Bailey 44 Dress via Anthropologie (in size L on ebay, and here’s a “current” version at Anthro) | OMG. so WEIRD!!! here I am wearing it 9/19/2012 just with different shoes. I swear, I didn’t plan it 🙂
Robert Clergerie platform shoes | nearly 8 years old, and still amazing if I may say so…
Balenciaga city bag | secondhand from MOSS designer consignment, here’s a new one in a similar color at Barney’s (mine seems brighter, but this color is very close)
I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my shopping habits: spending too much money and trying to find a balance between buying all the new things I want, and wearing what I already own. What I already own won. I spent most of the days Monday and Tuesday going through my closet to see what I could sell/get rid of and was really startled to discover how small my pile of stuff to get rid of was. Now that I have the body I want, all of the clothes I’ve purchased over the years (which I’ve loved) fit me the way they should. Granted, some things are too big, like jeans, but most of my t-shirts, sweaters, cardigans, etc., still fit okay, at least for layering purposes, and I’m going to keep them.
I have some AMAZING sh*t in my wardrobe. I think I’ve been caught up in that pattern I’ve been in for many years of buying things to fit my body and try to make it look good, when I was NEVER happy with it. Then, once I lost most of the weight I wanted to, I bought EVERYTHING that fit! I would try something on, it looked good, I bought it – whether I needed it or not. Mostly not. I have bought some great pieces the last few years, but I didn’t necessarily realize it until now, because now, they actually FIT. Also I’m becoming more comfortable with my body – and with WHO I AM.
Speaking of WHO I AM. I AM NOT that girl who can wear pattern and color. I’m just not, and it’s okay. I can be Neutral Girl and just add in some pops of color here and there (yellow, orange, burgundy are my preferred colors). It’s time now for me to stop struggling with that and move on. I will always try colors and patterns (like I did with the 3.1 Philip Lim target collection), but it’s okay if I don’t end up keeping and wearing them. I tried the patterns, and I KNOW I looked great in them, but when I looked in the mirror, there was still something “off” about seeing me there, wearing a pattern. Who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll think differently, but for right now, I need to be okay with NOT wearing a lot of patterns and color.
I need to be okay with being me. I’m getting closer, and believe me, I still struggle a lot with FOMO, and not being where “I thought I was going to be” at 40. But something I read, maybe in Oprah magazine, told me to embrace my “onlyness” – that which makes ME unique and my position in the universe special. I am a 40-year professional blogger, married without kids. And that’s okay. (LOL, I make it sound so horrible! it’s not…)
Anyway, this was a long way around to say that basically I’m going to be wearing mostly stuff I already own for a while – like my outfit today. I’m actually quite impressed with my ability to buy things that stand the test of time, like these Robert Clergerie shoes. I know they’re not everyone’s style, but the moment I saw them, I knew they were mine and would serve me well for many years, so I bought them. It’s a damn good thing I can still wear them, given how much they cost, even 7 years ago…
Since I’ve done this closet exercise, I know exactly what I do need to fill some gaps in my wardrobe (burgundy loafers, fitted military jacket, dark wash skinny jeans, structured bag – but more on that in a separate post!) and will be buying accordingly. I’d like to get to the point where I’m only acquiring 2-3 new pieces a season, and definitely ONLY special pieces, because I sure don’t need anymore basics!!!
It’s going to be very hard, because I WANT everything – well, a lot, anyway – which is basically why I started Grechen’s Closet in the first place; as an outlet for my shopping addiction. It’s an interesting conundrum I have now though, isn’t it? I’ve created this “job” that’s fueled by a passion for shopping, but I don’t want to shop anymore. Not entirely true, I LOVE to shop, I just have to know better what to say NO to. And get over the desire to have NEW all the time. Of all the things I’ve done/been through in my life, that certainly can’t be the HARDEST THING EVER, right?
How do you balance wanting new and loving what you already have? do you struggle with it like I do? What’s the oldest thing in your closet?
This is a constant struggle for me, although in the past year I finally feel like I’ve gotten a better handle on “my style” and what I want to wear, and am able to make some better choices. I have the opposite problem of hoarding–I’m probably a little too quick to get rid of some things that I should hang on to. I have realized that I tend to create a new capsule wardrobe each season (or every couple of months), and that if I hang onto certain things that fit my “core” style, they will get cycled back in eventually, even if I’m not wearing them right then. So I’m putting them in the other closet for a bit rather than donating or selling right away.
Another thing I’ve been trying lately is to wait a little while before I start wearing something new–I let it sit in my closet and organically work it in.
BTW, if you’re looking for dark wash skinny jeans, the AG Middi’s are FANTASTIC. I used to love the Joe’s Jeans The Skinny, but these are even better, IMHO.
This is a great post – being able to reject things that might objectively look great on you but don’t look great ‘to’ you is part of what lets you know you have an enduring personal style. The way that a tomboy might reject a frilly but gorgeous dress as not-her.
What is ‘FOMO’?
FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out
Grechen Reiter says
i have the same problem of getting rid of things too quickly – bags especially – so it’s funny you mention that. this time, i seem to have the same problem. like, i should get rid of half of my white t-shirts, because WHO NEED 20 white t-shirts???? but i can’t. i feel like they’re each a little different 🙂
i like the AGs, but i generally prefer more cotton – like 98% – i had the AG legging jeans that seem to be similar to the AGs, and hated them because they stretched out so much. do these stretch out a lot?
Oh, I definitely struggle with the battle of wanting lots of shiny new things and loving what I already have. The struggle has only recently gotten a tiny bit easier when I think about all the stuff that I’ve bought over the years that have gotten little wear or that I’ve given away. That’s money I feel like I threw away unneccesarily and that just makes me sad (and sometimes mad) when I really think about it. So when I think about what I want to add to my closet these days I try to work off a list of wardrobe needs that I create at the beginning of the season and if it isn’t a need then whatever I’m buying must give me the warm fuzzies when I put it on. It’s not completely fail-proof but if I love it right off the bat, then that means I’m thinking about it and actually want to wear it and I’m trying to get that out of the majority of my closet.
We are all a work in progress! 🙂 I love that you are embracing your “onlyness”! Leave it to Oprah to come up with something like that to make you think about your life and existence.
I’m racking my brain trying to think of what my oldest item might be. I’m not 100% sure but it’s either one of my bags or a pair of pink velvet Marc Jacobs pumps that I bought from Neiman Marcus that I probably shouldn’t have at the time, lol. I believe I bought them around 2006. I don’t wear them that often because I’m anti-heels these days, but they are too cute to ever give up. They make me happy!
Grechen Reiter says
sorry. i hate that i’m now that person who uses acronyms willy nilly 🙂
and thanks jen for clarifying!
farha bano says
I think only in the last 3 years have I found any balance. I have shopaholic tendencies and am really trying to buy less but focus on my buying things I only love and getting rid of things if I haven’t worn them at all in a year. I am pulling out my boots right now and realizing I don’t need new boots because I bought swedishhasbeen clog boots and wedge boots last year, Faryll Robin wedge boots the year before, and tall Stuart Weitzmans the year before…. But I am already lusting after the new 50/50 StuartWeitzman tall boots…. I am trying to remind myself, I don’t need boots!
Grechen Reiter says
LOL. i curse oprah radio on XM every afternoon when i’m running errands, i CAN’T GET OUT OF THE CAR!!! i get stuck in there listening to whatever is on.
but she’s always right 🙂
i feel like there’s something to be said for having things you love though – even if you don’t wear them anymore. although i think i might have gotten rid of most of the things i love and don’t wear. hmmmm…..i don’t know. there’s a fine line.
une femme says
I’ve just gone through a period of acquisition, and like you am settling back into what feels right for me (neutrals, solids mostly, knits, jeans). I think I’ll always love shopping, but am trying to shop more the way I visit museums…to admire not to acquire. I’ve accepted that every now and then I get the urge to experiment a bit with different silhouettes or colors, but am learning not to try and revamp my wardrobe based upon a “phase” or the colors that I “should” wear.
I find that I’m either in periods of buying investment pieces, or in periods of buying low cost basics.
Having just come off a spate of Prada, Dries van Noten, Lela Rose, et. alia, I’m expecting to learn my way around UNIQLO and Old Navy now:).
Thank you! I’ve read that a number of places and didn’t want to ask.
I’ve bought too much trying to fill that “something” that I haven’t found in my life. I have a terrific husband, wonderful daughters, a new baby granddaughter, and finally, health and a job again. But I find myself returning time and time again to BUY my way into something perfect. When I know that “perfect” doesn’t exist! I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the oldest piece in my closet(s) is. That would mean that I’d have to know what’s really in there to start with. I almost ordered a navy v-neck from J Crew, just because it was on-sale, and then I stopped myself, and thought, “I know that I have one. I just don’t know where it is!” Now that’s a problem. I think I know what I’m doing tomorrow. Thanks for getting me to THINK, Grechen. You’re MY Oprah!!! 😉
Grechen Reiter says
i am doing that too…i like how you said it : trying to buy our way to something perfect. which will never happen, 1. because perfect doesn’t exist, and 2. even if it did, you couldn’t buy your way into it!
so the key is trying to figure out what that “something” is that we feel like we’re missing. then – theoretically – we will stop trying to buy substitutes…
No idea as to how they will hold up in the stretching out department–I just bought mine on pre-sale at Macy’s and haven’t worn them yet. They are “high-waisted” (i.e., normal jean height without being Mom jeans) and I found them really flattering (they hold in the stomach without feeling squeezed).
Grechen Reiter says
i’ll see if i can find them to try on here..unfortunately, not a lot of places around here carry AG, or a very wide selection 🙁
That’s why I pay the shrink! 😉 I’ll tell you if I ever figure it out.
Grechen Reiter says
haha! i know…i need a new one, i wasn’t crazy about the one i had when i moved…
I’ve been forced to control my buying habit, due to a sudden, extended drop in income. Now, I so regret all the money I wasted by trying to buy “perfect”. I still do regress and I have a couple things hanging in my closet with tags, I’m going to leave them there for awhile as a daily reminder to STOP & think before I buy. Its good to have the extra closet for those things you love, but aren’t wearing now. I’ve found they do eventually get resurrected.