Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunday, Blogging Day

It's Sunday and currently this is the day I try to get caught up in reading blogs and choose which of my many pre-written ramblings I might post, or perhaps I will ramble afresh.  I am eating an enormous vat of ice cream right now, having embarked on a new strategy.  At least half of my fall/winter skirts need taking in and I just don't see myself doing it nor do I ever get around to taking them to a tailor.  If I eat this vat of ice cream the problem may be solved and the skirts will fit.  Speaking of fit, I cannot seem to decide what I want to wear today and keep putting on perfectly nice outfits and taking them off again.  It's cold and stormy, so I don't know why that inspired me to eat ice cream.  Actually it didn't inspire me, it's just that I made the mistake of buying ice cream and I am a sugar addict.  If it is around I will eat it.  That's why I don't usually keep it around.  But let's get back to the clothing.  I have tried on three different skirts, pairing them with sweaters and earrings and scarves and boots and all of the outfits were pleasing to my eye but none felt like something I wanted to wear today.   I ended up in my jeans.

It annoys me when this happens.  It annoys me that I like wearing jeans because jeans are boring.  If I go shopping I buy skirts, I don't buy jeans.  I hate shopping for jeans nearly as much as I hate shopping for bras.  Skirts and dresses are pretty and attract me immediately but for sitting around at home all day, which is what I mostly do, it's just the jeans I usually want, with wooly socks and a thick sweater.  Inevitably, after putting on three different skirt outfits and finally ending up in jeans, I question my wardrobe choices.  Why do I have a huge closet full of skirts and dresses, far more of them than I have jeans, when I don't wear them all of the time?  Should it not be the other way around?  Should I not have ten pairs of jeans and two or three skirts?  Why am I so fixated on my clothing, and what I have and think I should not have, in comparison to other things.  Do I ever worry about having too many towels or not enough dish cloths or way too many books?  No, I don't worry about those things at all. 

It has something to do with personal adornment, I'm sure of it.  I am trying but I have not yet let go of the idea that caring too much about personal adornment, having too many options, is somehow a bad thing and makes me a bad person.  I do get the urge to simplify in other areas of my life and make regular attempts to purge, though I must admit I still have plenty of things I hardly ever use.  I am well prepared for more than just my regular daily life in so many other ways.  If I suddenly had to cook Christmas dinner for 20 people I could do it easily.  I have far more kitchen appliances, utensils, serving crockery and wine glasses or coffee mugs than I actually need and in addition to those I have pieces that are decorative only.  Why is it that I feel very little guilt and confusion about that but endless guilt and confusion about my wardrobe?  Every time I think I have conquered those feelings they eventually come back.  I wonder if there is something I am not hearing.  Could I possibly be trying to tell myself not that I have too much but that I want less? 

The only difference I can find in the daily approach to my wardrobe that is not the same as all of the other possessions I have in plenty, is the the fact that daily decisions are involved.  I have to get dressed, or usually I do get dressed, every day, choosing clothing appropriate for the weather, the plans of the day, my mood and my desired comfort level.  It is certainly nice to have choice, but the alternative is that too much choice can be overwhelming.  I have been blogging for roughly a year and in that time, I have learned some things about my clothing choices and perhaps what interests me most is the areas where I am ambiguous.

1.  I care about looking nice, but comfort comes first as does clothing suited to a day spent writing or painting.  I know what I like, but I am perhaps not completely adjusted to the realities of my daily life and still instinctively choosing a teacher wardrobe.

2.  I am neither a minimalist nor a maximalist and this seems to tie in with comfort.  I like the look of maximalism but often find myself uncomfortable with it.  It's all relative though and I usually have on more layers, more jewelery and fancier boots than my peers.

3.  I am too inclined to purchase what is just good enough because I have been scared that if I hold out for only what I love in top quality I would hardly have any clothes or I would end up only wearing jeans and sweaters.

4.  I am addicted to shopping in thrift shops and probably shop for entertainment purposes.  That's not good when the available selection is not high quality.

5.  I care less about what I wear than I did when I began examining it all a year ago.  I have other creative outlets and do not need to express my creativity in clothing daily.

I have listed these lessons in the order which I actually admitted them to myself and in that sense, I think they are listed in increasing importance.  Following all of this reflection I have made a plan.  I am going to take everything but my jeans and casual tops and put it all into the closet in the spare bedroom.  If I want an item it comes out and after the first wearing it goes into my main closet with the hanger backwards.  If I wear it again in the next couple of months it stays and the hanger goes right way round.  I need to stay out of thrift shops for awhile, consignment shops are a treat for once a month only and anything I buy has to be a wow item, something that feels like it is really  me and an amazing find.  I will ask myself if I would consider paying full price for it.

This plan is not going to be easy but I feel excited about it.  I have written it here to help myself stick to it.  Wish me luck!

This leather and faux fur vest was a recent purchase at a consignment shop.  I wear it often and find it practical as well as enjoying its style. It works with everything and here it is going grocery shopping with a comfortable pair of jeans and a sweater, and some other favourite thrifting finds, the scarf and the boots.  Denim and brown is always one of my favourites.


