Thursday, May 16, 2013

Capsule Wardrobe Project 333 Failure of the week, and the best advice I didn't take

Christian Boltanski and his installation "No Man's Land" - learn more here.
Every  wardrobe advice writer in the world will remind you that you should try on ALL of your clothes on a regular basis.  It seems obvious - your body changes, the clothes can change, and the way your body feels in the clothes (an elusive concept, but you know what I mean) can change more than anything.  But I, in a moment of reckless confidence, decided that I could just roll with last summer's clothes -it was only a few months ago - without trying things on.

AND... my striped tee shirt is terrible. It just feels short and tight and awkward - I will never wear it...

Okay, so this isn't a tragic problem. I donated the offending tee shirt, and I found a wonderful replacement at Eileen Fisher which I'm going to love wearing.

But what if I'd realized my error when I was out of town?  When I was getting dressed for a meeting? or a date? or something important?  Scurrying around trying on multiple outfits is not elegant, and it gets your day off to a frazzled start that doesn't bode well for your serenity through the rest of the day.

So just try things on, okay?  Every few months or so.  Just to be sure.  Best case: you get to try on clothes that fit you perfectly, and that you love.  Worst case: you realize that something needs to be donated, and you start planning for a replacement.

20 comments:

  1. You gave me a nice chuckle to start the morning wondering what kind of calamity might have befallen you. :))
    I think this 'what if' thinking is the reason I've overpacked so many times, but it sure becomes less of a problem when the wardrobe is well curated. Enjoy your new EF purchase. I treated myself to the grey slacks you featured the other day. Yes, I know no shopping and all that, but the price was good, I have lost some weight,etc.etc. Your blog continues to be informative and a lot fun. Thanks.

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  2. When I'm packing is when I •do• try on everything first, especially if not going to a place where I can easily pick something up. The thing I'm noticing is how many women carry a heavy, dark winter bag in spring/summer... that just kills the clothes for me, even if they are pretty.

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  3. Would you show us your new Eileen Fisher t-shirt via a link? I wear a fair amount of EF and would love to see what you chose.

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    1. I would love to, but I can't FIND it anywhere, now. It's 3/4 sleeve, in light grey and charcoal stripes - and it's REVERSIBLE to solid charcoal. I'm not sure I'll ever wear it reversed, but the knowledge that it's so well constructed that I could turn it inside out is reassuring!

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    2. I've never seen a reversible EF top! I have one of her light linen light gray and white striped tops (long sleeved) that I need to wear more. It's boxy and you also have to wear a tank top under it as it is a bit sheer.

      I also have a new EF scarf-light gray and charcoal stripes as you describe-reversing to sold charcoal. I think I am really going to enjoy it. I am imagining your top is that fabric? But, what shape? Boxy? Flowing? Uneven hemline?

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    3. It's a boxy cut, but the fabric is very soft and it hangs very close to my body. That's the hardest thing with her clothes - they'll look like an absolute tent on the hanger, but in fact be tremendously flattering when you get them on.

      I know that she made a reversible sweater earlier this season; it was grey and white wide stripes on one side, and grey and white narrower stripes on the other side. I procrastinated to the point that I missed that one...

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    4. Here's a link to my scarf: http://www.eileenfisher.com/EileenFisher/collection/ShopByCategory/Accessories/ScarvesandWraps/PRD_S3SMD-A0617M/Kerchief+in+Striped+Micromodal+Doubleknit.jsp?bmLocale=en_US

      Is this the fabric of your top? It says that it reverses to a melange--but it appears solid charcoal to me. The fabric feels like cotton, but could be a blend.

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    5. I'm sure it is - the color is a subtle melange of shades of grey. It photographs pretty solid, but it has some depth in person.

      Ooooh....I do NOT need a scarf...

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    6. I did find your top by doing a google search--but it was from the EF website and had question marks instead of photos. Evidently, it was sold out. I don't think I ever saw that top? I bought my scarf 30% off at Neiman Marcus during a one day sale they had. I wore it the other day with my sleeveless EF charcoal dress (viscose jersey).

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  4. I've just packed up for 6 weeks away (vacation, France, Barcelona) and was much more scrupulous than ever before about trying on any pieces that haven't been worn for awhile as well as trying out as many combos as I could think of. And instead of assuming shoes would "go with" I tried them on with whatever. A few surprises, nothing too disastrous, and a few adjustments were made -- best is that now I have the confidence that I can just grab an imagined combo in the morning as we rush off to whatever the day's activity instead of fighting dismay when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window of a Grand Magasin on Blvd. Haussmann. . .

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    1. have a wonderful time - vacation, Barcelona, Paris... sounds heavenly!

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  5. This is terrific advice. I need to do that today! I think my body is changing even without gaining or loosing weight. Just part of getting older?
    Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering

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    1. Yes! Age, gravity, working out can all make a difference. I think my tee shirt bore the brunt of the upper-body toning that I've achieved working out with medicine balls - glossy shoulders and arms, but tee shirts that become TINY in comparison!

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  6. Excellent advice Janice - I just went through my closet yesterday and tried on every single piece of clothing I hadn't worn in the last month - weeded out the "not going to wear" items to make room to put their replacements. Working on my "whatever's clean" summer wardrobe!!!

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  7. I have a 2 week road trip from Nashville to Cheyenne with a 5 day stay in a mountain cabin outside of Estes Park? I keep trying to figure out how I can look good and pack light. Comfort will be key. I love your blog. You are a genius and I duplicate many of your looks. I want one bag. I will also be carrying my laptop. In and out of hotels every day is such a drag. Any advice? Thank you and please keep up the great work!

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    1. We LOVE Estes Park! Be sure to visit the Bald Pate Inn while you're there and see their key room!
      It can be very chilly in EP in the evening and even in the daytime in high altitude parts of RMNP.

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  8. Great post as usual, Janice! You raised an excellent point. When I selected my Project 333 wardrobe for April through June, I included a few favorites from summer 2012. I hadn't worn these items since October or November (our summers are late here in San Diego), but I assumed they would still be good because my weight is basically the same. However, what is not the same is my style aesthetic, which continues to evolve.

    Case in point, I now prefer my skirts to be shorter and narrower, whereas I used to like longer, flowing style skirts. If I had gone on a trip to a warm place, I think I would have been unhappy with one of my skirts. I did something stupid, though. I tried to alter the skirt instead of just releasing it. It was a tricky alteration (hard to narrow a multi-panel, 2-layer wrinkly fabric skirt) and it ended up being a failure.

    When Project 333 ends, I'm going to try on everything in my wardrobe and release anything that isn't an "8" or higher. I now know I don't need a really large wardrobe and life is too short to settle for ho-hum clothes!

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  9. This is good advice. I write regular blog posts about cleaning out one's wardrobe, and I encourage people to try things on, and inspect garments and accessories for fit, stains, damage, and to see if it still feels appropriate.

    I always try all my clothes on when I take them out of storage ... you never know what's happened in the time the clothes have been put away.

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  10. If I've said this once, I've said this mille fois to my clients. Try everything on in the store, when you get it home and again if you haven't worn it in a while and before each season. Things change......sometimes for the better..........sometimes not.......but you have to know what works and what doesn't.

    Great advice, Janice.

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  11. Hear hear!
    FUnnily enough, it was a too-short, too-tight striped T that I also threw out and replaced last week... And a dress that I love and is very cute: I wore it out to my MIL's house and spent all day tugging and smoothing the front - it has gone to the collection!!
    Also, sometimes mysterious marks and stains appear, even if you put your stuff away clean. This can make the item unwearable, so keep a close eye on things.

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