Archive for February, 2017

Day 14

This morning I sent a trash bag stuffed full of dust bunny-laced shoes to the bin. Many were bought in Richmond when I had access to a Nordstrom, but at least one pair predates that. Some are newer, but I don’t wear them, so they got the boot. Ha. Anyway, I vacuumed out the closet (ew) and I feel better already. 

I also tried on a lot of clothes I ordered from Boden and I nearly fainted on the floor. I jest. But I do think I’ve found some great staples and some fun pieces and I’m feeling good about getting dressed going into Week 3 of Project Trying to Keep My Sanity 2017.  

How’re you guys coping? Oh, my exercise plan was derailed by both me and my self-diagnosed bronchitis, but the alcohol-free zone remains intact. For now. 

Day 9

So, today is Day 9, but this arrived on Day 8 and I pretty much went to town.

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I read from professional closet-cleaner-outters (yes, that’s a thing) that you should put all of your clothes on your bed and then sort the clothes into three piles: love; on-the-fence; and donate. In the past, I’ve always just taken the “to donate” out of my closet and left the rest. I can assure you, Dear Reader, that dumping all of your clothes on the bed makes a world of difference. Oy vey.

My piles fared a little differently, though. They went more like this: will continue to wear; meh; holy bananas how is this still in here (including socks from college); and this is going in that pretty polka dot bag. ThredUP doesn’t want any of my collegiate socks, nor does it want any of my pilled sweaters or ragged leggings. But do they want my pleated skirt from Banana from 7 years ago? They say not, but let’s test them. It’s cute, I say! I filled that bag to the brim, tossed bras and socks and leggings, made a pile to donate to St. Vinny’s (someone will surely want those Gap sweaters that wouldn’t fit in the bag, won’t they? Maybe?), and I was left with …

Well, not a lot. Mostly tank tops. More than I probably need, but they don’t take up much space. Two pairs of regular jeans and a summer pair. A pair of velvet-y pants, and two pairs of black pants. A few skirts. A couple of tops. Some summer dresses, but a couple that will work in winter. Tights. Cardigans. Really, it’s fine. And I ordered some new clothes to – I hope – fill in the gaps. When I woke up this morning, it really felt good. Like there was space.

Next up? I’m tacking the shoes.

Day 5

So today is Day 5 of the 30-day plan to a New Me (just kidding, it’s just a 30-day plan to try to stave off insanity) and I’d say it’s going moderately well. No drinking, two short workouts and lots of sleep have been the hallmarks of the work-week.

Of note, I have received and returned all of the items in the MM LaFleur “bento box.” The items were nice, well-constructed and simple, but in addition to not really fitting, they just weren’t for me. They were what I would describe as clothes for people who have watched a movie about people in an office and want to dress like that. I don’t really know anyone who wears things in the box that I received. At least not on a daily basis. Could be because I live in Madison, WI, and not in D.C., or it could be because I surround myself with frumps. I don’t want to get into it, really. It just wasn’t for me. With the exception of one sweater, which was ridiculously amazing and ridiculously expensive and so I sent it back. Actually, I may have spent that amount of money on it – because oy was it gorgeous-feeling – but I decided I wanted to clean my closet out first (clean slate and all), before I start replenishing. KonMari, y’all. Or something like that.

So, to that end, I signed up to get a bag from ThredUp in order to try to make some pennies on yesterday’s wear. Usually I just donate my clothes, but this always leaves me with the feeling that they are really just going into a landfill somewhere, so I thought that if I could try to consign them – and use a huge website with mass appeal – maybe they would actually get some use again. Of course, there are environmental costs to this, too (what with the shipping and whatnot), but let’s see how this goes before we start running the numbers. After two hours of sending away for the bag, and even though it was 10 p.m., I could not help but check the mailbox to see if it had arrived. Spoiler alert: it had not. But, when it does and how this process goes, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Anyone done this before? Or something similar? I’ve consigned Bear’s clothes locally and a few things of my own on Craigslist (and once on EBay), but this is pretty much brand-new territory for me. And I am psyched. Is that bag here yet?!

