Summer is usually a more casual time for me at work, mostly because we don’t have central air conditioning at our house. It’s hot! That means I end up planning based on ‘How little can I wear and still be appropriately dressed?’ No jackets, no sweaters, no long sleeves, no heavy accessories. Usually I wear just a dress or a loose blouse and a skirt. The rest of the year, I can layer a bit more and not overheat so I step up my clothing choices.
Last week I pulled all my clothes (yes, everything) out of the closet and spent an entire afternoon going through everything. My clothes had been getting unweildy, things I had purchased that didn’t really quite work were still hanging around, and putting together something to wear was getting to be a real chore. Definitely time for a wardrobe edit.
With the exception of the few items of clothing I wear all the time and love, I tried everything on and tried to look at it objectively. Does it really fit? Is it in good shape? Is the color flattering? Is this one of the things that I put on to wear and change my mind pretty much every single time? Do I really love it?
There were a few things – vintage suits and dresses, cocktail dresses, a few things with sentimental value, and a few items I couldn’t make up my mind about – that I kept and put in the spare room “closet purgatory” along with out of season clothes. The rest went into a giant donate pile.
I then made a list of the general types of proportions that I wear (a concept I learned about at Into Mind’s Building a Capsule Wardrobe 101). For me, that looks something like:
- peplum top + pencil skirt or trousers
- knee-length dress (varying sleeve lengths, but usually sleeveless or 3/4 length) + sweater or jacket
- knee-length skirt + loose-fitting top or camisole + sweater or jacket
- fit and flare dress + cropped sweater
- trousers + loose-fitting top + sweater or jacket
- straight-leg jeans + loose fitting top, t-shirt or sweater
By reading the above, you probably guess correctly that I have a vintage-type style. The silhouettes that my hourglass to pear shape looks good in are late 40s to early 60s, so I adjust them a bit to make them a bit more modern and less costume-y.
Surprisingly enough, when I broke my clothes down into the above clothing types, I didn’t have any serious holes in my wardrobe. I do need to replace a couple of camisoles because the ones I have are starting to show wear. The one thing that’s been on my to-purchase list for several years has been a classic trench coat. I took a chance and ordered one online a few days ago since I wear mostly petite sizes, which are usually hard to find in stores. We’ll see how the fit works out!
The next step for me is putting together outfits, mainly for work. Yes I can put together a blouse and skirt in the half-dark of 7am, but to pick out a jacket, shoes and accessories that bring everything together and make me feel like a million dollars? That is not a task I perform well when I’m half asleep. The fact that we still get 90+ degree days into October means that layers are extra important during the early fall months. I haven’t decided how far I want to take this outfit building project, though. Do I lay outfits down and take pictures Polyvore style (the option my organization-loving self is attracted to, but the lazy part of myself is meh about)? Do I take pictures of myself as I happen upon an outfit I love? Do I just write a list down? Or just commit them to memory?
How would you go about outfit building with your clothes?