January 20, 2014
For quite a while, I’ve described my personal style as LaValise de la Garçonne, aka The Tomboy’s Suitcase. I try to remind myself that I really don’t need clothing much beyond what I would pack for my next trip, and that as much as I’d like to be a classy, elegant, lady-like creature, I’m much more likely to be the person who climbs up the ladder and fixes the broken gizmo than I am to be the prim princess with the clipboard supervising the process…I’ve just recent stumbled upon the perfect painting to express my colors and overall feeling that I want to accomplish in my wardrobe: Two Sisters with a Cello, by Marie Laurencin. I can’t actually SHOW you the painting, because I can’t afford to buy rights to use an un-“watermarked” image of it… But you can find it somewhere if you’re really curious.
So in lieu of the painting, I’ve digested the colors and the overall theme that I’m pursuing into a little graphic, shown below.
Note the bow-tie-like shape?
In addition to including my keywords, this graphic is designed to reflect the proportion of my wardrobe that I want to dedicate to accent colors versus neutrals. And I’ve got the full range of shades of grey, grounded in my always essential black.
Segue to the western Chicago suburbs, where one finds the Eileen Fisher Company Store. It’s taken the place of what used to be a more traditional outlet store, and it is a heartbreaking ocean of delight for those of us who really love Eileen’s clothes. They always have about 20% of the store dedicated to really serious marked down merchandise, they keep about 10% of the floor for the “core” Eileen garments which never go on sale, and the balance of the (large) store is merchandise, in season, that has been reduced below the original retail price.
Last weekend, they had a sale – an additional 20% off of the sale prices of winter clothes. At this point, some of the garments would thus cost something like 15 – 20% of the original retail price. If you don’t approach this sale with a plan, you’re in big trouble!
I had a plan:
- I wanted black velvet! (Little Lord Fauntleroy is one of my heroes)
- Leggings for sure, if they were available.
- Another skirt, in a less super-swishy version that my die-hard go to skirt from the last 5 years.
- A top of some ilk – either a tee shirt or a tank, which could be used for layering…
- One of my grey tee shirts needed to be replaced.
- An accent color cardigan, jacket, or layering “piece” to elevate all of these neutrals.
This is what I found… these are not the exact garments, but they’re absolutely close enough to give you an idea of the success that I had!
I can’t always assume that I’ll have this level of success when I go shopping with my image literally in hand (seriously – I walked around the store with the above image clutched in my little paw, and if something didn’t blend with this, it didn’t make the cut!). But I was delighted with how quickly I found what I wanted, and how easily I managed to walk away from things that didn’t fit the plan.
I’ll let you know how the quarterly shopping goes in April!