Date Night

I thought I’d share some fancier date night looks with some wardrobe pets.  Because, well, any girl who loves clothes likes to dress up on occasion, too!  I’m not always in casual, running errands, looks 😉

The pieces:

[WHOOPS!  A scheduled post I forgot.  And since I have not worn that outfit out of the house yet (something came up) I have no pic of it to share.  Sincere apologies.  As you know, I won’t ‘prop’ up a shot just to post it here so I guess we are all going to have to wait until my date night happens and I put this on for it!  Hopefully this weekend, and I will update with a pic accordingly.  I blame the holiday lol.]

I instead wore a more casual version out for a bite to eat last night, very low key.  I will wear that great coat soon, though!  🙂

And a recent throwback date night look from last month, when BF and I celebrated 13 year anniversary of our fist date.  I did not get a pic with the jacket on.

The pieces:

The outfit:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a happy holiday and to share the outfit of the day.  I used to go all in with holiday theme dressing.  I think part of it was my working in a restaurant and wanting to share holiday cheer.  Kind of stuck with me.   Now I do a more subtle nod to seasonal colors and leave it at that 😉

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Off to my WBMIL (would be mother in law’s) and my BF’s best friend’s.  Both local.  No big travel for us.  Still struggling for the best lighting situation.  Good thing this blog isn’t all about my outfits!

Gobble gobble 😀

The Point . . .

Of counting how many items I own in every clothing category, and creating shopping plans, and taking pictures of what I wear – is not to obsess over my wardrobe.  The point is to wear what I have and buy what I will wear.  No more.  No less.

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Sign hanging in my closet.

I think of it similarly to grocery shopping.  When I hit the market, I don’t buy extra food I don’t need or won’t eat simply because it looks tasty!  The same should be said for our clothing.  Why buy it if we don’t need it and ultimately won’t use it?  Likewise, why tell myself I shouldn’t buy eggs this week if I know I eat one every morning?  Silly, right?  Well, some minimalist ideals can get this way when it comes to our closets.

Hopefully we grocery shop with a bit of a plan about what we’re going to do with the food.  We think in meals or recipes.  So should we when clothes shopping – think of outfits and ensembles and capsules.  Essentially, how am I going to use this ____ (skirt, flour, belt, eggplant).

For me, that is the whole point – wearing what I have already bought that is hanging there (or getting rid of it if it was truly a mistake) and trying to purchase wisely so that what I bring in new, I’m sure to wear.  The counting, the budget, all of it, is a means to an end.  This end – A closet full of clothes I actually wear.

One of those ‘must have’ list items

So, confession, I do own a select few of those traditional ’10 items every woman should own’.  VERY few.  A white button front being one of them.  And, no I don’t wear it much.  But when I do need it, I’m so glad it’s there.  Mainly I use it in my employment seeking capsule.

white button front

That said, it’s not the basic, boxy (what I think of as a Martha Stewart) shirt.  I got the Express Essential and sized down (I fall between 2 sizes) for a more tailored fit.  It has princess seams and skims right over the figure.  The open neck feels less conservative and constrictive to me, as well.  I topped it with a snakeskin jacquard blazer, coincidentally also by Express.  Weather was a rainy, wintry mix with plenty of wind, so the weatherproof Santana Canada riding boots came out.  Free People wine corduroys.

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No, I did not get the TJ Maxx job 😦  But I threw my hat in some other rings while I was out following up on it.  And I do have the banquets coming up next month.  That’s at least something.  I admit it’s hard getting rejected at midlife when I’m trying to switch my career path, but onward and upward.

I wear this shirt less than twice a year on average but it does fill a hole.  Do you have any ‘must have’ items that are not really your style but you need nonetheless?  Did you do your best to find your version of them?  Or just figure it’s a need and not a want, and not bother to try and find one that makes you at least a little happy?

