Day 267 – 271 – The Wardrobe Issue
I’ve made 2 failed attempts at writing this post. I thought maybe I’d dust it off and give it another go. Three times a charm and all that, right?
Hi. This is me.
This is what I am wearing today. It’s forecasted to reach 79 here. That would be 26.1 for my centigrade friends. I am from a fairly warm climate, and that, of course, influences my wardrobe. ‘Cept that was two weeks ago now. This post has proven longer to write that expected.
This is me today.
Why am I so dressed up? I need to do laundry…ya’ know, because I have a small wardrobe.
“Cept that was like a week ago.
A few of you had some good questions about my closet after reading this, Let the Guilt Go Already and this A Case for Less Clothing. So I thought I’d do a post all about it today. A lot of what people say about small wardrobes (buy basics… quality…last for ever…mix and match…yada yada yada) are exactly the things I do not do when considering mine.
Wardrobes not your thing? Just scroll down to the bottom to see what I tossed. Hint: It’s smaller than a bear, and bigger than a can of spray-cheese. Any guesses?
There are several ways to create a good, small wardrobe. Most people cite buying a few quality classics and maintaining them forever. I think they are right . That is probably a fab. place to start …for them.
For me. I envision classics as polos and khaki pants, of which I have neither, nor have any plans of ever owning.
So, this is how I do it: this is not the most frugal way, this is not the most conscientious way, it just a way, my way.
* I keep only things that are absolutely fabulous, fit, have a mate, are in good condition, and that I wear…nothing else.
That’s it. There aren’t too many things out there like that. Hence, small wardrobe in which I can always find something nice to wear.
This is how I make it fab. and small.
* I don’t worry about if something will last for the next 15 years, I buy stuff I think is super cute and I don’t worry if its’ gone in two years, or even next, because there will be something new I want anyway. See that skirt up there with the ruffle swirls? It quite possibly could be out of style in 2 years, but it was $7.00, so who gives a flip? It’s from Marshall’s in case you were wondering.
* I toss old things that are worn out. You’re doing yourself a favor if you do this. You don’t need to be wearing that stuff out in public…or at home. (And don’t give me a bunch of junk about it being comfy. That dress up there is one big sweater, it doesn’t get more comfy that that. ) Just sayin.Oh, but keep one crappy outfit for mowing the lawn and painting. One!
* I mostly buy inexpensive, but I can throw one or two extravagant things in there too. I usually try to go with something that will last a little longer if I pay a lot. It’s not that I have a ton of money to shop. I don’t. But, I don’t buy much, I add and delete a little every year. It’s not too pricey when you only have 2 pairs of jeans.
* I don’t shop all at once. When I see something I know I’ll love, I buy it. I never go out at the beginning of a season and think “oh I need fall clothes”. When I’ve done that I’ve ended up with one thing I like and a bunch of stuff that is just o.k.
* I shop everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I have currently have things in my closet that have come from the Kate Spade shop on Newbury Street down to things from Thrift Store City. One of my favorite pairs of pants is from Wal-Mart, and I wear it with one of my favorite tops from Banana Republic. Labels mean very little to me, I shop for what I like and what I think looks good. I figure if you have some expensive and some cheap it all works itself out somewhere in the middle in the end, budget-wise. And truth be told, most of my stuff leans toward the inexpensive end of the spectrum-big surprise there. I shop a lot at Marshall’s.
* Quality is a good thing, but good quality can be found in a variety of place. The mall doesn’t have sole-ownership of that. Most of the basics sold a large box stores are made in the exact same factories, on the exact same machines as the label ones. They are only short the little pony and fifty bucks. I buy a long sleeved white t-shirt every year and I would never think if paying more than $12.00 for it, because you know someone is going to puke on me, or flick paint on me during a project, or drop a piece of buttered toast, butter-side down on me. Those just don’t last, buy replaceable .
* Wear it out- I wear my jeans and t-shirts so often they usually need replacing by the next year or two. Some of my shoes do too (sneakers and flip-flops). I don’t worry about saving certain things for special occasions or for specific places. I know a lot of people that do this, and end up with something terrific that they hardly ever wear in their closet. If I own it, I wear it. Example: the black dress up there (Dillards)
* I don’t buy things that need ironing, because I know that I won’t iron them. Well, I try not to, sometimes I do.
* I don’t buy things that need dry cleaning.
* I really don’t buy anything that needs special treatment, unless I jut LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I still usually don’t end up wearing that much if I do.
* I take care of my clothes. I blot out stains when they happen, I pretreat. I turn my jeans inside out before I wash them. I clip little threads. I hang things up. Some little things extend the life of clothing and make them look better.
* I only buy and keep stuff that fits. Period. Period.
* If I buy something that isn’t a basic, like jeans or t-shirts, I usually buy a whole outfit. Like if I buy an unusual skirt, I will buy a top to go with it then and there. That way, I don’t end up with things in my closet that are great, but I can’t wear, because I don’t have a mate for them.
* I try everything on. I’ve got to know how it is going to look on me and if it’s uncomfortable, it’s got to go back to the rack.
* I take a friend. Some of my best clothes are things I wouldn’t have thought to try on. Trust your friends (Unless you have bad friends, in that case, do not trust them, get some new ones.)
* I do laundry every few days. *Don’t dress like a slouch at home, toss the ugly stuff.
*Limit yourself to one small box or area in your clostet for stuff that doesnt fit.
* You don’t need nostalgia clothing. It interferes with you finding what you need. At the very least, pack it away in the attic.
* Get your closet down to about 2 weeks worth of clothing then follow my mantra.
Toss something old, every time something new comes in.
It is amazing how much this tip alone will keep you out of stores.
I find I don’t run out of clothing any more than I did with a stuffed wardrobe. Exaclty the opposite, I don’t have to wade through tons of stuff to find something I like. When I do run out of my favorites, I try something like I did today. I go for something I don’t regularly wear. With my closet full of clothes that fit, it really isn’t a problem and it gets me on that laundry.
Getting rid of what you have now?
Read this: Donating Clothes.
So, here is whats is in my closet and dresser, which is always a work in progress.
I’ll tell you where everything is from so you can get an idea of where I shop.
FIrst up, my Anne of Green Gables long sleeve t-shirt. I like to wear this to bookgroup.
It makes me feel like an intellectual and stuff. Yeah right.
Side note: I’ve had this “trendy” yellow coat for 5 years.
Here is one of me cheesing it up in that tan one up there.
I often like to wear that with this.
That shirt on the left may look “trendy”, but I had it before Elliot, so it is, at very least, 6 years old. Not too bad for something “trendy”. Oh, and it is beautiful on. Trust me….or not, here’s a picture.
O.K. there is very little left, but if I don’t quit now I’ll never get this posted. Maybe I’ll share some more later. Here’s whats left: 2 denim skirts 1 pair of shorts 3 bathing suits A few sweaters and long sleeve t-s. What I am still on the lookout for: Some long sleeve tops and a pair of black pants.
So that’s it, closet, drawers, shelves, stuffed under the bed. That is all of it. It really seems like a lot to me. I never feel at a loss for something to wear.
Here is what I donated in the process of going through all of this.
I kept the one on the left (C0ldwater Creek). I also got rid of a red striped shirt that became too big, not the worst problem to have. I did have some nice clothes that I had to get rid if though, oh well. Beyond clothing, this went:
O.K. so that is that. Done and done.
Maybe I’ll show you my shoes next time…Oy!