Gratitude Day 13: Shopping in my own wardrobe reaps it’s own rewards

I wasn’t planning to write a post today and instead insisted on writing 1,000 words on my novel, Reconciled. Having done that, I still feel like writing, so today’s post is for the gals 🙂

I am not a shopaholic, by the way, incase you’re wondering. Over the years I have bought a lot of recycled clothes and chosen carefully but one thing that I have a weakness for is quantity.

I find it hard to keep to a minimum, like many fashion bloggers write about – capsule wardrobes they call them, some with only 10 pieces! – and the thought of only having 10 pieces kind of freaks me out.

However, over the past week I have been thinking about what I need for the year in regard to my clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. I want to buy intentionally this year, not just because I like something and those who know me well know that I have a very eclectic collection and have a tendency to marry items together that other’s wouldn’t. This makes it super easy to purchase items with confidence as I like to break the rules and don’t need to ensure that something ‘goes’.

I suppose it’s my personal style? Whatever it is, I have always had a lot of items and always layered them to suit my mood on the day.

Time to Curate the Clutter

Yesterday I had some time to myself and was sitting downstairs watching telly. I got bored and while watching a fashion show (yes, yes I was), I decided to try and write a list of items that came to mind that I really love to wear.

To my absolute surprise, that list was only 13 items long.

Now I am a very visual person, and recall things visually, so when I wrote down these 13 items and struggled to think of other items that I loved as much, I couldn’t add to it.

I was intrigued. What I felt this meant was that if I only had a chance to grab a few items and throw them into a suitcase, these would be the ones I would pine after if I didn’t have them.

I could sit still no longer. I raced upstairs and pulled out only these items.

IMG_1086
This is literally my list of must have items from my wardrobe that I wrote down while not in my room looking at any clothes. Most notable are the blue kimono hubby brought back for me from Beijing, the polka dot Laura Ashely dress that gets worn every spring/summer/autumn and the red David Lawrence pants that fit like a glove. These items plus the black and white cardy from Hong Kong, the best op shop find clown shirt  and the White sleeveless David Lawrence shirt make me confident I could go for a couple of weeks without feeling like I was just wearing the same old things over and over again.

Taking things a step further

To really feel like I could actually do this whole capsule wardrobe concept (Miriam-esque, of course), I made 24 outfit combinations out of just 12 of these items. The leather jacket can go with so much and it’s really outerwear so I didn’t include it but it could easily go with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for cooler days.

Here are the outfit combos I made, and take note: this is with just one pair of trousers (thank you David Lawrence for an amazing pair of pants!):

 

Time to get creative

So then of course, I got motivated… I pulled out other items that I knew I had worn in the past few months (or had worn during winter) and made another 57 combinations to add to the collection.

As I still had some wonderful pieces, and now had a strong colour scheme in the red/white/black/silver and blue combination, it was really easy to see what would work well and what had to go, like the olive green pants and a few more items that just didn’t work with enough to be kept.

You can see here the addition of two more colours – pink and cream. I don’t wear these colours as much as the ones above, clearly, but they are great for when I want something a little different to wear or a little more ‘earthy’.

Here are a couple of faves:

 

Then I pulled out the last of the items that I really love, but don’t wear quite as often and these were some of the resultant combinations.

 

You’ll notice the somewhat strange combination of three patterns using blue, green and black and white. This particular combination is one that I have worn together a number of times and oddly it is one of the ones I gain the most comments from.

The most common remark, which is almost always the same words too, is ‘this shouldn’t work together, but it really does’ and ‘I wish I had your confidence to pull something like this together’.

The funny thing is that I don’t ‘pull’ items together with the purpose of making a statement. It’s more like I need to wear these clothes, in this combination, today, with these shoes and this scarf, etc. I don’t know why either. It’s just always been like this.

But this particular outfit is one where I honestly feel like ‘me’ and so it stays, even though I don’t wear the jacket as much with other things. It’s an anomaly but it’s a good one 🙂

Time to let go

The interesting thing was that as I pulled items, I felt ready to let go of ones that no longer fit the clear colour scheme I have going on (that I didn’t previously see until I put all my favourites on that list), and others that just don’t fit anymore and probably never will (bye bye gorgeous Cue pants that make everything look amazing, bar my rear end which can no longer fit into you!).

So what now?

It’s now the day after and I am yet to work through the clothes in my drawers (t’s, casual pants, jumpers, etc.) and my shoes and accessories. I recently culled the accessories and shoes so don’t to go through these again yet but suffice to say that I have no genuine need for clothing.

I also have special occasion dresses and items that I only use for really cold weather or swimming, etc., so these don’t get added as they’re not going anywhere!

But if there was a lesson learned from yesterday’s little venture into the wardrobe, it is that anything I purchase from now on is going to have to come into line with my much clearer colour scheme and style and is going to have to be really worth getting.

I’ve always used the theory that it has to ‘go’ with at least 2 items that I can think of while in the store before I decide to buy it, cheap or not. Now I think it’s going to need to be viewed against this collection of photographs on my phone so that I can really be intentional about what gets added and what gets left on the rack.

And if you ever hear me say ‘I have nothing to wear’ you have my permission to tap me on the virtual shoulder and remind me!

I hope this was fun for you to read. I’m not into endorsing labels, but I do think some brands do things well and am happy to note that they are (but I don’t get any kudos from them, just so you know).

Right now, before finishing things off, I have 81 combinations of outfits to chose from. I expect the day will end well over the 100 mark so I won’t be adding more photos! But if you’re ever interested, just ask and I will create a link to the pics.

Cheers for now and Happy New Year,

Miriam

 

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