I rediscovered my clothes this past week.
Here are a few of the things I have worn over the past few days. Only the gray corduroy pants were in the suitcase I packed last December. If I had realized how long it would actually take me to get to my own things, I might have packed a little differently.
I have noticed a few things. First I still don't have a full length mirror in the house, for various reasons, and although I will eventually get at least one, at the moment it seems to suit me to not check how I look. When I had a mirror, I spent too much time wondering if something looked right. Now I can see enough to see if there is some gross fitting problem (head to mid thigh) and I can tell how my clothes feel on and that seems to be enough. I see my clothes. I think of how I would like to wear them and I put them on. I have started taking photos in lieu of the mirror, but often by the time I actually get around to looking at the photos I took, the day is over and it is too late to change anything. Although I am not always happy with the results, it seems that I fret less over my perceived imperfections becaues it is too late to do anything about it anyway. Besides, if my goal is to have a wardrobe of only clothes I love and which play well together without huge amounts of fretting on my part, this seems as good a technique for finding the winners as any.
The blouse and skirt were worn to two different choral concerts. When I wore the blouse out with the corded wrap belt I was overdressed, although I felt very casual. It was an evening concert and I took the small blue clutch (1998 or 1999) shown, only to learn that most of the audience wore jeans and fleece vests and carried big bulky daytime satchels. The picture in the bathroom mirror captures how I felt in the outfit (sleek and sinuous), the full-length photo how I actually looked, which is actually better than I had feared (not sinuous but not so bad either). For the second concert, when I wore the blouse simply tucked in with a belt. I was slightly underdressed for the audience but felt perfectly at home. I liked the simplicity and the structure, and the truth is that I could live in outfits like this, a simple blouse or sweater and skirt or tailored pants.
Running errands after church and before concert, I simiply switched out the blue skirt for the beige jeans and the pumps for flats. Truthfully I felt kind of dumpy, even before I looked at the photos, whereas I had felt very sleek and accomplished the day before wearing the same jeans with the checked tunic (one of my spring Lafayette 148NY purchases). I was surprised to see that the jeans and tunic looked better when I wore the jeans rolled up above my ankles rather than long, something I thought would make my short-for-my-height legs look even stumpier. The fact that the checked tunic is cut in an a-line rather than straight also probably helped, but I believeI could make the purple blouse work with different accessorries.
The gray outfit with the pinky-beige sweater is something I love even though tying the cardigan at my hips probably does nothing for my middle-aged tummy. Oh well, the fit my spirit anyway and spirit trumps tummy any day. These pieces have moved to the "keeper" end of the closet.
There are a few things still in boxes, primarily a few shoes and handbags. I don't have room for them on the very few shelves although I think I can accommodate them by moving knitted wool scarves and shawls and the heavier sweaters to another closet for the short term, until I at least make another pass at sorting what I have, need, love and want to keep. After that, I can do the necessary accounting and design a new closet system that will actually work with what we have, which in my case will probably always include too many shoes and sweaters.
If you want to see more posts from women who probably have much better control of their closets than I, head on over to Visible Monday.