New Year, New Fashion

I feel like it seems to be every year that I make some sort of fashion post (upon review- this was much more frequent…should it come back???). Every year I have at least one, which is funny because I would not consider myself a…fashion chatter. I like what I like and I’m comfortable in what I’m comfortable in and that’s that. I don’t expect anyone to come to me for fashion advice, nor do I dole it out. I’m a big believer in the idea that if you love what you wear, you can typically wear whatever you want. It’s all about confidence.

 

With all that said, I have seemingly honed in a bit more on my style, on what I move towards and what I feel the most comfortable in. I think I’m starting to find a bit more of myself in fashion and a bit less of myself in the “trends” of the moment. So, I figured I’d talk about it because why not. It’s fun to see how we evolve over time and grow more and more into ourselves. 

If you want a quick moment to look over some of my previous fashion related posts I did one where I switched out of constantly wearing the same “momiform” of sorts (this is what kicked this off) HERE, where I shared some of  what I wore HERE and HERE (I actually have several more of these- more than I thought!), where I first talked dresses HERE, then when my style shifted a little bit more to “me” with some of my favorite dresses HERE, and then a funny one on my “winter” wardrobe HERE. Quite a few posts to see the evolution- which is fun (though I cringe at some of those-oy). 

I think my style really started to shift when we lived in Europe. It’s a whole different ballgame there on so many levels and I really was able to draw inspiration from a wide variety of options. Oddly it was as overwhelming as it was exhilarating at times. I was able to figure out what I liked/didn’t like simply by observing those around me. This is also when I started to really look at fashion accounts, find what I actually liked, and then find places that fit my budget. 

Two things I found helpful when I started trying to figure out what my style actually was, mostly so I could stop spending money on things I would either wear once or liked the idea of but didn’t realistically fit “me”. The first was a concept I stumbled on on TikTok, which is the three-word method.  Using three adjectives to describe your style, or what you want your style to convey. The first two are typically constant and describe what your current most constant style is, but the third can change from time to time, or season to season in my case, to reflect what you want in your style. I found that the three-word method really helped me with the second helpful thing- being more aware when buying clothes. I think we can all name a time where we succumbed to a purchase, or a trend and it didn’t…work out in the way we hoped for. I found that the three-word method helps narrow down not only what I liked, but what I was looking for in my own clothes/closet. 

My first two words have seemingly fit right into everything I love. I want my style to reflect effortless and classic. I don’t know if those words really fit together, but I like to think that they do. And this is my personal style so I can do whatever I like haha. I find myself avoiding most trends- they never seem to look just right on me and I don’t really want to go buy new wardrobes every single time a trend goes in or out of fashion. I’d rather have classic staples that work through trends, then if I feel drawn to something specific that is trending, I can see if it fits with what I’ve already got going on. The third word is probably the one that changes the most- I find that my needs tend to shift when one season changes into another. I tend to fall into the same line of thinking- in summer it’s “soft” or “floral”; in winter it’s “oversized” or “layered”. We’ll get into it a little bit more in a minute. 

So, when I purchase something new, I try to remind myself of a couple of things…

!) Do I have more than one thing to wear this with? You would be shocked to find out how many times any of us purchase something that only goes with…one other thing in our closet. I’ve done it countless times. So, when I purchase something, really anything, it has to be with versatility in mind. I have to be able to make at least 3-5 outfits with the new item and what I already have. 

2) Will I actually where this/Does this fit with my lifestyle? Again, you would be shocked at how many times this happens. We find that cute top or dress or heck an entire outfit, buy it and then either never find an occasion to wear it or realize that it just doesn’t fit with our day-to-day lifestyle. For me, this means that when I am buying something new it has to fit with a variety of activities. 

3)Do I already have this or something similar in my wardrobe? I’m probably the worst at this one- if I find something I like I buy it in many similar variations. While I want my wardrobe to fit my style, I want it to subtlety be different. It needs to be dynamic. If we feel like we are wearing the same thing ALL, the time- it gets stagnant. So, while I might want 5 gray sweaters, maybe I should by that pop of color sweater instead. 

4) Am I buying this because it feels “of the moment” or because I feel like it actually fits in my wardrobe? This is something I try to stick to, but probably give myself a bit more grace on this because sometimes those “of the moment” options can fit right into my existing wardrobe and become a long-standing piece. But honestly, most impulse purchases tend to be in the store going “oh this is so cute” and then I take them home, realize it’s either too trendy for me or just doesn’t look how I want it when incorporated into other outfits and it goes to the wayside. 