13 comments:

  1. My immediate thought is, why do you think jeans are boring? You look amazing in that photo. The vest and scarf and boots really jazz it up. I think you could live in jeans mostly.
    You seem stuck between the thought that you have to dress up...for some reason...and the thought that you can't have too much.
    Maybe your strategy will sort it all out for you.
    I like blue and brown too. I always want to wear my brown stuff with jeans.
    Thanks for the comment on my hand photos! xo JJ

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    1. Thanks JJ! That's an interesting point and you are basically right. I think I WANT to dress up but find it doesn't really fit my lifestyle. I don't think I would feel guilty or uncomfortable with what feels like too much if I were still teaching. Then it would be a work wardrobe. Anyhow, if I weren't so confused there wouldn't be a blog! ;-) xoxo

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  2. a plan is good!
    and we are here to control - ahem - see how it works ;-)
    the new vest lifts the jeans outfit a lot! plus it will keep you warm! i really like your boots - the color and that soft leather - trés chic!!!! a fur vest ist my best companion in winter, but only at home. or for the trip to the DIY-store...
    thank you for the lovely comment on my post - to be stylish needs almost no effort this days because in the last 10 years i only bought(mostly 2.hand) and sewed stuff that was/is stylish in itself and fits me and "my style". so i only put on clothes - based on the weather and occasion. thats all.
    hug you! xxx

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    1. I am very envious of you quality clothing and your ability to sew but I know that any significant sewing is not likely to be something I do so I will just admire your efforts and results and parade around in my jeans and furry vest. xoxo

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  3. You look great in jeans - that outfit is total rock star cool. I hate buying jeans because of my recent weight gain so I live in stretchy pants. Your clothing plan sounds interesting!

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! I don't really like shopping for jeans either and have been very critical of my body most of my life no matter what my weight was. I still am but am getting better. xo

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  4. I hope the plan will work for you. Anyway, you'll figure it out, you're a smart cookie. :)

    I was just thinking today that clothes are like toys to me. If I don't play with a particular toy for a while, it's OK - there will be time when I'll love playing with this particular one, so I keep all of my toys even if I don't wear them in years. I love them as a collection.

    They also remind me of my journey. I usually don't compare myself with others (I know we all do it from time to time, but it's not a big issue for me) - but I do compare me with me sometimes. It's interesting that some clothes stay with me for years and I love and wear them, while other is only a moment thing. I think both are fine. There are some classics (I mean your own classics, maybe not classics for others) and some experimentation. I bet you had both in gardening - some plants you just "tried" and some you loved forever. I know I did. Same with creating a school. Some things work in a long term, and others are fun as "once in a life time" way. I think it's a part of any creative process - writing, drawing, knitting etc. Wardrobe is a creative process for me, not a "created entity". It's rather a process of writing than a written book.

    Love xxxx

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    1. You make some very good points. Although you and I are similar in many ways we are different when it comes to clothing. Which is great, because who needs friends who are carbon copies? I am always seeking my own personal balance and way of simplicity. It may not look like someone else's idea of simplicity but I am finding that a collection of clothing that is too large for me feels overwhelming. In 24 hours though, with many of my pieces put into a different closet, I now feel like I have my own person shop and I can go shopping if I want to or ignore them if I want to. I like your distinction between the wardrobe as creative process and created entity and I suspect I may lean more towards created entity. I find I do not want to think about it, I want to open the closet, find things that I love and put them on and forget about it. I want to know that everything works with nearly everything else. I love making outfits but I often love making outfits that don't actually work for me. I need a mannequin to dress, like I used to dress Barbie. I think some form of denim skirt is always going to be one of my personal classics.

      I am intrigued with your comment about your clothes being a record of your personal journey because I realise I do not keep such records. I used to be so ashamed that I did not have a book where I wrote down all my son's heights and weights and when he lost his teeth. And I do not make scrapbooks or what happened today journals. I don't seem to work that way. It is all in my head, and I never feel the need to put it anywhere else. Honestly, I can remember all of the clothing I have worn over the course of my life. That is probably a waste of brain space-lol and I suppose I could lose this record of my life if I suffered brain damage but I don't worry about it. As usual, I suspect we could chat about this for hours. :-)
      xoxoxo

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  5. Endless guilt and confusion? Oh dear, that doesn't sound like fun at all, and I think clothes, if we're going to have any sort of emotional relationship with them, and view them as anything more than mere practical necessity, should have a little fun about them! I dress essentially the same way if I'm staying in or going out, working at the shops or in school or going shopping, staying at home to work on Ebay listings, cooking tea, or having a coffee with friends. I don't separate any of it out; everything is there, as Natalia says, to play with.
    Your gilet looks both warm and stylish, and great with jeans. Good luck with your plan! xx

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    1. Apparently I am turning out to not be one of those people who enjoys the creativity of dressing herself on a daily basis. A couple of times a wesek is perhaps enough, but like you what I put on for the day is what I wear all day. I would very much like a life sized Barbie to dress. xoxo

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  6. I really like the vest!!! Very stylish and akin to cat cuddles!
    I feel.similarly about jeans as you (although I prefer to wear wool trousers where I want to be comfortable, I find jeans uncomfortable.
    Mm, I like your approach to ice crewmen. What flavour??x

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    1. Mocha Almond Fudge. I have never had any luck with trousers fitting me well or being comfortable but I do usually find jeans comfortable, especially with 1 or 2% lycra in them. So I am skirts or jeans, sometimes dresses if I can get a good fit, and almost never trousers. xo

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  7. Great post, full of interesting insights. I also dislike jeans; they seem anti-fashion to me. The choice for people who don't want to make a choice. Plus, I'll always wear a dress or skirt if possible for their feminine appeal.

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