GOLDSIGN virtual high-rise jeans | made in the US
KAREN KANE draped top | made in the US, gift from Karen Kane, newer version
VINCE perforated sneakers | 20% off at azalea with code GRECHEN20
PROENZA SCHOULER ps1 satchel | purchased with credits earned from Forzieri
I mentioned yesterday that I haven’t applied the “KonMari” method to my clothes yet (mostly because I’m too scared…), but until I do, I will be trying to specifically think about “joy” when I choose and wear my clothes.
Mostly, I’m trying to decide what my range is – Do I actually feel joy about any of my clothes? or is contentment more likely? happiness? satisfaction? I think “joy” is rather extreme, and maybe the second highest “emotion,” after excitement one can feel with regard to their clothes. But honestly, I’m not expecting to feel “joy” when I touch all of my clothes. And that’s okay. It is enough to feel content, and happy with my clothes – and as Lori wrote in a comment yesterday, our clothing that plays a “supporting role” and is generally useful is as important as the pieces that spark joy or excitement.
Onto this top specifically: I’ve had it for a few years (it was a gift from Karen Kane to review) and I do love it, but when I wear it, I always wish it was a bit longer in the front. I wear it anyway, and won’t get rid of it (the shorter length makes it easier to tuck in when I so desire…) because it is GOOD ENOUGH, and I don’t want to replace it.
It’s subtle, but nowadays with drapey shirts like this, they ARE generally longer all around instead of just in the back, which feels more modern, and is more comfortable to wear. A few years ago, the hems were more “stacked” : longer in the back and shorter in the front; I had a lot of dresses like that – I called them mullet hems. And I got rid of all of them.
Anyway, this top is a keeper. I love it, and enjoy wearing it (is that joy?) even though it’s not exactly what I’d like right now. It’s good enough until I decide I’d like to replace it. IF I decide I’d like to replace it.
What do you think your range is? do you think you’d feel “joy” about most of your clothing? or is contentment enough?
Hmm, joy is like bliss or great pleasure and I think that’s a hard emotion to sustain in general life never mind a closet .. lol. I’m mostly satisfied with my clothing although .. I’m at a weight that makes me unhappy IN my clothes, but alas .. I’m almost free of my job and so will be able to exercise more .. 🙂
MonicaP´s last blog post ..Fringe Cardigan and a few accessories from Charming Charlie
I don’t think my clothes bring me “joy”. I like most of the clothes I wear and sometimes an article of clothing will make me feel happy, but do I feel joyful when I wear them? no. My dogs bring me joy, and maybe a piece of jewelry that has a lot of sentimental value to me, that might bring some joy b/c of the story behind it. With clothes though, it’s either I like it or I don’t or I’m just neutral about it. The happiness about a new piece of clothing wears off pretty quickly though.
Henny´s last blog post ..The Sunday Bulldog
I’m too picky to feel joy… Contentment, yes. I am content with most of the pieces in my closet. If not, out they go!
Ashley´s last blog post ..Denim Shirt Dress | Black Over the Knee Boots
Ok, you’ve read the KonMari book and I haven’t, but isn’t there something in there about finding joy in the more everyday, utilitarian objects? Which basically is what most of our day-to-day clothing needs to do for us. I interpret the “joy” feeling more as “does this object weigh me down or make me feel guilty?” But I probably need to read the book for myself before I say anything else. 😉
And, on another note, I don’t know why I have resisted buying the Vince sneakers for so long–I bought a pair of the Berlin black hair-calf sneakers on super-deep clearance from Piperlime, and they are PERFECT for me (though unfortunately a half size too big–so will be reselling since I can’t return them). But Gilt had the Bowen in black in a size 8 today and I scooped them up. They’re the perfect balance of modern and casual but not too casual and comfortable but not dowdy, and I anticipate wearing them constantly.
Grechen Reiter says
ha! see, i didn’t get that at all from her – in my opinion, she didn’t even really go into what “joy” means in terms of “things”. of course i could have just skimmed over that part…
i got the impression that she meant something stronger than just contentment – an emotional reaction somehow to things – which is what i struggle with. i think when i choose to buy something, i might have an emotional reaction to it, a stronger one, maybe heart-skipping-a-beat under certain circumstances, but over time, that wanes into just appreciation and gratitude.
i’m happy with just finding joy in everyday, utilitarian objects – insofar as they serve their purpose gallantly and without complaint 😉 but my impression of what kondo was saying was that she wanted you to fee MORE when you’re deciding what to keep in your life. you know?
anyway, yes, you should read the book so we can discuss it more. preferably in time for my book review on thursday 😉
Grechen Reiter says
haha! yes, i think i am too 🙂
She doesn’t address “joy” for utilitarian objects in her book, but I took a peek at that reddit that someone linked to in Grechen’s post from yesterday, and Marie basically said (don’t remember her exact words) that those utilitarian objects make our lives better and so we need to learn to recognize the “joy” they provide through that.
Anyway, I was glad to see she addressed that, because I could see people totally misinterpreting this concept of sparking joy to mean that they should donate/trash everything that wasn’t PERFECT (hehe Grechen the issue keeps coming back!), which would just be wasteful, bad for the environment, and bad for your mental health. My super old, unattractive can opener does not bring me “joy” but I guess it does always open the can effectively, which is more than I can say for many newer, fancier can openers I have been disappointed by. 😉 And I guess Marie would say I should appreciate its reliability and utility as something that makes me happy. 🙂
Yes–that’s probably where I saw that reference about utilitarian objects and joy. This is what happens when you read book reviews online instead of reading the actual book 😉
I’ve thought about the concept of my “things” bringing me joy, and how that would work for me, ever since I read your post about this project. I know that I felt beyond thrilled when the cashmere sweater I won on ebay arrived today and it was better than I ever expected it to be.
I mentioned the project idea to my husband today, and for emphasis, walked over to my “Shabby Chic” cupboard and picked up one of the etched glass goblets that had belonged to his mother. As I held it, I swear it put a smile on my face. Either that, or the fact that my husband was looking at me like I had 3 heads!
All I know is that we have too damned much stuff, and I don’t want to be ruled by it anymore!
I’m definitely in the satisfaction/contentment camp. I did read someone who translated Kondo’s joy as “resonate” and that worked a whole lot better for me. I also read a recommendation to be alert to when you break into a smile wearing something but for me that could mean only that I appreciate some aspects of the item and not necessarily that it speaks to my own style. So here again resonate works better for me. In the other direction, a book I read said to notice when you put something on and you are holding your breath – tense. That works well for me for awareness of what is foreign to me.
Yes, I definitely think it is an adjustment for western sensibilities to get the hang of sparking joy. It doesn’t seem to be about ‘me’ alone and my sole reaction to the object in terms of happiness or pleasure. There is something about letting it be its own thing, in its usefulness, beauty, etc, and the spark is about it resonating with me. That is why she speaks of things being dormant when we just stash them away. Weird, but a welcome stretch in my opinion.