Friday, July 15, 2011

Wardrobes mantra: Carefully Curated and Deliberately Distilled

You'll get to meet this beauty soon...

So far, all of the wardrobes I've built have been posted under the heading French Chic, and I'm frankly becoming a bit uncomfortable with that.  We've wandered quite a distance from what the original guidelines of Susan Sommers' iconic book, and I'm not sure that I should continue to exploit the title which is so indelibly hers.

Thus, I'm just going to call them wardrobes.  And with that decision, I thought I should share with you the mantra I use for the building of these little gems.

First: Carefully Curated.  Each garment has to make the cut.  I've heard some fairly harsh criticism recently that "good enough" is really okay for one's wardrobe, and I have to disagree.  Yes, in some circumstances we do have to settle for less than ideal, but that should NEVER be the standard we set for ourselves.  We deserve better.  People who make clothing deserve better.  The planet deserves better.

Secondly: Deliberately Distilled.  We don't need so much stuff.  We need nicer things, better quality things, things we will love more, use more, and legitimately wear out.  We do this on purpose, not because we're stingy or snotty, but because we want to focus on truly beautiful and crafted items that are worthy of support.

So there!  Got that off my chest.  Back to building beautiful wardrobes for my friends!


  1. Well said...very eloquent. I particularly like "Deliberately Distilled". That is what I want for myself - a deliberately distilled wardrobe.

    By the way, I have been looking for a striped fitted scoop necked top for ages! I am looking forward to seeing who makes that one. xo, A

  2. Deliberately Distilled - yes! That term perfectly evokes what I perceive an edited wardrobe might look like. Can't wait! -mary

  3. Carefully Curated does it for me - as another one of your readers who makes (sews and knits)quite a lot of my own clothes I know the hours that are taken to make quality garments. In my wardrobe I have a chanel style jacket I made many, many years ago - its on its last legs, but the cost per wear must be down to zero.

    Mme UK

  4. You are incredibly talented and insightful.

  5. I love this post, it is exactly how I feel about my wardrobe. And I'm sick of being called a snob because I try and only buy quality pieces. Yes, it means saving, sometimes for a long while, but I end up with pieces that work beautifully with my other items and will last.

    Oh, and will you be sharing where these pieces are from? I love them, and a few are ones I've been searching for!

  6. Recently found your blog and I am loving it. Could you add some shoes? That would be great, as I am not so good at putting shoes with the outfits. I try so hard not to keep buying so much stuff, but it seems that things happen like tee shirts shrink, Clothing looks bad after washing, pants stretch out of shape etc. and I am generally not talking about cheap clothing. I must be doing something wrong. Thanks for writing your lovely blog!

  7. Yes, yes, yes.

    You wouldn't eat "good enough" food, so why would you choose "good enough" clothing? I hate that. Buy one beautiful thing instead of five cheap things that are substitutes for the one beautiful item.

    You could create a tag titled "Deliberately Distilled" for the wardrobe groups. I still think you could create capsule wardrobes as a consultant, and you can name your company Deliberately Distilled.

  8. How would you distill and curate a wardrobe of mixed neutrals, maybe with black at the core?

    I love to mix neutrals--black and navy or brown or dark denim. Grey and camel and chambray. Charcoal and ivory. White and sand. Well, white everywhere to set things off. Every neutral looks more sophisticated with another, and I'm always looking for new combinations.

    The trouble with this approach in a wardrobe is that it becomes unfocused and unwieldy. How to have just those 20 core pieces with both a central focus with a polished, integrated look, and also lots of cool mixing?

  9. Curated seems apt and I agree you don't need the heading of French Chic any longer. More like curated chic. :)