THE ART OF GETTING DRESSED: SHARI.
"I get dressed to feel good and to portray a certain mood or feeling. I think having a level of consciousness in how I want to look each day is a positive that in some ways shows a level of respect to myself." Shari Lowndes.
Typically a minimal dresser, Melbourne-based ceramicist Shari talks to us today about how her profession and ethnicity help to inform her daily clothing choices. Forming the second part of our mini-series, in partnership with Uniqlo, our documentation of Shari has been a wonderful glimpse into her connection with nature and her bohemian roots, and how this background has evolved into an aesthetic for both her ceramics as well as her personal style.
On a typical day, Shari can be found either in her studio or surrounded by her self made jungle of plants and their beautiful earthy and organic vessels that she produces from her Coburg home. Shari’s wardrobe has come to be an extension of both the functional requirements of her profession, as well as her preference for organic simplicity balanced by a healthy dose of cultural influence.
Tell me about your morning routine.
Since I was young I’ve always taken getting dressed seriously in terms of choosing pieces I am drawn to, whether that be just a staple tee or a great vintage piece. When it comes to getting dressed before I head to the studio each morning I still tend to wear my go-to favs which are black cotton trousers and a loose fitting tee and, despite being surrounded by clay, I miraculously manage to rarely come home too filthy.
I have recently started moving away from jeans in favour of trousers and I’m currently trying to separate my studio clothes from my non-work wardrobe though and am in the process of acquiring some custom overalls which are much more practical but still stylish.
Do you make conscious style choices?
I like to think that I subconsciously make my outfit decisions by choosing pieces that jump out at me and make sense according to my plans for the day ahead. I am always observing other women and am a little Pinterest obsessed so I love looking at how everyday people who are singled out by street photographers have put compositions together and what it is about their style choices that makes their look successful in some way. I love looks that have a real sense of effortlessness and I’m drawn to people that truly appear to have confidence in their own identity. I think that confidence defines someone as stylish because it is so apparent in how they hold themselves in their clothing.
Is clothing a practical tool to survive everyday life or is it an opportunity for daily self expression?
Of course clothing has its practical uses, but I really believe it can also be used as a medium to portray an extension of ourselves or a part of our subconscious that we are seeking to show. I believe we all have so many facets to our individual personalities, and clothing is such a great way to interpret these. I feel that, as I age, I become more adventurous which naturally leads to me expressing myself more through the way I dress. Don't get me wrong, I love a good t-shirt and jeans combination and while I’m very into minimal dressing one day, the next day I could feel the need to accentuate my ethnicity with a more bohemian feel and the following day again I might feel great in a blazer and something a little more sleek.
What was your last purchase and why?
I have just gotten back from Mexico and I bought quite a lot of hand-made embroidered clothing from the Oaxacan traditional weavers. The workmanship is just beautiful and I love the earthiness of the fabrics.
On my way back we stopped over in L.A. where I bought a beautiful cropped tuxedo shirt that is quilted on the front and the back unbuttons to show off a bit of sexy back. So I guess for me it’s a combination of occasionally updating my wardrobe yet with clothing that I can wear many times over as their unique qualities can mean they don’t date in terms of style.
Tell me about your style evolution:
I think that as I get older and see more of the world I am becoming more comfortable and confident in myself.
I realise I have many facets and I am learning to embrace them by becoming more open to perhaps more colourful, feminine and ethnic notes. I have always loved tailoring and a more androgynous look, but I am enjoying this metamorphosis and am comfortable in wearing both styles with confidence.
When updating your look/wardrobe, are you an intentional shopper or more impulsive?
I think that there are certainly moments when I need to source a particular piece, say for a function - or it’s time for some new knickers - but mostly if I discover a piece that I like, then I purchase it. I think I am most inspired when I travel because it gives you opportunities to see things in a new light and context and I really love seeing how different cultures interpret style and wear clothing in different ways. I also love a good vintage find.
Do we dress to be comfortable or confident?
Do we dress to stretch our body and our mind?
I think if you are in tune with yourself you are in tune with your body and mind and that will effect how you dress.
Do we dress for nine to five or five to nine?
I like to think that what I wear during the day can be translated into evening with the simple addition of lipstick and heels or boots.
Can we find our summer selves in our winter bodies?
I think its an attitude, however I am not a winter lover and definitely need many many layers to survive.
Does dressing warm make us happy?
There is nothing greater than feeling warm and a good jacket can help conceal the many layers worn underneath it, that are necessary to get and stay warm. Having said that, I would much rather be warm with very few items of clothing simply because the sun is keeping me warm. I’m the daughter of a true bohemian mother and I like to be connected to the elements and feel the sun warming my skin.
Ask Shari anything below in the comments section. x