uniform, lately


I had a moment where I pretty much stopped wearing long-sleeved shirts for a while, because the weather has been so damned hot (last year was the hottest year on record and this year isn't much cooler). It still is, but in the last couple of months, there have been days where the temperatures are a little gentler, and it's nice bring out the shirts again, albeit only the lighter ones.

I'm also compromising by wearing the shirts untucked. I'd always preferred tucking them in for work for a tidier silhouette but it's nice to let the longer ones billow for a slightly different feel.

I've been favouring this slightly oversized cotton one from Uniqlo, and another one with a tiny daisy print (they're so small they look like polka dots) from Paul Smith that I bought about 5 years ago. There's a clean finish to these shirts that make even ripped, oversized jeans look polished. Plus, they don't wrinkle.

Meanwhile, I was reading this post on Put This On as I was putting together this post. It goes:

"So Billy is less of a metaphor for how we settle for unexciting design in many aspects of our lives, but one for how we can use a framework that’s not inherently exciting to build and tell small stories of ourselves.

Likewise, when you’re building a wardrobe, it’s less important to pack your closet with showpieces or 'grails', than to find stuff that’s easy, comfortable, and not too much of a reach, budget-wise (say, a blue oxford), and then to use it as the background for the truly dope shit you find along the way."

I was taken by this idea of "acceptably good" being applied to clothing, because it appears to run counter to the "buy the best" sentiment that has become the hallmark of consuming with care, whether we are talking about design, or quality or manufacturing ethics and practices.

Leaving out the weighty issue of ethics aside, from a style perspective, I agree with the writer. I think it's easy to get caught up with the "perfect" item, but perfection is overrated in personal style. It's often what you do with basic things that speaks volumes about who you really are.

Reading the post led me to circle back to what I wore, and how else I could wear the same items. "Acceptably good" are shortcuts to looking "fine", but sometimes, it's more fun to play around with things, and get a little more out of what you own.


Pret a Porter P said…
I am all about the basics paired with the truly dope sh!T.

That bag is beautiful
Anonymous said…
hear hear!
Anonymous said…
Could you kindly tell us where your pieces are from? Specifically your shoes and beautiful bag.
Thanks x
sovannary said…
It's refreshing to read from bloggers who align with my ideas of letting go of perfection in order to reach happiness and to have time and energy to focus on the big picture as well as the idea of having more fun with playing with the clothes we already own. A bit bored and uninspired to see copy paste outfits all over the web... authenticity (including in style) isn't easily found surprisingly. In either case, I've been wanting to ask you what your thoughts were on the sac sceau of celine. I am contemplating a purchase but would love to hear from you. Sovannary
Archana said…
I am for almost perfect pieces of clothing. Just because : dressing up is not an end in itself, but one task that gets me through the day. And I cant spend that sort of time searching and vetoing things waiting for the perfect thing to come along.

The whole perfect thing argument fits well for folks who have the declutter temperament. "You will declutter it away in the future if its not the right item. You will hold on to it forever if its the perfect item", we got told.

Oh well !

I love your outfit pictures. Those shoes !

If I may ask : do you have friends/family who dress like you ?
lin said…
You exemplify it!
lin said…
The shoes are Margaret Howell, bought at an outrageously good price during a sample sale. They're so good that I would buy a pair at full price should I need to replace them.

The bag is Celine, the Sangle Seau model. It's fantastic because it's very practical but it's also luxurious and the design does set it apart.

The outfit are all Uniqlo haha.
lin said…
The Sangle Seau in my opinion worth the premium of a "designer bag" because apart from being beautiful, it's also very luxuriously made and feels great to the touch. And it's so practical, and unostentatious. I like that "non-fashion" admire it and comment about it to me. It shows that it appeals beyond people who are "fashion" and "status" obsessed!

I have another Celine bag, the Trio, and I wouldn't really consider it such a good buy. It's lovely but quality wise it's just average.
lin said…
Not really! My sisters and I trade clothes often but we wear them very differently.

Friends - not really as well. We might buy the same item but we have completely different ideas of how to wear it.
Ellya said…
I have neglected the idea of perfection when I need to buy a clothing item. There's no such thing. I ended up putting too much constraints when I just simply need to replace one item. Spending my days thinking about what is wrong with the item I found at the shop yesterday and making list of criteria for the holy grail. So no more overthinking and over-searching for me. It's better to stuff my head with other stuff than worrying my white t-shirt isn't the perfect white t-shirt
Lori said…
I have been thinking about furniture lately much more than clothes, but yes, I can see so many similarities. Re Ikea stuff, I was recently made aware that people hack a lot of the Ikea furniture and create their own designs. It happens a lot with a Frosta stool that is turned into bookshelves to even sleds! I of course embraced the idea and recreated my stools too. Which is something I do with clothing all the time. If I like a fabric, I will buy the garment even if it's far from perfect, just dreaming of ways to transform it and make it work for me. But then I buy mostly second hand and thrift, so ruining something after bad alterations is never a huge heartache.
And I'd never want a wardrobe filled with only perfect items. The anxiety of ruining one precious piece from too much wear and having to replace it! No, thank you. I wear my perfect clothes rarely and with great care, which is not feasable for an entire wardrobe.
erica said…
I've also moved away from the holy grail mentality of shopping, and life in general. Even my show stopper pieces need to be comfortable, easy to care for, and durable. I still try to buy the higher quality version when possible, but I'm ok wearing a Jcrew turtleneck with unravelling seams because it will still last a couple of seasons. If it gets the job done, no regrets!
Nikki said…
Love your shoes!
It took me a long time to admit that my wardrobe of 'holy grail' items is way too glamorous for how simple my real life is, lol. I've edited most of the ridiculous items out, but some part of me also thinks, what's to stop me from overdressing for a trip to the grocery store?

I find the classic oxford shirt material too heavy for hot summers as well, but I have some nice button-downs from very thin (almost flimsy) cotton that I love to wear in the summer. I also have a very old white shirt that's been worn down so much it actually makes the perfect beach cover-up down.

That Celine is a beauty!

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