My conscious stream of thoughts are overwhelming me! 1st things 1st-Fashion!

Gosh, I might have to split this up into a few posts, just to enable you all to have a coffee break. I have an odd way of writing. I can have a dry spell for a month, where I haven’t a good thing write about, much less take up your time with boring drivel, writing half assed postes and after all, who does care about what I ate for lunch? Other times, I’ll feel all these interesting thoughts bubbling up to the surface of my consciousness, begin to erupt out of my pen, and demand to be written in a post for you all to read. And who knows, what I’m writing now might end up as mindless drivel and a waste of your time, but getting it out is something I feel compelled to do.

So here goes. I will start out with something superficial, specifically on the topic of womens’ wardrobes. A bit of background: I ran over to my library to pick up a copy of Marie Antoinette-The Journey (“sigh” yawn. I’m sorry, but history books, no matter how interesting the subject cause me to gaze over and lose interest almost immediately.) and while there, I spotted a copy of The O N L Y 127 Things You Need {a guide to life’s essentials}, and thought it would make splendid blog fodder, so I checked that out, too. I got home, shoved Marie Antoinette under a cushion and decided to instead cozy up on the sofa with 127 Things. I made a bee-line to the chapter on clothing. Yes, clothing is one of our basic needs. (A coat is always nice to have in the winter.) I’m particularily interested in this topic right now because I’m in the process of trying to figure out what looks good on me and what kinds of things I should and should not buy. I tend to purchase clothing items impulsively, especially tops and sweaters, only to get them home and regret I bagged them in the first place. Worse, usually the reason I buy tops, etc. is because they’re cheap and I figure, “What’s another one?” To me, this way of shopping for clothes is really juvenile, or should I say not very adult. I need to grow up. I’ve spent waaay too much money over the years on clothing I’ve donated to charity because I don’t even like the item anymore. I bought it thinking it would look great on me only to bring it home, try it on and find I look ridiculous in it.

The author writes about our basic clothing needs. What really is the essentials a woman needs, no more, no less? Interestingly, she included the opinions of several well known designers and what they believe are the items no woman should be with out. Everything else just takes up space. In reality, if you have a ton of clothes, generally, most of it doesn’t get worn. I, myself, have quite a bit in the tops department. I find I wear the usual 6 or 7 V-necks and the rest sit idly in my drawer, taking up space, collecting sachet scent. I find I don’t like prints that much, (but I still continue to buy them!) and I also don’t feel comfortable in bright colors. What I prefer, more than anything else is black. Not only does it look classic, slimming and goes great with everything, most of all, I find it looks stunning against my blond hair, so I tend to lean toward black anything. Foolishly, I do splurge on trendy tops and things that hit me at the moment, but sadly, end up on the junk pile.

127 Things says we shouldn’t wear anything we don’t love because otherwise, it just doesn’t make it worth the money we spend on the item. We should avoid gimmicky, novelty-type clothes that aren’t long lasting. If it’s going to be out of style next season, why purchase it? Also, the book suggests we purge our closets on a regular basis, and rid ourselves of excess clothing that we don’t wear. Clothes take up space, and if we havn’t worn it in 6 months, we’re never going to wear it. I read when Coco Chanel died back in 1971, she only had 3 outfits in her closet. (Ha! I’ll bet the day before she died, she purged her closet.)I’m sure those outfits were classic staples, that went the distance and were made from quality fabrics. In addition, a few months ago, I read an article about Jamie Lee Curtis in More Magazine. She was talking about turning 50 and how she was refining her life, living more simply and paring down her wardrobe. She figured out what she liked. Her closet palette consists of black, white and a touch of grey. How cool is that? I’m leaning in that direction, too, since we all know know my favorite clothing color is black. Which leads me to the next element of paring down and making wise choices. What should we have in our closets? I went through the lists of all the designers in this book and what they feel are the only clothing essentials women need. The list below is a cumulation of all the designers put together:

A black dress (maybe for a funeral?)

several white cotton shirts (yes! And several. The kind with 2 or 3% spandex are just perfect!)

Black pencil skirt (don’t wear them)

A-line skirt (Maybe)

Cardigan in a color (good, good)

Black turtleneck (love them although they say people with round faces should avoid them…thats me. Heck, I use them to hide…see my banner.)

