WIW: channeling Ingunn, sort of

Today's outfit of white jeans and blue chambray button down shirt with tan belt and bright coat made me think of Ingunn. Looking at my photos, I think I don't channel Ingunn very successfully. Her looks are so polished, and I feel, I don't know--less polished or perhaps just lacking that little something special that she always adds. But I should say I didn't set out to channel Ingunn's style, I just thought of her once I had the outfit on. Ingunn, if you're reading this, I hope I haven't offended you by musing on your style here!

So anyway, I wonder if my idea of polished is a little less than polished. I recall a discussion of polished versus RATE style here on YLF--Angie asked which team we were on a few years ago--and I swear I answered that I was on team RATE, but I don't actually see an answer from me on that thread. Anyway, I think I'm probably not RATE. But I'm not really polished, either.

This outfit felt fine, regardless. It's not what I would call quintessentially "me," but I'm comfortable in. And I love the jeans--so glad I got them.

The outfit (worn Tuesday for a day off): white boyfriend jeans (Kut from the Kloth, Catherine); blue chambray shirt (Caslon); tan belt (Trafalgar); denim cap-toe ballet flats (AGL); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke); bright coral trench coat (Eddie Bauer, Christine Trench); blue and white striped earrings (gift).
A little detail. . . These jeans have a triple belt loop in center back, and I'm not crazy about it, for some reason. I've discovered I like the look better, if I just skip the middle belt loop!

Thanks for looking! Thoughts and suggestions welcome, as always!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • carter replied 6 years ago

    You look great! I know what you mean about Ingunn's looks. I was studying them today. She looks so "finished" in each one. I think you definitey got that in the last picture with the coat and the bag. Awesome outfit. I want that coat!

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago

    What Carter said! #3 has the Ingunn vibe. Looks fresh!

    FWIW, I just went to my closet and put my chambray shirt, white jeans, cognac belt and navy loafers together for my Casual Friday look for later this week. Coral will come from my new cognac and coral colour block bag! Thanks for the inspiration, Firecracker!

  • Tanya replied 6 years ago

    I agree with Carter.  The third look has it nailed for me.  That shade of coral is very flattering on you.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    You and Ingunn have different styles to my eye. Hers is more classic or based on classic pieces. Yours feels boho and creative. I really admire both styles. The outfit with the bright coat looks wonderful on you.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Yes, definitely, Joy. I think we do have different styles. Maybe that's why I don't quite feel I've got it all together, when I try to go more classic! :) And thanks for your compliment.

    Runcarla, I'm glad to have inspired you!

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    You are too hard on yourself! Ingunn's outfit are a wonderful source of inspiration, but inspired by does not mean you will come out looking just like her! I think this outfit looks terrific on you!

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, Shevia. You are so nice! I was trying not to sound like I'm disparaging my style. It just struck me that I felt it was an Ingunn sort of outfit, and yet it didn't really look the way it felt.  Kind of a curious little disconnect there, which I was trying to get my head around.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    That is really interesting, isn't it? This is one that would bear some deeper analysis. What is it that goes into making a style seem so "Ingunn" or "Firecracker." It's not just the obvious differences (modern classic vs. arty with a classic wing). And it's not just body type differences (although those are relevant, too...). It's some combination thereof. 

    Anyway. I think arty style transcends the RATE/ Polished distinction. It's not either/ or. It's both/ and. 

    I absolutely love dark chambray or denim with white and leopard. And that is all. :) 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    ETA, another reason Ingunn looks finished (besides her fab modern classic Euro chic style, of course!) is that her photos are almost invariably excellent. She has a good background for taking them, she manages somehow to get the light "just so" and she often puts her outfits together before or after the fact. This is simply to save time or because she often posts outfits she's experimenting with for feedback before actually going out of the house in them. And this gives her the benefit of being fresh for the photo instead of bedraggled after a day's work or half asleep on the way to work. :) 

    Always knew that girl was clever! :) 

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Agreeing with Joy about different style &/or personalities & with shevia about cloning :)
    These are all great looks on you but the question I would ask is how do you feel in them compared to say your tonal look from: 


    The tonal look (& many, many others) seems to capture your creative side & like Suz I think it transcends the RATE or Polished divide.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Suz, yes I agree. It occurred to me, too, that Ingunn's beautiful photography and her lovely poses contribute to her polished look. Her posts are such a treat all around!

