the clothes make the (wo)man

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i’d like to think i’m a pretty loyal person. maybe to a fault. but i’ve always believed strongly in alliances, that relationships are really all we have in this world and whether that bond be with a person, a product, a food, or a philosophy, if i find something i like, i’ll stick by its side come heck or high water.

there is one thing, however, that try as i might, i can’t seem to maintain a steady relationship with.

and that, my friends, would be my wardrobe. sure, there’s a pair of white draw-string sweatpants from abercrombie & fitch that i can’t seem to part with and a few dresses that hold too much sentimental value to ever be discarded, but aside from those few items, i seem to tire very quickly of the contents of my closet. and before you simply assume that i’m an insatiable clothes horse whose love for apparel will never be satisfied (well, you’d be partially right), let me explain.

in addition to being loyal, i am also incredibly habitual. i love my routine (as if you already didn’t know this), i love my oatmeal in the morning and my steamed veggies at night. my daily appointment with pure barre and my make-up routine hasn’t changed in upwards of three years. so in an effort to have some sort of variety (it is the spice of life!), my wardrobe has become the one area of my life in which i gladly welcome experimentation. and that desire for continual change has left me with a myriad of closet companions of whose acquaintance i am simply ready to forget. not that they haven’t served me (and this blog) very well over the years, because they have, and though it may sound strange -having a bond with your blouses or ties to your trousers -i can’t help but to think that i might miss a few items once they’ve found their way to greener pastures.

they say that new years are the time to make resolutions, to hit the reset button on life in an attempt to make the next 365 days better than the last. and while the first of january is as good of place to start as any, i can’t help but to look to the anniversary of my birth to really reflect on life. so as i approach that date (june 4th, in case you had forgotten, but i have no doubt it’s circled, starred, and highlighted in your day planner (who even has a day planner?) and if not, facebook is sure to remind you), and my 27th year of hanging out on this planet, i’ve decided to start fresh. clear the clutter. cleanse the clothes that have, over the course of the last few years become those cousins you avoid at family reunions.

i remember my dear (and crazy talented) friend writing a post about her own operation closet overhaul last fall. and in reading her thoughts, i vividly recall strongly agreeing with her with her sentiments. life is too short to not feel confident in what you decide to adorn your bod with every day. whether that be dresses, jeans, skirts, or shorts, no matter if the clothes in your closet total five or fifty, they all should be pieces you put on and say, “heck yes, i look great today!”

so with that said, the other night i was a woman on a mission. i was tired of having ill-fit clothing that for lack of a better word(s), ceased to woo me. so armed with two trash bags, i headed up to my bedroom closet and began purging. dresses, blouses, and sweaters flew from their hangers and into a pile beside my feet. next my fury hit the accessory drawer and finally, my habiliment (thank you, thesaurus) hurricane subsided with my worn and torn shoe collection. when all was said and done i had managed to produce about two and a half bags worth of items ready for some other bargainista to shimmy her pretty little self into.

and rest assured that while i’ve certainly freed up my fair share of plastic hangers, i still have enough garb to ensure that i will not be cited for public nutidy any time soon. 

so now for the fun part: filling my closet with timeless and classic items that will not only stand the test of time, but more importantly, my fickle mind. and for that i turn to pinterest. and to some of my favorite fashion bloggers, too. and most certainly my gaggle of girlfriends whose outfit pairings inspire me on a daily basis.

but with that task (it’s such an arduous one, i know), also comes a responsibility. to be mindful. to only buy things i truly love and that truly love me (or at least flatter my body). i realized that i’ve been suckered into many a purchase purely out of my love for a good bargain. “is it on sale? then i would be SILLY not to buy it.” and this very mindset has resulted in a closet full of mediocrely adored apparel whose funds may have been better spent on like 87 americanos.

and don’t worry about the clothes that have fallen victim to the trash bag gods. they are off to find a new home. some may find themselves amongst the racks of flashbacks encinitas (run, don’t walk!). others at the goodwill. and still others may be seen again as my cousin (sistah) is oftentimes the lucky recipient of my hand-me-downs. they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. so in my case, my tired threads just may be someone’s new party, first date, job interview [insert any reason to wear a twirly skirt here as that is what most of my wardrobe has consistently consisted of here] outfit. and that fact alone can only serve to validate my sudden urge to purge. well maybe not completely validate, but i do feel a little better about myself.

now don’t be alarmed, i still plan on incorporating some sort of ruffle, polka dot, over-sized flower, and/or pearl into every outfit (or at least once a week), but i also plan on you know, dressing a bit more sophisticated, too. i oftentimes get mistaken for a high school senior; college student on a good day. and i realize that is partly due to the fact that i look about 12 sans makeup and well, my face structure alone is very “childlike.” (i know, i know, this will only serve to my benefit in a decade or so). so dressing as though i’m going to a pretty, pretty princesses party may not help my cause. i suppose what i’m learning is that sometimes, less really is more. simplicity is underrated. a white tee and jeans put a corporation on the map, so you know, i think there’s something to be said about that. i’m not going to quit being who i am, just refine it a little bit. like i said, my style is my artistic medium of choice (well, that and my writing, obvi) so i could never become just another carbon-copied human mannequin (although if it was a j.crew mannequin, i think i would be totally fine with that). i just want to feel good in my clothes. that if this outfit on this day was the last outfit i would ever don, i would wear it proudly with no regret.

i know this all a bit dramatic, to think, such a passionate discussion over simply a few pieces of cotton stitched together with string. but oh is it ever so much more than that. 

clothes are transformative. a good pair of well-fitting jeans can make you feel like a million bucks, your favorite party dress? a billion. it’s not about the price of the clothes, or even their brand, it’s about wearing what feels good on you and being confident in that. i have been victim way too many times to the push-me-pull-me syndrome when it comes to ill-fitting or uncomfortable apparel. pulling, pushing, just plain fussing.

so fuss no more. i know the brands that have served me well. and i know there are ways around their oftentimes out of budget price tags. these short-cuts are called “outlet malls,” “promo codes,” and “ebay.”

looking like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost you a million bucks, but it does require a bit of self-discipline and a clear concept of what image you’d like to portray to the world.

and after about 26 years of looking “cute,” i think i’d like to take the adjectives “pretty” and “classic” out for a spin.

i mean, a girl can dream, right?


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