These are my favorite to posts write.
They always bring me back to my core.
They remind me that this is all one grand experiment. It’s playing. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s about curiosity and trying new things and making mistakes.
You know what I’m about to say, don’t you?
How fascinating! is my favorite mantra from my favorite book, The Art of Possibility. In it, Benjamin Zander, the renown conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, writes:
“I actively train my students that when they make a mistake, they are to lift their arms in the air, smile, and say, “How fascinating!” It is only when we make mistakes that we can really begin to notice what needs attention.”
Don’t you love that mental picture? A bunch of serious musicians throwing their arms in the air and exclaiming to themselves? Makes me smile every time.
For me, How fascinating! reminds me to embrace the human experience. The whole human experience — including mistakes that make me want to fidget and sweat and can we just go already?
After all, if we’re being real, any mistake has a cost. But … what if there’s another side to our mistakes? A quieter side, that’s perhaps harder to feel, but just as real.
Another mistake? How fascinating! Another opportunity to learn something just presented itself.
So … in light of that, let’s take a look at a few of the mistakes + lessons learned from this winter. These lessons are specific to my experience, but I hope they’ll help you too.
1. In winter, opt for v-necks or scoop necks.
When I was decked out in my warmest sweaters, the only skin showing was my hands … which started to feel sad after a little while. I felt so covered up that I lost that feeling of femininity. Has this ever happened to you?
I think it would have helped if I had picked a few more v-neck or scoop neck tops. That way, I could throw on a scarf to stay warm, but I could have shown a little of the décolletage too.
2. Even if you love neutrals, include some color.
This was the first capsule where I had zero color — not even much in the blue jean department.
I’m really glad I tried it. After all, I’d always wondered if I was a 100% neutral kinda gal.
But I definitely got my answer:
The lack of color really started to get to me after about a month. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my neutrals, but I now know that a handful of color is a must in any capsule wardrobe from here on out.
3. Make sure to mix two different styles in your capsule.
When I first started living with capsule wardrobes, I swore by this practice of mixing two opposite styles in one capsule. Like cool-edgy + soft-organic — think a black leather jacket with a boho white dress.
This mix meant I could create a lot of looks that fall on either side of the spectrum – or right in the middle of the two, which is where I usually hung out.
But this time around, I didn’t pay attention to that practice. The result? My winter capsule didn’t have enough variety — it felt one dimensional.
The only look I could really pull off was cool-edgy. Which was great for a little while. It is, after all, a fundamental piece of my style. But after a few weeks I was craving some variety. Lesson learned.
4. Pay attention to fabrics when dressing for cold weather.
You probably already knew this, but cold weather dressing is not my strongest suit. I blame it on Texas. Damn you and your mild winters. Just kidding. I love you for your mild winters.
Anyway, a couple of days ago, I discovered this awesome article on layering for cold weather travel, and I felt like I was getting the cold weather education I never had — especially when it comes to the power + purpose of fabrics.
If you need a cold weather education, like me, you might want to bookmark it.
5. Take a deep breath. Admit you will always be learning — and then celebrate that.
If you remember, back in December when I posted my winter capsule, I touted it as being effortless and 100% “me”. I was so proud of it, so certain of it.
But … it ended up surprising me. It wasn’t the best wardrobe ever, like I was sure it would be.
I didn’t want to admit it at first.
Besides, I’ve been doing this for like a year and a half — I should, you know, HAVE IT DOWN BY NOW.
But you know what I realized? Instead of trying to wrestle + pin it to the ground, I’m going to celebrate that my style is fluid. Style — just like humans — will always change, grow, and evolve.
So right now, I’m letting go of this “I’ve arrived” idea. Want to join me?
No matter how much I learn, there will always be an opportunity to discover something new about myself.
P.S. What did you learn this winter? Did you have any similar discoveries?