Novelty and Variety

I was thinking about the HauteLook commercial where they intimate that shopping every day is a totally normal thing.  You know, go to the gym, have your coffee, sign on and order your day’s goodies.  Shopping every day?  It may not be so subtle, but that’s exactly what they’re telling us.  That not only is it okay, we should be doing it, too.  If not, we’re probably MISSING OUT!  Never mind that buying even just one item a week puts you over 50 items by the end of the year.  Let alone every day.

I admit to craving a certain level of variety and novelty in my wardrobe.  I’ve said before, a neutrals only or 10 item closet would not make me the least bit happy.  But I certainly don’t need something new every day.  Where did this drive for new, new, new come from?  Was it simply created by the advertisers?  Was it from watching Hollywood ‘it’ girls in the tabloid tv shows always having the newest trend on?  Slowly changing our ideas of what we should be wearing.  That if we show up for coffee with girlfriends in that same dress from last week it would be such a faux paus?

I wonder if we simply unplugged, or more accurately plugged IN to our actual lives instead of the virtual ones represented on our multiple screens, if that drive or desire would diminish proportionately.  You can bet when I’m hiking in the woods or camping for the weekend I’m not thinking about the next pair of boots I could have!  So is it a simple function of the marketed world around us, or is there something deeper that makes me, us, want new things?

This is one of my biggest personal struggles with wardrobe management.  How do I have enough novelty without too much consumption?  I’ve been seeking that balance for several years now.  I’m not there yet, although a lot closer.  In the end, is it solved by somehow turning off the need, the desire, the drive, deep within us and finding a way to be happy with what we have?

I have 6 weeks left in the year in which I should not be shopping.  I used up my budget early.  It would be good practice for me to see if I can find peace with my closet as it stands, imperfect, full of past seasons cold weather looks.  I am tossing things as I go, finding fits aren’t quite right, etc.  But I have plenty to actually keep me dressed and warm for the next several weeks.  True, I have no this season looks.  I bought clothing appropriate for the Florida weather all throughout this year.  Even last winter’s purchases would be deemed fall wear here in the mountains.

Yes, I will be buying winter items come January 1.  And it will be extra hard to ignore all the big holiday sales and advertising that goes along with them.  But maybe, just maybe, I will have settled a bit inside and not have that gnawing need for a pile of things that are so ‘now’.  Hopefully, a month and a half of wearing the older things will help illuminate just precisely where I need to upgrade and update.  Selectively figuring out a few new outfits for the season and integrating them.  Stay tuned!

Does your environment influence your shopping habits?  Do ads like HauteLook’s get your juices flowing?  Or do you view them as ridiculous ploys to get you to play the game?

Mountain town casual

Sticking with the theme of authenticity, these are quick snaps before running out the door.  No bothering with lipstick or styling my hair or whatnot.  Just me going about my daily life, doing the mundane things we all do 🙂  Yeah, I know, real to a fault.  Truth be told, it took me until my late 30’s to get behind the idea of sometimes wearing a bra with padding or push up.  I was that against the idea of somehow falsifying my image.  Maybe TMI there, huh?  At any rate, I’ve always been a what you see is what you get kind of gal.

I do realize better lighting would do us all a favor, despite my lack of wanting to ‘stage’ any shots.  Sorry about that.  I just don’t know a good alternative spot yet for quick shoot and go times.

These outfits were to go to the grocery and drug stores today, and to drop in for some final paperwork at my golf course job Friday. Not quite 50 degrees both days.  Not cold, but a chill in the air for sure.  I have no delusions that this is high fashion to anyone!  But there is a nod to trends.

Today’s look includes a resurgence of the grunge trend, in a buffalo plaid shirt.  I especially liked the zip back detail so I scooped this up a few months ago while still in FL heat, with an eye toward this fall in Tahoe.  I wore flannels a lot in the 80’s in high school and for just a moment when they were big in the 90’s.  Safe to say it’s been well over a decade since I’ve donned one.  But I’ve had fun with this one.

The boots are faux Uggs, which are a huge no no to a lot of fashionistas.  Well, spend some time in the mountains and you may change your tune.  Even though it’s not snowing this week, the pull on factor can’t be beat for quick errands like today.  I’d just finished an afternoon run and showered, needing a handful of things from town.  Yes, I ‘go to town’, as down-home as that sounds; I live kind of in the boonies.

