Wardrobe / 03

May 21, 2014 - 8:00 am

Time to talk shopping (yes!) Now before I go running to the nearest mall and start loading up, it’s important to evaluate what it is that I need exactly. I like to think that a good wardrobe always starts with good bones. The bones being your uniform.

This is the outfit you grab when there’s five minutes before you have to head out the door. The outfit that you feel the most comfortable and confident in. Your uniform is also dependent on where you live, your lifestyle, and how you spend your time.

Wardrobe / 03 | Observant Nomad

So when it comes to my perfect uniform I not only had to think about my lifestyle but I also had to revisit what I was pinning on my moodboard. If you remember, I was pinning lots of skinny jeans, loose tops, structured outerwear, and heels. And since the most worn items in my closet often follow in the same vein it was easier to pin-point my my go-to uniform.

Also I think it’s worth noting how you spend most of your time. Since most of my time (and probably for most of us) is at work, that’s the area I am considering when I talk about my uniform. For me my ideal work uniform is a pair of black skinny jeans, topped with a loose tucked in button-down or blouse, and a pair of heels or flats. In the winter I can add structured blazers or jackets to the mix and in the summer choose lighter fabrics and mix in structured shorts as well.

Wardrobe / 03 | Observant Nomad

Now that I’ve defined my uniform it’s important to pick enough items to add variation to the mix. Into Mind suggests that about half of your new 20-30 items should be pieces for your uniform. And when choosing new items it’s important to choose a variety of colors and textures so there’s plenty of mixing and matching.

Here’s a little sample of what my uniform could be when broken down into varying styles and colors…

Wardrobe / 03 | Observant Nomad

After shopping for my new uniform, it’ll be important to not forget about all the times outside of work too. So in addition to my daily work uniform I need some casual staples for summer weekends and days off from work.

So besides the pieces I kept from my purge, like denim cutoffs and some graphic ts, I’ll be adding basic ts, loose fitting tops, and tailored structured bottoms. I’ve also noticed a lot of white converse and delicate sandals in my pins too.

Wardrobe / 03 | Observant Nomad

When I’m not in casual wear (or yoga pants) I do make it out to a nice dinner or concert every now and then. So it’s worth the time to think about which last 2 or 3 pieces that will supplement my summer fancy wardrobe. It’s nice to have a solid base so I can always pair one of my previous loose blouses or basic ts with this sexy leather skirt or just throw on the perfect summer LBD and call it a day.

Wardrobe / 03 | Observant Nomad

It’s important to make sure that the same principals are repeated throughout each of the types of uniforms. For me that means mixing an even amount of feminine and masculine lines like loose tops and tailored bottoms, and making sure outfits feel casual yet professional. I’m also referring a lot to my post about defining your style as to make sure I’m adding the right textures and colors that I narrowed down before hand.

Now I won’t be buying all these items at once. It’ll probably take most the summer to purchase all the items I need. But thankfully each purchase will be deliberate and thoughtful so when I do commit to buying an item I know it’ll be the right one and will last me several seasons.


Wardrobe / 01

April 22, 2014 - 8:00 am

Wardrobe 01 | Observant Nomad

For the last few years my closet has been a muddling of styles, colors, and shapes. It comes with the 20-something territory. Style in your 20’s is littered with experimental items, cheaply made trendy tops, your basic jeans, the one classic piece you invested in, and a variety of colors and cuts from all over the board.

But with a wardrobe like that, it’s been really hard to feel 100% me in anything I wear. I’ve also begun to notice a more discerning eye when it comes to my clothing. I no longer have any desire to shop just to shop. And as I grow as a designer, defining my own style has become more of a priority. So I’ve decided to start my own wardrobe revamp with a 7 step plan.

Restyle 01 / Define | Observant NomadWardrobe 01 | Observant Nomad

Since I’m re-inventing my style from the ground up, I felt most comfortable creating a detailed strategy before-hand. First, I started this process with defining my personal style. Since I’m a visual person I started a private Pinterest board where I could collect specific products and styles I was drawn to. This made it much easier to see patterns, shapes, and cohesion between items.

