Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Closet clean-out

I finally tackled my closet - well, the hanging clothes part at least. I might get to the stacked stuff later today if I have the energy. I tried to channel Stacy, Clinton and Tim* and be honest about what must go. Some people suggest that things not worn in the last year should go, but I'm not that brutal. However, most if not all, of the things I bought in the previous century went into the donation bags. I even parted with a few items I sewed, which was tough, but I had to be honest with myself that the Loes Hinse bouclé jacket was too big and the t-shirt with short kimono sleeves made out of lime green slinky just didn't look right on me. I also never wore and would never in the future wear the one piece wrap around silk blouse I made in a class I took a long time ago.

I removed, but will not permanently get rid of...just yet, a bunch of cute but just-a-bit-too-small blouses. They might be an incentive to lose some weight but I can't have them in my closet along side the few things that do fit. Nothing is worse than pulling out a blouse to wear in the morning and realizing that it's too tight. Actually there is something worse - wearing it out of the house and being uncomfortable and self-conscious the whole day!

Unfortunately now there's not much left in the closet that I'm excited about. You might think I now have a great excuse to go shopping. Actually I may have an even better excuse - I might be going back to work soon. That's one reason I wanted to do the purge, to see what I have to work with and what essentials I should focus on buying.

Tim Gunn has a list of 10 essential items he thinks every woman should have:
  1. Basic black dress
  2. Trench coat
  3. Dress pants
  4. Classic shirt
  5. Jeans
  6. Any occasion top
  7. Skirt
  8. Day dress
  9. Jacket
  10. Sweatsuit alternative
Looking at my wardrobe, I'd say that I have numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6, maybe 8, and probably 10. That's an ok start but I don't have anything in my closet that would be suitable for an important business meeting. Fortunately I probably won't have to dress up for work but I'd like to have some clothes that make me look professional.

As much as I'd like to be able to sew my wardrobe, I have to concede that it's just not possible. I'm too slow, for one. I also haven't had enough practice altering patterns to fit and that adds to my slowness. So I'm going to have to face the shopping mall or live with what I have. Last time I attempted a major clothes shopping trip, I got extremely frustrated. Everything seemed too-trendy, didn't fit, or I knew I could sew the same thing with fabric and patterns from my stash. Then I found Ann Taylor Loft and for the last few years it was a joy to shop. They had outfits at reasonable prices and the clothes fit. I must now emphasize that they WERE my favorite store. I stopped by there last Friday and was so disappointed that they've changed and, it seems, greatly reduced their inventory. I guess the latter is due to the economy and the former is an attempt to attract younger buyers. The few jackets they have are really short and adorned with ruffles, and their blouses are all about poofy sleeves and more ruffles. Maybe it's time I graduate to Ann Taylor (and not Loft), but gosh the prices at the Loft were so good!

Well, maybe I'll go tackle the mound of stacked sweater and tops. I know there are a few things that need to go and I'll probably find some things I've forgotten about.

*That would be Stacy and Clinton from TLC's What Not to Wear and Tim Gunn of Project Runway and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.


  1. I hear you - I was just at the Loft yesterday and thought the same thing. Blech.

    I've had decent luck at Ann Taylor in Gilroy as well as the j. jill outlet there.

  2. New job? Hope it works out for you!

    I haven't been to the Loft for a while. Thanks for the warning, now I won't be disappointed.

  3. I think a handsome and classy dressing gown belongs on that list, as well. Even if no one but the dog and the husband ever see one in it.