James Perse sweatpants | size 2
Everlane ryan tank | medium
James Perse vintage fleece sweatshirt | size 2
Birkenstock Arizona sandals
3.1 Phillip Lim large Ryder Satchel
I was browsing through Janice’s blog the other day and stumbled upon this post: Do you actually WEAR your favorite clothes? I ask myself that question all the time, and have addressed it once or twice here; how I don’t wear some of my favorite pieces because I’m afraid I’ll “ruin” them, or wear them out by, well, wearing them out.
The hard truth for me is that my lifestyle, my life in general, is so very casual that I don’t even have to “get dressed” most days.
Obviously, I have everything I need for my life – which is working at home, in my office most days. Lately, I’ve been working a lot, sometimes not even leaving the house except for a walk outside, or to go to Pure Barre. Yesterday, I went to Sephora and Whole Foods, and this is what I wore.
I do get dressed every day; I never get up and stay in my pajamas. Most of the time it’s a dress (like this Lanston boyfriend one I have in gray that I’ve been wearing at home), or sweatpants and a t-shirt. If I’m going to THE MALL, or out shopping, I’ll wear something interesting, and use that as an opportunity to “dress up,” but I haven’t been doing a lot of that lately, because I’m trying to avoid temptation as much as possible, focusing on what I have, and enjoying being at home, working and learning more.
What you see is what you get here, it always has been, but sometimes I’ll admit, I “dress up” a bit more because I’m going to be taking a photo of my outfit than I normally would. Everything I photograph I’m actually wearing, but if I wasn’t photographing it, I probably would just be wearing what you see here. Not all the time; because I do use going out – yes, even to Costco – as an opportunity to get dressed, and wear what I feel like, no matter how out of place I might feel in a sea of running shorts, flip flops and leggings.
So what is it that bothers me? Lots of things, really, but mostly it’s that I have SO MUCH, that I can’t possibly wear it all. This morning as I was getting ready for Pure Barre, I was looking for a long sleeve top to wear over my tank & leggings, and just randomly pulled out this James Perse top. I put it on and sighed loudly because I love it SO MUCH. It’s a beautiful t-shirt, so flattering, and really just wonderful – I love the way it looks on me. But I haven’t worn it. Well, I did wear it twice, once in San Francisco, and once at home, and I’ve had it for a couple months. I didn’t wear it to Pure Barre because I feel like it’s too special for that, and I didn’t want to get it sweaty by putting it on afterwards.
Here’s the thing – sometimes I treat my clothing, shoes, bags, whatever I love, as pieces to own, and look at, and admire, instead of things to be WORN; sort of like they’re art, or too special for my casual lifestyle. Which is interesting, because I buy things that feel special to me, but that I also know I can WEAR, that are high quality, and that I will have for a long time.
What’s the big deal then? My struggle is with having things I don’t wear. I get very frustrated with myself for having so much, and not wearing it. So…
What will I do about it?
1. As Janice posits,
what’s the worst thing that can happen if I DO wear my favorite pieces more often? I’m the best dressed person at Costco? So what? Does anyone even notice? I get dressed for myself.
2. Stop buying new things so I can wear and enjoy what I already have
3. Wear the things I love more often – I’m going to have to work harder at this; separating out the things I love but don’t wear, and making myself wear them. A challenge. You know how I love those…
4. Don’t beat myself up about it –
I have to learn to be okay with NOT wearing everything I have a million times or feeling like I’ve failed somehow.
Ultimately, I WILL find a balance between my love of shopping and my desire for an EXTREMELY well-curated and minimal wardrobe. It will probably take many more years, and quite a lot of discipline, but I will get there. It’s important to me. I no longer want to feel overwhelmed when I look in my closet by all the beautiful things I own and don’t wear. I know…first world problems…and that makes me feel guilty too, but all this stuff is stifling me, honestly. I want the freedom that comes from simplicity. I crave that.
This certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t keep shopping, or writing about shopping and getting dressed – I love it too much – but I will be much more careful about what I add and why.
Do you wear most of your clothes? Do you wear your favorite clothes? Is your lifestyle such that you have a lot of things in your closet you love but don’t wear? how do you reconcile that?
At the risk of sounding lame (not that it’s ever stopped me from commenting before! 🙂 ), I totally agree with all your points. As I continue to pare down my closet, I’m keeping my favourites and getting rid of things I don’t love. I wear a lot of my favourites, but it’s hard because where I live, half my closet is unwearable for half the year. Maybe that makes me love them and wear them more, because I know I can only wear each thing for about six months of the year. As for my lifestyle, I work at home, too, and it’s been hard to realize that I don’t need that many fancy clothes. Just a few smart pieces for client meetings and going out to dinner, etc. I’m getting over my fear of wearing out my favourite things by realizing that now that shopping opportunities have expanded greatly because of the Internet, if there’s something I really want, I can probably get it somewhere in the world, though at a price. And I hand wash a lot of things and air-dry them, so I take good care of my clothes to make them last. I think you do, too.