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Caro, intriguing question! That tonal outfit was one of my favorites. Of today's outfit, I really like the jeans, belt, shoes, and coat. The shirt is the part that doesn't feel quite like me. I'm just not a button-down kind of gal. (Though I would say silk is an exception--I really like my wine-colored silk buttondown with high-low hem.) So perhaps if I had gone with a different top--say, one of my t-shirts, "MBM label," I'd feel less like I was channeling someone else! Ha!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Caro, what a great example and reminder. 

    Sharan, you look absolutely STUNNING in that tonal outfit. 

    Meanwhile, you look good in today's. Just much less comfortable in your own skin. 

    It's extra interesting, because: 

    • You and Ingunn both have wavy/ curly hair. 
    • You're both fond of wearing pants/ tops/ jackets or coats outfits that are broadly  "smart casual." 
    • You both have a slightly earthy aspect to your styles. 

    And so on. 

    Talk about the "Triumph of Individual Style. " 

    You two are living embodiments of that principle, and lucky for the rest of us, we get to see it here in action. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    This is fascinating to me & it's why I put so much energy into my wardrobe :) 
    Suz I love your comparisons - so many similarities but it is the differences that hold the key to outfit choices.

    It never ceases to amaze me that wearing the wrong clothing or just one garment (your shirt for instance Sharan) can make us feel less like "us" in some way. I know I've experienced this when wearing clothes that are too classic or too arty for me.

    "Bien dans sa peau" is often quoted but rarely explored. I don't know if it is the key for everyone but it is for arty/creative dressers imo.

  • Ingunn replied 6 years ago

    Firecracker, I will copy this as soon as I get my new chambray and the weather allows for a red coat. What a wonderful inspiration for a fall/winter version of red, white and blue. I'm humbled to be part of the unusually interesting anlysis that happens in this thread, and of course I'm not offended in any way! I love your attention to detail in regards to the belt loop, how clever. I agree that three are too many. I think you look great in this outfit. I'm on my way to work so a little short of time here, but will pop in later, too.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Ha, ha, Ingunn! How funny, that I inspire you to copy a look that I thought felt like your style! Glad you stopped by! Were your ears burning? (From us talking about you?)

  • Neel replied 6 years ago

    I was nodding in agreement to everything that Suz, Caro and Joy had to say about your outfit.  I like 3 too like everyone else :)

    I also understand when you say polished (Angie, Suz, MaryK, Ingunn) versus RATE (Alaskagirl, Rae) and you seem to fall some where in between.  I do not fall in any category either!  I seem to have a little of both in me.  The same goes for maximal (Annagybe) and minimal (Angie and Suz).  My style is somewhere in between again.  I think this is why it is very important to judge an outfit based on the wearer and not just the outfit alone.

  • Ingunn replied 6 years ago

    Haha, that IS funny! And yes, my ears are burning just so :)

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I think it's really interesting how many of us just know when an outfit feels "off" in some way, and can even identify the specific item that bothers us, as Sharan has done here. 

    And yet, it can be so hard to work out in advance. I mean, how was Sharan to know off the top of her head that wearing a shirt wouldn't feel like "her" in some mysterious way? She has a great body type for button downs (Sharan, I hope you don't mind my saying that....). So it isn't that. It's just....it doesn't feel right! 

    The only way we can figure out things like this is to try them again and again and consult ourselves about what felt right and what didn't. Like Sveta, who has tried tees again and again. She actually looks pretty darned good in them (and she did find a linen version this summer that she enjoys wearing). But for the most part, they just are not "her" and she avoids them -- but it is not out of flattery concerns. 

    Caro, I have the same issue about needing to avoid clothes that feel "too classic" and "too arty" (for me, I mean). Yet I'm sure the individual items that make us feel that way would be very different! Meanwhile, I admire and enjoy both a purely classic and a purely arty style -- but when I dress in a pure classic style (without enough modernity/ trends) I feel stiff, uptight, uncomfortable, frumpy. And when I dress in an arty style, I feel downright silly. Like I'm wearing a costume. 

    Here's another wrinkle. The arty clothes often feel wrong in part because they simply don't flatter me. They don't work all that well on my frame, the draping just hangs, there's just "too much" for my angles. So, it makes sense I might avoid them. 

    Meanwhile, the classic styles suit (and generally fit) really easily. Yet I still have a negative reaction to "too much" of them.....

    Sorry for the threadjack.....

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    A brilliant Modern Classic. xo

  • Deb replied 6 years ago

    You look truly fabulous, sophisticated and modern in a classy way. I love your outfit!

