Monday, 2 May 2016

Style Inventory Part Two: Accessories and Shoes

Paring down accessories might be trickier than clothing as it is more tempting to hold on to just in case pieces and sentimental pieces. I also tend to hold on to broken bits thinking I will fix them and never do but I do demand comfort of my shoes so it's not terribly difficult to part with a pair that isn't as comfortable as I want it to be.

This is my all-the-time look.  The basics in delicate silver jewelry that I pretty  much always have on, including three rings (sometimes more) that are not visible in the picture, and granted the nose stud is not highly visible in this picture either.  I might not think to put on makeup but I never forget the silver.

Even just hanging around home in shorts and a tee shirt I am wearing my silver bits. Matty has decorated the carpet with bits of silver fur.  It's cleaning day and by the time cleaning day arrives we are well decorated with silver fur around here!

The Obvious Keepers
In regular use are 7 light weight scarves and some pieces of favourite jewelry. I have 3 belts,  two hip belts and one waist belt and 2 pairs of aviator style sunglasses, one pair kept permanently in the car and the other in my bag.

Coats and Jackets
I've got two winter coats, a parka and a wool duffle coat but the duffle coat might be something I should give up.  It's oversized and quite shapeless and I am tired of the very dark navy colour.  I've had it for twenty years so I think it's fair to pass it on now.  I've got a sporty looking rain coat, a light leather jacket, a white denim jacket and a cotton anorak style coat, not waterproof.  There is no particularly formal coat in this collection but then I do not go to formal events.  On my wish list would be an ivory coloured wool coat but there is no hurry to get one so I search the second hand shops waiting for the right one.  I've got scarves that look good with each coat for situations where I need a scarf for warmth.

Hats, are a conundrum at the moment.  The shorter my hair is the fewer hat options that suit me.  I have to admit that my liking for hats outweighs my actual use of them.  It's rarely cold enough so the hat is either making me too hot or flattening my hair unattractively.

                                                   But I keep knitting hats.

Jewelry is another area where I am torn between what I feel comfortable wearing and what I like the look of.  Most of the time I wear a quantity of delicate silver items.  Bracelets and necklaces get in the way during normal activities so are only for formal situations where I am standing around looking fabulous. Or trips to the cafe to sit around looking Frawnch.  Rings and earrings are my staples.  Beaded necklaces and bracelets that I love but find myself  not wearing get strung about my home as decorations.  I don't think there is a single lamphade in my home that is not wearing a necklace.  I have three watches but find myself not wearing a watch much now that I am home most of the time. I am not ready to part with any of them yet though two need batteries replaced.

Bags have always been a bit of an addiction for me, loved perhaps second to shoes and boots.  I feel as though I've spent my life searching for the perfect bag, experimenting a lot and changing my mind too often.  I tend to like a large bag because I like to know I can stuff a novel or my journal in there if I want to.  I like satchels and cross body styles best for comfort and convenience and not too structured or formal looking.  I like brown.  I have...

-a formal evening clutch in matte black fabric which I have never used ever but it's there just in case. 

 -a semi-formal looking small saddle bag in matte black which is my idea of a practical formal bag.

 -a brown leather cross body satchel daily, year round

- a larger red leather satchel that can fit my laptop.  For all those business meetings I go to, of course.

 -two brown leather wallets-one that I've had for years, the other has a cross body strap

-a small cross body bag in two tone brown leather for those moments when I might want to carry just keys and a bit of cash.  Whether or not I need this bag is the question I am currently pondering.  I bought it four months ago and have yet to use it but am somehow convinced that I'll regret it if I get rid of it.  The plan is to keep it for a year and see if I ever use it.

                                    Random photo of some favourite winter boots

Shoes and boots, oh how I love footwear.  I also, however, love being comfortable and have tricky feet in that they are basically duck feet.  I have narrower than average heel width but regular width in the rest of my foot.  Slip on shoes slop, so shoes have to be tied or strapped to my feet and thus I love mary-janes.  I would love some penny loafers or ballet flats but they never fit properly so I've learned not to waste money on them.

