This almost equates to a black suit; I am wearing black ponte knit pants (Coldwater Creek) and a black ponte knit boyfriend jacket (J.Jill). Black shoes as well. No occasion, just felt like trying it this morning. Because I thought I was going to have to walk across campus, I am wearing black peep-toe Merrill slingbacks that are just this side of sneakers in terms of color but look much better.
The shell underneath is a Calvin Klein that I got at Marshalls. I particularly like it because it isn’t straight animal print; it has sections that are burgundy/oxblood red. The close-up picture without the jacket shows it better. The only problem with this top is the draped neck; while it doesn’t add a lot of weight/size, it doesn’t always drape quite right.
Jewelry is a silver Tiffany’s bracelet that my husband bought me just after we got married and a necklace with beads in a red that matches the top, made by my artist friend. One of the great things about having a friend who makes jewelry is that I can tell her “I need something to go with fill in bizarre pattern or color here” and she will make it for me, usually at a reasonable price.
Part of the reason I felt like wearing this today was due to cleaning out my closet in a big way on Sunday. Now don’t get me wrong; I still have a good amount of clothing. But I went through and got rid of anything that
- Didn’t fit my body in a way I was comfortable with. If I would look at it and put it back because I didn’t like the way it fit, it was toast.
- Didn’t feel nice; I got rid of a LOT of basic Tees because the cotton they were made out of just didn’t feel all that pleasant
- Were in colors that I just don’t wear (even if I can); for example I had chocolate brown and navy skirts that I never wear; I’m sure I could have come up with something, but after 3 years in the closet it’s time to let them go and focus on the things I do wear. For that matter, I got rid of BOTH pairs of khaki pants I had in there because I never wear them; if I want that aesthetic I wear olive green instead, so why keep the pants around?
- Stuff that had seen better days or where I had something similar in better shape
- Stuff that I had a LOT of duplicates of (where I kept the ones in the best shape); This was particularly the case in work pants, where I appear to have had (I am not joking) upwards of 15 pairs of 2 different cuts of black trousers. No one needs that many unless you are going to be COMPLETELY unimaginative and wear them every day, and even then that seems like a lot. I left myself with the best 2 pairs of each style and am planning to *gasp* add trousers in other colors soon.
- Stuff that is trendy but just not overly flattering on me; like skinny jeans. I kept 1 pair (coated and with a baroque-style pattern that you will see soon), but in general if I want to tuck something into boots it will be leggings, not jeans. I may buy a pair of colored jeggings for that look if I can find one that doesn’t make me hate my legs. But the collection I had was far too big for my lifestyle, generally in blah (and too light) washes, and just needed some living up.
- Cardigans in either colors or styles that just weren’t me. Some of them are very nice, but just not my look.
- Shoes that either weren’t comfortable, had lousy support, or that I just don’t ever pick out. I mean I had at least 2 pairs that I donated that had never been worn. Ever. But weren’t good enough brands for me to take the time to list them on ebay.
So, if you are plus-sized lady who thrifts in the phoenix metro area, I dropped off 8 garbage bags of clothing and shoes at my local Goodwill. Some of it was excellent quality stuff, but my time is too limited to photograph it all and list it on ebay. [If I were more entrepreneurial and could afford the drastic cut in pay, this area could use a consignment shop focused on plus-sized clothing. (If it already has one, they SUCK at marketing, since in the 11 years I’ve lived here I haven’t heard of it.)]
What I’m left with is a lot of stuff I love, some things that deserve one more chance, and some beloved basics approaching their replacement dates. (Specifically half of the black trousers and my standard “under a cardigan” black tee are both starting to pill and fade. The pants need replacing, and the tee probably could be re-dyed if I were willing to take the time.)
I also came away with a better idea of what I DON’T have
- Trousers in colors other than black. I have knit jeans in other neutralish colors that will pass in my office, but I was thinking that a nice pair or two in brighter colors (say red and purple) would make a great addition.
- A stripped t-shirt or shell; I have almost NOTHING with stripes, and have been liking some of the looks I’ve seen of late with them, so it’s time to go shopping.
- Dark purple tank/shell for under cardigans and such
- Burgundy/purple/dark red shoes for fall/winter
I also came away from the process with a clearer idea of my look. For example, all of the skirts I have that fall relatively straight ended up in the bin. What’s left are maxi-skirts and knee-length skirts, almost always with an A-line and some swing. The others leave me feeling frumpy.
There are a few things that may not be long for the closet; most of those are floral print tops. I’m not feeling that look right now; somehow it doesn’t look quite right to me. Of course my favorite summer tank dresses are floral prints (albeit in bolder colors like black and white or yellow and purple), so it might just be the colors on some of these tops. It may be that I need florals in BIG BOLD designs and highly contrasting colors. Not sure yet. But there are at least 3 that don’t fit that model that I’m not sure about.
And maybe that’s what this blog and this process is about; there IS a personal styled buried in my closet under all the stuff I bought because I got a great deal or thought I might wear it later. It’s getting uncovered.
In the meantime, people are noticing that I’m trying harder and commenting positively. Gotta love that.