I’ve found that honing in on my style, then incorporating it into my buying habits, and trying to stay a bit more…strict about it has really cut down on my buying of a bunch of random clothes. I don’t stick with these hard and fast, there are times where I’ll grab something completely off the wall, but most of what I buy tends to fit very well into what I already have. 

So, what is my actual style incorporating this whole method?

Well, I found that in the warmer weather I have an affinity for dresses. I love to wear a dress the minute the weather warms enough, and I typically wear them all summer long- I’ve got enough to last (and I’m always adding more). I like to think that my summer style lends itself to that…European Countryside/Cottage Core look. I still keep the effortless and classic but add in that “soft” touch with the style of dresses- most that I lean toward tend to be longer, flowy (I love a good midi dress) and softer colors that, mostly, give hints of floral elements. Now, I do still have my jean shorts and some shorter skirts that cycle through during the summer (we do hike quite a bit when the weather turns nice) so it’s not sure fire this, but even the shorts and skirts tend to be paired with tops that fit these words. 

My Autumn/Winter style tends to be a bit more…well more. Most of the time it’s full of sweaters and pants- usually oversized sweaters with some skinny or straight leg pants. I still keep the effortless and classic, but I add in “oversized” or “layered” to my Autumn/Winter style.  Where we currently live (and honestly, it’ll probably be the same wherever we settle down to) it is simply to cold to be able to wear anything other than the chunky sweater/jeans look. And honestly, I think even if it wasn’t as cold, this would still be a bulk of my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I do love a good sweater- I just would probably pair it with a skirt/longer dress or wear a good sweater dress. I’ve actually picked up a couple of the longer sweater/ribbed dresses for Autumn/Winter to try out. If a random warmer day pops up through the winter (or if we’re traveling to somewhere that is a bit warmer) I’ll throw those on instead.  

Two final thoughts…as you can tell from the pictures, I don’t typically go towards specific colors- though I do tend to find myself reaching for certain colors depending on my mood or just general vibe. If I had to say though (even if it’s not well represented in these photos) I tend to own a lot of blues/whites and then browns, grays, and recently some more greens. I do have a few pops of color- though they tend to be bright pops rather than softer muted tones.

Throughout the season I typically add a couple of pieces that refresh and fall into my wardrobe quite nicely and I’ve already got my eye on a couple spring/summer pieces that I’m very much looking forward to adding in.

And that’s really it! Who would have thought I would have had 1500+ words in me to share about fashion, but here we are! A little chatty clothing post to break things up a bit. 

To Thaw or Not To Thaw

Winter is veeerrrrrryyyyyyyy slowly coming to an end here in the Northeastern part of the country and I may finally be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. This year we experienced our first proper winter in Upstate New York, and it changed us. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a winter quite like this one. 

To start with- the snow. There was a lot of it. Not as much as they’ve had in the past I’m told, but it was still a lot for us. And at times it seemed never ending. The weatherman didn’t quite get it right- it would stop and start of its own accord, and of course throw in the lake effect part and we had quite the time with it. We got a lot of use out of the snowblower (which I highly recommend) and the boys got to have a lot of fun. 

The snow was one thing, something I could prepare for, but what I couldn’t really prepare for was just how COLD it got. Let me tell you, I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced below zero temperatures, but I sure did this year. I think that was one of the hardest things about winter here, most days it was either snowing OR it was sunny and below zero. In fact, at one point I used the words “warm” and “not so bad” in reference to a 20-degree sunny day. Previous Mia would never. 

I quickly learned that those cute little winter outfits we see splashed around are just not…practical in any sense. And I’m not even referring to like the little sweater dress and boots. I’m talking about the jeans with the cute sweater, oversized but thin trench, and boots. No, no, no, that would not cut it here in the heart of winter (even though I tried- I tried so hard). 

Enter…the coveralls. The things that I would previously really only wear to go play in the snow with the boys have become an everyday staple in my winter wardrobe. Seriously, every day. I have found that these coveralls, with a long-sleeved layer underneath, pants (and sometimes thermal leggings under those), with snow boots, a thick winter jacket, hat and gloves have been my saving grace. 

The epitome of fashion over here. 

Because, to be honest, at this point I’ve really come to understand the whole function over fashion. 

When it’s -20 with a real feel of -32 and they are delaying school due to temps no one (you included) is going to care about that cute little sweater you’ve got on, or the perfect calf boots you’ve found. The only thing you’re going to care about is staying warm at that comes at the expense of “looking fashionable”. Note- I said looking fashionable, you can still be cute and cuddly in these clothes…it’s just not high fashion. Maybe fashion designers should take note ha-ha. 

In fact, if I do say so myself, there is nothing quite as cute as looking like the kid from A Christmas Story and staying warm.