Now I want a wardrobe theme too!
March 3, 2013 7:39 PM   Subscribe

I loved par court's "1950s French Lady Intellectual" suggestion in this thread. But even though I can see how the possibilities are in fact endless...they aren't exactly popping endlessly into my head. Can you help me come up with some other wardrobe "themes" that I can play around with?

If it matters, I'm tall and thin, mid-twenties. My style is currently quite feminine with a vintage flavor, but part of the goal here is to find inspiration for branching out a little, so suggestions don't need to stick to that.

Bonus points if you share a few ideas on what kind of clothes the theme calls for!
posted by ootandaboot to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Gamine is an awesome look. Jean Seberg in 'a bout de souffle' is my icon here.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:37 PM on March 3, 2013

Best answer: If I had a ton of money to spare on clothing, I'd be working my Equestrienne aesthetic. Sadly, it currently is limited to a board on Pinterest and not my real closet. Tweeds and plaids, tall boots, tailored blazers, barn coats - you can run the gamut from, "I just handed my polo pony off to the groom and came in for cocktails" to "We'll be out on the moors today, make sure you bring your flask and boots you don't mind getting mucky," to "I had to muck out the barn but there's no reason not to look good doing it," to super fancy equestrian-styled but really more high-fashion coats. I'm probably most in it for the boots, but anyway.
posted by PussKillian at 8:47 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not the biggest Jezebel fan, but their roundups of the latest round of fashion collections each had a great "theme" to sum up the looks, many of which were pretty fun (The Punk Wife of Bath, the Duchess with Dark Secrets, and Elegant Ghost Princess were among my favorites). Can't seem to get a link to just those, but doing a site search for the tag fashionweek should bring them all up.
posted by Mchelly at 8:50 PM on March 3, 2013

Best answer: The 'Bonnie and Clyde' (30's berret + tucked in 3/4 sleeve sweater + high waited pants/skirt) look.

Or, fashion editor Dianna Vreeland (big chunky jewelry + simple, usually black pieces).
posted by marimeko at 8:52 PM on March 3, 2013

Best answer: The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style is a workbook with a nber of themes: Bombshell, Gamine, American Classic, and so on

That would teach you those looks, and also give you templates for devising looks on other themes.
posted by tel3path at 10:28 PM on March 3, 2013

Best answer: A good friend of mine rocked the pink mathematician look for years. Nerdy glasses, pinstriped blazers with an arm safety pinned on, white shirt with the arms torn off, skinny tie, nice trousers, combat boots.
posted by Specklet at 11:39 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There was a post here awhile back from someone who wanted to dress like a lady Indiana Jones. I thought that was a really original idea.
posted by chaiminda at 3:38 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hope Sandoval is my fashion icon. I don't know what you'd call the style, but it'd probably be something like 90s babe.
posted by Katine at 6:49 AM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: My own is Very Expensive Prison Matron. Dark colors, very tailored, minimal jewelry and accessories and one big Pow! piece. Severe.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:55 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: the trick with themes is to make them limited/restricted enough to actually filter the stuff you look at, but not so specific that you can't find anything. I like to use 'decade + adjective + character or trend' as an easy idea generator:

1960s Indiana Librarian
1980 New Wave Groupie
1970s Stevie Nicks Decoy
1950s Saucy Secretary
1990s Surly Goth Teen
1970s Halston Muse
1960s East Bloc Hottie

I wear a lot of vintage myself and spend a lot of my discretionary internet time looking at vintage photo blogs, which helps me with my themes - I draw a lot of inspiration from people in the background or whatever. I tend to skew towards the more realistic side of getting dressed (vs costume), but my bff's theme is 'late 60s-early70s rural PTA member with lots of great glasses frames'. It's too much for me but it works for her.
posted by par court at 7:30 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: AB Chao has Elegant Cowgirl which I kind of love but can't always pull off.

