you made me laugh. I've seen you in several silhouettes that look great on you!! 

    Una, you look great in your plaid flares/ bootcuts which are sort of "your" wide legs, don't you think? 

  • tulle replied 2 years ago

    Suz, I've been looking for silk scarves in pink and rose shades with no luck, too.  I did find a gauzy pale pink cashmere scarf from Portolano last year, but no patterned silk anywhere.  Funny, when you think of the floral possibilities . . . as for tops, I keep waiting for the runway pinks to trickle down.  Haven't found anything great yet.

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    I stick to the same colour palette.  I found a picture of my Grade 8 graduation and I had on a green dress.  The same green as the dress I wore recently to a wedding.  I am pretty consistent about colour.  I like certain silhouettes for myself.  I have realized what works for me and what doesn't.  The oversized look just doesn't work for me so I passed that trend by.  And waited for a few years before I could find something I liked.
    I tend to stick to the same things for my upper half.  I will experiment with my lower half.  BF jeans, wide legged jeans, straight legged jeans, etc.  Yes I know they are all jeans.  If I was working I would buy pants in all different shapes.
    So it seems for me the silhouette that works is body con or tailored on top and anything goes on the bottom.  Then I like a topper that is not oversized.  Any length works but I tend to prefer waist length, mid thigh or knee length.  I like to distract attention away from my hips.
    I get my variety from textures and accessories.  I wish I could get it from shoes but I am happy to find shoes that don't hurt my feet.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Style Fan, you wear jeans so well and are adventurous in the ones you choose. Also, you wear fit and flare dresses sometimes so that is some variety in silhouette. 

    Tex, I don't think it matters what I or anyone else thinks -- if these feel like silhouette shifts to you, they are, and they give you as much variety as you need (because I know you maintain a fairly tight colour palette). I seem to crave more exaggerated shifts and I have no idea why. It's a bit inconvenient, to tell the truth! 

    Another reason summer makes me happy is that I might wear my shorts and sleeveless top or tee semi-tucked during the day (one silhouette) and then change into a looser, longer (or untucked) top with tube skirt later on...it's more of a shift somehow even in one day. Funny. 

  • L'Abeille replied 2 years ago

    Well this one is a no-brainer for me. My closet is black, grey, navy, red, and white, full stop. A couple of taupe pieces and several shades of blue that get worn a few times a year. And I don't get bored with it at all.

    But I just can't limit myself in silhouettes. I have slim pants, straight leg, flares, wide leg, high and low waisted. Plus culottes, pencil skirts, pleated skirts, full or A line skirts, in widths from above the knee to maxi. Dresses from sheath to shift to fit and flare or shirt dress. On top I wear shirts, fitted sweaters, chunky sweaters, tucked in, semitucked, and long tunic styles. Then the third piece: sweater vests, gilets, jackets in their short transitional seasons, and scarves from tiny to huge drapey. And I rarely wear a combo the same way twice, although I am learning to identify and repeat the 10's in happiness factor.

    This thread is helping things make sense for me though. I have been attempting (as a mental exercise only) to come up with a few outfit formulas, and I really can't do it; I will wear the same pieces in multiple silhouettes so the number of combinations is, well, more than I'd like to count.

    Of course, the bonus of such a restricted palette (and not-tiny wardrobe numbers) is, if one top looks too fitted over a certain bottom, or is too short, I have a wealth of black alternatives to choose from. Really, I mostly decide if I will do print (by which I mean menswear of course: checks, stripes, dots, plaids, some abstract and animal print) on the top, or the bottom. And I tend to go for fulness in one place to balance close fit in another.

  • Karie replied 2 years ago

    Well I love color and I love to vary the silhouette! One day I'll wear my red fit & flare dress and be super girly (last Tuesday), another day I'll be in distressed jeans, a moto jacket, and a rock & roll tee (last Saturday night for a wine tasting and a walk around downtown), and next up is my super flare jeans, top (haven't decided which one yet) and a fringe shoulder bag (coffee shop meet with a friend, this coming Friday night).

