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My Uniform – Capsule Wardrobe

March 29th, 2017 Comments off

I thought I’d share my uniform with you. Keep in mind I’m a writer who works home alone 90 percent of the time.  The descriptions of the boxes are below, going left to right for each row. You can find the originals here: http://labellafigura.polyvore.com/

Summer

Variation 1:

1. Black sundress

2. flat sandals

Variation 2:

1. Black lightweight pants

2. Tee shirt or Tank top

3. Sandals with small heel

 

Spring

Variation 1:

1. Dark denim straight leg jeans

2. Tee

3. Blazer

4. High-heel ankle boots

Variation 2:

1. Dark denim bootcut jeans

2. Button down top

3. High-heel chunky sandals

 

Winter

Variation 1:

1. Dark denim skinny jeans

2. Uniqlo heat-tech undershirt

3. Cashmere sweater

4. Knee-high boots

Variation 2:

1. Black straight leg jeans

2. Free People thermal tops

3. Black Calvin Klein blazer

4. Black ankle boots

 

 

 

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Spring Capsule Wardrobe

March 5th, 2017 Comments off

Inspired by the lovely Fiona at How to Be Chic.
Here is my summer wardrobe.
Because I live in Minneapolis, which has frigid winters, our family likes to do a little winter escape to warmer climates and so I end up planning and organizing my wardrobe before summer.
Because I have a minimalist/capsule wardrobe, usually my entire wardrobe is packed when I travel.
Besides these core items in the pictures below, I also have a few other dresses and what I’m wearing on the plane – dark denim jeans and a black or navy button-up James Perse blouse.

In this first picture, I realized I have a Target wardrobe for summer!

The green and black tops are from Target. The cropped denim jeans are Target. The navy top is J Crew.

In this second photo, lots of Target again: the navy and green tanks are Target. I also have a long-sleeve Max Studio striped top, cropped linen black pants, and a wide-leg lightweight black pant.

In this last photo I have my summer shoes and a Nic + Zoe dress that I’ve brought mainly for a pool cover up as I walk to the pool. It’s also along in case I need to be a little dressier for anything. My at home summer wardrobe I have high-heeled wedges and sandals that I won’t need on this trip.

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A La bella figura philosophy

January 7th, 2010 7 comments

A very Italian and la bella figura philosophy is to care for your belongings. Taking care of what you own shows respect for yourself, respect for your belongings and respect for the planet.

The classic example is the Italian man or woman who drives the older vehicle and spends weekends polishing it and caring for it so it always looks like new.

It is also about keeping those old shoes polished and your clothes ironed and your house spotless (I have a problem with this last one, especially with two small kids).

It is about meticulously cleaning your appliances, such as your blender, after each use.

It is taking care of everything you own so it will serve you well and last for years.

It isn’t about tossing something that is broken or needs to be repaired unless it is a hopeless case. It is about trying not to buy anything that is “disposable” that is meant to have a short life and then meant to be tossed.

Instead of discarding what you own so readily, try to figure out if you can fix something that is broken or find a new use for an item before you pass it on. I am trying to do this.

There is a fine balance between decluttering and using what you have until it no longer gives you use. I think the differences is that if you own an item, such as a toaster that works and serves your purposes but maybe isn’t the exact model or color you like — use it as long as you can before you replace it.

The idea is to not replace useful items so readily … use what you can as long as you can.

For instance, I am not overly thrilled with my winter coat, but by taking off the belt and the belt loops, I am much happier with the way it fits. With the waist belted, it looked sloppy, bulky and not chic in the least bit.  When one of the loops for the belt broke off, I decide to tug on the other one and become belt free. the only problem is I ended up with two big rips in the sides of my wool coat. Then a button came off.

Because it is wool and an expensive clothing item, my immediate thought was to take it to the tailor for repairs. I kept waiting to have enough extra money to do this. Didn’t happen. So I sat down with a needle and thread and repaired it myself. It was actually easier than I thought. The stitches aren’t great, but my repair work does not show.

Then I took my beloved trench coat and reinforced the beautiful wooden flower buttons on it. I was upset last spring when I lost one of the buttons on it. I found it crushed by a tire on the street. Luckily, I could pull off an unseen button under the collar and use that. But that was the only button left that doesn’t show, so I need to make sure I don’t lose any more.

Style Musings

December 5th, 2009 12 comments

Style Musings and Inspiration Photos from my Style File

I don’t know why but I always feel guilty thinking about style and clothes. Anyway, I love style and clothes, but can’t help but feel it is so frivilous sometimes. I get caught up thinking about outfits and other things and then BAM, a sick kid or some other real world event thrusts me back to reality and reminds me that I spend WAY too much time worrying about style.

With that caveat emptor, I would like to jump right in and say I have been spending some time re-evaluating my style and wardrobe once again. For some reason the wintery, gray days have made me crave a wardrobe comprised completely of neutrals. Even my beloved signature color, turquoise, is distasteful to me.

I want my clothes to be black, navy, deep charcoal gray, oatmeal and white. Period. I want to refine and simplify my “uniform” to solidify my “style” .

There is something so freeing in a “uniform”.

What is your uniform?

Here are some photos from my online style file that I find inspirational:

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.