Well, sort of.
In my family, my sister got all of the style genes. This includes being able to dress herself with confidence and the ability to apply liquid eyeliner. As a result, I generally wear little to no makeup, feel helpless when I look in my closet, and consider a baby carrier an accessory.
This all changes now. But only slightly.
I’ve been wanting to change my style from “whatever’s given to me or whatever brown clothing I can find for $1.50 or less at the thrift shop” to something remotely intentional.
I know, I need to pace myself and stop aiming so high.
The big change is that I’m going to start making an effort. No longer will there be a place in my wardrobe for clothes that don’t suit me and/or don’t fit.
In order to know that I’m throwing out the right stuff (and replacing it with the right stuff), I’ve enlisted some help. I’ve signed up for a Seasonal Color Assessment (I’m “Winter” like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Elizabeth Hurley) and a year of weekly outfit and shopping guides personalized for my body type through Missus Smarty Pants.
My husband wasn’t as supportive as I would have liked.
“That’s a horrible idea,” he said.
I explained that I was going to have to buy winter clothes that fit me anyway and I thought I might as well do it in a systematic way rather than willy-nilly as I usually do and that this would not only help me look and feel better, but it would help me save money in the long run.
“Well, I guess it’s not a horrible idea. But it’s still not a good idea.” Which is probably the best I can hope for from a man who would rather his yearly clothing budget be $30, $10 for underwear, $10 for socks, and $10 for slippers. Those and beer are the only things he wants me to buy him as gifts, too.
At any rate, armed with my “seasonal colors” and guidelines about making the most of my curvy, short self, I embarked upon a closet purge.
Now, I didn’t have a huge amount of clothes to start with, but there was a lot I just didn’t wear (and some things I just shouldn’t wear). I don’t want more clothes; I want wearable clothes.
I cleared out about half of my clothes. I left in two skirts that I think aren’t supposed to be there. Shorties like me aren’t supposed to wear floor-length skirts because it makes us look even shorter, but I love these two skirts and I’m not ready to part with them. But aside from those, I stuck pretty close to the rules. This means I got rid of all of my brown.
I’ve made a list of basics to add (black, grey, and stone casual trousers, long-sleeved T’s and button shirts in white, black, grey, or stone, shoes that aren’t brown) and guidelines for a couple of accent pieces (lavender, teal, or pink sweaters, perhaps?). There’s a lot of talk in the materials for my body type about wearing “kitten heels.” I’m not sure I’m ready for this shoe shift, but I will consider boots with a bit of a heel. If they’re on sale.
Today I wore an outfit from items I already own but had never put together before. I even wore earrings and a necklace. My children couldn’t stop staring at me.
Tomorrow I plan to do some shopping. Without children but with a plan