(image via Ralph Lauren)
Banishing Black: from about 2005 until 2012 I almost exclusively wore black or grey. I still like a soft, sweatshirt grey but have banished black from my wardrobe. I may have a few black tees in the mix but everything else is gone. I’m attracted to white and colour now. I think it’s a reaction from staying with such a dark palette for so long. My new neutral of choice is brown.
Jeep: I made a point the other day about buying a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited. I’ve decided after all that fuss that I’m not buying a vehicle at all. Look, I’m going to be free of almost all personal debt in 6 weeks. I’ll still have my truck loan but that’s no big deal. My truck payments aren’t very much, and the re-sale value on it is high. I’m not concerned.
But I’ve also been talking about how I want to save money and just focus it on the right things. I meant what I said. It’s really important to me to be debt free and to save money. I like being free from the burden of debt.
Retro Diet: Going well. I lost 2.5 lbs last week. I did have that weird day with my blood sugar going wonky but the rest of the week has been uneventful. I’ve started the Couch to 5K running program again and it’s going well. No pain in my shins because I’m taking a full day off between sessions.
Minimalist Challenge: Now that winter is over it’s time to restart up my minimalist challenge. Let’s face it, I’ll never be a true minimalist but I’ll be happy with being 70% minimalist. When I go home on May 6, I plan on sorting through the rest of my books and stuff and making a final edit. The books I’ve left at my parent’s house have started to take up too much space and I think at least half of them need to go.
Cabin in the Woods: I don’t want to work in the Oil Sands forever. In fact, it’s been a goal of mine to take a one year sabbatical and just live in a cabin by a lake or a house by the sea. I even thought about staying in England for a year. I’ve been working pretty much steady for 21 years. I would like a year to myself free from concerns to just focus on hobbies and other interests. My plan is to take a year off and transition back into regular life. I don’t plan on doing this now, but within the next few years.
Preppy: You know I like preppy clothes, that’s no secret. To a nerd like me with healthy Gothic underpinnings, preppy is the best way to dress. It’s slightly sinister. Also, it’ always the weird, goth kid, the prep, or the slutty best friend that gets killed off first in any horror movie. So it kind of has this sinister undercurrent to it that I just find fun. Weird thoughts aside, I’ve been adding more colour to my preppy Pinterest board. Check it out.
(image © Brooks Brothers)
I was asked why I try to dress preppy and why I like preppy clothes.
My style is more nerdy casual rather than truly preppy. If I didn’t work in construction and felt more inclined to spend money on clothing, my wardrobe would probably be 70% classic preppy and 30% nerdy. Right now it’s about 50-50.
On my influence map, I list the Gap and J.Crew as two of my influences. I grew up on a military college campus on the outskirts of the city of Victoria, British Columbia. When I was a teenager I spent a couple years in Army Cadets. This influenced me because 1) I learned to be prepared and 2) I learned to be organized and tidy in my appearance.
What does that mean? It means not wearing inconvenient or fussy clothing, hairstyles, or make-up. It means preferring my zippers zipped and my buttons buttoned to the top. It also means a straight lines, basic shapes, and a neutral colour palette. And of course, comfort and warmth, layers and being able to travel well.
Being a classic nerd and old school geek, I have an affinity for academia and learning. I can’t stress enough that growing up on a military college campus influenced who I am today 100%, especially my love of books and of learning. It probably also explains why khaki, grey and navy blue are my absolute favourite colours to wear. To most people those colours represent the military and discipline. To me, they represent home and knowledge.
I often say that I have gothic underpinnings and that’s true. If I were a classic prep, I would probably wear pastels like pink or green or yellow. I don’t wear those colours with the exception of t-shirts. I wear mostly khaki, grey, black, navy blue, and off-white. I also have a preferred colour palette for general purposes which is made up of my absolute favourite colours; sky blue, a faded union jack blue, maple leaf red, winter white, and sweatshirt grey:
I’ll leave the gothic underpinnings for another day because I don’t want to muddy this essay. I will say that I believe in balance and as much as I love a beautiful blue sky on a summer morning, I also love a heavy, dark thunder and lightning storm deep in the heart of October. I love contrast; shadows and dancing light.
So take the classic collegiate look, mix in some military discipline, layer on the colours of Canada and Britain, and dose heavily with nerdiness and you have my style absolutely. I usually default to t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans but I think in the future I will define my signature style and own it.