Archives for the month of: March, 2018

It’s finally over! I’m free! I don’t have to worry about going through my entire wardrobe anymore, because It’s. Just. DONE.

So. What do I do now?

I guess, the obvious answer would be: just wear your clothes! But this challenge has really changed the way I think about dressing every day. I’m far more aware of how many articles of clothing I own. I’m aware of how often I wear each piece. I’m SO aware of how I’m presenting myself, how I feel, how I look in every outfit I now put together. I want to give each piece of clothing a fair shake. I want to represent every article in my closet regularly.

BUT.

I also really want to get back to my daily “uniform” of jeans and tees, paired with a fuzzy, worn cardigan (my husband calls it my “crazy cat lady sweater.” I adore it). So, I suppose that one of things that I’ve learned from this challenge is that I’m still working on my personal definition of “minimalism” and what it means to me to only own what I need.

Some other lessons I’ve taken away from the last 38 days/outfits:

  1. I feel so guilty for all of the superfluous things I own. I whittled my wardrobe down from 38 tops to 23 (I actually got down to 21 of my original tops, then bought two new tees, after I had to get rid of so many of mine–just a plain white one and a green one), and from 7 bottoms to 6 (again, I gave up halfway through and replaced four pairs of old pants with new jeans). And I could still do more! I don’t even know if I’ll end up wearing all of those regularly! And, while we’re at it, what about all of my other stuff? Bookshelves, and drawers, and cabinets full of, well, stuff. I don’t need this stuff. My kids don’t need this stuff. Is it making my life better? Or worse? Am I being too nostalgic? Or am I heartless? Or am I just overthinking it? Or, or, or . . .
  2. Even while carrying around all of this extra guilt, I still couldn’t bring myself to actually eliminate all of the clothes I probably should have. Instead, I’ve decided to create a “Time Out Drawer.” Those pieces of clothing that I just couldn’t quite part with have been placed in an empty drawer in my bedroom. If, after a month or two, I don’t find myself looking for or missing that piece, I think I’ll finally be able to just say goodbye and cut the chord. (At least, I hope I’ll be able to.)
  3. It was kind of nice not having to think about my clothes for so long. for the last 40 days, I had a list. I had a plan. There was no forethought needed. Dressing myself again for the last week has proven to me that I still don’t quite know what the hell I’m doing, style-wise.
  4. I’m totally okay with duplicates. The new green tee I bought is amazing. I seriously wish I had bought it in every color. It’s soft, flattering, washable (oh, so necessary!), and has some nice details with contrast stitching that give it just a tiny little something extra. And I discovered that I don’t really care if I’m “caught” wearing the same thing over and over again. Not if I feel good in it.
  5. I can relax. People don’t really pay that much attention. Going back to my point above, I think that wearing the same shirt (in different colors) every day isn’t really the crime against fashion I’ve always feared it was. Because nobody really notices. I stopped myself from wearing one of my favorite shirts to my book club a couple of weeks ago because “I wore it last time!” It took me forever to realize that 1) It had been six weeks. Nobody but me knew what the hell I was wearing! 2) I certainly didn’t remember what any of my girlfriends had worn, so there was no way they were keeping tabs on my outfits, and 3) Even if one of us DID notice a repeat outfit, so what? What kind of horrible thing are we expecting to happen? Are we going to be punished? Mocked? Shunned? Yeah, I think not.

Any, now for what you really want: the clothes!

Day 31

Day 31: Goodwill for the win! Bought both the top and the wide leg jeans at the local Goodwill. The shirt is SO soft. And I will punch my mother for a good pair of high waisted, wide legged jeans.

Day 32

Day 32: Weirdly enough, I felt like I was wearing lingerie all day in this outfit. The leggings were bothering me, and I had to keep hiking them up to get the crotch back up to starting positions. The top is not even close to the most revealing thing I own, but I felt just uncomfortably exposed in it. They both went to the yard sale pile!

Day 33

Day 33: Do you know that this is my ONLY button-down shirt? And do you know that I bought it for easy breast-feeding access? Six years ago! But, hey, if I’m only going to have one, I’d better have a wicked CUTE one, right? Keep.

