Welcome to the fifth Corporate Curves Report. I can’t quite believe it’s been a month since this column started. So many post ideas still on my notebook and in my head! True colors – inside and mainly outside – is my topic this time. Lately I have noticed that I don’t have any inconsistent items in my wardrobe anymore. Before giving away half, if not more, of my clothes, there were some retro-ish or cutesy items that I realized I liked the look of, just not on me. Realizing this started to form the core of my wardrobe. Sure I like pinup style clothes, cute girly dresses and even flower prints – on someone else but not on me.

As I’m not a morning person, I’m always in a rush to leave for work. This means I need a good capsule wardrobe that can be combined in multiple ways. Otherwise I’ll end up wearing mismatching clothes to work. Surprisingly I’m nearly there. I have been tough on myself and only bought clothes that I know I will wear and that go with the rest of my wardrobe. Getting there meant also accepting that many people consider nude/taupe/beige and all those shades boring, black as such a easy choice, and gray as dull. Well, they suit me well so who cares what someone else thinks? So those colors are now the core elements of my personal style.

Once I built the core, it became easy to play with different accessories and little somethings to spice up the look. This’ll work with any colors that you feel are your core colors. As an example I’ll add a picture of a Finnish branding expert Lisa Sounio. She wears a lot of black as the basic core element but adds fun and colorful details to make the look her own.

As for me, I usually try to make sure that my core clothes work with denim and more casual looks for free time so that I really get wear out of my clothes. These tops work with formal work looks just as well as with more casual looks.

Here’s an example of a knit top that works both with denim and suit pants – with casual or formal shoes.

Here’s is a lady with a style I’ve always loved. She sticks to her black and white, always. Her name is Kirsti Paakkanen, former owner  of the Finnish design house Marimekko. Her house is all white and has no curtains; her clothes are all black with some white in the mix. 

As Helsinki is currently the design capitol of the world this year, I’ll talk a little bit more about Marimekko 🙂 They just showed their first collection on New York Fashion week yesterday and have stores in  the USA, including shop-in-shops in Crate & Barrel in New York and Los Angeles. Their flagships store is on  Fifth Avenue in New York. They also opened a store in Boston recently and will be opening some more. If you need to spice up your home with some color and gorgeous patterns, check them out! They represent Finnish design at its best. I use their products a lot at home, and it’s basically an institution here in Finland. It started with stripy t-shirts back in the Six’ties. Here are my parents rocking the style in late Sixties! 

But back to my true colors. I do think that they do represent me as I am now and the style keeps evolving through life. I’ve mellowed down from being a flamboyant young woman to being calm, at peace with myself, and just living and loving life today. As much as I like red clothes, I don’t wear them usually. In my last week’s post where I made a note of that being a power color at work –well, for that reason I think I find it a little bit in your face, and my leadership style at work is calm assertive. I probably learned that through my dearest hobby, horse riding and with dogs, having pretty much always lived with one. Now that I mentioned that, no wonder that my true colors show my love of animals as well 🙂 My riding garderobe is black and tan, I love brown horses, and my dear little miniature pinscher is black and tan. I specifically wanted a black and tan pup when we got her.
Riding gear from H̦̦ks Рvelvet pants by Pikeur and helmet by Tattini.
Finally the colors need to continue to one’s face as well. So no wonder my basic makeups absolute must is a bronzing powder.

I use neutral lip glosses with eyeliner and red lip color without eyeliner. This look represents the first one and is my basic makeup. It takes me about five minutes to do, so it suits my busy mornings.

In essence, I’ve discovered during the past few years that a person’s true colors show in their style, and that the core elements of the wardrobe should be a combination of one’s own solid favorites. And as style evolves with life, making drastic wardrobe changes is sometimes necessary. This all is very obvious but still, I don’t know why it took –at least for me–such a long time to really sink in and be put to action.