Studio Diary: Winter Wardrobe

Studio Diary: January 3, 2018

My Studio Diaries gather raw and real inspirations and insights of life in my studio. They are not finished pieces but works in progress intended to let you in to the world of this one creative heart.

Winter Wardrobe

One of my goals this holiday season was to get out and fill in the gaps of my current winter wardrobe and today was the day!  Over the past several years I have been changing my approach to fashion, inspired a bit by the concept of a capsule wardrobe.  I’ve also recently been blown away by stylist Christie Ressel‘s concept of the “module.” A module is a group of clothes that all mix and match. It includes an outer layer, 3 tops and 2 bottoms. Those 6 pieces will give you 12 outfits! You could create a “work” module and a “home” module. You could create an “artist’s” module, a “polished casual” module, whatever you like.

The main thing that both the capsule and module approach have taught me is to think in terms of outfits and to be sure that everything coordinates well. Instead of falling in love with a piece of clothing, I try to fall in love with my wardrobe as a whole! How will that piece contribute to the big picture? Will it add to it beautifully? Open up new possibilities? Sit all alone because it has no one to play with?

It helps to be clear on your colours. I know to stick with cool tones and focus on black, grey and white with a splash of metallics, sparkle, blue and pink. Each season I think about choosing a colour I’d like to focus on or add to the mix. Last winter it was teal. This season I’m just loving my greys.

I took some time to get clear on what was missing from my winter wardrobe: a pair of nice pants, a couple of sweaters and maybe a pair of rough-and-tumble short boots. A quick look at my Pinterest style board reminded me to stick with simple, clean and elegant styles – with a hint of drama (of course). I want to stay true to my style, to have clothes that fit and flatter and to be able to put together outfits for a variety of occasions with ease.

It never takes long to realize that it’s easier said than done! I tried on dozens of clothes that were a quick no (some that didn’t even make it all the way on) and some that were a “well, maybe.”  I was just about to resign myself to the latter when I found an outfit that I just loved.

It’s not that the pieces are tremendously exciting on their own; it’s that when I tried them on, I felt like me. I had that *zing* of looking in the mirror and thinking, “There I am!” I don’t mean that it felt familiar. It’s not a relaxed, leaning back feeling but a shiny, uplifted feeling. It’s what Marie Kondo calls “sparking joy”. This outfit definitely did it!

Not only did I buy the pants and the shirt but that *zing* made me reevaluate everything else I was considering. It allowed me to set a new standard. If my reaction had been, “Yeah that’s okay” or “I can make that work,” I let it go. I’ve been getting by with the clothes that I have so getting new pieces wasn’t urgent. I could take my time with the process. I learned the importance of wardrobe patience years ago when I worked with stylist Safina Khimani. She took it in stride that 98% of what we looked at wasn’t for me. Where we so often internalize that this is an indicator that there is something wrong with us, that we don’t ‘fit’ with the norm, she took it as a matter of course. We are one wildly unique diamond in the world; it makes sense that we’ll have to search for the just-right setting!

I left with five pieces, all in my colours: a cozy grey sweater, a sexy black top, a slightly dressy pair of plaid pants, a comfy pair of black jeans that fit and some flexible blue leggings. I felt so inspired by these pieces and the new standard I was aiming for that I cleared out my closet and put back only items that I loved, that fit and that I plan to wear this winter. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s all a part of taking January’s message in the Studio Yearbook to heart!


  1. scr4pl80 says:

    Great tips for making a wardrobe work for you. I have a couple of things that give me the “zing” you felt but most of my stuff is just comfy clothes. I think since I work from home I have let the style fall by the wayside. Something for me to think about this year. Just because I work from home and no one really sees me doesn’t mean I have to be frumpy! Thanks, Jamie.

    • Jamie says:

      Thanks so much! I work from home too and I can absolutely attest to the fact that I feel better and do better when I am dressed in a way that makes me feel great. It’s taken me a while to find that at-home entrepreneur style but I’m liking it!

  2. susan hosken says:

    I spend huge amounts of time at home but still like to wear clothes that I like and enjoy. I still like things to match and to be super comfy. I love color and pattern and soft fabrics. Glad you found some new clothes Jamie that “zing”. I mainly deal with one clothing company here in AUstralia that sends me catalogues and the clothes in the mail as I am often too unwell to go out buying clothes. I used to love making my own sewn clothes xoxo susanJOY

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