Day 34

Day 34: I wore this outfit to go see a concert with my husband. When I walked up, the doorman looked at me, looked at my top, then said, “You know about your shirt, right?” “You mean, that it’s see-through? Yeah. I’m aware.” Even with all of my goodies on display, though, I still felt comfortable in this outfit. I thought I was so sexy! And, all I have to do is add an undershirt, and I’ll go from concert hall to conference room. So versatile!

Day 35

Day 35: This top is breaking my heart, you guys. The embroidery is So. Freaking. Cute. But it’s also So. FUCKING. Itchy! I was wearing an undershirt, and it STILL poked my chest raw all day! It’s like they sewed those feathers on with fishing line! Seriously, dude. BUT. I really love this shirt. I love the style. (But now that I’m looking at this picture, is it too long on me?) So, I put this one in the Time Out Drawer. I’ll see if I feel like trying it out again in a few weeks.

Day 36

Day 36: Okay, so I like this top. But it’s double layered polyester. So I don’t love it. The high neck makes me sweat. But, it’s kind of romantic and flowy. So, Time Out Drawer. We’ll see how I feel about it after a bit.

Day 37

Day 37: Cozy. Soft. Yes, I already have a pale blue racer back tank top. BUT I don’t already have one that is this light and cool. Perfect for blazing summer days. Keep! (Also, check out my ass. Oohlala!)

Day 38

Day 38: The final day of the challenge! And I did NOT end with a bang. The shimmers in this top give it a great detail that elevates it from a standard long sleeved tee. But the shiny parts of the shirt were seriously sewn in tinsel. Like, tinsel. Like, pulled off of somebody’s Christmas tree. (To be fair, I bought this shirt to wear to a Christmas party. But I didn’t realize that I’d be decorated like the damn tree!) C’mon, clothing manufacturers! Doesn’t anybody stop at some point in the process and say, “Hey, you know what feels completely fucking HORRIBLE against a person’s skin? Tinsel. Maybe, I don’t know, we should switch to like cotton or something? Guys? What do you think? Guys?” Gone.

There you have it! All of my clothes! Are you as sick of them as I am? Yeah, thought so.

But, if you’re not, check out the previous posts in this series!

Wardrobe Challenge–The First 10 Days

Wardrobe Challenge–Days 11-20

Wardrobe Challenge–Days 21-30

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I have just one more week left of my Wardrobe Challenge! Honestly, I’ll be happy when this is over, and I just get to wear what I want, when I want to. This experiment has helped me to declutter, and I’ve certainly learned some things about me, my personal style, and my attitude towards clothing in general. But it’s a surprisingly large amount of pressure to remember to check my list every morning, get dressed, take a picture of myself, and really think about my clothing. I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but analyzing and thinking about my outfit and how it makes me feel has left me feeling a bit mentally drained some days. But, once again, I’ve come out of these last ten days with more revelations about myself and my clothes:

  1. My undergarments are terrible. I am a very lucky woman, in that my breasts are small enough that I can (and do) often get away without wearing a bra. In fact, these last two or three years, during the warmer months, I have officially declared that I would be observing “Rachel’s Braless Summer!” Once I stopped breastfeeding, I realized that I just didn’t have to worry about bras in the summer anymore. Oh, the liberty! Oh, the freedom from excess boob sweat! Oh, the racer back tanks! I still wear bras most of the time, for the purposes of modesty (while I do not villainize nipples by any means, I’m also not a huge fan of displaying mine at, say, my daughter’s preschool), and for the purposes of shaping (I was a very devoted breastfeeding mother, and as a result my breasts just don’t make quite as much, well, eye contact as they used to). But because of my general indifference to bras, I’ve come to realize that I’m down to two–TWO!–non-sports bras. One of them, I bought immediately after finishing breastfeeding. Hello, gaping cups! The other one is not really that bad, but it’s an underwire (something I find completely unnecessary for my needs), and I believe that it attempts to pull my breasts in too narrow. So, I am now officially on a hunt: non-underwire, non-padded, non-crazy expensive bras. Wish me luck, ladies. This could take awhile.
  2. I can’t wait for the Pope. My mother used to joke about her friends who owned fancy china and crystal sets, but never brought them out because they were “saving” them “In case the Pope comes.” Just this last week, I was talking to the women in my book club, and I was shocked by how many of them owned fancy china sets that they have never brought out, often for a decade or more. One of my girlfriends said, “Well, I’m not going to bring out my china just to eat pizza!” I responded that pizza on china would probably be delightful, and that I would certainly attend that dinner party in a second! And then I realized that I had been harboring the same attitudes towards my clothes. I had so many pieces that were my “special occasion” clothes that I never wore them. Beautiful tops that I love, that I think make me look good, and that I’ve never actually put on my body because the timing wasn’t “right.” I was sitting around, waiting for the Pope. But here are the kickers: 1) The Pope’s never coming and 2) Even if he does, I can only wear ONE shirt to meet him. What was I “saving” these pieces for? Why was I not wearing clothes that made me feel good? I realized that I was holding on to these things, and missing opportunities to enjoy them. And what if I waited too long?  What if I finally pulled out that one, “special” top, only to find that it not longer fits? Or is no longer in style? Or moths got to it? I was being insane. So what if my “nice” shirt gets paint, or pizza on it? What’s the worst that could happen? A stain? I’m fairly certain I could survive a stain. So, from here on out, I’m making a vow: I’m wearing my clothes. Period. I’d rather destroy them doing crafts with my kids, than watch them slowly disintegrate in my closet, bringing joy to no one.