After several weeks of collecting, I went back through and eliminated anything that I didn’t absolutely love or was an extreme outlier from the rest. Using Into Mind’s post, ‘Using Moodboards to Define Personal Style‘ I analyzed my board’s cohesive patterns. Here’s what I found…

Wardrobe 01 | Observant Nomad

What are the key textures and materials? For me it was obvious that I was mostly drawn to relaxed everyday fabrics like cotton, denim, and leather. When it comes to textures, I really love thicker wools and silky looking polyester/rayon.

What is the overall color scheme? A strong black & white presence was almost immediate. Besides those I was also really interested in neutrals the most. But what surprised me was how much I was drawn to chambray blues, soft sage greens, muted plums, and blushes.

Wardrobe 01 | Observant Nomad

Which are the key proportions/ specific combinations? These were some predominant combinations that stuck out to me…

mini skirts & shorts + cotton sweaters
relaxed fit blouses + cropped tailored pants + heels
structured masculine outerwear + skinny denim

Wardrobe 01 | Observant Nomad

What are the main themes? Minimalist, modern, professional, feminine, and a little bit laid-back. Most of my board has a combination of structured pieces with approachable relaxed items. I discovered that I really love the contrast of tailored masculine shapes with casual sexy feminine accents.

Which single items stand out? Black skinny denim, black leather belts, delicate gold jewelry, relaxed white blouses, muted colors, chambray, boyfriend jeans, a structured black wool trench, folding leather clutch, short leather booties and black strappy sandals.


Even though I could’ve told you some of my favorite pieces without doing the moodboard process, it really has been revealing in many other more specific ways. Before, when I found a look I liked, I would try to incorporate it into my wardrobe without thinking about the bigger picture or understanding if it worked for me. 

After this I have a much clearer vision about my style. I can also see how these pieces reflect who I am in a lot of ways. I am a pretty confident person and definitely not shy – all of which I think is reflected in my choice of structured masculine outerwear and bold uses of black & white. I also like to go with the flow, which some of these relaxed fit styles really show.

Can’t wait to get roll up my sleeves and get to work on step two…

Namaste, Yoga

February 7, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Last night I left my yoga studio relaxed, focused  and  refreshed. And promptly discovered that I had a flat tire. In 10 degrees. Normally I would’ve probably been upset, discouraged, and annoyed. But I really do believe that my yoga sesh really helped me out. I was completely chilled out, and just shrugged it off.

Let it be. That’s what we were focusing on in class. So I rolled up my sleeves and changed the tire. No tears, no freak out, just dealing with the moment and moving on. It was concrete proof I need yoga in my life!

suitcase: yoga / observant nomad

So I’ve decided to get more serious about yogi-dom and here’s some items I’d love to pack in my suitcase. We’ve been working on the splits and a yoga block really helps with that. I love how it gives me a deeper stretch and maintain length. This Gaiam Everything Fits Gym Bag looks perfect for me, its got enough pockets and storage for a regular gym bag, but also allows you to attach a yoga mat.

Speaking of which, this eKO Lite® Mat is high quality. It’s a little thicker than a normal mat which is great for my knees. I’d love to get my hands on one of these Yogitoes Skidless Towels. It’s perfect for my favorite class, hot yoga. They absorb sweat and prevent sliding everywhere, plus they come in so many amazing patterns/colors. And how cute is this No Limits Tank? I love a little bagginess to my yoga shirts since bending and hanging aren’t the most flattering positions and can distract me from relaxing.

Lululemon No Limits Tank | Gaiam Everything Fits Gym Bag |  Larabar Fruit & Nut barseKO Lite® Mat 68″ 4mm | Yogitoes Agate Peace Mat TowelNike Legendary Printed Pants | Gaiam Marrakesh Stainless Steel Water Bottle | Gaiam Yoga Essentials Block
Image by Sam Austin