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.


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.



6 Responses to “Day 3”

  1. 1 Nancy February 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I’m far from perfect in implementing the “rules” I made for myself, but here goes. 1. Black on the bottom. I have 4 pair of black pants, a black skirt and a grey skirt and I wear them almost every day for work. I also have a multicolored sleeveless dress that I wear with a black (of course) jacket. It makes mornings much simpler. 2. Find a brand or retailer that you like and try to stay with it. For me it is j. jill. The clothes fit, and they aren’t too “young” for me. They probably are too old for you, though, Kate. 3. Stop buying disposable clothes. The writer of the Atlantic article is on to something. When I think about how much stuff at Forever 21 and H&M ends up in the landfill, it makes me kind of sick. The black jacket I mentioned? It is Eileen Fisher, so it cost an arm and a leg (for me, at least), but I bought it at least 10 years ago, and it is still in good shape.

  2. 2 kateandgracie February 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Oh! I’m glad you chimed in because you always have some really nice and fun and sparkly accessories, which I think make all the difference with the capsule idea, too.

  3. 3 Mary February 1, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I like JJIll too. Pricey but if you buy stuff you really like and fell good in, it’s well worth it. And one nice think from EIleen Fisher is a great purchase.

  4. 4 satcla February 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I love this post. I’ve been needing to do some regrouping and getting back to sanity and I’ve been struggling terribly with how to do it. I don’t think I’ve been this bad at self-care since my 20’s! That being said I took FB and Twitter off my phone and it’s a start. This post is another start! It just feels nice to see your blog posts so thank you!! As for expensive clothes vs. cheap, we both know I’m a big fan of a Target sundress but I am beginning to realize the value of quality over quantity. The items I have spent the money on, usually (not always) do last in both looks and style and I certainly feel better when I wear them. I might consider taking on that particular idea myself. I think it’s nice to feel good. That being said, I like having some crap clothing around that I don’t care about getting dirty or messy as well. It’s gotta be a balance. I spill too much to only have nice clothes. 🙂

  5. 5 Jane E. Roe February 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    I really believe you get what you pay for. Buy cheap and you look cheap and it doesn’t last. I buy from jjill, Travelsmith, and Soft Surroundings. I don’t get much Eileen Fisher because I don’t have easy access and it seems more cosmopolitan than my lifestyle. SS is fairly pricey (at least for me) but when I see something there, because of the price, I really think about it and use the amortization rule. Amortization rule = If I have wanted it for more than one or two catalogs, I divide the cost by how long I have wanted it and that lower price makes me feel better. Mike always thought that was dumb and that if I wanted it, I should get it, but he was always more extravagant about my wardrobe than I was. Actually thinking about it through more than one catalog cycle is probably my best way of eliminating impulse buying and buying something I will really like. Now how it looks on me is always another major issue😜

  6. 6 kateandgracie February 3, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Impulse buying. Yes, I have issues with that. But then sometimes I wait too long and something I truly did want is gone (not just with clothes, of course). And S raises a good point as far as messiness. Not only am I messy, but I snag things like the dickens. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always snagging things. So even if I could get myself to pick up my clothes more (I know, Aaron, I know), I worry that I will snag the more expensive items. And tailoring is expensive. Though gosh those folks who know what they’re doing do a nice job. Ok, I bet you’re all wondering how Day 5 is going….

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February 2017

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