Sunday, 29 June 2014

Who Is She When She's At Home?

Yes, I am an over-thinker.  You will have to take me as I am and love me or leave me because there is no changing this brain of mine!  Besides, if I wanted to change it I would have to think an awful lot about how to do that!  Lately my thoughts have been focused on my closet as a whole, not on how to create individual outfits but on the whole collection of stuff I have accumulated.  I have considered the possibility that I have more than I need, and of course the answer is that yes, I do.  I have also considered the possibility that I have more than I want and I think there is something in that.  Why else would I be responding with "yes, but.." to the people who tell me it's just fine to have what I have and not to worry?

Last night I pulled some items out and put them away in a different closet.  They are items I like a lot but which may not really fit with my lifestyle and my general aesthetic.  Some of them fit with who I once was, but that is changing a bit and wearing things that don't match that make me feel a bit like I am in costume.  I also have a few things that are essentially duplicates.  At least four of the black skirts I own are so similar I have to ask if I really need them all.  Of course as soon as I ask I answer myself with "yeah but.."  So the solution is to put these things that I deem surplus away in a different closet and see if I miss them.  Will I go and get something out?  Will I forget they are there?  It remains to be seen.

Next I turned all of the warmer weather clothing so that the hangers are backwards on the dowel.  Each item has to earn its place by being worn.  That seems quite fair to me.  For whatever reason, I am happy with stacks of books all over my home, and piles of sliver bangles on my dresser, content to keep a basket overflowing with pretty scarves I may not wear often, but the clothing that hangs in my closet is begging me to be pared down to much loved and frequently worn items.  There may not be any logic in this or any way of saying oh yes well that fits completely with your identity as a minimalist/maximalist or whatever label might be applied to my identity. For some reasons having the questionable items hanging in my closet is bothering me.  it may also be the fact that my closet has no door which is causing me the trouble.  Everything is visible all the time.

Finally I have decided there are a few things I have been slow to recognise or perhaps resistant to acknowledging.


Being minimalist or maximalist is polarised thinking and of course I am somewhere on the spectrum. I am just not sure quite where.  I might, on a whim, even say my style is minimalist boho, which I rather like for it's tendency towards oxymoron.

What I really want is to throw my clothes on and go, minimal effort and in the same vein as Parisienne Chic only without the same clothes.  NOTE: no white button down shirts for me!

I wear jeans a lot.  I just have to get over it and embrace them.   Skirts were part of my teaching world and when I was a teacher I wore a skirt every day.  It worked but it isn't working for me now.  I love skirts but am wearing them less and that's okay.  It will take a bit of time for me to figure out how many I need or want. 

 Not everything that I like the look of works for me.  It may look good to my eye but not feel comfortable or appropriate to my life.  It may not feel right.

 I can have a staying home style and a going out style and they don't have to be identical.

 I probably got a bit carried away with accumulating things for my going out style.  I've played with it and now I'm ready to edit it and leave it alone for awhile. I need to concentrate more on the staying at home style.

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These two are keepers.  I'd wear them home or out.  I haven't bothered to accessorise, since I was home all day when I wore these two outfits.  I don't even bother with shoes if I'm home unless I want to take out the garbage or check the mail.  I try not to do those things very often. 

Note:  experiment with going braless showed me that I like the look of myself in a bra better, but it's not the end of the world if I don't wear one
These shoes are also an experiment.  I wondered if I would find nude flats useful.  They aren't exactly 'nude' as they aren't quite my skin tone but they were a very inexpensive and not real leather experiment.  They aren't very comfortable though they are kind of cute.

Bare feet and a cardigan=perfect for curling up with a book.  If you have any plans for wielding power in this world, don't copy my body language.

Bare feet+Baggy jeans+Blue blouse= Sunday comfort.  You can bet your booty I added the beloved blue cardigan to this too.  These jeans were an inexpensive foray into the boyfriend jean style.  I like them a lot but they are a bit too low rise and are always falling down.  They are Joe Fresh for anyone who cares to know.  I might investigate more boyfriend brands in future.  Or go to the thrift shop and try on actual guy jeans.

At home I am sure to be wearing my signature accessories:  My ubiquitous silver earrings, the rings I never take off, a belt to hold up the pants, my glasses and a makeup free face. That's a signature look I practically wake up with every day.  Now that meets my criteria of effortless!