    Much of my variety comes from switching between day (work) and evening dressing. 

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    I would say I like to get my variety from silhouette. I have a fairly defined palette--although I probably have capsules that center on my neutrals of black, charcoal, navy, taupe, olive. And I have a fast fallback silhouette, which is long over lean--I like my long toppers over skinny bottoms, sometimes even with tall boots, to add another long/tall element to the look. But I would be bored, bored, bored if that was the only silhouette I wore. I get kind of bummed when I have wardrobe items that coordinate beautifully color-wise but just don't go together because of the silhouettes. Ah, well. Can't have everything, I guess.

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 2 years ago

    I am a lover of color and am a self proclaimed maximalist.  I love a variety of silhouettes.  I am so excited to incorporate culottes into my winter style for a fresh new silhouette.  I can't imagine just relying on one or the other. I use style as my creative outlet and am very much a mood dresser and having variety in both color and silhouette sparks joy, so I will continue to celebrate both!  

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    L'Abeille, I think I may be moving towards your model -- a slightly more limited colour palette with wide variety of silhouette. I think my palette is going to move towards grey, white, navy/ink, black, and pinks/fuchsia/ cranberry/ raspberry. 

    Karie, yes, you are one of our queens of eclectic!!! :) 

    ETA, cross posted, Tracey -- I definitely see you as a lover of both!! 

  • Staysfit replied 2 years ago

    My answer is both. I definitely have some favorite silhouettes. I play with silhouettes and change them up for variety. My fallbacks will always be pencil sheaths and pencil skirts, straight and skinny jeans, and simple knit tops. In terms of color, I have a lot of neutrals in my closet, but I love my colors too. In fact, I have a lot of color. So, both. Yes, both.

  • L'Abeille replied 2 years ago

    Umm Suz, that doesn't sound like much of a restriction from your current palette!

  • anne replied 2 years ago

    I'm with Sterling and Carter - I don't need to change my colours or silhouettes, at least not just for the sake of variety. I do change them though for

    Weather/practicality/ comfort - no bootlegs in rain.  No white bottom in the rain or certain days of the month. Any higher than 32 degrees C I will not be doing waist definition/ I like loose clothes at night

    Fashion/fitting in - I tend to wear skinnies more with young people.

    I try to make myself myself try current silhouettes sometimes to stay up to date, (a good reason to be on YLF) but I don't do it for an inherant desire for variety.

    Also, having a fairly small budget by YLF standards, and low wardrobe turnover, means the whole "buy a whole outfit and footwear" to change silhouettes thing is more difficult,

    And I tend to see fashion cycles as being an opportunity, some years, to buy the colours/ styles I like.

    I do change eventually though, I realise as I type this - I go sick of empire waisted dresses with underbust gathering for example, although it is very practical for my summer.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Ha, ha L'Abeille, I guess that is correct, isn't it. Hmmm. More to ponder. :) 

    Anne, I think I, too, had little need for variety before I started reading YLF (and when I had a very tight budget.) I guess we make the best of whatever situation we are in. No point in pining after something that isn't sensible in our situation! But it is sensible to pay attention to practical needs, i.e. weather. (And I still do that -- a lot!)

    I seem to have developed a greater need for variety and change as fashion has become a hobby. It is not just that I want to look acceptable in my environment; it's that I want to develop a personal style to the degree that I can.

  • anne replied 2 years ago

    Yep, I don't think fashion is my hobby exactly. I'm around YLF of course, but that's partly kind of remedial, because I'm not that good at it, and partly because Angie and everyone here (specially you, Suz) makes it such a good community.

    When I do get a few spare hours my creativity comes out with cooking. DH cooks half the time, and is happy to just repeat known, easy recipes. I like experimenting and trying new ones!

