When Cliches Are True!

We women of style and taste have been reading for years that an edited closet makes dressing easier. Yeah, yeah, yawn.

Well, life has gotten very interesting around here lately (“interesting” in that sense of “I curse you with an interesting life!”). We are moving house, that’s a happy and hectic thing. We’ve just had a big family wedding, moved my mother into Assisted Living, and are trying to sell her condo via a short sale. And etc. You have similar lives.

I don’t have time to get creative in the morning over my style. I have to get up and go. Over the last eight months or so, (see this and this post, e.g.) I’ve been paring the closet and adding just a few key things that truly are making life simpler. It works!

Every work-day last week, for example, I wore a black or navy long sleeved tee with a full or pencil skirt, tights and boots/booties. I have several nice leather belts that pull the look together, and a simple cardigan makes the topper piece. I added a scarf two days, and pretty earrings the others. I feel stylish and current and stress-free, at least as far as my wardrobe goes.

Fall Uniform
 This is close to what I’ve been wearing . . . frequently.
I don’t own those Rockport booties, but aren’t they fab?

When life calms down, will I get bored with my streamlined closet? Maybe. But I think I will keep loving it, and just add a few new pieces per season, like those vaunted French dames. New-to-me shoes, scarves and other accessories are always welcome, to stave off tedium.

How’s your tolerance for wardrobe boredom? Do you require an infusion of new, or recycle from the back of the closet, or re-fashion with your DIY skills? Or do you simply toss on a different scarf, a new lipstick, and call it a day? No wrong answers, of course! We all have our ways.

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  1. Patti, such a good post. A real pleasure to read.

    I am always trying to keep my wardrobe as much as a capsule as possible, so where most things go with each other, and any more bonkers patterns/colours still have plenty of possibilities. Also that I have tried-and-tested outfits, particularly for work, so when things get hectic I can reach for them and not have to think in the morning. In fact, not having to think in the morning is my main wish.

  2. Your question Patti hits home with me lately.After having so much interest in style matters I finally grounded a style for me tttthat feels mine and suddenly I lost all interest in experimenting and putting outfits together.I have my wardrobe paired down and I just pick something from the clothes I own and love it.
    This way my interest shifted to crochet and knitting will follow. And although now I make simple decoration things I know that I will soon start crocheting something to wear so my interest will be renewed.

  3. I need to force myself to buy basics (like plain long sleeved tops) to make the rest of my clothes wearable! It's so handy when I've got tops, tights etc to layer over…

    I do tend to have a repetoire of work looks, but the weather changes so much in England that my clothing needs to change day to day and week to week to accomodate. Plus having layers in case the heating isn't working at work or it's working too well!

    I do try to be reasonably frugal, not buy too much and make sure I wear things regularly. I've got a few things at the moment that I'm not wearing that I really should bring myself to throw out. If it's not right for some reason (not my style, the wrong size), then I just don't wear it and it takes up valuable wardrobe space.


  4. After years as a wardrobe consultant, I've realized I cannot always practice what I preach. I have a set list of "must-have" items then recommend building on that. But sometimes, you just have to go with your gut and and keep that unusual piece that makes no sense yet speaks to you. I get bored very quickly, which is why I always recommend spicing up with accessories -a little easier on the budget! ūüėȬ† ~Sarah

  5. The scarf above is gorgeous! That would be a great addition to my wardrobe. My closet is so limited that there isn't room for too many items. I would love to have a huge wardrobe of course, but then with fewer items I'll need to buy new more often – and I like new too!

  6. Best of luck with the move! I find I'm terrible at streamlining my closet, I just find wearing basics gets too dull and crave the variety!
    If you get to the point where you need a little escapism do come join me on my blog as I'm just back from Paris and have put my first batch of parisian photographs up!


  7. I like the challenge of keeping things streamlined but interesting.  Once in awhile I will buy something to add to my wardrobe that I read was a 'must have" and then a few weeks later, realize I haven't worn it because it is not truly me, what I am comfortable in.  So, I have been trying to shop my closet and come up with different outfits or combinations with what I have.  

    Hope all goes smoothly with your move!  Will we be seeing any photos of your new place?

  8. Ooo, cool belt! I have a low-boredom-tolerance, and have mostly slowly accumulated tons of clothes over the years Рall of which I still like and would wear. That said, when life gets hectic, tend to repeat my go-to outfits, which might have quite a lot of variation between them, but I lack the time and energy for the fun of remixing, and the ability to tolerate possible discomfort or even much newness, it's the old favourites all the way. 

    These days, I'm excited about all the new ways I'm finding to enjoy what I already have. 

    Hope things for you are going as smoothly as they can! 

  9. I get bored with my clothes very fast, this is why i buy all the time and i might have a problem too! But i have so much that i do not know what to wear anymore, but i still manage in the morning – But i have made a decision¬† i will slow down on clothes buying, well…. i want a pair of pink docs, that might my last big purchase or i shall convinced Mr D to get it for me at X-mas!