I'm linking up to Patti's Visible Monday which is also quite effortless and always worthwhile.  For women much more stylish than I am, trot on over and check out the other bloggers who've joined in.

36 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I recognize that left-brain analysis so well! I often think about my closet in similar ways, and usually conclude that I have too much stuff. I like your relaxed looks, and esp the boyfriend jeans. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday!

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    1. I am very well balanced I think, both my left and right brains are busy all the time! LOL Or maybe I'm insane. Oh well.

      Thanks for hosting Visible Monday, Patti.
      xo

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  2. I know when an idea stays with me for any length of time, it is a signal to do something. I know that parting with clothing can be emotional because clothes play such a key role in our lives. Whether we admit it or not. Recently I took a bag of purchase mistakes to a clothing bank for people in need. It's time to let someone else love them.

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    1. I think the most emotional thing is when something I love just doesn't fit my lifestyle and then I am having to face not only giving up on that clothing item but also perhaps the fact that there is something that just doesn't happen in my lifestyle and maybe I want it to. That may or may not be changeable. Sometimes it's time to let go, as you say, and let someone else love them.
      xoxo

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  3. It's absolutely the end of the world if I don't wear a bra!
    Blue is definitely your color! I like the fact that you've got some pattern mixing going on, too.
    No shame in not being a minimalist (said the girl with two closets LOL).

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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    1. LOL-the end of the world for you or for the onlookers who will faint with shock? ;-)
      Thanks, I do like blue, especially in the navy, teal and cobalt range. I really like mixing patterns in a somewhat monochromatic way. As in this case, all blue and white.
      the irony is that I live alone in a two bedroom home. I have loads of closet space but I just don't actually want to fill it all with clothes. That would overwhelm me. Maybe I should rent out one of my closets. LOL
      xoxo

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  4. I love seeing you in your relaxed cardi and non powerful pose. It seems I'm seeing the real you! I see a trend in your looks, blue and white, denim, tweedy blue and white looks. Not too far from your black and white looks! Maybe you can pare down to colours instead of styles. I agree, you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed by so much stuff. When your brain is foggy, it's nice to not have to make too many decisions. I think your choices sound great...the other closet and the turned around hangers.
    If I haven't worn something all season I consider tossing it, but sometimes I love it too much...like my leather coat.
    I have aspirations to be minimalist, but just can't manage it!
    French chic dressing is wonderful, and unlike you I am loving white button downs all of a sudden:-)
    Your version of minimal, casual chic is totally gorgeous, and not at all daggy.
    Guilt and brain overthinking squeezing hugs to you! XO Jack

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    1. LOL-my non-powerful pose definitely shows my gentle side. All three of my sides are gentle and the fourth one is strong. It surprised people. Yes I am a rectangular prism, didn't you know? I like mixing patterns in a monochromatic way, usually including white. So yes, the blue and white is rather like my black and white looks, you're right.
      I think I am instinctively paring down to colours. Colour is certainly very significant in my choices and I do have a lot of blue. I tend to prefer black, blue and purple, which leads me to a lot of bruise jokes. After that I like red, green and brown. Never will I say that I like pink and yet quite a bit of it makes it's way into my closet too.
      I don't think I will every quite be minimalist, and yet I am definitely seeking some sort of simplicity. I'm sure we would all define simplicity differently.
      I feel claustrophobic in a white button down, or any button down. Too much structure and stiff collars make me crazy. French chic doesn't seem to involve any purple paisley so I just can't embrace it. LOL

      I keep having to look up daggy every time you use it. Then I think oh that word is so cool I must remember it. Then I forget. I'm glad I'm not daggy. Thanks for that and for the hugs!
      xoxo

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  5. Interesting observations. I enjoy your posts for that. BTW, I wield power in the world and *do* like to copy your poses. :-)

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    1. LOL-I think you could find better posers to copy. Or is that poseurs? I am really self conscious in front of the camera so any I hate the posing part. It has taken me ages to learn not to stare at the camera itself which tends to result in my looking cross eyed.

