Wardrobe Architect Week 1: Personal Style – History

This week’s exercise for Wardrobe Architect was a great exercise in getting back to my roots and thinking about the origins of my personal style.  It also reminded me of a speech I gave in 2012 about sewing and my personal style at MIT, and how it evolved over the years.

So naturally, I picked “History” as my focus for the Week 1 Exercise.

My personal style started in high school, like I’m sure it does for a lot of people, except I don’t even come close to identifying with it anymore.  Case in point below:


Yes, I was the weird girl that wore renaissance style dresses and corsets to school.  Frequently.  I don’t know how I had the balls to do that when I was 16 and 17 (my brother-in-law asked me, “Didn’t you get picked on??” Me: “No, I think people were too freaked out to say anything.  Or at least it was behind my back.”).  There was also a little bit of goth in there – diy fishnet shirts, for one, and lots of black and safety pins.

High school is when I discovered my love of costuming and fashion from other eras – I collected costume history books and loved pouring over illustrations of clothes from the Victorian era or the 1920’s.  When I worked on costumes for the school play my senior year, I fell in love with the clothes of the era in which the play took place, the 1950’s

High school days

Backstage during the show – I made my Nancy Drew tshirt.

I guess the only similarities between my style then and my style now is that I like bold colors and loud prints – you wouldn’t catch me caught dead in any of the stuff I used to wear back then.  I still love wearing dresses, which is why I think I still gravitate towards making them.  Of course, mine are nowhere close to being as dramatic anymore.

Bathroom selfie of what I wore to the Brookline Booksmith craft book chat #mmm13 #mmmay13
Just some fitting tweaks to the bodice and I'll be done

Swirly print dress and turquoise cardi #mmm13 #memademay13Renfrew Dress #mmm13 #selfportrait

Looking at the other categories on this week’s worksheet, there were two other categories that are relevant to my current style, and I wanted to touch on them: Location and Activities.

Location: living in New England, it’s cold.  A lot.  Spring is almost non-existent – it’s winter and then all of a sudden, bam!  It’s hot and summer is here.  Layers are key, and I wish sundress season was longer because I’d wear even more of them.  It’s also pretty conservative here, there’s been times when I’ve gone out to dinner with Chris and I’m overdressed.  Sorry, I like to wear cute, feminine clothes! #sorrynotsorry

Activities: most of my life revolves around work.  Before, my old job dictated that I had to wear black to work every day.  Now, I work for a super casual company where most people wear sneakers and jeans or shop at J Crew.  Trying to get my personal style to fit with my work environment has been tricky and I still haven’t figured it out yet.  I think that’s why the current state of my wardrobe is all over the place; I have no idea what to wear or how to dress now.

Whew, that was week 1!  What conclusions did you come up with this week?



  1. January 18, 2014 / 4:46 am

    I think it's pretty cool that you wrote Renaissance dresses to school, actually!

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