Refining my style rubric: May outfit retrospective and new list

Coming back to try to refine my style rubric. (FYI the term originated in Shannon's thread as suggested by Rae:
I first posted about my rubric a month ago here:

Initially I came up with:
"Primary rubric
1. Ladylike--this is such a given in all my outfits that I wonder if it's even necessary?
2. Structure--fitted, waist definition
3. Pattern (I noticed that pretty much all of my outfits include a print of some kind, and often several!)
4. Luxe--polished, textured
5. Flair--at least one statement piece per outfit, classic piece with a twist, or secret or whimsical detail (this is my favorite part of the rubric!) :)

Secondary rubric (not all outfits will have all of these but usually will have at least one or two)
1. Color
2. Retro-inspired
3. Matchy matchy
5. UWP--tough elements mixed with ladylike"

But that gets a little too complicated to remember for day to day dressing! So here's my new attempt at my style rubric (I eliminated primary and secondary and am simplifying to just one short list):

Color or contrast
Matchy Matchy

I think these are the terms that work the most like a checklist for me to help me get dressed. Ladylike is out because, well, everything I wear is ladylike! So that doesn't help me narrow it down. I do like to wear luxe looking clothes, but not for the sake of being fancy or rich, and it's a bit hard to define, so it doesn't feel quite like the right term.

I love bright color so I thought that was a key addition to the rubric. But I do also like high contrast black and white outfits, so I made it an either/or (or sometimes both, like black/white/red). Plus I can also use contrast to mean juxtaposition (like tough and ladylike). I added Matchy Matchy, because I'm finding that I really like to have some sort of repetition in my outfit. I want everything to tie in together--for example, choosing a bag with teal accents in a handbag to match the teal in a bracelet. Or snakeskin bag and snakeskin pants plus dotty shirt and dotty bag. And sometimes I go all out with ultra matchy outfits, like three different chevron stripes (skirt, bag, shoes) or the Japanese floral pattern in dress, bag and coat lining. Pattern is a definite, because I rarely feel myself in an all solid outfit. And I would include textures and pattern mixing into that aspect of the rubric. I changed Structured to Fitted, because I really love fitted clothes and waist definition. Plus Fitted and Flair sounds like a pun on Fit and Flare so it's fun to say out loud! And Flair remains unchanged, because it's where I put all the fun things that make dressing exciting!

BTW, is it a little OCD that I arranged the terms in descending length order? It just looks better that way! LOL!

Here's the lineup of outfits from the last couple weeks. How did I do with my new style rubric--do my outfits reflect that list? Fun to see all my outfits together in kind of a mini-retrospective! :) I think today especially, I tried to make sure that my outfit followed the rubric. I certainly felt like my outfit today very much reflects my style. Did I succeed?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Kiwichik replied 8 years ago

    You certainly did achieve your style rubic & with agreat deal of lass & style.

  • Mirp replied 8 years ago

    I loved the min retrospective and how you have honed in on your style. My fave is 2 but you look great in so many of your outfits.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I LOVED your outfits. Numbers 4, 12, and 14 took my breath away. You looked amazing!!!!! At this point, I have nothing but admiration for the way you put things together. You have definitely inspired me to up my style quotient. Thank you.

    Now, I do have one negative comment. The relatively heavy sweater in number 1 reminds me of a "grandma's sweater." You looked great in it, but for some reason I still always think grandma. It is hard for me to see anything beyond the sweater. I shudder whenever I see one of them.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Golden Pig -- How many different bags do you own? Do you switch out your bag every day? Thank you.

  • ManidipaM replied 8 years ago

    13/14 are amazing, over-the-top, sassy fabulousness! No superlatives will be enough.

    And yeah, I think you've nailed that rubric all through!

  • replied 8 years ago

    This was a great read Natalie! It seems from the pictures that you are putting your stylegoals into practice every day! I think you're rubric makes complete sense and in a way, it is very similar to mine.

    I left out things that I don't even have to worry/think about. I share your love of structure with some softness, prints are SO important to me, and while I love color--I also love neutrals very much if I'm in the mood for them. I dress mostly ladylike, but it's fun to add a RATE element every once in a while. Like you I crave at least some color repetition if I'm not going full-on matchy matchy. And I also like to add that one item that's a little "different". In my formula I called it "used/gutsy/hand made--something not everyone has or would wear. No wonder I like your style so much!

