Clothes. I love them. And they frustrate me to NO END. Let’s talk clothes therapy, shall we?
Here are my issues:
1. I LOVE clothes (and accessories and bags and shoes!) but I don’t like having lots of them. It’s a “having too much stuff” issue for me and causes me more anxiety than you’d probably guess. I consider it clutter. I’d much rather have a super small wardrobe that has more turnover, than a closet full of tired choices that I am supposed to remix into something cute and fresh.
–By the way, there is an entire corner of blogland where ladies are *amazing* at remixing what they have. I’m always so inspired! Obviously, I super suck at it (we all regretfully remember my painful attempts with the Wore Zone series. *shudder*) The thing is, you need a fairly large “base closet” to work from for remixing to be successful. Check out this blog and this one, if you want to inject new life into your closet by remixing. It’s seriously an awesome concept, just not for me!
2. Back to me. I’m cheap. Like really, really cheap. Being a bargain hunter should be a good thing, right? Sometimes, though, I find myself buying lots of cheap stuff that I don’t like as much instead of investing in a few quality pieces. Too often, my “great deals” get shipped off to Goodwill faster than you can believe and that incredible “score” was actually just money thrown down the toilet. And now that I’m on a super tight budget, the struggle to find a good balance is even more difficult than before. Those “mistakes” really hurt now.
3. Along with being cheap, I shop mostly piecemeal with no further agenda in mind. I’m always quick to buy the cute shirt on sale, but drag my feet when it comes to investing in a good pair of jeans, shoes, shorts, sweaters, etc. You know, the expensive stuff! I never shop for “outfits” and then I stand admist my hodgepodge collection of clothes and wonder why I have so much stuff but nothing to wear!
4. I drool over fashion trends and think it’s important to feel stylish and put together. I really admire fashionable people (hi, Emily!) and walk away from those encounters inspired to do better. But, I finally admitted to myself that being fashionable is actually not a talent of mine. I’m not good at it. NAPPING, on the other hand, is something I do very very well.
5. When shopping for clothes, I haven’t been good at recognizing my lifestyle needs. When I worked in the office – I needed office appropriate attire that was also age appropriate, workout clothes, and casual weekend wear. Due to issues #1-#3, I owned a sorely incomplete set of each and always felt frustrated and ill-prepared, no matter what the event!
So. When I happened upon that garage sale in July – I went plumb crazy in that awkward closet of mine. Anything I wasn’t sure what to do with or how to piece into an outfit, I priced to sell and oh boy, sell it did. My (already small) closet dwindled to scraps! It’s probably for the best, our closet is tiny anyway. Mentally, it was a relief to have a fresh start. I’m hoping that from here on out, I can work on building a closet that’s more mindful than before – all the while on tight budget. Cross your fingers for me, because I don’t think this will be easy!
My “solutions” to Issues 1-5:
Sol1: I realize that having a small wardrobe is a good thing – for my head, for my wallet and for our serious space limitation in this apartment. I’m giving up on the idea of remixing and instead, concentrating on having an ultra efficient set of clothes. I don’t mind wearing things often, as long as it’s a complete outfit that I feel comfortable in. That’s what I’m going to *try* to do from here on out.
Sol2: This one is hard. My budget is small. I would *like* buy those beautiful boots that cost $250 (which would probably end up being worth it in the end) but my annual budget would go up in smoke. My goal is to have less stuff, but more quality pieces. I’m going to do my best, but it’s going to be difficult to conquer my old mindset. I’m not good at recognizing “investment pieces” versus ordinary pieces I could find somewhere else, for less money. Have any rules-of-thumb that you go by that might help me out?
Sol3: I have two solutions that I’m hoping will solve Issue #3. One, I made a super specific list of basics that my closet is lacking at this moment (such as denim trousers, a 3/4 black blazer, a grey raceback tank, etc) and I’m focusing on filling those needs. I tried to assess what items would really pull together the few pieces I have left in my closet. And I’ve actually been sticking to this list since my budget rolled over in July! Secondly, once the basics are filled, is to buy in OUTFITS. The whole shebang. I figure, it’d be way better to have only one complete outfit for each season than a mishmash of random items that don’t really work together. Yep, you heard me. Only ONE outfit per season!?! You’ll see why in Sol5.
Sol4: I’m trying to accept that, although I love the thought of skirts, blouses, heels and piles of accessories – I actually crave simplicity. I crave flattering but comfortable layers. I crave flats. I crave warmth. And I crave functionality. If I were to characterize my style, I guess it’d be “sporty casual”. I’m not a dress-up girl. I’m going to try and remember that when I start mulling over that pair of mint skinny jeans, believing they are my ticket to Fashion Island. It’s funny because my twin LOVES to get all dressed up for fancy occasions. He would do it every day if he could! I just find it stressful and a huge departure from my normal “style”. And when I do have to put together an outfit, I’m going to copy someone else that knows what they are doing!
Sol5: I run in the mornings, work from home and then head to practice each afternoon. As for the weekends, Hubs and I do yoga, go on hikes, bike to restaurants and work in the garden. Truth is, I spend a lot – no, a majority – of my time in workout clothes at this moment in my life. It just doesn’t make much sense to throw on an outfit with accessories, just to peel them off a few hours later for practice or a bike ride. In the winter, I’m less active but I just want to be cozy and warm. I don’t go out much, get dressed up or head in to an office. So, right now, my lifestyle needs are a more adequate set of workout clothes (especially when it comes to the winter season – I hardly have any cold weather gear) and at least ONE every day outfit (for each season) that I would wear to a casual dinner or a get together. I know my life and wardrobe needs will probably change – but for now, this is what I am going to focus on.
So, that’s my plan. Let’s hope mapping it all out will give me some sense of direction?
Is this the most boring post you’ve ever laid eyes on or is this an issue you struggle with too? Any tips that work for you?