Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Charity Shop Test

Yesterday I found myself in a state of dis-dress at work.
My outfit had seemed so great at 7 am:  new culottes, favourite Portfolio seersucker top, black cardigan, fun beads in colours to match the top = lovely!
Favourite top and beads
But I totally misjudged my footwear.  I had on my black Camper ankle boots and a pair of crazy over-the-knee argyle socks in black, red and green.
Um...yeah.
By lunchtime my feet were steaming, and because I had taken off the cardigan I was this awful mess of winter bottom and summer top.
When I saw myself in the mirror in the Ladies' I was ready to jump in my car and drive home there and then.  Ugh.
It was a stressful day anyway, so this sartorial tragedy was the salty icing on a very bitter cake.
You let me down - I thought you were my friends!
Today I approached my wardrobe with a hatchet in hand.

Take One:
My starting point was to throw everything on the bed, and then iron and hang up only the items I LOVE.
That didn't take long!
I had to walk away and make a cup of coffee to avoid giving up there and then.

Take Two:
I took a second pass to identify the items which I would consider trying on if I saw them in a shop.
Nothing.  Nothing!
Oh no!!!

Take Three:
If this was a charity shop, what would I find attractive enough to pull off the rail for closer examination?

A few items resurfaced - phew!
Several more went straight into a bin bag.
By the end of two hours, I came to the conclusion that something must have changed.
I must have changed.
Because it is hard to believe that I have been walking around in clothes I would not be seen dead in. But that seems to be the logical conclusion.

The curtain rail is festooned with a row of nervous twitching garments on a suspended sentence.  If they are lucky, I will put them on probation for a couple of weeks:  if I can make them work they can stay.  If not, they are leaving this house never to be seen again.
It is simultaneously exciting and scary.
I seem to be ready to start again, almost from scratch.
Without checking, I know I still have sufficient clothing to get me through a working week.  And I had the sense to buy some plain black bamboo socks this morning, which will avoid a repeat of yesterday's malfunction!
No socks!
I downloaded the Into-Mind e-book "Personal Style and the Perfect Wardrobe".  It is pretty intimidating but incredibly thorough.
There is a worksheet for every possible scenario, to analyse your lifestyle and the roles which your clothes need to perform.
There is none of the usual:  "You need a trench coat, jeans, a white shirt and black loafers", though that sounds pretty appealing right now!
Instead, it is all about understanding what you like and why, identifying gaps in your existing wardrobe and making the right choices... long before you even think about going shopping or sewing up a storm.
Let the sunshine in!
Tomorrow, I plan to sew an everyday staple top.
But right now I need to pick up my knitting and find my zen.
I know it's here somewhere...
Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope the sun is shining where you are.

11 comments:

Clarey H said...

Noo! Those lists make it impossible for you to keep those things you love but can't say why. Who cares if you have a bad clothes day? It's just a day, there are 364 more in a year. You knit, sew, buy great clothes. You have (in my opinion) excellent taste, you are discerning. Don't throw out great pieces because you didn't like what you saw on a particular day in a particular week. In the end, if the footwear is the problem that can be fixed without ditching half your wardrobe.

seamedstraightforward said...

I've always loved your clothing choices Roo, and as Clarey says above, you put a lot of thought into what you make and wear, which (to me) makes your clothes all the more interesting. Your clothes are such a big part of your 'personality'. Ok, I know tastes change over time, but your posts recently seem to me to be indicative of some deeper feeling of unease? I'm also a bit concerned that you're going to bin everything and end up with no clothes to wear! Don't panic, sleep on it and see how you feel in a week or two.

Jen Forsythe said...

I can totally relate to a lot of those feelings. Firstly, I always find this time of the year tricky, footwear wise, it's definitely not sandals weather, but boots just seem ridiculous even if it's chilly. I think I'm going thro' the total review of the wardrobe thing and that's good, I think it can also be a parallel to life changes. I have loved your makes, but isn't it lovely to feel the winds of change. I have paired down a lot over the past couple of years and it is scary, but good! Embrace it, as they say!

sewtyrpical said...

I say TOSS the the ones you don't love anymore. I've been on a big purge binge for the last couple of months, clearing out clothes and other stuff in my apartment. It feels Great!

I read this book and loved it:
"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing"
by Marie Kondo

Palava rakkaus, pikkusydän said...

I think you're on the right track - tastes change, and what seemed inspiring three years ago or whenever, might now seem dated or just not 'good enough'.

Having gone through several "I'm ready to simplify my wardrobe! - This time I'll do better! - Oops, I have too many clothes again!"-cycles, I'd say: take your time. You don't have to figure it all out at once. A personal style is never 'ready', it's about the ebb and flow of us changing, us evolving. Don't be too hard on yourself. You don't have to passionately love every piece of clothing you own. It's okay to own clothes that you don't wear every week. But stuff that doesn't fit, ugly colors, stuff that's just sitting in the closet, waiting for the time when you have a different life - toss all of that.

But having said all this: yes, you are on the right track! (And those culottes are awesome!)

Lizzi said...

I’m with Clarey.

ravelledsleeve said...

There must be something in the air - I'm finding my wardrobe rather uninspiring too. I think it's the time of year - it isn't really reliably warm enough for summer clothes, but winter clothes don't feel right either, and between-season footwear is particularly difficult. I also suspect there has been a sea-change in fashion that even those of us with no actual interest in fashion are picking up on to a certain extent - I'm certainly finding that some of my old staples are just looking massively dowdy all of a sudden.

Good luck with the wardrobe analysis!

Melissa said...

I always find it interesting to read what others are doing with their wardrobe, particularly in spring time when we all seem to have the urge to purge!

I think tastes do change and may come and go with the season. Last year I made a lot of stuff with prints. This year I am looking for more quiet prints and quiet colours.

I would suggest a middle row. Rather than perhaps giving away everything, keep some you are on the fence about, in a box or somewhere out of sight and see how you feel about them in a few months time. Good luck. Perhaps purging a lot of stuff is a good excuse to sew up new things! :-)

Sew little time said...

I also read the Marie kondo book mentioned above. It's not specifically about clothes but it is recommended as the starting point for a huge tidy. I did my clothes, got rid of maybe 1/3 of my wardrobe a month ago and honestly don't miss any of it. I probably purged half my shoes and bags. I thought I was already fairly good at clearing out regularly but styles and tastes change.

Sew little time said...

I also read the Marie kondo book mentioned above. It's not specifically about clothes but it is recommended as the starting point for a huge tidy. I did my clothes, got rid of maybe 1/3 of my wardrobe a month ago and honestly don't miss any of it. I probably purged half my shoes and bags. I thought I was already fairly good at clearing out regularly but styles and tastes change.

Colleen said...

That's interesting: the charity shop test. I have so mamy things I've sewn and therefore are "sacred" but I never wear them. Thanks for the new way of looking at them (and judging them).