It happens every time a season or a size changes. I pull all my clothes out to decide what to store, what to donate, and what I can actually wear. And I promptly decide that either I need to lose some weight, get rid of some clothes, figure out what actually looks good on me—or all three.
I’m fashion-challenged. And I know it. Which is why I rely on my husband to tell me what looks okay.
But when he’s not home to ask, I try on multiple outfits before I finally settle on something I feel good in.
Which is why “The Tiny Twig’s” “No Brainer Wardrobe Manifesto” sounded so appealing. My friend Trina raved on and on about how it totally changed her wardrobe. (And peeps, Trina’s outfits were positively adorable, and totally made that hat.) But I assured her that nothing could help me. Not even sitting next to Hayley—a.k.a. The Tiny Twig—at breakfast. And a glance at the “capsule wardrobe” didn’t help—I knew that not a single item in it was “me.”
(You have to understand that my fashionable friends compliment me thus: “I love that you’re so you.”)
But I’ve been dumping out my drawers again lately, trying to find something to wear. And on a day when I should have been doing a lot of other things (mostly: laundry), I turned again to The Tiny Twig’s “31 Days to a No Brainer Wardrobe,” trying to read it with a more open mind.
I realized that even though her “look” wasn’t me, maybe I could learn something about her approach to a wardrobe. The first take-away I caught was making a Pinterest board with favorite looks in order to define your style.
See, that’s the problem: I have a hard time knowing what my style is. My sister and sisters-in-law always look so cute. But they aren’t me. And their style isn’t mine. Thus whenever I bring home something from GoodWill that I think would make me look cute like them, it’s rarely my husband’s favorite.
(And of course, sometimes I just plain muddle my looks all together. Like when I donned a hooded Carhartt sweatshirt instead of a scarf, in a last-minute effort to match my husband’s sweatshirt as we walked out the door together. The hat along with it—to cover a bad hair day—must have been a bit too much. A local businessman called my husband’s attention to “the unique combination of clothes you don’t usually see around here” and my husband said, “It’s probably my wife.” Ahem. It was.)
So I went to my Pinterest account to find the sad collection of 9 pins in my board entitled “closet.” And I decided that I needed to work on pinning outfits and looks my husband liked, in order to find a common theme and identify the look I was going for—just like The Tiny Twig suggests.
Not to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, I reassured my husband. Just to know how to make the pieces I already had work better, how to add that bit of pizzazz to my look so I’d feel more fashionable and less frumpy. To become a better steward of my wardrobe by simplifying. To feel confident in my outfits so I wouldn’t be selfish by feeling self-conscious about my clothes when I should be focusing on the people I’m with. And, of course, to know whether I should buy that shirt at GoodWill or not next time I’m shopping without him.
I asked him what catalog he’d like to see me dressing out of the pages of, and that was an easy answer: Eddie Bauer. (No surprise, considering the man has been dressing in Eddie Bauer t-shirts almost as long as I’ve known him.)
What kind of outfits did he like? Sun dresses. (At this point I reminded him of all the snow on the ground.) Jeans. Classic sweaters. Button-up shirts.
What look did he like? What would he want to describe my wardrobe? Classic country. English countryside. Simple, elegant, understated. (Can you tell I married a man who appreciates timeless classics in clothes as well as in the antique furniture he sells?)
And then he made a brilliant statement about how it’s better to spend less and look more elegant by dressing simply, rather than trying to dress trendy and ending up looking cheap and flashy. (He could totally write a fashion blog, don’t ya think?)
So I’m planning to spend some time on Pinterest with him this winter, pinning favorite outfit ideas from places like Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean. Then I’ll be going through the closet to eliminate what doesn’t go along with whatever exact “look” we identify. (The question is whether to save that really cool leopard print skirt I’ve never worn, that I keep promising myself I’ll wear just for the sheer fun wildness of it…)
And I just might have to print out my Pinterest board for help when I’m next at GoodWill.
How about you? Do you know how to describe your wardrobe look? Do you have way too many items you never wear because you don’t feel good in them? Do you “spring clean” your closet with the change of each season? And, um, have you seen any Pinterest boards lately that cater to the fashions of a down-to-earth farmer’s wife looking for classic, simple, and timeless wardrobe ideas?