My personal go to is something I call Robot/Steampunk Soldier: the on-trend militaristic/equestrian themed stuff-- black with brass details-- with grey/geometric pieces. And robot earrings. I have a few muted camouflage tops that go into this. Top down outfit: black cadet hat (brass buckle), grey tank top, grey/black/khaki camo halter, black structured jacket (brass buttons), jeans, black riding boots (brass zipper/buckles). Accessories: black and silver watch, grey robot earrings, dog-tags of some sort, brass compass/magnifying glass ring. (I want to get some kind of Starfleet accessory here but not sure)

Another go-to, that may or may not be encompassed in your current style: Pin-Up. Curled hair, bright lipstick, low neckline, waist accentuated with a big belt.
posted by RainyJay at 8:38 AM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: Teddy Girl
Miss Beatnik 1959 Santa Monica
posted by par court at 8:40 AM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: I've gone through several phases of Diane Keaton as Annie Hall. Since you're tall and thin, wide-legged trousers would look great on you. Pair them with something slim on top, flat shoes, and menswear-inspired accessories. Here's a more modern version.
posted by jabes at 8:42 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have enjoyed
1994 Seventeen Magazine Back-to-School Fashion Spread
1980s On a Yacht
My Mom in College (late 1960s early 70s)
1970s Corduroy Androgyne
Midcentury Schoolteacher
and on the silliest of days: Lady Cop in a Power Suit (1980s)
posted by dizziest at 9:50 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What a brilliant question.

It might help to look at the contents of your wardrobe and try to give some of your current looks a name. That way you'll at least have a starting point.

I like creating personae which are complete non-sequiturs. It usually involves channelling someone whose style I want to emulate, along with an idea which has absolutely nothing to do with them, but might reference some tradition, garment or stylistic language.

Each of these has left the house at least once in the last year. Some of them many times.

Russell Brand: Gangster Librarian
Peggy Olsen: Pirate Secretary
Steve McQueen: Hipster Auntie
Greta Garbo: Manga Assassin
Ziggy Stardust: Inca Goddess
Lady Gaga: Minimalist Matryoshka
Tilda Swinton: Tomboy in a Tea dress

And so on. You get the idea.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I was too busy at work earlier to provide actual garment ideas for the themes but here, because I love doing this stuff:

1960s Indiana Librarian: plaid dresses, jumpers, cable cardigans, occasional gunne sax, pearls
1980 New Wave Groupie: big hair, black jeans, big loose drapey white tops, eye makeup
1970s Stevie Nicks Decoy: gunne sax, shawls, lace layers, granny boots, crystals
1950s Saucy Secretary: pencil skirts, blouses, no pants, full makeup and hair
1990s Surly Goth Teen: like the New Wave Groupie but with band shirts and converse
1970s Halston Muse: jumpsuits, big wide-legged pants, gold jewelry, halter tops, heels
1960s East Bloc Hottie: this, a little bit of young julie christie hair or makeup, uniform-like separates

The most important thing is that you have some kind of idea or picture in mind when you're at the store and holding something you are considering buying, because you want to be able to ask yourself if the steve nicks decoy or the halston muse would wear this. The idea evolves, you just want something to help filter and guide you when you get started.
posted by par court at 6:00 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am totally, totally smitten with all of these ideas. Thank you everyone!
posted by ootandaboot at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2013

Ha ha, typo from my comment: not PINK mathematician, PUNK math mathematician! May make more sense now.
posted by Specklet at 8:55 PM on March 4, 2013

I've got a couple but the only one with a good name is "I fancy myself a dancer", legwarmers, tights, etc.
posted by dipolemoment at 4:49 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is an entire blog devoted to the Tomboy fashion persona.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 AM on March 7, 2013

Thanks to this question, I'm currently doing Punk Trudy Campbell Goes on a National Park Tour.
posted by purpleclover at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2013

It's been months since this post has had a comment, but I thought I'd chip in with my theme:
Romantic Absent-minded British Egyptologist
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

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