I hope I don't do this every year, but maybe I do. I've been thinking a lot, probably too much for my own good though, about how much money I've spent and wasted on clothes this year, and how far I've drifted away from the looks I am comfortable with and feel like the real "me" in .

I haven't felt well-dressed this summer, and just went through my closet yesterday and filled a green garbage bag full with 4-5 purses (hardly used) and a pile of summer clothing that is was all purchased this summer and rarely, if ever, worn. And that was just the start of a true edit that I'd like to get done before September 1 so that I'm notpacking away anything I won't be wearing again.

I love this forum because it connects me to other people with similar interests, and I love posting and reading and getting so many great ideas and constructive feedback. BUT.....I also get caught up in thinking I "should" try what others wear and look at what others are buying and see if that will be the magic solution to feeling good about how I dress. This is not good, obviously.

For example, this spring I decided that I "should" try injecting more pattern and colour into my spring and summer wardrobe. I also thought I "should" be sprucing up my casual wear by wearing more blouses and similar structured, woven tops. So - instead of buying just one or two such tops, I probably bought 10, and hated all of them. Seriously. Nothing made me feel fab, and I either didn't make the time or effort to try to style them in a way that looked sophisticated and work-ready......because I didn't end up feeling good enough in them to want to bother. I ended up with a couple of pair of cropped wide leg pants and jeans, and guess what? I don't like any of them. And I'm annoyed that I thought I had to at least try to wear them and try to like them even though nothing about them appealed to me. Same with white boots. Another expensive experiment.

This is the theme of my life it seems, and I'm so exhausted, frustrated embarrassed, and ashamed of myself for buying so many stupid things in the name of keeping up and staying fashionable.

1. bright colours do not make me feel well-dressed; I feel conspicuous (and not in a good way) and too "gaily dressed", to use an old expression. Bright colours do not make me feel happy, either. I don't look to my clothes for happiness. I get that elsewhere .

2. trendiness is a moving target, and I need to stick to my own very strong opinions about what I like and will wear. If that makes sense. I read a lot and and am fairly plugged in to colour and style trends (because it's part of my job to do so) and instead of feeling like I need to keep an open mind and try lots of things, I have found my instincts are reliable and that I'll wear what I like and what I want to, not what I think I "should' be trying just to look up-to-date. This has been my biggest trip-up here on the forum.

3. I actually do yearn for a modest, well-edited wardrobe even though it's not popular here on the forum. I don't need or want a lot of variety; I don't need a ton of clothes because I don't see the same people every day. My mind and work style is often chaotic, and I function best when I don't have too many choices and too much stuff around me. I hate a closet stuffed full of pieces, hate excess consumption , hate environmental irresponsibility , and hate depending upon clothes and shopping to soothe my soul. I know, I know, hate is a strong word....but.....

4. I like neutral, dark, and moody colours, and only very few strong colours like citron, and a few pastel/soft colours like pale pink and blue. These I wear in outerwear pieces as a foil to my neutrals. I don't like plaid, don't like polka dots, don't love stripes , and have no love for ditsy prints either. I look and feel my best in statement making, tailored, and often architectural pieces. I don't mind drama, but am not interested in looking kooky. I want to know that I am well enough dressed to take a meeting with the - hmm - editor of British Vogue? You know what I mean...

5. I am 58, and although my body sure doesn't look like it used to - whose does?? It's like men who constantly crow about how great a football player they were in high school or college (cough - my husband - cough) . BUT YOU AREN'T IN HIGH SCHOOL ANYMORE SO STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AS IF IT DEFINES YOU! I don't want to apologize anymore for my body or for not being able to tuck things in ,for not being able to wear fitted dresses etc , because I am simply not willing and able to do the work it takes to maintain the physique of a 35 year old. I will stop worrying about what size I am , and stop buying clothes that don't fit well just because they are the size I think I should be. My abs aren't flat, I have had 2 major abdominal surgeries and my muscles are torn and separated. My upper arms have never , even been thin and well-defined, even when I was underweight and overtrained , so , whatever. I give up. Trading on your looks and having them define you is so dangerous - as we all know. As you age, it's a recipe for disaster if that's what matters most to you. And I know I've been horribly hamstrung by this. No more.

6. I don't want every new style of denim , every new style of bag or shoe that appears, and instead of falling into the trap of buying low-priced stuff to get more variety, I would sincerely rather have one beautiful top from the best brands I can possibly afford that I can wear everywhere and with everything than 5 tops from mid-range stores that don't look great longer than a year or two. I'm still thinking about a gorgeous floral silk Equipment blouse ($400 ) that I saw earlier this summer but shied away from because of the price. It would have worked with every bottom I have, and I should have bought it, Instead, I wasted that same amount of money on a bunch of stuff I didn't end up wearing. I've said this before but somehow have never been able to stick with it. Well, the time is now, my friends. I am SO SICK OF MY CLOSET being stuffed with things, forgetting what I have, and not knowing what I truly need . Can someone please explain to me why I bought a bright yellow/goldenrod linen shirt this spring? I wore it yesterday with jeans and the same colour yellow Fly London sandals and felt like an idiot ! I hated it. I felt suburban , bright, conspicuous, unsophisticated and overly styled . I could easily have lived without either the sandals ($200) or the blouse ($100) and yet here I am with $300 sunk in two pieces I don't really think are me. And that's just one example !

7. My ideal look: a blazer, a silk top or blouse, jeans, trousers ( no, not clean front dress pants) , really great footwear, a good bag and really good jewelry. A cashmere long cardigan, a silk tank, really good sneakers (nothing kooky ) . An excellent coat. Maybe 3 or 4 colours at most in my closet. Soothing, a spacious and clean closet , beautiful to look at, and well planned. THIS IS MY IDEA OF FASHION NIRVANA.

Is there any hope for me here or am I officially kicked off the island now?
Tell me how you manage it all.