As I mentioned in some of my recent posts, I’ve been incredibly slack lately – not only in writing new posts, but also in following and commenting on my favourite blogs! What have I been doing instead?
I’ve been sucked into reddit. I’m not new to reddit, and I often think of reddit as being dominated by men, and not necessarily being a safe/welcoming environment for women (and in some cases this is absolutely true). But there I’ve been slowly finding more subreddits that are relevant to women (if you still haven’t read a bra that fits – go there now! It will change your life – along with the Freya Deco which is my fave bra at the moment). There are a lot of subreddits on make-up (including some – literally – eye opening tutorials!) and even fashion.
A lot of the fashion subreddits are dedicated to curating a capsule wardrobe (this post, this post and this post are all excellent resources) – something I’ve never done. How have I shopped? I see something. I like it. I buy it (even though I probably don’t need it). I see something on sale, so I buy it (even though I probably don’t need it). I decide I need something, search high and low for it, find 2 I like, can’t decide on one and then buy both (even though I definitely did not need two).
All of this just buying willy-nilly on a whim has resulted in… a huge and nearly useless wardrobe. Yes, I have some really cool pieces. Do I ever wear them? Almost never (most are not really workplace friendly, and considering my current career track, this probably isn’t going to improve anytime soon). In fact, I have pieces that I buy, and then go out of fashion before I ever wear them (yes I am one of those people with unworn pieces in their wardrobe with the tags still attached! Fortunately not many, but enough that I am ashamed. Dresses seem to be a particular problem). This is a wardrobe failure.
I think I may need to give this capsule wardrobe a try. At the moment, I’m really enjoying getting rid of stuff I don’t wear anymore. I’ve actually ended up wearing a few dresses lately that I haven’t worn in years. Unfortunately, I’ve also put on some skirts lately and thought – wow, that isn’t flattering. I really ought to get rid of it.
And now I find myself fantasizing about a small, beautiful collection of high quality well made clothing, where I always have something elegant and appropriate to wear. Instead of despairing over the binge buying of years past which has resulted in dozens of threadless tees, hoodies or crazy printed tights that almost never get worn. 😦
I worry this is a sign of me getting old. Dressing for your 30s isn’t fun, let’s be honest. I want to keep wearing all my fun 20s clothes, but apparently I’m supposed to be a professional in a reasonably prestigious job. *sigh* I am constantly torn by the restraint I feel (that I should dress in a particular, more conservative way) and how I want to dress (how I damn well please, short skirts, sneakers, doc martens and all).
And I’m sure I’ve still made some fashion errors this year. I bought a lot of novelty print fabric. I adore novelty and conversational print fabrics and dresses. But what happens when the novelty wears off?
Does this mean I want a boring wardrobe? No. No that wouldn’t be me (I am always naturally going to be attracted to pieces that are eye catching and a little bit flamboyant). But I think I can do a better job of buying pieces that will actually stay in my wardrobe for more than a season or two or three. And getting rid of all those pieces I’m not wearing seems to be allowing a whole lot of opportunity for something better to come in, when I’m ready to start building a better, more functional wardrobe (after Oct next year, of course!).
So I think I need to keep my goals realistic. Over the next 10 months of no shopping, continue to evaluate what I actually wear, and think about what style (do I really have to pick just one?!) I really want to commit to, that reflects my personality, and that I see myself wearing for the next 5 years.
Then, after a year of no shopping,wearing what I have, and purging anything that no longer fits, doesn’t reflect my style or doesn’t get worn, I can slowly start adding pieces again. I will probably need to start with good quality basics, but from there, the <5 new pieces a season seems like an excellent rule.
Can you really teach an old shopper new tricks? I’d like to think so. Because I genuinely want to be more stylish and smarter (less debt incurring!) about my shopping.