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    I am a very happy wardrobe maximalist. I love to change up everything! I happily go from all black minimalist, to classic tailoring, to boho, to preppy and then retro. However, it must always be polished. I do not suit really relaxed clothing, as it just does not feel like me. I love texture - so fabrics like lace, cashmere, silk, velvet and chiffon speak to me.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    Oh very interesting. I think I like to change silhouette best of all within the framework of what I can and cannot wear happily. So I would love to wear a waist belt, but am missing the waist so that's out. I tend to be mroe experimental on the bottom half because that is *usually* the easier part to fit. So I was all over culottes, cropped jeans and pants, harem styles you name it. But I am willing to try weird shapes on top too on the chance they will work. I will occasionally experiment with color - for example I have recently found that some warmer earthier shades don't kill me the way I had always assumed - but do revert back to blue, white, pink, and purple, which rarely fail me. I also love patterns sometimes but not always and flowing with those moods keep things interesting. In short, I will experiment with anything, but not everything twice.

  • Gigi replied 2 years ago

    Oh yes, I love changing up silhouettes! That is one reason I am excited for fall--I can pull my bootcuts out and change things up a bit. Summer is difficult for me as far as silhouettes go--the weather is so hot that you just kind of wear what you can tolerate. I'm on a shopping fast right now, but when I can shop again, it would be a great idea to buy something that will enable me to do something new and different with silhouette.

  • Penny replied 2 years ago

    Very interesting question, and fascinating to read everyone's reactions. Although I have a relatively defined color / pattern palette, that's definitely where I find satisfaction in variety, instead of silhouette. I'll happily wear A-line dresses with a few types of necklines indefinitely, but will crave deep red or jewel tones if those elements haven't been incorporated into my outfits for several days. Also, jewelry and footwear provides me with a sense of variety.

  • Cococat replied 2 years ago

    I like variety in both. I have tried to restrict myself in colour (the black and white idea) but I rebelled after a short time. At the moment I'm obsessed with red.

    I also like to try new trends/different silhouettes and I love to have lots of options in my wardrobe to play with trends, for example I already had so many different tops to try with my cropped flares.

    I will never be a minimalist and I will probably always have a stuffed wardrobe, although these days I tend to buy with more purpose, instead of just random impulse buying. 

  • Sally replied 2 years ago

    I tend to be quite boring with colour and tend to stick to neutrals etc. I have been a bit adventurous this year wearing looser trousers rather than slim pants.
    Like Jenn and her toppers, I can get variety with scarves etc. The purpose of the inspiration pictures was to get ideas to mix it up abit.

  • Cerinda replied 2 years ago

    What a fabulous thread!  Every single post makes me squeal with pleasure.  So much variety, so much insight, such richness!  Thank you, Suz and everyone.

    Pre-YLF I had a lot more variety in color and pattern, and it really didn't work for me:  I had a few interesting outfits and piles of interesting wardrobe pieces that didn't know how to get along.  I don't get much variety from color these days: I feel most me in a narrow neutral palette (but I, too, stock up whenever one of "my" neutrals or near-neutrals shows up on sales floors) with lots of variety in texture.  

    I tend to stay with a given silhouette --pretty much a uniform-- until I'm good and tired of it, and I am good and tired of long over lean right now.  

    I'm slowly, cautiously, planfully (did you know "planful" autocorrects to "playful"?)  moving into wide leg trousers and culottes.  Three bottoms, three pairs of boots, one sweater, and a lot of time playing in my closet.  I have a lot more fun with fashion these days (thanks, Angie and all!) but I still refuse to get fussed over it.

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    What a good question. Definitely colour. Day in, day out, I'm really a uniform dresser when it comes to silhouette. The silhouette provides critical functionality. I also like having a consistent style (differentiating here from having Style), and I feel silhouette is the heavy lifter in this regard.

  • Sterling replied 2 years ago

    Suz -- sendng you love from North Carolina.  How you always know the right things to say at the right time is beyond me.  

