Day 15. Not quite as far as I’d like to be right now, but happy it’s not the beginning any longer. This exercise is a cocktail of restraint, patience and creativity with a chaser of frustration. There’s no way around it right now. I’d like to say I’ve reached some sort of Zen understanding at this point, but I’d be lying.
I no longer have anxiety about what I’m going to wear as I did when this all started, but instead I am starting to get a bit bored. I see the other clothes left behind in my closet and I miss them.
To be fair, the weather here has a lot to do with this. I look longingly at my great coats and boots and wraps and the damn J. Crew emails that bombard my inbox every morning and know I can’t wear any of it because it’s still Surface of the Sun Degrees here. Jeans are way too hot. Sandals are still a requirement. It’s the most depressing part of this.
No. Scratch that. The most depressing part of this is the fact that I’ve undertaken this challenge during the month that NEW YORK FASHION WEEK occurs. The tweets and twitpics from the shows are killing me slowly. It’s like taking an alcoholic to a bar.
[Please read the next sentence in the whiniest voice ever.]
I want to layer and wrap and bundle.
Besides all the sighing in the general direction of my closet, I have learned or been reminded of some things:
- I have not stopped browsing or purchasing, and I am still very thoughtful about what I select to add to my collection.
- Yes, it is not my closet. It is my collection. A closet stores things. A collection is beautiful and timeless and full of joy.
- I really like clothes and accessories. I really like great style and inspiration.
- For awhile I sacrificed quality and design for price and quantity. I have been reminded that is a terrible thing to do. Even for a white t-shirt.
- Great pieces are seasonless and last with care. The Calvin Klein sandals I’ve been wearing were purchased last year and I’ve worn them incessantly. People STILL stop me to comment on them. That’s a sign of a good purchase to me.
- Aside from the days that are truly House Administrivia focused (ie. Laundry day), I’ve made a bit more of an effort with my ensembles and general appearance and that feels good. (And has been noticed.) Working from home can cause a personal rut. It is nice to bust out of it.
- At the end of this week I will have worn every piece of the Collection of 15. Only 3 pieces so far will not have been worn multiple times – but by the end will have been worn in spades.
Overall this is a worthy endeavor. All the thought and frustration and inspirational, creative moments have encouraged me and I’ve come to learn they have encouraged others – and that feels good, too. I’m not sure I ever need or want to do this again, but I’m glad I’ve done it so far. Stepping outside my normal box and into another seemingly more restrictive one has been nothing short of interesting.
And style is nothing if it’s not interesting.
I am participating in The Ultimate Wardrobe Challenge to see if living simply with 15 items of clothing can also mean living creatively and well. I will post my ensemble every day. Join me and at the end we’ll either clean out our closets or go on a massive shopping spree. Or both!