  • Nebraskim replied 6 years ago

    I understand your comment about the three belt loops in the center back. I have some pants like that and I only loop through the center one, and not the outer two. I should try instead that next time. I, too, love the coral topper. Great color for you.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Neel, those are good points and illustrations. The terms are useful for analyzing elements of our style, even if they don't describe our style.

    Suz, I appreciate your comments. You bring to mind my recent puzzlement (yet again) with the Kibbe scheme. I tried taking that test recently again, after it came up in a forum thread, and I didn't find it all that informative for me. First of all I'm not sure I'm even analyzing my features accurately--it's so hard to do that for oneself, I think--and then the style that is supposedly suggested by my body and facial proportions, shapes, and angles is "classic." Okey dokey! That settles it, right?! Ha ha ha! I think there is a certain amount of a "signature" style that ideally comes from compatibility with our physical features (like your relationship to drape). But there is so much more to it than that. Which is why this forum is so fun and informative.

  • Mona replied 6 years ago

    A wonder outfit, Sharan. I feel like copying this. Love the red coat.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Agreed, Sharan! 

    I find the Kibbe test difficult, too. I might start a post on that one of these days, actually. 

    I'd probably have guessed that you might fall into a "dramatic" category of some kind, to be honest. Which would be right at home for a certain kind of arty style. You don't have the extreme height of a Kibbe dramatic, but you do have many other of the defining characteristics. 

    In the end, I think all these systems (just like the colour systems) are only rough starting points, at best. And then we have to consider climate, lifestyle, and the all important happiness factor as well. 

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    This looks great on you but it is a look that I would not have expected from you.  Which is not good or bad, just an observation.  I have been trying really hard to stay within my style zone because I know how easy it is for me to fall in love with looks I just won't wear.  If you feel fantastic, then it's something to explore more because looking like Ingunn is as good as it gets!

  • Cerinda replied 6 years ago

    On RATE vs. polish:  did you look at today's link to Frankie Hearts Fashion?  

    Don't we on the West Coast generally present ourselves more RATE than our eastern counterparts?  I would definitely have described your style as polished.

    Very interesting that you emphasize that the "outfit felt fine" if not quintessentially you.  Care to expand on that?  

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, Mona!

    Suz, I took the test once and came up with dramatic classic (or vice versa?) and then recently came up with classic, and it seemed a smattering of other elements that didn't add up to a second aspect. I think I look tall for my height (because my legs are slightly long for my torso), but perhaps not markedly so. You seem to have a good understanding of the Kibbe vision; I think taking the test and adding up the A, B, C, etc. answers can be confusing if one (I, for example) doesn't really grasp the underlying rationale. 

    Una, yes, this discussion has turned on a little light bulb for me. My style is "eclectic," which sometimes feels more "all over the place" to me, or undefined and out of control. If I can narrow down my real affinities, I can perhaps buy fewer orphans. Or be happier wearing fewer things more often rather than wanting to constantly drag out something different--and maintaining the endless closet that allows me to pull out items that I may wear once a year.

    Cerinda, I didn't visit the blog, just looked at what Inge posted. I hadn't thought about East versus West coast style that way, but it does seem broadly accurate. I grew up more on the East Coast than anywhere else (with my early years in the Midwest), and then moved to the West Coast going on 15 years ago. Maybe that's why I am drawn to such classic styles, especially in my shoes, and yet feel at home in less buttoned-up styles. I guess my style leans more polished, yes though part of me really aspires to be RATE. Angie referred to Kate Moss as an illustration of RATE style, and I am very drawn to that look. Much more so than to, say, Kate Middleton's style (though I think she's gorgeous).

    p.s. Cerinda, I forgot to answer your last question. I think what I meant by it felt fine is something like this: I wanted to wear the jeans--they are comfy and I like how they look (although I wish the white were less bright; I like the white of my Lucky bootcuts better). I felt the shirt looked good with the jeans, and it was the right weight for the day. I wanted to wear a top that didn't require a sweater over it, and this one fit the bill--substantial enough to keep me warm without another layer. I considered a cool tee that I made, but it has sheer sleeves, and it was too much effort to figure out what to put over my arms. And I think it looks better with a slightly off white rather than the bright white of these jeans. So I felt fine, not in love with the outfit I arrived at, but fine. And then I thought, hey, this is kind of an Ingunn outfit, and it gave me more appreciation for it. And the photo, without the coat, didn't look as polished as Ingunn. .. . so there you go.

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