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Apr 20, 2010

Do you decorate like you dress?



I've often been struck by how passionate people often are when discussing clothes.  I've read countless fashion and sewing blogs where commenters are borderline apoplectic over other people's choice of outfits, or what they think is or isn't an appropriate way for someone to dress.

It's even happens here at Male Pattern Boldness -- and I've encouraged it!

I started to wonder, though: do people who are passionate about clothes tend also to be passionate about decor?  Or, since we're talking about private space, does it somehow carry less weight?


Getting dressed and going out in public is an expression of who we are (or who we'd like others to think we are) to the rest of the world.  Whether or not we put plastic slip covers on our sofa or still live with Seventies shag carpeting concerns no one other than ourselves and whoever else lives with us.


I was discussing this with Michael last night and I concluded that I actually care more about how the apartment looks than how I look, since I live here and stare at it every day.  If I like the way my environment looks then I feel good whether I'm hanging around in dirty boxers or resplendent in my latest creation.



So how about you?  Do you care more about the way you dress than the way your home looks?

Are your ideas about "appropriate" decor as strong as your ideas about fashion?  (If they aren't, why aren't they?)

To what extent do you decorate like you dress?

Jump in, peeps!

26 comments:

  1. Not at all. Sure I like to thrift when possible, but I have no rules against buying new things. I mostly just care about sticking to a color palette, although like my clothing I like to keep it simple and reserve prints for small doses.

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  2. Yes, I'm another one who clothes my bod and furnishes my home with thrift store finds and made-it-myself creations.
    I am in looooooove with Diana Vreeland's apartment. If I had her cash and connections I would love that kind of maximalism... couldn't do its equivalent though in terms of clothes, I'm a small person and it would just be too overwhelming to go that loud!

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  3. I never thought of that connection - but it's there! If I had to describe my clothing style, I'd say classic with a dose of romantic thrown in, and that's exactly how I decorate as well! I care equally about my clothes and my surroundings. And it's the same thing that bothers me about others' clothes and decorating - if they don't make an effort at all, even though they don't seem to be happy with themselves/their space. As to others' style - whatever rocks their boat; if it's completely different from mine, that just makes the world more interesting!

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  4. I can't say I'm overly passionate about the way I dress or the way I decorate my home! Having said that, I just saved a couple of hundred pounds re-covering my sofa myself which gave me a massive buzz once it turned out ok. Feel free to stop by my blog (living room) to have a look. I love looking at clothes and rooms which make massive statements but - boring as it may sound - key critera for both (for me) are 'nice', comfortable, functional and well-made!

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  5. I use KISS as my guide...not the band. Keep It Simple Stupid - my house is neutral so I can pep it up with rotating accessories and I tend to dress with neutrals I can dress up with one or two items. It goes with my personality as well - laid back with the occasional surprise to spice up life.

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  6. I like to think my home is pleasantly decorated, but I and my cat are antisocial and rarely have company over. So I would say i care more how I look than how my home looks.

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  7. but most importantly.... which apartment is YOURS?

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  8. You mean you don't recognize my zebra?

    Great comments everybody! The similarity between my clothes and my decor is that everything is either from the thrift store, the flea market, or the dumpster! But it's tasteful, always tasteful, LOL.

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  9. Hmmm . . . I care about both very strongly. But there's a difference, in that my home is decorated (and it IS decorated) for my pleasure and comfort. How I dress (I'm talking about how I look when I'm out in public, like going to work or traveling) changes based on what image I want to project. Some days, it's light neutral classics -- a casual, friendly look. Today, it's a vintage darkish print Dana Buchman wrap-style silk blouse paired with a above-the-knee length black jersey straight skirt with killer black patent Stuart Weitzman stilettos -- the "I'm in charge here and don't waste my time" look. When I was flying home from the Caribbean on Saturday, I traveled in my latest creation, Vogue 8659, in a VERY RED linen with chunky jewelry and wicked brown leather high-heeled sandals -- the kind of outfit that got me positive attention from flight attendants and other airport personnel that can make your flying experience ever so much more pleasant if they like you. Clothing is so much fun, it's a costume, and I'm fortunate enough to work for a company and have the proportionate build and height that I can wear a lot of different looks and get away with them.

    My home is styled much more classically . . . in colors that appeal to me (earth tones), with lots of rich woods, textures, pieces collected from my travels, photos of loved ones. I'm just as passionate about my home's appearance as I am about my individual clothing, but I don't change my home's appearance on a regular basis! Thanks for asking . . . stop by anytime

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  10. I don't know if I decorate like I dress since I just got out of collage and am still trying to find a job that would actually fund decorating.... but I love to draw rooms and decorate them. I like a lot of modern looks with minimal furniture and huge pieces of art. I love color but I seem to use it as accessories. Then there is the other side of me that always wants to dress bedrooms up to look like a harem. So who knows.

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  11. I've thought about this a lot because it's a difference between me and my partner. I'm still in grad school mode when I moved a lot and did a lot of traveling and I never considered my apartment a big deal (the cheaper, more boring, the easier- the better). I even lived in a disgusting shared living thing my first year in NYC. I also tend to throw things away easily. He is much more deliberate, cares more about durability, and looks. I still don't get it (I just want vaguely functional) but I respect his taste. I've done some DIY stuff around the house but only because he requested it (and it had to be really nice textiles). He dresses nicely but he doesn't care that much about it. I spend way more time refashioning my clothes and going to thrift stores (and I really like a lot of variety in my outfits).

