Simplicity and Serenity
Thought it was about time I did simple look. And I mean simple.
Simplicity on this level isn’t something I do that often. For me to wear an outfit that is made up of less that 5 pieces, and has no patterns or fancy fabrics if a very rare thing. Despite not being an OTT person at all, I generally try to go for a midpoint, layering and using interestingly designed pieces with different fabrics and textures, as well as throwing a hand full of accessories at whatever I’m wearing.
I’m not entirely sure why I avoid simple outfits. It’s not like OTT which I find too busy and overbearing, often losing the style of the original fashion. Simple looks hold more of a fear for me instead of an active dislike. To create a balanced and interesting look with so little is a challenge that one can fail at so easily, but I think it’s more than that.
With a lot of my looks, I can hide behind the layers, not only literally but also figuratively. I’ve spoken before about clothes being an armour, a way of getting the world to see what you want of yourself. If you dress a little bit odd then you are very clearly saying “This is who I am and I don’t care what you think of me”. You can hide behind that, even if, actually, you care a lot. It’s one of the hardest things about existing in the world as nonbinary or trans, you have to walk down the street and deal with people making comments, especially if you don’t “pass” – mean that’s such a binary idea anyway, people should look like whatever they want.
Wearing odd clothes draws attention to you, but in a way that makes people see you for who you are, rather than judging you by your physical appearance. But this also allows you quite a bit of freedom. You’ve stated your claim to not caring, so people get on board with who you are quicker, after all you must be very comfortable with who you are not to care about what others think. A lot of people don’t realise that it’s an act. So by wearing something simple, you suddenly lose that armour, loss your instant confidence. You have to be yourself without the crutch of your clothes.
That being said, I don’t think that, even with a simple outfit, I am being anything other than a bit weird. This look may be simple, but it’s not exactly high street. There’s definitely more Briar Rose about it than Ariana Grande. I don’t think anything I wear will be anything less than slightly eccentric. And maybe that’s how I “pass”. I’m passing as me, because I can’t be anything else.
Obviously there isn’t a huge amount going on in this look, except, wait there is. Simple does not mean that it’s easy. Because you can’t rely on hiding parts of the outfit that don’t quite work with an accessory or even another piece of clothing, you have to be more careful in picking what goes together.
This look is built around the dress. It’s a beautifully tailored, classic piece from Cos. It’s a timeless cut, with the cleanly fitted bodice, and full circle skirt, with a little modern twist of a slight handkerchief finish to the bottom hem.
The waistline sits beautifully, sculpting the figure without it feeling forced or overly tight, utilising the fullness of the skirt of emphasize it.
The colour isn’t in your face, yet at the same time it isn’t so neutral that you don’t notice it. I love this sort of blue, somewhere between royal and navy. You can dress it up or down and it will always look great. There’s a whole load of colours in this tone range, wine red, forest green, gunmetal grey, all good versatile colours. Not for everyone I get that, but I like it.
Especially with the shawl. The brighter shades of blue, intercut with the black could be jarring but are balanced perfectly by the darker blue of the dress. It’s almost as if you have mixed the two colours of the shawl to create the colour for the dress. The shawl is the only thing in this outfit with a pattern on it, but even that isn’t overly busy. Large symmetrical, sections of block colour are very pleasing to the eye and don’t overwhelm the dress, but rather compliment it and the flow of the shawl accentuates the flow and movement of the skirt.
I love shawls as an accessory. They add so much that a coat or jacket doesn’t. They feel like cloaks and that lends them an air of mystery and glamour. Basically I think they make you feel like princess, or a cowboy, or both. Both is good. Plus warm and easy to throw on, which helps.
You can get them pretty much everywhere at the moment, and they aren’t expensive. I’d definitely recommend getting one for your wardrobe.
The tights are just tights. Nothing special. Black tights. Everyone no matter what gender they are should own a good pair of black tights, you never know when you might need them.
The last thing in this look is the necklace. It’s amber. Amber is orange, and what is orange? The opposite colour to blue on the colour wheel, yes! Look you’re learning.
It’s quite a simple pendant, it’s not forcing itself into the outfit. It complements the blue in the outfit and brings a little bit more interest to the overall look. I think without the necklace this would be a very boring look. It would be blue and blue and black, nothing wrong with that but it’s nothing special. The orange in the necklace pulls the whole thing together and makes it pop. It’s a ridiculously simple thing, but it totally works. Colour theory is a special piece of magic.
One last thing before I sign this off, this entire outfit is second hand. I found all of it in a charity shop, apart from the necklace which is my mother’s. You do not need to break the bank to look good. Hunt down those bargains. Thrift shops, charity shops, ebay, sale racks, market stalls, these places are your friends. Do not be afraid to look somewhere other than the high street.
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Written by Holly Rose Swinyard