June 5, 2014

Me-Made-May '14: Reflections

I suppose I should write this post. I know what I've learned, but it's difficult for me to put some of those thoughts into actual words.

One thing I can say right away is that by about, oh, day five of taking pictures, I got so sick of looking at myself. I don't know if that was better or worse because I intentionally took every picture this year standing in the same place in (roughly) the same position. Midway through the month, I did remember that last year I had to resort to using props toward the end to make things more interesting. Next year, maybe I'll do all my photos in a sort of series so that at the end of the month, if you put them all together in a flip book (or a GIF; I suppose GIFs are the modern way) it looks like I'm doing jumping jacks or something.

Anyway, all that is to say that I was at one point going to do a collage of all 31 of my outfits for this post, but now I'm pretty burned out on all those photos, so no.

So. What I learned.

In week three, I talked a little bit about how having photos serves as a visual reminder of what works and what doesn't. I found it interesting that a fair amount of what Me-Made-May did for me this year is show me what clothes (and combinations of clothes) I don't like. For example, I was surprised to find that the same beige A-line skirt was part of both one of my favorite outfits (left) and one of my least favorites (right).
same skirt
I've never really worn it that much--it's kind of boring, and I always assumed I didn't really like it. When I put it on the second time (that's the outfit I wound up really liking), I was fully expecting another 'meh' clothing day. That didn't happen, and it made me realize that, at least with separates, how much I like or dislike them also depends a fair amount on what I'm pairing them with. Maybe I do like this skirt. (I guess I'd just never worn it before with other garments that I like.) Yes, it is boring, but that's also kind of what makes it a good basic. And this isn't the only garment I've discovered I like far more when paired (or not paired) with certain things. So that's something to think about.

Another thing. I have to accept the fact that, as much as I'd love to be able to wear skirts or dresses every day, in reality I don't. Last year, I was able to get through all of May without wearing jeans a single day, but that isn't really feasible now. (Maybe, maybe in the middle of summer.) I have to be able to move around at work, I have to be warm enough, and I have to be comfortable--not just physically, but also mentally. And that means I wear jeans. In fact, I wore jeans or denim shorts almost half of the days last month. Obviously that means that for the other half of the month, I wore a skirt or dress, but still--that's only half. A few months ago, I would have been a lot more annoyed by this. But lately, I've been drawn to much more simple, unfussy styles. There's no arguing that jeans are not simple.

(On a related note--in the months leading up to May, I got into the habit of wearing a scarf in my hair on a regular basis, then surprised myself by only doing so a handful of times in May. Maybe scarves became my way of dressing up otherwise boring all-RTW outfits, and so weren't necessary during a me-made month. Or maybe even they are starting to feel like too much. I don't know. But I do hope I can ease myself back into wearing them a bit more.)

So maybe I ought to try making a pair (or two) of jeans. The only long pants I've ever made for myself are pyjamas, but I have made fitted shorts. (And I've taken in old pairs of jeans so much that I might as well have sewn them.) I don't think it's beyond my ability. But I'm still not entirely convinced jeans are something I want to make. I'm not unhappy with my RTW ones, and I was going to say I'm not entirely sure that jeans are part of the person I want to be--but I don't know. I mean, really, who am I kidding? Somewhere in the in the last six months I started to like jeans again. And maybe I would like them even more if I made them myself.

Finally. I don't think it could have escaped anyone's notice that I wear a lot of blue. I like blue. It's my favorite. But looking at photos (and looking at myself curiously in the mirror on those days) I think I actually look better in green. And maybe also even brown. I have very little green in my wardrobe, for unknown reasons--I've always wanted to have more. Maybe I'll get on that now.

As always, thanks to Zoe for hosting Me-Made-May again. I did find it useful (even if it was sometimes more trying than fun) and I'm looking forward to doing a better job next year.


  1. Great reflection on your MMM this year. I think you look great in green too and weirdly I got a bit of a green obsession in the final stretch of MMM (http://carolinejoynson.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/me-made-may-week-five-or-green-week.html).
    I have seen your hair with a headscarf and it looks lovely but I agree with you that the rest of the outfit needs to feel right - scarves are great for injecting a bot of colour / pattern to an essemble!
    Keep up your great blog.
    Would be really interested to read about you tackling some jeans. My mission after MMM is to make some trousers - I'm not ready for jeans and my RTW fit beautfully ; )

    1. I think I agree with you on the scarves--I've worn some outfits where I have a scarf that would match perfectly, but sometimes it just doesn't feel right.
      We'll see what happens on the jeans/trousers front. I'm still really happy with the fit of my RTW ones, but they're starting to show signs of wear, and of course the style I like has been discontinued, so... I'll keep an eye on your blog, too, to see how the trousers-making goes--good luck!

  2. Maybe try making a pair of trousers and work your way up to jeans? After a few pairs of trousers I'm thinking I may be almost ready to tackle jeans. How about you go first and I can follow along and gain courage? Really enjoyed your Me Made May series!

    1. Ha, I think it may be more appropriate if you go first and I follow along and gain courage... Even if no jeans, I've seen from Me-Made-May that you've made way, way more trousers (and shorts) than I ever have.

  3. I feel the same way about jeans. Yes, they are a little boring, but they always win in terms of comfort, warmth, and practicality. I have to be able to move around at work too (i.e., I don't sit at a desk all day), and skirts/dresses are just not very practical for that! As long as you feel comfortable and confident, who cares if you wear jeans all the time. :)

    1. Thanks--it's good for me to hear that. I think that for a long time I was very focused on cultivating a more vintage look, and tried to avoid wearing jeans as a matter of principle. (And then I had a job I hated where I had to wear jeans as part of the uniform, so kind of turned me off them when not required, too.) For a while skirts and dresses did work really well for me, but now in terms of practicality at work--and getting to and from work--I'm finding I do feel more comfortable in jeans again. So maybe I will try making some... we'll see.