Designer Dressings

November 20, 2013

designer dressings

I still remember the days of taking a Leadership in Design course as part of my curriculum for my degree.  Part of this class was reviewing how I should dress as a professional designer.  It was a zip your lip kind of day when I was told that long hair should always be put back, preferably in a bun or French twist and some kind of dress suit with hose was the proper attire I should be dawning.  My friend and classmate was not so discrete at her disagreement with the instructor as she let out a little chuckle burst.  Even though I knew this did not seem quite right to me, I remember what my first client told me on one of my visits to her home to present a concept that I really did not need to dress up so much.  I glanced down at her and her husband’s attire, both in t-shirts and jeans, and realized I was actually making them a little uncomfortable by dressing so “stuffy”.

Fast forward many years, I have put aside the college attire rulebook and have collected an eclectic wardrobe full of items that reflect the artistic person that I am.  Now, just because I have items I like does not make me an expert in fashion and putting myself together.  Enter Nicole from The Wardrobe Code.  This virtual stylist that was offering a “Shop Your Closet” challenge that I was eager to participate in.  I wanted to share my experience with you and relate my findings to interior design.

Day 1 was establishing your best five clothing pieces and best five accessories.  When you are working on designing a space in your home, be a detective in your own space and find out what are your most treasured items.  By identifying the pieces you want to keep, you can see where you need to fill in and also what design direction you want to go in.


Day 2, putting two looks together with four components: a basic, a piece of interest, a finishing piece, and accessories.  Take this same formula to decorate a room.  For example, a living room; the basic is a solid colored sofa and chairs, the piece of interest is an eye catching, colorful art piece, the finishing piece is a soft plush rug, and the accessories are the pillows and lamps.


Day 3 of the challenge was to balance your shape.  Shape and balance carry quite a bit into interiors as the size of items as they relate to each other is important.  Just as I want to achieve an hourglass shape with emphasis on the waist, you want your eye to travel around a room easily with a flow.


Day 4, free outfit planning by utilizing a piece that was underused made me focus on an outfit for those days of physically working, but still looking put together.  Are there pieces in your home that seem to get underused due to not being sure of what to do with them?  Play around; you may be surprised how they can work with what you already have.


Day 5 was creating a look using the color wheel.  This took me back to color theory as I created a look for Thanksgiving Day.  Split Complimentary (what I used), Triadic, and Analogous color schemes are some of the tried and true ways in interior design to curate a well-rounded and interesting style in a space.


Day 6, getting ready for work was the focus of the day.  Three outfits planned for me as an interior designer doing research in the office, networking meetings, and doing client presentations were on the forefront of my mind as I “shopped my closet”.  Reflecting my love of print and color that I enjoy injecting into my designs shows what I am about beyond the words I speak.  To me, that is what your home should do as well.  What is your house saying about you?  This should be YOUR style, not any one else’s or what is shown in a magazine.


Day 7 finished off the challenge with two holiday looks and a wild card look.  Decorating your home for the holidays can be fun and sentimental.  We were encouraged to use texture and shine and the same goes for the home.  With the wild card we were asked to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and use all we had learned in the previous days to put a look together that reflected that.  Mixing patterns is something I absolutely love in interiors, so why not in an outfit!  Although I got mixed reviews on this particular look, I will rock it in the future.  It is me, and that is what your home is all about too.  Experiment and don’t be afraid of making a mistake, especially when it is with items you already own.


I really enjoyed this week long challenge and it made me refine my look that I want to project to the world as to what kind of designer and person I am.  Nicole from The Wardrobe Code now has a new service available called Virtual Shopping among the many other services she offers.


Janeane Pittman Interior Design


3 Responses to “Designer Dressings”

  1. Very cool to see all your outfits – I am a big fan of challenges for pushing our creative envelopes to new heights! I love that embroidered skirt of yours.

    • designwithj9 Says:

      Thank you Sheila. I got that skirt at a local consignment store in the clearance section (see I have picked up some tips from you!) & have found it to be quite versatile because of all the colors. It is very detailed and it still had the original price tag on it of $118 from an upscale retailer! I however, did not pay near that, you just have to dig a little.


  2. […] going through a week long closet challenge that I reviewed here, I have become even more clothing aware than I was before.  As a continuation to my “Pattern […]

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