Thursday, September 1, 2011

My closet and the experiment

Last year I waded in to the Express Checkout Experiment, and found that I could certainly dress myself well with only a portion of what was in my closet... and have no regrets about not wearing the rest. I ended with 20 pieces (adding 5 onto the original 15) and was very happy and surprised at the result.

It also kickstarted my 2010 donation spree, wherein I gave away a good portion of my clothing because I wasn't wearing it.

What did I learn from this? Plan ahead.

Having faced the fall-winter future of my wardrobe, I did in fact do the bold thing and bought four very significant pieces in one week's swoop:
  • the gray merino long cardigan
  • the gray merino sheath dress
  • the dark red ponte dress
  • the black merino long cardigan (second pass)
This is unusual and quite a big leap for me, but it wouldn't have happened without my previous stalking of fall styles I could afford, followed by a surprisingly fun couple hours of trying things on. Everything I bought I consider investment clothing, that I will wear for ten years at least on the job and to slightly dressy events. I imagine the two cardigans will also be worked in combination with jeans, trousers, casual sweaters, and tees, making them even more useful.

Bonus: these clothes and colors are right up my style alley, which will make me feel good as well. Good about the price, good about the quality, good about the overall look. Yay, me!

This weekend, given the extra day off from teaching (thank you, Gods of Labor!), I plan two things. First, a swoop through my fall-winter clothes to find the four things I must now give to Goodwill. "Item in, item out" is the new rule in my house. Second, an overall scope of same wardrobe with an eye to what beyond that needs to be discarded, mended, given away, or thrown out; out of that will come a list of what else I need (not just want) to buy.

I already know one of those need-to-buy will be a classic pair of charcoal or chocolate flannel trousers.

Beyond that, however, the list is empty. And before I can buy anything more--in any case--I have several items to take to my tailor for alteration. Another switch: using the tailor for more than turning up hems. For instance, I have a lovely maxi-length straight skirt in a paisley pattern of light and bold turquoise, light and bold cocoa, and lavender; it is too long and straight for me to wear as it is, but I love the overall fit and the colors. The tailor is going to turn it into a nice knee-length pencil skirt, and Voila! I have 5 or 6 sweaters and blouses that will match. Never wore it, going to wear it. Happiness.

And just for fun, here is what I am considering next: a new scent: Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell.

Yes, the picture is not what does it for me--kind of scary, actually--but the scent. It is very fresh and clean, without being sweet. I think it might be an interesting alternative to the Vintage Gardenia I already use, also from Jo Malone.

It is hard for me to discover a new scent I want to wear regularly. How about you?

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