      Psychologists will tell you that my body hugging pose shows insecurity and is an attempt to make myself smaller. The advice is to go out into this world making ourselves larger, expansive and visible. That takes a lot of effort for me so I figure at home I can hug myself all I want and save the expansiveness for when I really need it. ;-)
      xoxo

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  6. What a wonderful post Shawna! I too have all my hanging clothes on display, not in a closet, but a sturdy steel shop rack on wheels. It's around 2m long and I reckon if I can't fit everything on it, I'm outstaying my welcome in terms of my wardrobe "presence" in our home. Several weeks ago I wheeled it out then back into the room, but realised I'd put it in backwards so all my hangers were back-to-front. This led to a similar idea to yours, if I don't wear it in the near-ish future, I'll pack it up, put it away for six months, then revisit and decide on the future of the culprit. Well, I now have a GIANT suitcase full of things that no longer fit either my body, or my life. It's going to be interesting reopening the suitcase one day. xox

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    1. Hi Desiree, it's so nice to see you! This evening I was hauling out the bags of clothes to donate that had accumulated in my spare closet over the past year. As I did that I thought I would look through them one more time just to make sure. I pulled three things out, a blouse and two skirts. I tried them on again and decided to give the blouse one more try but when I tried on the skirts I remembered why they had gone into the donate box. There is something about the way they fit that is just less than flattering.

      Your suitcase will be like a time capsule! That's cool. Maybe you can do a blog post that is a suitcase contents fashion show! LOL

      You are so right, bodies and life both change, and we can end up holding onto clothes which don't fit either. After my divorce I lost a lot of weight that I had accumulated due to depression during a bad marriage. It has taken me awhile to figure out how to dress a body I had not seen in over a decade. I had a new body and a new life to outfit and I went a bit crazy buying anything that appealed to me. Now I'm trying to edit it down to just what I love.

      Thanks for dropping by, reading and commenting.
      xoxox

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  7. I do a big sort out of my wardrobe once every year and if I find items that I haven't worn for while but have been holding on to, I get rid of them. Obviously there are some items that I love and will keep for years. Gorgeous outfits xoxo.

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    1. Yes, some things we love so much we sometimes don't even realise how many years we've had them. Thanks Elsie, for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's always great to see you.
      xoxo

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  8. the wardrobe build around a blue tweedy cardigan :-)

    staying at home - and garden - most of my time with absolutely no neighbors is one of the reason why i will never be a fashion blogger. it´s not that i wear a tracksuit or sweatpants. but i don´t wear "curated" outfits. its all about being comfy and robust. and i wear the same sweater a whole week and the skirt two in winter. now with warm weather there are shorts, bikini tops, old (to worn for town) blouses/tunics and some lightweight dresses - one only sewn for "at home" after the look of 40´s housedresses. i do the garden, clean the house, make food and do handwork in that garments. the get dirty and catch holes. i wear aprons and head scarfes. occasional visitors staring at me - crazy woman in front of a old house surrounded by wild nature.... haha :-D
    never would go to town in my daily house clothes. (hubs always says i could because most of the people around here dresses so bad in garments i would not even wear to scrub the toilet.....) for leaving our ground i prefer to look more put together. the life is easier when people look up to you instead of down.

    you are doing a travel - and i´m very interested in the way you are doing this and where you will arrive. there is a lot to learn from your experience - not only about clothes :-)

    xxxx

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    1. Beate I am certain you look utterly charming in your chosen attire. You attracted a wonderful man so I doubt you are a crazy lady, though perhaps he is crazy too and you are a perfect crazy pair! ;-) What you wear suggests that you are unique, creative and true to yourself which is obvious even though I can't see your daily looks.
      You are right, I am certainly on a journey and figuring out my wardrobe reflects that. If I can't travel around Europe I may as well enjoy the journey I'm on!
      xoxoxo

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  9. Shawna, I want to thank you from my whole soul for just being you! Thank you for what you wrote in your comment and for this post. That's what I like about you so much - your honesty, openness, willingness to be genuine and to be vulnerable. It is soooo rare! Many think that it is weakness - but not me. I know exactly what it takes. You are very strong! It takes inner strength ... to be genuine YOU. And that is what I see in your blog, in your creative stories, in the way you communicate, in your own life story.