    In conclusion, i should pair¬†my outfits in advance¬†with what i have now in my closet –¬†it would make my life easier


  10. Patti-great post!! I've found I get overwhelmed by too many choices. I've been editing was just isn't 100% perfect FOR ME!!! Almost everything is new to me this fall as everything i wore this time last year became way too big and was purged.

  11. I think I literally woke up shortly after my mother passed away and recognized that although I did a great job caring for her and my family that I had totally forgotten to take care of me….I think I focused on fashion and went a little overboard for 3 years… Now I am dwindling that down and am loving shopping my closet.. then again I have found a thrifting friend and the clothes are so inexpensive…Trying to find a happy medium, but expect that won't be easy until I get down to my goal weight…

  12. Dearest Patti,
    It depends on work load, weather and mood… Of course ideal is to have a winter and summer wardrobe closet but when do we ever manage to sort out things for ready grabs? I did do that after I've been paralyzed, also tossing out all size 6 as it was too wide. But frankly, it is not as neat anymore and when we have guests staying I make room for there items and things get mixed in again. Why would we create paradise on earth? After all, we love to wear certain pieces over and over again and others remain more in the closet…¬†
    Hugs to you,

  13. I have been trying to streamline my closet for a while now Рmy husband said I look best in corporate, tailored wear, and unfortunately he is right!  But I love the boho look as well, and wearing vintage everyday and being surrounded by it doesn't lend itself to simplifying!

  14. I love your closet, and those booties would complete me, I'm almost sure. I think I must have some kind of defined style, usually a pencil skirt or sheath, and one piece of bling. My closet has been edited greatly these days simply by size. I do think it's both helpful Рand sometimes boring. 

  15. This reminds me that its time for me to retry something I learned from Kyla's blog at Blue Collar Catwalk.  I was flabbergasted when I first read about her wearing the same thing for a whole week.  Then I realized she was taking one piece and then just mixing and remixing it until she found exactly what worked.  No one around her noticed the repeat anyway.  And she was offering me a way to overcome my short attention span/memory with this stuff!  

    Historically, I would get a new piece – try it with something with limited satisfaction – arrive home from work and throw the whole mess into the laundry pile. ¬†A week or two later I would try again – realize halfway through the workday that I was having a repeat unsatisfactory experience – wish I would have remembered this morning that I really wanted to try these pants with boots and a longer blouse, etc. ¬† Then at the end of the day……wash, rinse, repeat! ¬†

    By trying it the way Kyla does it, I was able to refine, refine, refine and then remember for the future the option that made me happy.         It also helped me rethink how much I was just washing my clothes to death.  I think I wanted to punish them!  They were sent to time out until they agreed to better behavior.    

  16. Like Suzanne I have a bad case of instant gratification syndrome and I want *new-new-new* all the time. I'm getting better about it now that I'm working with remixing and editing, but sometimes I still go to the thrift store and come home with pieces that don't work for me.

    I think my New Year's Resolution is going to be going cold turkey for 2013 and only wearing what I have no matter how much I think I need X or Y to make the perfect outfit.

  17. Some weeks I am excited to try new looks and really put effort into my outfit. Other weeks, I keep things simple with not much effort but still try to look presentable. 
    Last week, I wore pretty much the same outfit for three days straight…ankle length olive green pants, black oxfords and some type of black top or sweater with a scarf. It was cold out and as soon as I came home I changed into cozy lounge wear so my pants remained clean and neat. I found an outfit I liked early on in the week and just went with that for three days! ¬†

  18. In theory I am all in favour of the well-edited wardrobe, and I truly am working on it, because there are clothes I have and love that I don't wear as much as I'd like. But it's all too easy for me to keep finding things I "need" for this still-evolving edited wardrobe I, er, don't have yet.

    I find your posts on this topic really quite inspiring, and appreciate them a lot.

  19. Love this thought.  Timely for me as I just married.  We are blending families and combining homes.  Lots of STUFF!  xoxo Lynn

  20. Its funny you should write this post…the last two days I have been very frustrated with my closet and bored, bored, bored. ¬†But, I think what I am really feeling underneath is frustration with my slow weight loss. ¬†I do so much better when I just choose to be content with me and the closet!

  21. I probably couldn't manage with just my current wardrobe even though it's definitely extensive.  I don't shop because I'm bored with my current clothes, I shop because there is so much great stuff out there that I want to add.  I wish I weren't like that and I have become more discerning since my Nosh Opping Expedition (I've turned down several black skirts) but I doubt I'll ever just stick to a small wardrobe.

  22. Excellent! I love how you can reach in and pull out something wonderful without have to think too much because you've honed your pieces down to your favourites, especially when you have workplace style to work around as well. I can definitely see the benefits (and relief!). I look forward to seeing what else you add. I am heading for a cull myself – no more room!

  23. As much as I'd love to say I'm happy with just shopping in my closet I'm not very good at sticking to that theory. I have a bad case of instant gratification syndrome which I desperately need to break. Also as an artist I tend to get bored quickly.
    I love the look you have above. Chic and current. 


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