  • Meredith1953 replied 8 years ago

    A truly lovely selection of outfits! You really have your rubric down.

  • Jewell replied 8 years ago

    I think you've refined your rubric to a T! I see the elements you listed in just about every one of those photographs. Love the outfits, by the way! I covet the jacket in #7 and I simply adore #17 as blue is one of my favorite colors.

  • MNsara replied 8 years ago

    You're on a roll with great outfits and a great working rubric! I'm fascinated by your process and how it's evolving, and especially how it's clearly working beautifully for you :-)

    I think every outfit is fab and a few of my faves might be (casual) 4 and 7, (workable) 2, 9, 10, 13-17

    and, yes, it's a little OCD to arrange them by length, but we love you for it ;-)

  • christieanne replied 8 years ago

    I think the new rubric is going to be much easier to remember and "work". You are right - if something is a given such as "ladylike" then it doesn't need to be there.

    I like seeing your MOTG outfits intermixed with work and event looks. You have said before that your MOTG is more limited and you repeat but I think you are doing well applying the rubric to those days.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    I like the more concise rubric Natalie and definitely see these elements in your outfits.

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    I like this streamlining and simplifying! As for OCD, is it wrong that mine in my head is SHRiFT? hee hee


  • rae replied 8 years ago

    I love the new rubric! I feel like I could walk into your closet and dress you based on that alone. The concise list should help a lot.

  • cheryl replied 8 years ago

    I love the new streamlined rubric. It fits you to a tee! All of these pics are fantastic and I just have to say how much I love you in orange (pic 3 & 4).

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    Thanks Kiwichick, Mirp, Mary, Manidipa, Claire, Meridith, Jewell, MNSara, Christieanne, Shannon, Mo, Rae & Cheryl!

    Mary--I agree the H&M grey sweater cardigan could be kind of "dowdy" looking, but it's all part of the librarian look I'm going for in this outfit, LOL! Hopefully I'm still young enough to get away with the ironic dowdy look, instead of looking truly dowdy! As for your handbag question, I counted them up and I have 17 in daily use, and I do switch them to match my outfit as you can see in this thread I started just for you!

    Manidipa, LOL, yes the triple pattern match is a bit over the top, but so fun! Thanks for the compliment!

    Claire--wow, our rubrics ARE very similar! I've always admired your style and now I know why! I feel like you embody the casual summer MOTG style that I aspire to. Love how you mix neutrals and denim and colors.

    MNSara--LOL, looks like I'm not the only OCD rubric around here (high five Mo!)

    Christianne--thanks! I would like to develop my MOTG wardrobe a little more, to get to that balance between dressier than super casual/gear that I used to sport pre-YLF, and not as dressy as just wearing my work clothes (because that sometimes looks too fancy compared to everyone else). I think my SoCal travel capsule was the first time I felt like I was starting to get it:
    Maybe I just need to study Claire's WIW's some more since it sounds like we are style sisters!

    Rae--I would love for you to dress me!

    Cheryl--I love orange too! I was so glad that orange is in right now!

  • nancylee replied 8 years ago

    This is really great, GP. I really appreciate how you walked us through your thought process as you sorted out your rubric. I'm trying to formulate one of my own, so it was helpful to see how you came to yours.

    Now that you have a workable rubric you can enjoy putting it into practice!

  • ironkurtin replied 8 years ago

    Holy cow, GP. That is quite an anaylsis.

    I think of you as "feminine ladylike" in my head.

    You like simple, form-skimming (not bodycon) cuts, with a defined waist and colorful details. You don't like fussy but enjoy florals and brights.

    I see this becoming an increasingly sophisticated formula for you over time, because the "ladylike" part is the key in my mind. To me, it runs through all of your favorite things. I know you fear your mother's overly youthful style, but ladylike is such a part of you that I can't see it happening. You have a lot of dignity!

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    Thanks Nancylee! I would love to see your rubric, you've got a great style too!

    IK, impressive analysis of my style! You are spot on! Have you come up with a rubric for your style? I love your style--a wonderful blend of high fashion, edgy, flowy, and comfortable.

  • ironkurtin replied 8 years ago

    Aw, GP, you're so sweet! No, my style remains nameless. *Shrugs* "I spend too much," probably!

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