    I think I understand what you said to me. I find myself charmed by other people, or admiring them for certain things, but I never want to become like somebody else. Not that anyone wants me to, of course. :) It's so much fun to self explore! It's like a never ending adventure - what can be more fun than that?! I think for people like you (and me) there is really not much funer than that. It;s great when we can learn from others - not in the sense that we copy something they do (one way of learning), but in a sense that they helped us to understand something deeper about ourselves. Just what you said. I treasure that!

    Of course! Be you. Dress yourself - your body, your soul, your life style. If something bothers you - get rid of it. I totally support. I know that before our move, I will go through my stuff and do some revisions. We don't have to keep stuff for the sake of it. Only for the love of it. :)

    Bohemian Pariesienne sounds wonderful! I totally can see you in such style. Flowy long skirts (like this one), dusty subtle colors... long necklaces, silver rings... Yes, it's pretty, it's artistic, it's effortless, it's very lady-like, and it's very you. These outfits are beautiful and comfy on you! I love BF jeans too. I too have a belt while wearing mine, otherwise there is a risk of loosing them. :)) You know that I don't dress up at home - no nail polish coordinating, no jewelry, just PJs and messy hair. I am OK with that. If it is totally up to me, I would live naked most of my time! Clothing is fun, but what's going on inside of me so enormously more fun.

    Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xxxxxxxxxx

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    1. I think it is so delightful that the woman who does clothes so well would rather be naked! I feel exceedingly vulnerable naked, or even in a bathing suit, despite being so instinctively and naturally vulnerable in my personality. Thank you for recognising that despite being so vulnerable I am also strong. It's true, and no people don't always recognise it but if they attempt to take advantage of me they usually find out. Thank you also for getting my bohemian minimalism concept. The more I play with that in my mind and in my closet the more it is feeling like home.

      Thank YOU, for being you!
      xoxoxo

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  10. I've been more of a skinny jeans girl ... but I think you're winning me over to these boyfriend cut ones ... I must find myself a pair :0)
    xx

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    1. I'm a new convert to the boyfriend jeans myself. I also have skinnies, or what we referred to back in 1985 as just normal jeans. I recall wearing them with high top sneakers too, which is now a thing again.
      xoxo

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  11. OH YES!! So true! My right and left brain and right brains are also busy .. day and night! Sometimes in bed try to sleep and what about I´m thinking?? About new outfits!! So many times I had to stand up and make a notice because in the morning I have forgotten everything.. this way my outfits are born!! lol
    You look wonderful Shawna.. I like to see you in this casual outfits and blue fits wonderful to you. I love to walk around barefoot, whenever there is a way to do it I take my shoes off ! :)

    Dana
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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  12. I have trouble getting rid of things because when I do, oftentimes, a year later, I think to myself, what ever happened to that such and such, and then I get mad that I got rid of it. Having said that, we had a huge sale this weekend and I got rid of so much and it felt like a small burden was lifted off my shoulders!

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  13. Hi Shawna, it's a long time since I have head that saying in your blog post title - it's a saying which I remember being used a lot when growing up in the north of England and I just had to say this to myself in a northern accent.
    I love your boyfriend jeans, they are great for wearing in or out of the house

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    1. LOL_well Jayne, my mum was born in Cobham. Does that explain why I am familiar with the saying?
      xoxo

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  14. I did that recently, I have attempted to leave 'only clothes I actually wear in my wardrobe' which is actually quite hard, especially when I think I can do something with some items and then do nothing! and then I have daughters who claim things, ya know 'when you won't need them anymore' ha! and barefoot at home is always lovely x x x

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    1. Aha-yes clearly you get it! I don't have daughters but the bit about both wanting to clear it all out and edit down to what I actually wear, conflicts with my desire to leave things hanging there in case I figure out how to use them-THAT is my struggle. If I feel that way about an item I am putting it in my spare closet. If I don't go and get it later then I don't need it.
      xoxoxoxox

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  15. Trying one more time - last four attempts at commenting have been eaten by Blogger...
    Cobham is in Kent, I think, so Jayne's a more northerly Brit. Small distances make a massive difference in dialect and accent here!
    But back to you; you are clearly giving this issue a typically Shawna-esque thorough analysis! So I think you will arrive at a wardrobe that suits your needs and preferences in the end, both in terms of style and size.
    Meanwhile, you look dreamy in blue! xxx

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    1. Blogger has an evil streak. All of your comments showed up in my comment feed so I got to read them all-lol. My favourite was this one: $#%^&** which I take to be some sort of cursing in Swahili. I forget sometimes, about the vast differences in short distances in the UK because Canada is so large and more than half empty. It's so different here.

