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Style Musings

December 5th, 2009

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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  1. December 5th, 2009 at 15:38 | #1

    I absolutely love your inspiration photos, especially that closet! You should print those off and hang them in your closet as a daily reminder. I think Angelina always dresses in neutral colors like black and tan and I have seen her in a couple of very chic trench coats too.

  2. aaonce
    December 5th, 2009 at 16:48 | #2

    Wow, I am falling in love with that closet! Inspiration pix, are completely consistent with your style. The women look great, but don’t have to keep 2 feet of protective space between them and their kiddos.
    My uniform is based on dark neutrals: (mostly) black, gray (charcoal in f/w, lt. gray in s/s months), rose/maroon/red (depending on what I can find at at the time), and blue (navy, mostly). Scarves/Pashminas are where I really put in my punches of color if I feel I need them.
    As for the frivolity? Just think of yourself as being multi-faceted 🙂 (remember, even Muiccia Prada holds a Phd in Political Science).

  3. December 5th, 2009 at 17:49 | #3

    That closet is my dream closet- I love the colors and the clothes! I’ve been thinking about reevaluating my uniform lately. I usually wear skinny jeans and a soft tissue t shirt- lots of black. Or skinny jeans and a cashmere sweater when its cold. This is so boring. And I’m tired of wearing so much black. I’m trying to branch out and wear brighter colors…

    • December 6th, 2009 at 08:58 | #4

      DC, I don’t think your “uniform” sounds boring. It sounds very chic to me.
      Your comment reminds me of a quote about style I have written down, but again, can’t attribute:
      “Variety is over-rated and trendiness a trap.”
      Maybe that is your answer — same uniform with brighter colors?

  4. Eurochic
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:27 | #5

    Even my mom doesn’t know about my blog. I’m not sure the other people in my life would understand it. I leave as something people find becuase they are interested in these types of blogs. Completely understand your secret!

  5. December 5th, 2009 at 19:39 | #6

    I find it curious that I share my thoughts and writing with strangers, but, with the exception of my sister, no one knows about my blog. As Eurochic says, who would understand?

  6. December 5th, 2009 at 20:56 | #7

    I love the closet, too. May I ask where you got the photo?

    And only a couple of friends know about my blog. It’s a bit like the archetypal “mommy bathroom”–one of those places that’s just for me.

  7. December 6th, 2009 at 03:12 | #8

    Great post, Kristi. I also love the closet photo.

    Angelina is the master of minimalist style. I also think Jennifer Anniston does a great job. In fact, I have several photos of her in my style file. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how she does it.

    I love black, but as I age I worry… Is it chic or do I look like the greeter at a funeral home? For example, I came here a few weeks ago and you looked stunning in all black. I think it was a Sunday church outfit. The same day, I visited another blog and her all black looked just old.

    So any tips on ensuring our black is Kristi and Angelina chic instead of aging????

    • December 6th, 2009 at 07:47 | #9

      Phyllis,
      I don’t know about for others, but for me, I can’t wear black up against my face anymore. I used to live in black turtlenecks, but once I hit 40, they really aged me — brought out shadows on my face, etc. So I love my black, but can’t wear it unless it is a deeper neckline. However, a deep navy does not do this. That is one reason my black cardigan is a v-neck (I think we talked about that before) Also, I could never wear black without a brighter lipstick color.
      I feel terrib le, but I don’t know where I got that photo. I didn’t intend to publish it, just had it in my style file, so I didn’t copy down where I got it. I would love to attribute the source.
      I sort of wish I didn’t tell as many people about my blog as I have … I forgot, my brother knows too, but he’s the computer guru who helps me out with it …

      Aaonce, I like your colors and that you add punch with accessories. It is true I need something that is somewhat child proof as my kids still occasionally think I am a kleenex.

  8. December 6th, 2009 at 03:55 | #10

    I am loving the wardrobe photo. I especially like the hook, where I would imagine you could hang the next day’s outfit and be oh so organised. Your colours sound divine too. Perhaps turquoise is your summer colour only? The way Angelina has lightened up her black top with an off white bag is quite clever I think.

  9. December 6th, 2009 at 10:46 | #11

    Because I get bored easily (Aquarian), I have a LOT of variety in my wardrobe both in color and style. But all in all, my overall style is one that is about simple, classic lines and lots of color (but only the colors that work for me). As far as a uniform, I really do have a weekend uniform that I feel very comfortable with. It consists of longer tees – v-necks with camis, boatnecks, crewnecks – just as long as they are long enough, jeans, scarves (have I mentioned I love scarves), and usually cowboy boots. Itry to steer clear of anything with bulk unless the winter wind is howling, because I just feeled choked by bulky things.

    As far as blogs being secrets, I really wish I had kept mine secret instead of telling the world. There are things I would like to post and get feedback on but don’t feel comfortable doing so now that everyone knows I am blogging. Oh, well, live and learn – I’ll just use my journal.

    • December 6th, 2009 at 11:06 | #12

      Nancy,
      I have been coveting cowboy boots for ages!
      I do find I censure myself slightly because I have shared that I blog … wish I didn’t do that.

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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.