    Such a fascinating thread.  I have to come back later to read every comment.  

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Sterling, what a sweet thing to say. I did think that the texture of that BR top was superb on  you and must have made getting dressed quite fun. 

    Rachy, for sure - and especially on work days or dog walking times -- you need function above all!

    Cerinda, thanks. I have noticed your eye (or is that touch) for texture. The textural variation must make some of your clothes a pleasure to wear. You look great in the new silhouette as well as the old one. 

    Sally, that makes sense -- the inspiration pics get us to notice details we might not otherwise pay attention to and to switch things up in small ways as a result. 

    Coco, I think you are a true eclectic and while the black and white phase was stunning on you. it seems as if it would not satisfy your love of pattern, in particular. 

    Penny, that is interesting. So you get variety from colour -- even if your variety is limited. I so know what you mean about craving something bright!!

    Gigi, culottes for the win!  :) With boots.  

    Shevia, you are one of our most experimental forum members with silhouette.

    Bijou, that coat you recently posted is evidence of the virtues of maximalism! 

    Sharan, somehow we must have cross posted. I certainly know that feeling when the colours/ textures/ patterns work so well together but alas, the proportions are off!! 

  • Sara L. replied 2 years ago

    I'm late to this thread because I had to think about it.  I'm still having problems defining what variety I need.  My colors are somewhat varied but there's a lot of neutrals in my closet - especially black.  I can wear the same silhouette all winter (skinnies, sweater, knee-high boots) and don't get bored.  However, I'm easily bored if I wear the same pieces over and over and with my shoes.  If I have enough pieces, even in the same silhouette, I'm happier.

    I get bored of my shoes faster than anything but feel like I can't buy more of the same category.  For example I was so sick of my black heeled sandals that I wore to work every week this summer.  But then I talk myself out of another pair because I already have a nice pair of black heeled sandals.  But, ugh, I was so bored of those sandals.  Thank goodness the weather has gotten slightly cooler and I'm not limited to sandals anymore. 

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Sara, that's kind of inconvenient, isn't it, since footwear is pricey!  ;)

    I get bored with the same footwear, too, so I know what you're saying. Mr. Suz thinks I'm a cousin of Imelda Marcos. I don't really have that many shoes, but that's probably only because I regularly retire the ones I've become bored with!! 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 2 years ago

    Such a great thread. It's taken me a while to respond because I'm still pondering. 

    I don't think I get bored with color with easily. I can only think of two big changes I've made to my color palette, in my whole life: 1) my sophomore year of high school when I decided I could wear pink and still be a tomboy (I'd literally never worn a drop of pink until I was 15!) and 2) a slow shift away from browns and tans over the past decade or so. I'd just always assumed one must have some brown and tan in one's closet, because they're such "practical" colors, but then I realized that they are not happy colors for me and they were generating a fair amount of frustration because they didn't play nicely with the colors I do love. So, in with pink, out with brown, but other than that my colors have pretty much stayed the same. 

    I think I'm somewhat stodgy about silhouettes, too. Like Rachy, I demand practicality. No extended sleeves for me. I did bellbottoms in middle school, when it was cool to walk all over your hems and get them nice and shredded -- not doing flares again any time soon; maybe one dressy pair at some point. I like the idea of oversized, but rarely love it on me. I only do bodycon for certain types of gear (bike shorts, running tights), never for town clothes. I pretty much live in tailored fits with a dose of fluid -- and in really hot weather, fluid fits with a dose of tailored. It doesn't take a lot of change for me to feel like I'm wearing something new. A turtleneck sweater with bootcut jeans is, to me, a world apart from a v-neck sweater with boyfriend jeans -- but it's the same formula. I can take the same dress, pair it with flats or with tall boots, and feel like two different people. 

