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Page 2 in the conversation "Post Your Personal Style Challenge (Week 5)" by El Cee
Given the timing, I'll put out my challenges for tomorrow and the next week.1. try and shrink at least one pair of my black pants. I've worn them a million times, but they aren't bouncing back anymore.2. wash my clothes so I can consign them3. take said clothes to consignment. It is supposed to rain this week, so hopefully they will take the items now.
My college roommate visited. I had pulled out a jacket for her to try that I kept thinking I should like and hadn't been able to let go of, and she liked it. And she spied another item in my to consign pile and it went home with her also. Made me very happy to see her so happy. And then she had me try on her jacket, which I loved, and I immediately ordered one for myself. It was amazing that it fit so perfectly, was so comfortable, and it will upgrade many outfits. At a store I usually have to try on a huge number of items to find one I like, so it was nice it was so very easy.
During Week 4 of the Challenge, I wrote the following:
Evidently, I buy new clothes throughout the year with the idea of refreshing my wardrobe. What happens when I transition my wardrobe is that the pieces that have been stored away for half a year seem stale to me. I have since bought things that are in the same clothing category to refresh my wardrobe and those things seem so much more appropriate. They certainly make me happier. And they are part of the continuing style journey.
So my wardrobe is actually in constant flex. I add to it every single month. I will never be completely satisfied or completely finished.
Having had a week to ponder that statement, and after having read some blogs on sustainability, I want to update my challenge. I have a high degree of wardrobe churn. Some churn made sense. After having found YLF, I used the collective wisdom of the Forum to re-work my wardrobe. But there comes a point when churn is just churn.
So how do I explain the current churn? I profess to being thrilled with my wardrobe and I am. For the remainder of the challenge, I am going to attempt to define why I churn. I will develop of list of reasons and next week I will attempt to find solutions to rehabilitate myself.
Weight fluctuations. Even five pounds can mean the difference in one size (especially for slacks, jeans, and skirts). At one time in my life, I had garments that spanned three full sizes. I have long ago donated the pieces that did not me any longer.
Sales. I have a hard time resisting a sale. I buy because the price is too good to be believed. I mean I have to buy it, don't I?
Peer Pressure. I see someone wearing something that looks gorgeous on them, but really does not and will never work for me (e.g., dresses, tunics). Yet, I am seduced by how good that dress looks on them and I start to wonder about it for myself.
Marketing Pressure. Intense. Of course, I want to stay relevant and current. The words "dated" and "frumpy" strike fear in my soul.
Reward. If I have had a hard week or achieved a really tough goal, I automatically "reward" myself with something special (usually involving leather goods).
I Just Plain Want Something New. I think boredom causes a desire for something new and interesting.
Event. A special event looms and nothing in my closet feels appropriate.
Barbara Diane -- It is a lot of work to get clothes ready for consignment, but I am sure your efforts will pay off. (I often get too lazy to press up items and end up just bringing them to Goodwill.) So nice that you could pass along garments to a good friend as you know they will be loved and worn.
Sterling -- I think it is very wise to attempt to understand your own buying habits and what may be leading to the churn you are experiencing. All of your reasons make a lot of sense. For me, I know the major reason I have a lot of wardrobe churn is boredom and desire for change in some facet of my life. What it comes down to is this -- my life is very happy but rather predictable and staid. I shake things up a bit by tweaking my hairstyle and my wardrobe... so there is just going to be some churn in this area. Change can be good.
Sterling: Your post really resonated with me, especially the Peer Pressure comment. You said exactly what happens to me. I need to stick with what works so I don't have so many orphans and returns.
Sterling, your comments resonated with me too, especially the temptation of sales, wanting to update to stay current, events and just plain wanting something new. It is so tempting now to buy for next spring/summer on sale, especially wide bottoms which I don't have, but will I love them in April?
Hi Joy -- I read some blog that posed the following question: Can I wear this tomorrow? It was a radical thought for me. Before purchasing anything, I ask myself if I can wear it tomorrow? Do I want to wear it tomorrow? Usually the answer is yes.
I was at the mall yesterday and I had to REALLY STEEL myself against all the sales. I forced myself to not even bother looking. Sales will always be my undoing.
Sterling, your comments are thought provoking. How to satisfy the desire for something new but within a comfort zone. I too buy more of the same or something I've seen on others that is not really me. Can I wear this tomorrow question would help with buying out of season or for a fantasy life. But it might result in things that are too safe, too much like what I already have, just a newer one! Thanks for giving me something to think about...
Re: How to satisfy the desire for something new yet within limits --
Maybe Shedev's "5 piece" wardrobe is the solution. Of course this does not mean literally 5 pieces in the wardrobe! What it means is that:
For core essentials -- you replace these as needed.
Each main season you choose up to FIVE new "statement" items or trend items to add to the closet.
How you define "core essentials" or season or statement is probably up to you -- Shedev outlined how the originators of this technique conceived of them but she has made small adjustments to suit her own lifestyle and needs and I would probably do the same.
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