Black pants with no pleats. (my yoga pants are my staple)

Brown flat front pants (I’ve got flat front cords)

Jeans that fit (is there such a thing when it comes to plus sized women?)

Trench coat (a bit mysterious and can be sexy, too!)

Winter coat

A selection of tees and tanks in various colors. (no problem!)

I do love wearing something snappy and eye catching that makes me memorable to the folks who see me. To achieve this, I don’t have to buy trendy, colorful clothing that I’ll probably end up zinging in the donation box. A way I can achieve this is to express my personality through accessories. I can wear any of clothes in the above list with an artsy, colorful scarf or some bold, colorful jewelry that frames my face and brings attention to my eyes. Accessories can help everyone’s ‘classic’ wardrobes go farther. Also, no one will notice if you have the same black pants on 2 days in a row. That’s the thing about black. How many times can you wear your plaid pants before eyebrows raise?

This closet philosophy isn’t for everyone, I realize that. But it is something to think about. Personally, I’m looking for ways to simplify my life, spend less and be more stylish in the process. I love crispy white cotton shirts with black pants and jeans. This list is a minimalist’s approach to closet control, but in these times of excess, minimalism is sounding pretty good to me. One thing that is great about adopting this list is it can take the craziness out of shopping. Too many choices can be stressful, not enjoyable. I find myself breaking out in a cold sweat when I go into a paint store and see all the paint chips I need to look over in order to choose a color for my kitchen. I’d be happier if I had 12 colors to choose from, instead of 1200. The same applies to clothing. Less choice, but wise ones make more effective wardrobes and less stressful lives. Einstein was known to have the same 10 shirts, vests and pants in the same color. He didn’t want to think about what he was going to wear each morning, he just wanted to get dressed. His method eliminated the decision making for him. This is an extreme example, but you can understand why he simplified so drastically. He had much more important things to think about such as the Theory of Relativity.

In these days of a shaky economy, why spend precious money on clothing we don’t need? I think this list is a way to have a great wardrobe without having to spend a lot of money. And, if you are inclined to shop at second-hand clothing stores, these items can be found pretty easily and for a fraction of the cost of new pieces.

I’m off to purge my closets and drawers. I have so much stuff I hardly wear and some of it is piled on my dressers because I haven’t enough drawer space to accomodate it all. I really do find myself wearing the same things all the time. If I just kept the clothing I love and rid myself of the rest, I’d have less laundry, more room in my drawers and no mess on top of the dressers. I’d have more money in my wallet, too. I need to keep blinders on when walking past the clothing departments when I shop. I find myself looking for new items when I really don’t need anything. It’s just fun to accumulate, I suppose. But that has to stop. I’m tired of keeping the Goodwill supplied. I already have every one of the items listed. I just need to take a hard look at my closet and edit out the crap so I can focus on the meaningful stuff.

How about you?

1 thought on “My conscious stream of thoughts are overwhelming me! 1st things 1st-Fashion!”

  1. I think people who are (society's idea of)average size can be more open. But for MY plus sized body, a lot of the staples listed simply look BAD. Jeans? Never. Turtlenecks? Huh-uh! PENCIL SKIRT? Bwahahahaha … uh – sorry. I've always been my own person where clothing is concerned. I don't 'do' trendy clothing tho' I MAY add a trendy (and inexpensive) trinket. For me, teeshirt dresses are MY staple. They fit nicely, cover all the iffy areas (that would include pretty much of my body) are comfy, come in heavier fabric for colder days, and come in many colors. Now, I personally LOVE red & tho' it's a fashion no-no for someone whose butt ALREADY looks like the side of a barn, I DON'T CARE 'cause it makes me feel alive! While I'm 'going there', I have to add that most plus-size clothing designers are NUTS. REALLY! Who in heaven's name convinced them that large women look good in 1. PUFFED SLEEVES, 2. dresses with back ties – CRINGE!3.
    empire or waist-cinching clothing, 4. huge flowery prints, or 5. SPANDEX? EEEEEKS! I am with you, Em! It's time for us to pare down, wear what we LOVE and feel GOOD wearing, and STOP LISTENING TO SO-CALLED FASHION MOGULS who deal in size 0 models. We are individuals, each with our own taste in fashion. Cutting the size of our wardrobe should be an easy task if we are truly wearing what we love & feel GOOD wearing.


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