    Like Jenn and others, I also rely on layers for variety: I like sweaters, sweater vests, cardigans, blazers, jackets, hoodies, puffers, thick flannel and wool shirt-jacs. Scarves, hats, arm- and leg-warmers. Are fuzzy earmuffs coming back as a trend anytime soon? :D I definitely feel like my cold-weather wardrobe has more variety than my hot-weather wardrobe. I need to start collecting sun hats and linen scarves, I guess.  
    The only thing I get bored with is my hair. Color change doesn't do it for me though -- it's gotta be silhouette change. I love drastic haircuts. :)

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Ooh, that's a great reminder of how important hair is to our overall style, La Pedestrienne. I would agree that it offers a lot of that sense of change and verve!! 

  • Aziraphale replied 2 years ago

    Definitely silhouette for me, but you could have guessed that, I'm sure, despite the fact that I rarely post pictures. ;-)

    I wear black, various shades of grey, various shades of denim blue, navy, army green, brown, burgundy/aubergine, white and sometimes red or hot pink. Very occasionally, pale blue. All my jackets and coats are black except one (which is brown), although they vary hugely in shape, fabric and style. 

  • Sally replied 2 years ago

    I had to laugh at the footwear remarks Suz and Sara.... men don't get footwear. My husband thinks i have too many shoes but i don't really. I mentioned in another thread my niece saying .." men don't understand how one single ankle boot can't be expected to go with all your outfits ". I have made a decision on footwear that that is where I'm going to splurge from now on as the comfort and quality makes such a difference and they completely upgrade an outfit. Bags are another thing I haven’t thought about before but will in the future.

  • replied 2 years ago

    I definitely need colour variety, I also need to have some silhouette variety to not get bored, but perhaps not as much as I thought I needed, because I'm thinking of the amount of times that I wear ankle pants of varying colours and patterns...a lot is the answer! But I'm nodding along with everyone talking of getting shoe boredom easily. I think I'm getting that way myself.

  • texstyle replied 2 years ago

    Nodding along with the shoe boredom. Especially since I make comfort a priority - it feels that it limits my choices as there are only so many brands I can walk in for a whole day (which is my criteria).

    Suz- Do you wear deep emerald green? It seems like it would be a great color for you. I love to wear it and I also love to wear a deep cool pink and raspberry. I bought three knit tees from Loft recently in those exact colors. They had sort of a boatneck, I couldn't find them online to link - this is one time I shopped in person.

  • Summer replied 2 years ago

    Colour is always my priority:  my palette remains constant, but I love playing with different colour combos within that palette.
    Silhouettes are more of a challenge, not least because of budget considerations, but this is an area I'd like to work on.  We'll see. 

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    Thank you Suz for starting this thread and for the comment about my wearing jeans.  :) 

  • Aida replied 2 years ago

    Fascinating thread! Suz you are spot on about my love of both color and silhouette changeup; and even within a silhouette I enjoy changing up proportions. But like you, simply changing a "skinnies+blouse" outfit from tucked to untucked is NOT enough to keep me from getting bored.

    (Of course I also like loads of pattern, texture and shine/sparkle, too! Definitely not a minimalist, heh.)

    And like Tanya, I don't just wear all kinds of crazy things. I DO actually tend to stick to certain attributes, you know, usually the ones that are flattering. Same with colors; I definitely have preferences for certain ranges, I just happen to wear many different kinds. Interestingly enough my colors are becoming a bit more limited. There's still a lot of them, though!

    Totally feel you on the wintery weather restrictions in this regard!
    That's part of the reason I enjoy summer dressing more (do realize I'm
    in the minority on that; I also don't rely often on "third pieces" nor
    wear a lot in the way of accessories, which helps). Also this: "I seem to have developed a greater need for variety and change as fashion has become a hobby." YES. Same here. I'm OK with that ^^

    Una, for the record I'm still an IT :) And still short. Turtleneck with swishy widelegs is doable, though for myself I would need heels AND hair up. Perhaps you need wide legs that flare just a bit at the hems to balance the shoulder?

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