So, here’s the list of the last ten days’ outfits. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Day 21

Day 21: I felt uncomfortable in this top. It’s just a bit too tight, and while I love the little pattern on it (arrows and hearts!), I also felt as though the fabric was too thin, showing every single fold, roll, and pinch. Yard Sale pile! Also, if you look closely, you can see how weird my bras are making my breasts look. They seem to be pulling them too much towards the middle, giving me a lot of side/rib exposure before reaching my armpits. If that makes sense??

Day 22

Day 22: I bought this shirt at the same time as the one above, so the same issues apply. You can see how faded the material is (the fabric used to be the same color as the stitching). And, even though it’s a darker blue, my bra is actually visible beneath it because it’s just so worn and thin (man, I have a lot of shirts that look like this!). Yard sale!

Day 23

Day 23: I adore a baseball tee.  It’s relaxed and comfortable, and I think it’s cute as hell. Keep.

Day 24

Day 25: Okay, so I know that this picture got overexposed and so the lighting looks really weird anyway, but once again, you can see my bra through the thin fabric! (That spot above my left breast? That’s not on the shirt. That’s the logo from my sports bra showing THROUGH the shirt) How everything I own doesn’t have holes all over the place, I’ll never know. Goodbye.

Day 25

Day 26: My “Pope” moment. I just came from the gym, and threw on my clothes for the day in order to go meet my girlfriends for lunch. I’m sweaty and smelly and dirty in this picture, and I would have NEVER allowed myself to look like this while wearing this top before this challenge. This is one of my “Special” tops. I love it. I think it’s beautiful, flattering, and unique. And I never wear it! I got tons of compliments on this shirt. Even coming straight from the gym! That’s the power of good clothes, friends. I’m keeping this. And I’m wearing it!

Day 26

Day 27: Another “Special” top. It just so happened that I was slated to wear this outfit on the day of my daughter’s birthday party. We had cake, cupcakes, ice cream, giant pans of Indian food, and glitter slime. I did not escape unscathed. And neither did my shirt. But that’s what washing machines are for, right? We will live to rock another day.

Day 27

Day 28: This is one of the few shirts that I own that my husband compliments me on consistently. It’s fun, and soft, and flattering. Keep.

Day 28

Day 29: There’s a scene from the Office, where a woman comes in who Michael has a crush on. Pam takes one look and immediately says, “Hello, Ms. Boob Shirt.” This is my boob shirt. It’s not unflattering. It’s just uncomfortable for me to wear. Though straight on, it doesn’t look especially revealing, every time I glanced down, all I could see was tits. And I’m short. So the downward view is basically what EVERYONE sees. It’s also pretty pilled from over-washing. I couldn’t get comfortable. Gone.

Day 29

Day 29: It’s long! It has pockets! And a hood! Keep.

Day 30

Day 30: This shirt was my very first postpartum, not-designed-for-breastfeeding clothing purchase six years ago. I’ve barely worn it, but I’ve held on to it ever since, just because it was the FIRST. While it’s not horrible, I just never wear it. I think someone else will really love it better than I do. Yard sale!