This post is in response to a bunch of questions I got when I posted my book review of The Curated Closet (by far the BEST book on everyday fashion I have ever read). In that post I talked about how the book helped me find my “three uniforms”, and a lot of you wanted to hear more about them! So here I am.
Uniform #1: Short Dresses
This one was obvious to me. I have always loved above-the-knee dresses. Maybe it stems back to my high school years when I attended Christian schools and your skirts had to go below the knee? Haha!
Nah—the real reason I love short dresses as opposed to long ones is that I feel like they make me look taller. And looking taller is something I am always striving to do. I know a lot of people dress with a “problem” they are trying to solve (like to minimize this or play up that), and I’m not saying that it’s a good mindset to have. But I will say, I LOVE feeling taller. That’s why I wear platforms with basically every outfit.
I guess now that I think of it, maybe I’m happy with my height because if I was ACTUALLY as tall as my heels make me, maybe I wouldn’t want to wear them. I don’t know—someone tall please tell me how it feels!
Anyway, short dresses are one of my go-to uniforms. I like ones with a defined waist the best, but I’m still open to shift dresses. Although I do typically stay away from the trend of dresses that look like they could maybeeee be a maternity dress. They tend to be less flattering on me (again with the looking short phobia, I think!).
Uniform #2: Button-up (or Zip-up) Skirts with a Tucked in Top
This uniform is new to me (that’s why most of these photos are from within the past six months). In the past I bought a lot of skater skirts, which are a similar cut but fuller and sometimes fluffy. And I didn’t wear them as often as I wanted to. But recently, I figured out that these button-up or zip-up skirts (almost always high waisted and on the shorter side) really work well for me. They come off less casual than a dress, and they give more opportunity to mix and match. They also coordinate really well with coats and jean jackets—better than dresses.
I like this uniform because I can wear it pretty much anywhere. The denim skirts can even go with a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and then the scalloped ones can be dressed up for a date night.
I just realized I am wearing the same pair of shoes in all the photos. Ha! I’ve been trying to branch out a bit in the shoe department. I love Hasbeens (I mean, obviously, I’m like their #1 fangirl!), but I’ve been looking to add some new styles just for variety’s sake. So if you have any shoe brand suggestions that you think would fit my style, please share!
Uniform #3: Jumpers, Rompers or Overalls
Basically anything that makes using a public restroom a nightmare because you have to completely undress… ha!
The book helped me find this uniform even though it was hiding in plain sight. These outfits make me feel really confident, and are a lot of fun to wear! I have this pair of overalls, and I’ve probably worn them, I don’t know, fifty times at least. They’re not even that photogenic, but I wear them in real life A LOT.
So ever since I completed the homework in the book (around Thanksgiving), I always remember to check the rompers section when I am shopping online. They can be really hit or miss, but when they’re a hit, they’re a big one.
Stuff I realized I don’t love wearing as much….
One of the best pieces of homework in The Curated Closet is the homework to take a photo of EVERY outfit you wear (I think for two weeks) and rate how confident you felt while wearing it and also what you were doing when you wore it. This helped me to weed out some bad outfit habits I had formed (stuff I wore because it was easy but always made me feel kind of blah), and it also helped me to realize what kind of clothes I really need and use in my everyday life.
So, one of the big things I learned was that jeans and flat shoes (especially Birkenstocks) make me feel very meh most of the time. I am now working on creating outfits with pants or jeans that make me feel confident. It’s definitely a more put together look. For super easy/casual days I’ve learned that throwing on a simple dress and jean jacket suits me better.
By taking the photos, I also discovered some pieces that I don’t think are that flattering, so I decided to sell or donate them.
Oh! And there are definitely exceptions in my closet! Here are some of my “oddball” outfits. They don’t fit into my typical uniforms, but they’re still super flattering and fun to wear!
I don’t normally love long dresses, but because I love off-the-shoulder things, I decided to give it a try and I LOVE it. I even wear it with flat shoes! And a full midi length skirt isn’t normally a go-to for me. I’ve tried a lot on that weren’t very flattering, but this one was special. Same with this long red skirt. I saw a friend wearing a similar one, and it looked so good on her. So I gave it a try and loved it. And sweaters have been tough for me. I think I tend to like very thin sweaters more than big chunky ones?
Anyway! Rules are made to be broken. I consider my three uniforms kind of easy go-tos, but I definitely won’t limit myself from trying on anything that looks fun. It’s always worth a try!
I learned so much from The Curated Closet. I feel like the biggest help to me, because I mostly shop online (and I return A LOT), is that I now recognize when I’m purchasing a “safe” piece that I know I’ll wear a lot versus a risky piece. And the second best thing I picked up is shopping for occasions. I know when I’m shopping now which pieces I’ll wear over and over and over and which are more for a certain special occasion. In past years my closet was mostly filled with “photoshoot clothes” (loud, bold pieces that look awesome in a photo but that you don’t wear that much in everyday life). Now it’s mostly everyday clothes, but it’s still a mix of both.
Ah! That was a fun post to write. I hope it was helpful to you and maybe will kickstart a few of you into getting curious about your own everyday uniforms. xx -Elsie
Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photos (all from past sister style posts or Instagram) by Diana La Counte, Jeremy Larson, Amber Ulmer, Emma Chapman and Alyssa Rosenheck.