I know you’ll get the wardrobe you love, because you’ve shown with your eating and exercise regime that you have the determination and drive to get it done. You can do it!!
(Love that outfit, BTW. I think your new hairdo is a great accessory.)
I noticed I have a lot of multiples in my wardrobe. 6 Denim shirts, 5 denim jackets, 8 breton stripe shirts, 4 pairs of dark wash skinny jeans, a whole drawer full of various black, heather grey and white tee shirts. I try to buy for my lifestyle these days. But do I wear my favorite clothes all the time? It probably depends on what you call “favorite” like favorite, like “Oh, that’s the prettiest dress I own” or “that’s the pair of pants i wear 4 times a week.”
If it is the latter, then yeah, I wear my favorite clothes to pieces! Literally.
Jennine´s last blog post ..Handbag Roll Call: My 5 Favorite Bags This Summer
Oh, I’m a terrible “saver” .. so much so that .. some stuff just goes out of style .. especially suit jackets. Then off to the Good Will it goes.
I have stuff in my closet that still has tags on it from last year .. lol.
MonicaP´s last blog post ..Shopping at Mitsuwa in San Diego
Can you see the redness of “guilt recognition” creeping up my neck? This hit home for me in a BIG way. But then again, you have a knack for that, Grechen.
I probably wear less than a tenth of what’s in my closet. It’s gotten so bad, so overwhelming, that I realize I sometimes buy doubles because I forget what I already have. Now THAT’S excess! And that is so antithetical to my personal beliefs. Talk about feeling inauthentic!
I used to tease my mom about the old tees and stained sweatshirts she’d wear around the house everyday, but I have my own issues with not wearing what I own.
I’ve started to sort things as I’m able with the pain in my lower back, but I honestly can’t wait to be healthy enough to PURGE my wardrobe!
As usual, thanks for being inspiring and making me think. ????
Grechen Reiter says
have you ever read the recovering shopaholic blog? http://recoveringshopaholic.com/ – it was mentioned here a while ago when i did that blogs we read post, and i’ve been checking in frequently. today a guest poster mentions the 333 project. i think i will try it…
Grechen Reiter says
thanks, i’m starting to get used to shorter hair again, and i love it 🙂
I’m pretty thankful that i can wear most of my clothes all year; except for the heavier cashmere…
i do put away a lot of my very summer-y dresses, but even then, i can wear them if i want to in the winter with a heavy sweater. i don’t know what i would do if i really had to separate out my wardrobe!!
Grechen Reiter says
that is a good point. i think really, all of my clothes are “my favorites” – and since i have so many, i never get a chance to wear them “out”…
sheesh. i just have too much for my lifestyle…
Janice talks a lot about Project 333 on her blog, if you haven’t checked out those archived posts already. The idea intrigues me but I don’t have the discipline. 🙂
Laurel´s last blog post ..Groovy gear: Rag & Bone x Holt Renfrew tote
I have! I read about her blog here, so I thank you for that. And I think several of your readers have mentioned get blog before. It IS helpful!
Be kinder to yourself and try to release the worry. You are the work of art. Or as a favorite character in the PBS show Mr. Selfridge says: “its not the dress–it’s the woman in the dress.”
That said, wear your lovely things out in the life you are living now. The money is spent and you are worth it. If they don’t fit your life, invest in gorgeous, high performance workout wear rather than another dress. Repetto, the famous French maker of fine ballerina flats, got its start and still is a high end maker of workout wear for real ballerinas. They also make some of the loveliest dance inspired clothing and shoes. Here’s a link: http://www.repetto.com
When you work at home, you can wear what you like. Feel special. Treat yourself to fine things that suit the life you live.
Grechen Reiter says
thanks amy – going to have to watch that show now, it’s been recording, but i haven’t had the time to watch it!
funny you mention repetto – i own 4 pairs of repetto flats, and have written about the brand a lot here – including the clothing! it’s one of my favorite brands…
of course you’re right about everything – i just have to “see” it and remember it!!
I wear all of my faves, because life is too short. Even though I take care of my clothes, I know that eventually they’ll get worn out. I try to rotate my wardrobe, too. Val, you always have a way of making me smile, thanks!
Thanks, RJS! I can be pretty hard on myself, do that was nice!????
Marina miouprincess says
I have clothes with the price tags still on and sometimes it’s items I bought months ago. This happens with “dressier” items because I like dressing casual and sporty most of the time. I feel guilty about not wearing them but I just love buying beautiful clothes! Can’t resist!!! 🙂
Marina miouprincess´s last blog post ..NOTD: Essie “Fashion Playground”