the practical dresser
Photographer: Maya Viliger
How I dress:
Step 1: Occasion
Step 1: Occasion
Step 2: Weather
Step 3: Comfort
Most of the time, as I get dressed, I have nothing. No ray of light moment when style icons flit through my head and I immediately think of a mood to channel. I know what I love of course, but a lot of it is deeply ingrained reflex.
So these days, it's whatever jeans I'm feeling that day (slouchier, skinnier), pick a top according to the weather (t-shirt, button-down, pullover), and ballet flats or loafers, or sneakers. My new desert boots have also added a bit of spin.
Bag of choice: my large grey YSL tote or, more so, my navy Longchamp messenger bag - so much to lug around, and all the better if I do it hands-free, since I take trains and buses.
I've neglected most of my other bags for months now. I also feel my desire for a small purse waning slightly (only slightly), because I can see how I'll use it only once, twice a week.
My dresses have also fluttered in my closet, unworn, because jeans just work better for work.
I'm enjoying my practical dressing phase, all thanks to my relaxed dress code for work.
Over time, I have formed my own little set of rules for practical dressing:
- Buy no-nonsense, low-maintenance fabrics. Hardy materials like cotton and linen and washed silk are fuss-free choices. And they are all luxurious in their own way.
- Buy good quality accessories that aren't precious. I don't own anything I'm worried about tucking under a chair (so long as it's not a bathroom, and it's dry). Awesome bags and shoes speak volumes - essential if you're a basic dresser.
- Cut, cut, cut. Important for anyone, but I'm a basic dresser and not playing artfully with layers, so whatever I have on needs to stand on its own. Simple things with maximum impact.
- If I'm tugging and fiddling even before I leave the house, I change.
- Wear what I feel like wearing, not what I think I should be wearing. Even if it means I'm wearing the same thing over and over again.
- Buy what I'll wear on a Tuesday afternoon, not a Saturday night. All the pretty special occasion things just never get worn - a couple of pieces are enough.
- My friend says I have a siege mentality - I'm happiest when kitted out in things I will be comfortable in if I'm going to be trapped wearing them for the next 36 hours. I think it's something ingrained in me ever since my family and I were stuck in some random airport FOREVER with no luggage because of a missed flight.
- I get my hair trimmed regularly - good hair is obvious when you dress simply, and it's easier to handle in the mornings.
- You can skip/shorten the make-up routine if you take care of your skin (eat well, sleep more).
- Flat shoes over heels. Always.
Picture from turned out