2 pairs mary-jane type low-mid heel shoes, semi-dressy, taupe and nude/blush
1 pair soft matte black pumps, formal*
2 pairs high wedge heel sandals
2 pairs casual sandals, flat
1 pair white leather Keds
1 pair tan oxfords
1 pair mary-jane style,flat, brown, casual
1 pair hiking boots*
1 pair blue granny boots
1 pair brown combat boots
1 pair taupe suede western style boots, warmly lined
1 pair red closed toe sandals
1 pair snow/rain boots casual, neoprene*
1 pair grey mary-jane, elastic strap, very casual Keen brand shoes

Listing them makes it look like so many, though considering them seasonally helps take away some of that feeling as it's more like five boots/shoes per season and a couple of special situation pairs*.  I suspect  at least one pair of the summer wedges will be culled from the collection by the end of summer. I don't really like high heels and have only worn them once, which I did on purpose just to make myself wear them and it felt very contrived. Failed experiment; time to sell the shoes.

 Final Thoughts

Having purged and pared down and really considered everything I have, not only do I feel more organised and better prepared, I feel both lighter and yet also a sense of abundance.  I would not have imagined the two went together but they do.   I used to think I was a person who wanted options.  It seemed strange to me that anyone would not want options.  And yet, in getting rid of many things, in making my wardrobe smaller, I am aware of so many options, variations and choices that I have.  I realise that it's not really abundant options that I want so long as the limitations have been self applied instead of coming from an external source.  I do not like to be given rules but I do like to make my own.  I prefer a limited colour palette, a small variety of silhouettes and shapes and I don't want to spend more than three minutes thinking about what I will wear and what goes with what.  I do want simplicity.  I have a friend who wears jeans, plaid shirts and black sneakers year round.  She owns one or two dresses in case she has to go to a wedding or fancy dinner event.  I have only ever seen her legs twice.  Compared to her I don't feel like a minimalist nor like I have simplified my wardrobe at all.  Compared with hers mine still looks complicated, a bit fussy and excessive.  But that doesn't matter.  She wears what she likes and I wear what I like and when we get together we don't spend more than three minutes paying attention to the other person's clothes.


  1. This style inventory is a great idea. I should probably do that too. I don't have a thing for bags, I would always probably wear the same one if somebody didn't encourage me to buy a few ones, I perhaps wouldn't have had:). Anyway, I was just telling a friend tonight that I prefer to have only a few bags, so that I don't have to worry about matching them too much...less thinking, more free time. I do, however, like to have lots of shoes, both with a high heel and without...Comfort is important to me and also warmth. If need be, I can always go out without a bag...but with cold feet? Who wants that?

    I can get you...Sometimes owning less can make us feel richer just because it is easier for our mind to organize things and hence we come up with more combinations of wearing one and the same time. Even if I was rich, I don't think I would ever want to own tons of clothes....but I admit I would surely buy a few designer pieces:):).

    1. If I had money I would own a lot of Sarah Pacini pieces. Or even some Eileen Fisher. I don't have that kind of money so Levis and tee shirts it is!

  2. It's interesting to see what other girls have, do and think. I suspect that organizing and writing this post was helpful to you, too.

    1. I have basically given my thought processes and actions in the form of a blog. So either the blog post helped me or my urge to organise helps my blog. LOL xoxo

  3. We are similar in our shoe tastes. I have 21 pairs, mostly boots. That includes slippers, sneakers and beach shoes.
    I also love jackets and have one or two more than you! Although have pared it down from the 30 of yore.
    I keep knitting many necks do I have?
    I love necklace decoration. My bedside lamp beside me now is currently so adorned.
    xo Jazzy Jack

    1. I kept knitting scarves too until I learned how to make hats. Knitting relaxes me. I'm doing a blanket right now because everyone needs a big thick wool blanket for summer! xoxo

  4. Love your blog and sense of color and style. Confess to having just a bit of "nose ring envy" seeing how adorable yours looks on your face. The tiny, little delicate silver nose stud defines your face nicely giving you a slight mystical and spiritual look. Believe silver really accentuates your inner beauty.

    Turning 40 soon and have recently had a strong urge to get my nose pierced, AGAIN. Don't know where it is coming from, however, this is the second time with the first being in college.

    Am a bit worried what others might think since people are judge-y and I'm a bit of a people pleaser.

    Would love to ask you some questions before taking the plunge.



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