November 21, 2010

'Effortless' is so hard to do...

It's a favorite fashion buzz-word: Effortless. Usually, it's part of a construct like 'effortless chic' or 'effortless cool'. As such, it carries connotations of comfort and not-trying-too-hard. While still looking chic, cool, hip and/or glamorous, of course.

It is, obviously, one of the fashion-system's (magazines, and production and promotion industry) little cruelties. A look which seems easy enough to achieve and can look like it would actually work in the real world.
However, to get the effect seen in the fashion spreads, you need the looks of one of their models. Tall, skinny and with a flawless complection. And some extremely careful editing of your 'look'.
Anything less and you risk looking like you just threw on the first thing you found in your closet...

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have developed a certain notition about my style (both in sewing and dressing). I think I tend towards a more put-together look, contemporary with a retro edge (hey, a girl can try...). 'Effortless' doesn't usually feature in my personal style vocabulary. And yet, it's not without a certain appeal.

Sometimes, I try. And whenever I do, I always seem to make trousers. Of course, the clothes for any 'effortless' look should not be visibly confining in any way and allow for full freedom of movement. This excludes things straight away, like strictly tailored jackets and pencil skirts. Both in cut and material, the should be comfortable without being plain or sloppy.

I gave the look another try with this.
(Obviously, I'm not really sleeping in this picture. I was using a self-timer and happened to look down in most shots. The end-result: my eyes seem to be closed in every otherwise-decent picture)
High waisted, belt pleated trousers (I know lots of people hate this shape but I have made other versions of it and I actually believe I got it to work on me) in dark green flannel-like cotton fabric with a mustard coloured lambswool jumper. The jumper was refashioned from a large sized second-hand one.

I wanted a big drapey cowl, but didn't have enough material. For the shape was made by a combination of tracing an existing jumper for the body and using my knit sloper for the shoulder and armscye.
I'm OK with the final look, but it takes some getting used to.

I wonder, is it strange to sometimes wonder about this 'effortless look'-thing? Do you ever chase it? Are you succesful? Or do you just think it is one of those annoying fashion-press inventions by which women are made to fret about what should be simple, comfortable every-day clothes?


  1. I have a theory that style will become effortless if one can evict all the non-stylish pieces from one's wardrosbe, leaving only pure, distilled, stylishness behind. I have not yet achieved this enviable state (though I know a few people who have).

    That aside, your new ensemble sure looks comfy. The high, belt-pleated trousers aren't my personal thing, but you sure make them work for you. :)

  2. I think your pants are to die for! I wish I could pull them off, but I am quite short/petite with a larger bust so I anything too high-waisted makes me look like a freak show :) Everything you design and make looks effortless on you. Maybe its your nonchalant poses. I don't know, but I wish I had your wardrobe.

  3. I "try" to look effortless everyday. (hehe!) I think it's easier to achieve if you are not a big accessories person. I mean, going easy on all the extra bits and bobs.
    You look lovely here. I love the forest green pants. Effortless!!

  4. Your outfit looks great. Effortless, to me. You always seem so elegant and you wear things that suit you, you seem to know what does. I'm still working toward that. A pulled-together look that seems effortless, is, like you say, probably hard to do.

  5. Great outfit, effortless or not. I like the way you use colors in your clothes. Certainly a success.