The jeans are on the chopping block.  I got them second hand and thought they’d be great under boots in winter and as crops in summer, but the rise is just too low.  I measured today when I got back home and found them under 8″.  No wonder I have to yank on them all the time.  Next!

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The nod to trends here is the open weave sweater and the booties.  I love this shade of berry and when I found it in the open stitch design I had on my list, it was a go.  I happened to have a perfectly matching Target tank from years prior to layer underneath.  That’s the beauty of a defined color palette – a have a bevy of berry.

I can’t describe how indispensable these white jeans have been for me.  I hunted for months.  Returned plenty until I found ‘the one’.  Who cares about white after Labor Day silly rules??  Not me!

The booties were an eBay score and I was hesitant at first on the lilac.  I knew I wanted a lighter colored bootie and with the blues, greens, and berry colors I have in my closet they go just fine.  They don’t match, but they go.  Funny, these (and my duplicate pair in black) garner compliments when I least expect it.  My supervisor at the golf course said, “cool boots”.  And a random man in the checkout lane at Grocery Outlet complimented my black pair last week standing behind me in line, as did a hairdresser when I visited my friend in her salon.  I’ll take it!  Random compliments are the best.

So, I’m not breaking fashion boundaries here, but having fun getting dressed for the day to day life I lead, nonetheless.  Soon the snow will come, and keep coming, and the layers will follow.  Right now I’m enjoying the freedom of fall temps and the variety I can pull from my closet to match.

When favorites fade

I have been tossing things as I come across them since moving home recently.  I had a lot of cold weather clothing that made no sense for my time in Florida, and so they stayed packed away in the Tahoe closet for a good year.  I’m unearthing old treasures as I go.

And a lot of them are getting passed on.  Either the once fashionable snugger fit is feeling way too close now, or they’re not in as good a condition as I thought.  Some, it’s just that I’ve moved on from the styles gradually and didn’t really notice until a full 2 winter seasons had passed.  This is to be expected.  We evolve, and styles change subtly every year.

What I’m trying to fight is the urge to replace once favorite things with either a newer, ‘better’ version, or in some cases, trying to find a near exact replacement. eBay has made this possible more than ever in my lifetime.  It’s like trying to make lightning strike twice.  And rationally, I know it’s kind of chasing my tail and not moving me forward, but boy is it a hard urge to shake!

For instance, I had this tunic/dress from Express I loved.  LOVED.  And it shrank the very first wash.  I tried to keep it going.  Put it over pants instead of leggings.  No go.  Decided I needed to donate it after a few failed attempts at styling it.  And then I started searching.  Not actively hunting, but ‘just keeping an eye out’ for a similar item.  This has gone on for well over a year and a half!  I even have a similar dress in a shopping cart that’s been there for a couple of months now.  No lie.  http://www.swell.com/ProdImg.rsp?prodID=P00027VW  But I have not pulled the trigger.  I think that quiet little rational voice tells me it will end up feeling like a consolation prize, second best, runner up.  I’m better off just moving on, and enjoying the few times I got to wear the blue tunic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m running up against a handful of other items – a graphic tee that’s bodycon but I love the saying, a sweaterdress that’s much too snug now in the armpits – and my mind starts churning on how I can prolong the love affair. Cut out and sew the motto to a new, looser tee?  Buy that exact design all over again on a newer, modern fit tee? (It’s out there, I looked – of course).  Find a raglan sleeve sweater dress to take the place of the too snug one?  But should I?  When do you let go and move on?  Is wanting to replace favorites keeping us in the past or is it staying true to one’s style?  I don’t know.  It seems it’s so hard to find just the right ______ that when their time has come it’s so hard to just purge and be done.

Do you close the chapter on old favorites and gleefully look forward to what new things you can add to your wardrobe?  Or do you mourn the loss of old friends and start to scheme on ways to recreate the magic?  If so, has it worked out or is it an exercise in frustration?