I can't even...
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
… wear the same outfit twice
This past weekend I attended the annual Feast of Blackwood and I was surprised to see that people had put forth some effort to look presentable. There was some white, which I explicitly said should not be worn after Folkstone Questing, but I suppose that an exception should be made for gentleman's dress shirts and lady's chemises. There were fancy hats, pouffy sleeves, and furs aplenty. But amongst all of this I noticed a problem emerging: people are wearing the same fabulous outfits to multiple occasions, reducing their fabulosity and upping their tacky uncouthness.
“But Zarine,” you're saying, “you wear the same clothes sometimes.” I can see where people may think such a horrid thought, but I can assure you that I certainly do not wear the exact same outfit every weekend. Now, dear reader, I am not speaking of combat or adventuring clothes. No one expects you to own multiple sets of expensive and effective armor, nor to dirty your best clothing rescuing villagers over and over again. I am speaking only of fancy gatherings: Feasts, balls, weddings, charity events, and or course visiting Alchimia Lupanar.
Prepare yourselves, Plebs, because am about to educate you on the art of creating a large wardrobe out of a small one! You can easily own only a small assortment of clothing and mix and match them to create brand new outfits on regular basis. It's called a capsule wardrobe, and it's absolutely wonderful! I often wear the same articles in different combinations. Now, to the untrained eye it may appear that I am wearing the same outfit, but to anyone who truly knows fashion, it's apparent that it's an entirely different ensemble. I asked my BFF Soft his opinion on wearing the same outfit multiple times and he had this to say: “Many basic components of an outfit can be reused, shirts, pants, and the such, the real trick is in accessorizing such that each outfit appears to be new! He's really working his way back to my good side lately!
Just follow these easy steps and you can become a fashion icon like Soft and I!
Purchase clothing in similar colors. It's awfully hard to mix and match clothing when you own a plethora of clashing colors. Pick a color palette and stick with it. The colors should reflect something about you, like your nations colors, as well as being flattering to your skin tone. Neutrals work best of course. I myself chose red and black with some purple and gold thrown into the mix via accessories. Sometimes this may make people believe that you wear the same thing all of the time, since many of your clothes will look similar to the untrained eye. So make sure that you throw some other colors in now and then to show them how wrong they are. Perhaps purchase a few items in stunningly different yet complimentary colors to your base palette.
Think long term. You'll be wearing these clothes over multiple seasons and events, so make sure that you chose classic garments that won't go out of style. You can then cycle in a few new items each season to add some variety and modernize your look.
Quality over quantity. These clothes will be worn quite often, so make sure they are well made. Having to replace items quickly due to poor quality defeats the purpose of a small wardrobe. The Realms is full of amazing clothiers selling high quality goods, so there is really no excuse for cheaply made garbage... er, garments from overseas made by sweaty children.
Own a variety of tops and bottoms. This way you can create lots of outfits! The more tops and bottoms you own the more combinations are available through the power of math! Now, I don't actually know anything about math, but I do know that if you have one top and two bottoms then you only have two outfits. If you have three tops and five bottoms, then you can make more than two outfits! And more is better! Math!
Organize your armoire. The key to a good capsule wardrobe is being able to easily diversify your outfit. With the exception of Weird Uncle, no one wants to spend their evening planning out the next day's outfit with diagrams and spreadsheets. If your closet is well organized, you can easily choose a top, bottom, accessories, and footwear that all go well together quite quickly.
Accessorize! It's simply amazing how much you can change your entire look just by wearing a different hat! Hats, jewels, belts, shoes... all of these can really add to your overall look and help to make similar outfits looks totally different.
You see, dear reader, it's really quite simple. Now, inevitably you will eventually repeat an outfit. As long as a significant amount of time has passed no one should even notice. And if they do notice and are rude enough to point it out in public, simply roll your eyes, point your nose up in the air and walk away haughtily like you have more important people to talk to, because you do.
Zarine is the proprietor and Madam of Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, and has 35 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.