      A Shawna-esque analysis. What don't I give that to? LOL Yes, I'm getting there. What happens when the journey ends? I will have to find something new to analyse!

      I always thought pink was my best colour and I wasnt' overly pleased with that. It's turning out to be blue though and that I can live with! I'll make sure all my red carpet appearances are in blue gowns.
      xoxoxoxo

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  16. I'm your opposite - i just don't put much thought into clothes. I see, I love, I buy, I wear. I couldn't label my style - what I wear is my choice and that's it. If I feel good I'll wear it - 1980s bling, 1970s dresses, ethnic, 1960s psychedelia. Gardening, sewing, working, shopping I wear the same stuff all the time, if people think I'm mad then so be it. I'm not bothered.
    If it doesn't make you feel fabulous then get rid of it. xxxxx

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    1. Opposites attract though, right? LOL I don't think the world could take more than one of Vix's fabulousness and Shawna's analyses so we will keep on being different and feel good knowing we contribute to world order and peace.

      I like my bling to pile up on my dresser. It looks nice there.

      Fabulous...I am not accustomed to feeling fabulous so perhaps that is why my journey is such a puzzle. Working on it.
      xoxoxoxo

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  17. Very cute outfits! I love all of the blue! I think part of the reason why clothing organization is a big deal as opposed to your books being everywhere, is that you NEED to put on clothes every day. Even if you just wear your pajamas, you need to know where they are!

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    1. That's a really good point, Sara. And there is no need to create a socially acceptable (or not) outfit out of my books, nor to flatter my figure with them or be physically comfortable. Clothes are much more complicated. Books just sit around in piles making me happy.
      xoxo

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  18. I'm with Vix - I'm trying not to keep things that don't make me feel fabulous. I like the idea of a pared-down wardrobe (hell, I did a year of 30 for 30 wardrobes! I'm really trying!), but in actuality, I always find something else new that I want/like/need. I've accepted that I'm a maximalist!

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    1. In my brand of logic, you have a career, you go out, you see and are seen, so a large wardrobe makes sense. I created the largest wardrobe of my life, full of skirts, AFTER I stopped working. If I were still teaching I would be thrilled to have the variety I have amassed but considering that I am mostly at home alone, sitting and writing or painting, doing a bit of housework, and at best I go out in public once a week, it just doesn't seem logical to have a huge wardrobe. Others in my position would be living in yoga pants! Not that I see that as a good thing, but I haven't yet found my spot on the spectrum.

      You, are not allowed to ever give up your amazing wardrobe because we all want to live vicariously through your blog!
      xoxo

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  19. You're so right about these pieces. Definite keepers, and all can dress up or down. You really are "bonnie in blue"!
    Over-thinking my style philosophy is my favorite hobby, and its effect on my wardrobe. I "yes, but" myself to death! I'm currently being stubborn about declaring what my style boils down to in a couple of words or a single idea. I know it's a good idea to have some idea what one likes, but I'm growing more resistant to placing limitations or pat self-definition on myself ... heaven knows external voices are shouting dos and don'ts at women of my age all the time. Enough.
    That said ... getting rid of stuff that doesn't work for you is courageous. Good to hang them in another closet just in case!

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  20. Thanks, Jan. I guess my instinct to fill my closet with blue things is a fairly good instinct. Over-thinking everything is my favourite hobby. The over-thought style stuff ends up on the blog and my closest friends have to hear about everything else.
    Boiling down my style to a few words usually also leads to the 'Yes, but..' problem. I was enjoying "minimalist boho" for a few days but I am neither minimalist nor maximilist. As always I am sort of middle of the road. That doesn't have the same ring to it though-middle of the road boho. LOL
    Three large bags of stuff went into my car to take to the thrift shop and several items got hung in the spare closet. I'm feeling happier now.
    xoxoxo

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