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  12. I definatly decorate my space and adorn my body the same way: neutral colors, clean lines and as many accessories as I can possibly managed without either falling over myself or having my house collapse. As far as I'm concerned, more is more especially if it's thrifted, found, or hand made.

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  13. I've thought about this one a lot. My house is way more colorful than my wardrobe, although the accessory level is about the same.

    That photo of DV in her apartment is one of my all-time faves.

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  14. I definitely dress like I decorate. One of my favorite fashionistas is William Sledd, and what he said when figuring out your style is to make it look like you consciously put it together, not like you threw just anything on. I dress this way, and I decorate this way. I'm not overly accessorized in home or clothing, but I usually have a nice accessory or two with classic pieces. I try to make sure that when looking at my ensemble or a particular room in my house, someone, regardless of their taste, has something compliment-worthy. I have an un-named girlfriend, who makes it impossible to compliment her because her house and appearance are both always slapdash. Who wants to live that way?

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  15. I have been told my house is very "me". I like warm colors with fun twists. I am pretty much done decorating the house now...I don't know what to tackle next!

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  16. Oh yes! This is why my livingroom is terracotta, kitchen is yellow, bathrooms are aqua and orange respectively... brightly colored artwork everywhere... I cannot abide a white wall, which makes taking garment photos difficult since my backgrounds are so distracting.

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  17. I tend to go back and forth. For a while, I'll be ALL ABOUT new clothes, accessorizing existing clothes, reworking my closet, etc. But then I'll see something amazing on one of the design blogs and think, "My house! My house must be updated!" and I'll go full throttle on decor. But suffice it to say, I always want to look nice, and I always want my home to be a place I'm proud to bring friends.

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  18. Well, if you mean that neither my house or my fashion sense have any particular style- then yes!

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  19. It was pointed out to me that the colours in my fabric stash match the colour scheme of my house. I never noticed it before. As for decor, I like simple stuff, somewhat modern and a little bit classic. I am not into lacy frilly stuff and please, no pink. My home decor style involves earthy, ethnic stuff (think Pier 1 mixed with Ikea). I love wood furniture, natural fibers, and hardwood floors. Currently, I have rooms painted in dark moss green (office), dark red (kitchen), various members of the light brown family (living room, bedroom, den), and bright sunny yellow (sewing room). Yep, my house is in perpetual Fall all year long. I want my home to be relaxing and inviting.

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  20. I am completely lazy when it comes to home decor. I guess the task just overwhelms me (especially paint colors). I like to collect things from nature and from places I've visited but I'm not sure my clothing is really that eclectic. I can tell you, though, that I've been in houses and apartments that, to me, are so ugly that I can't wait to get out. I once bailed out of a hotel room I paid for because it was so ugly, I cried! Good thing it was cheap.

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  21. I don't decorate worth a darn. At least with dressing, there's a 60% chance that any two things I pull from the closet will at least go together!

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  22. When my DH and I were home owners the house was to die for - ex: the foyer had a metallic gold ceiling with a 48" stained glass chandelier and true red walls. The rest of the house was more or less bold - the master bedroom was painted mint ice cream with espresso wood furniture with heavy carving with some federal and Hollywood Regency pieces, oh yes, it also had a fireplace I covered in beige hand dipped tiles, some with a fleur de lis embossed design with white/white/white fabrics everywhere and moss green carpet with an ivy pattern woven thru it (nice way to escape the day!). A great house, enjoyed it and enjoyed putting it together.

    Well times have changed due to my husband's serious injury and we now rent a 3 story cabin high in the mountains. Can't have that 'down off the hill' decor here so I've put drama into the bedding, linens and a very lovely combination of dishware and crystal that adds colour to our newest home. Some items are thrifted, some discounts or gifts, some made by yours truely. No matter our living situation home is visually rich with our lives and dreams.

    But do I dress like my decor? Maybe I do since I always dress with a little twist. Each room is a venue to be visited and although they all flow between one another, the rooms themselves are unique and all are a great mash-up of exotic and masculine personalities.

    I suppose if I lived in a tent it would somehow be fabulous but I'd need two, one for living and one for the wardrobe.

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  23. Great question! I think I aim to achieve the same aesthetic in both home and on me. The aim is playful elegance and modernity, simplicity. A mix of old an new. Only others can advise if I pull it off :-)

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  24. Interesting post! I guess I care more about how I dress than how my house looks, but both are important to me. I never go out looking like a mess, but sometimes my house looks like a mess. As far as decor/design it's very different from how I dress. My home is very light and airy with light colors and really no prints - it's attempting a California contemporary beach house look even though it's in the Chicago suburbs. In contrast, my wardrobe consists of lots of knit prints, some of them pretty wild.

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  25. Both the way I dress and the way I decorate are slightly boho-comfortably-natural and that's the way (aha aha) I like it (aha aha). My rooms are slightly more colorful than my dress, though. I love warm reds but I'd get a heart attac living in Vreelands home.

    Vibeke

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  26. I care far more how I & my young adult kids look going out the door than how our condo looks, I guess on the theory that people see us not it, certainly I paint & have some decor but would rather spend extra $$$ on fun accessories than stylish light fixtures
    Sarah C

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