This story starts with a big mistake.
Last year my friend came home from a great vacation, which she spent lying on the beach, eating great food, watching Mad Men reruns, and perusing the What I Wore blog. That was the first time I’d heard of What I Wore, so I looked it up. This is what I looked up. (It’s a parody of a daily style blog–almost every photo is a guy in khakis and a corporate polo.) I thought my friend must know either know the guy or have an ironic sense of humor. Obviously, I hadn’t yet discovered the style bloggers or I would have seen my error immediately!
I didn’t realize my mistake until last month, when I spotted What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style among other newly-released books at the library, and instantly remembered my friend’s vacation. Turns out, the What I Wore blog is on tumblr, and you can find it here. Big difference, huh?
I snapped up the book, and browsed through the blog, and I must say, I’m impressed.
Jessica Quirk has been style blogging since 2008, and she compares getting dressed to cooking. You don’t develop personal style overnight; first, you have to learn the basics. You start by learning techniques and following recipes. Once you develop some foundational skills, then it becomes easy to improvise. Jessica says:
“My goal with What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style is to help you create your own twist on a basic recipe–to take stock of what’s in your closet, help you with a shopping list, and cook up outfit after outfit that makes you feel great about yourself.”
Really, it’s the fashion version of learning to cook without a book. Now that is an analogy I can work with!
I loved this book for its quick and easy introduction to the world of What I Wore. I really like the blog (now that I’ve arrived at the right What I Wore), but Jessica is now in her fourth year of style blogging, and the amount of content is a little overwhelming. The book gives a nice little overview that you can hold in your hand.
The book is filled with fashion sketches that look like this:
It’s packed with tips and tricks like the cost per wear equation, the rule of three, and the guide to storing jewelry, hosiery and accessories. (That last one is a killer for me, but the recommended clear plastic trays are now on my Target shopping list.)
(And I loved that Jessica is a big fan of slips. I have quite a collection, but I rarely wear them. But after reading someone under 80 say that slips are worth wearing , I’ve resurrected my collection from the back of the closet. Thanks, Jessica!)
The book is a lot of fun….but really, you should check out the blog. Jessica is a daily style blogger: each day she posts a picture of her daily outfit with sources and commentary. A typical daily outfit might look like this:
(To all you sewists out there: the What I Wore blog has a whole section devoted to sewing, and it’s pretty fab.)
I’m glad I finally found the right What I Wore. Because I can cook. I learned the recipes so well that now I hardly need them. And if great personal style can be had by learning the recipes and improvising from there, I think there’s hope that I can develop great–instead of passable–personal style.
What are your thoughts about developing one’s own personal style? Have you visited What I Wore? (Perhaps you’ve seen photos on Pinterest?) Post fashionable thoughts to comments!