Day 3

Hello everyone. In the words of the great Barack Obama, is this thing still on!?

So today is day of Kate’s Great 2017 30-day Challenge, which means different things to me on different days, but generally means the following: For 30 days, I don’t have alcohol, I introduce more (read: some) regular exercise, I read more, and I get to sleep earlier. In these chaotic times, I felt I was spiraling into the abyss and needed to try to find some concrete ways to stop the spin. So, for the time being, it’s been these relatively simple ideas.

Now, that’s not all. I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can make my life a little easier. And calmer. And more joyful, too. This probably all sounds terribly selfish to you as the world spins off of its axis (so much spinning in this post), but I’m pretty certain that if I don’t figure out how to calm the %$%^&(%&#$% down, I will soon be locked up in a padded room draining what’s left of the State’s resources. And that’s not good for anyone. So, in addition to the above basic plan, I have a few missions to try to avoid that. And the first I’d like to talk about is one I return to again and again (in my head anyway) and one to which I still don’t have much of an answer, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Clothes.

It’s no secret that I’m not a morning person. I don’t like to get up. I don’t like to be spoken to in the morning. I don’t like to talk. And I really dread figuring out what to wear. Although I still really do like clothes and have preferences in styles and whatnot, I really would, at this point, prefer to have a small closet with great choices. And while that’s something that I’ve tried to work on, I’ve really failed at it.

A couple of years ago I decided I was going to go with the capsule wardrobe idea and I chose Banana Republic as my sponsor. Only they didn’t know it and I had to pay for everything. I decided to go with (largely) one store because it seemed easiest and fastest and I was ready to implement this sucker over night. Well, the problem with that idea was that I was stuck with about 12 pieces that were all very much from that two-peek period in 2014 or whenever it was and while I like some of the pieces still, some of them were dumb at the time and I knew it, but was too lazy to do anything about it. I thought, “They fit, they’re affordable. Done.”

But as time went on, I realized that striped cotton t-shirt wasn’t going to do much for me in Wisconsin’s January and, frankly, I hated the way it looked anyway. I felt like a dowdy frump and I wasn’t fun to be around when I wore it because, you know, I felt like a dowdy frump. Enter: Stitch Fix. I wrote about Stitch Fix here. I loved it! A couple of fixes later … The patina has worn off a little. I still think it’s so fun and a great idea, but the pieces aren’t nearly as appealing to me and I’m wondering if it’s just because I expect the service to have the whole array of clothing in the universe at its hands when it really has only a handful of clothes available to it like any other place would.

So, here is what I have learned so far. I am still into the capsule wardrobe because I think it would make my life simpler and cleaner. And from there it would allow me to concentrate on other things and dread mornings so much less. But. I need to realize it won’t happen overnight. I need to stop looking for the quick fix, if you will.

And here’s one more piece: cost and quality.

This is where my latest venture comes into the story. On a whim, I decided to try the ritzy (for moi) MM.LaFleur. It’s a lot like StitchFix in that you get a box whenever you like, but it’s a lot pricier. My first one came last night, but because someone I live with forgot to mention it to me, I didn’t notice it until this morning. As we were supposed to be rushing out the door, though, I dug into it and I could immediately tell that the quality was far superior to anything that I’ve ever gotten from Stitch Fix and, with rare exception, from Banana, too. I haven’t tried anything on yet so it’s more than possible that nothing will fit and, even if it did, I’m not sure I can justify spending that kind of money anyway.

But I’m also sick of being sick of my clothes. And more than that. I’m sick of cycling through clothes I don’t like. I buy them, get tired of them, donate them, buy more, get tired, donate and the cycle goes on and on. So I was thinking a lot about how much money I probably waste on clothes and how sad that is. And then I was reading this article and wondering if spending more on my clothes would have a variety of benefits.

Thoughts?