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.