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a week of wardrobe (by special request!)

May 9, 2011
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Kate asked me to do a blog post about my new semi-minimalistic mostly-neutrals wardrobe. I’ll see you that blog post and up it to a whole week about my wardrobe. Because… why not? It might inspire me to put together some good outfits. And I almost never do fashion posts. Fashion. Right. Well, what I wear can hardly be called “fashion” but I’ll put some effort into it this week.

Let’s start off with what I’m wearing today, right now. It’s Monday, my day off, and this is literally what I am wearing as I type this:

Gray tank (recent purchase from the Gap; they were having a sale so I stocked up)

Gray cotton zip-front sweater (old, from LL Bean)

Comfy weekend jeans (I think American Eagle or something, from Ross)

It’s comfy, looks decent for the grocery store (the only place I’m venturing out to today), and everything goes together without my even thinking about it.

So, I’m not sure how to go about this. Listing everything in my closet seems excessive (and boring). Still, you’d like to have an idea of what’s in there, no? Here are the basics from which I choose what I wear to work most days:

6-8 long-sleeve cotton t-shirts (American Apparel or Gap; they are nice-ish and comfy and have held their shape well). These are in various earthy tones as well as a few black, gray, and white.

5-6 short-sleeve Ts: black, white, gray, navy, and I think I have an intense violet as well, just for fun. Mostly from the Gap.

5-6 short-sleeve blouses from H&M or thrifted: in various shades of blue, aqua, and olive.

5-6 sleeveless tops, mostly from Ross or the Gap: gray, cream, grayish-violet, black, navy

4 no-iron button-front shirts from Brooks Brothers: I splurged a few years ago and got two white button-fronts, and a gray stripe and a pale green, on sale. These shirts are amazing and always look terrific. They are the miracle shirt and worth every penny. There is a lilac one I’d really like but I will have to wait and see if it goes on sale.

3 drape-front cardigans: teal, black, gray

4 cashmere cardigans (slowly collected over the years): black, gray, burnt orange and rich plum

4 cotton cardigans in gray, black, fawn and dark purple

A few jackets in green, burnt orange, or teal (I rarely wear jackets). All thrifted. I should wear these more.

The Perfect Trouser from the Gap (a few years ago): black, gray, gray glen plaid, taupe, tan plaid. These fit perfectly and once they were on sale, I got them in nearly every color they had. I hopefully won’t have to buy work pants for another few years.

3 pairs dark jeans, suitable for work, various lengths for flats or heels

2 black skirts (H&M, and thrifted)

1 dark brown skirt (thrifted)

4 pair capri-length pants (considering ditching these): one black, one brown, one gray, one black-and-white plaid (thrifted)

That is about it, with a few exceptions (I have a couple colorful thrifted blouses which I wear rarely but still like, and a couple of skirts in other colors or styles which I rarely wear but kept for various reasons — one is a dress-up lace skirt, for instance).

For weekends, the t-shirts from above do double-duty, and I also choose from:

3-4 old pairs of jeans (either from Ross or thrifted)

1-2 pairs thrifted cotton trousers

3 pairs black shorts in various lengths (all thrifted)

1 pair jeans cutoffs

And for summer, a hippie skirt and a few sundresses, all thrifted or from Ross. Ross is very good for sundresses. Dresses are black or blue, it seems.

I have a beautiful camel wool coat which was an amazing thrift-store find, and a black Ralph Lauren wind/raincoat, also thrifted, and various outerwear coats and jackets, either thrifted, gifted, or actually probably from LL Bean, since I like their casual jackets and sweaters for weekend/camping/yardwork.

And a ton of costume jewelry which I really don’t wear often enough. I’ll try to make it a point to wear more of it this week. I usually wear a pretty necklace or a scarf, to dress up whatever basics I’m wearing.

I have some really trashed workout/yardwork gear (what I call “play clothes”) and some running gear, and pjs. And that’s really about it.

So, a photo a day for the rest of this week. This should be interesting. Or, not. I dress pretty boring.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 5:48 pm

    And I just went to Kohls on my lunch hour and bought 2 black pants and one khaki pair….Minimalist is my middle name. They basically can be mixed and matched with every top I own.

    PS….Coming home from work today the interviewed the WilderLife author. She went off on a tangent about parallels between losing her mother and LIW. I think I missed the point. Anyhow, it sounded like it could have been a really fun experience in a more general sort of way, but she had to go all weird about the experience. Oh well. Just thought I share that with you.

    • May 9, 2011 6:30 pm

      Yes, totally. It was like two separate stories which she somehow felt had to be tied together somehow.

      Mix-n-match rules!

  2. May 9, 2011 6:59 pm

    i love this post and i cant wait for the rest of the week.

    • May 10, 2011 9:32 am

      I’m h0ping it inspires me to pull stuff out that I don’t usually wear.

  3. May 9, 2011 7:13 pm

    This was super fun to read :p You know your way into a gay man’s heart, lol. It all sounds super cute!

  4. May 10, 2011 4:18 am

    Yah! Thank you! I am so looking forward to this. There was a time in my life when nearly everything I owned was a shade of black, if you will, and the last few years have seen me branch out into other colors, which does made the minimal wardrobe difficult when I’m seeking to have everything mix and match each other. That said, most of my colors tend towards the greens and blues, so mix-and-matchable with each other *and* the blacks.

    I appreciate your list, and just reading it made me think that I should do the same. Could I categorize things so nicely the way you did? Probably not. My summer dress category would read like a thrift-shop listing. (One hunter green Grecian-style, free from friend; one navy blue A-line shift with ruffles at the hem like a bordello but in a nice way, River Island; one basic black sleeveless, free from friend; one brown spaghetti-strap maxi dress, Gap. Those are the ones I remember.) Also I’m with you on the T-shirts but because of storage space I’m trying really very hard to just have one ss/ls in grey, black, and white. Blouses are difficult; I have three that I seldom wear nowadays but they used to get trotted out regularly when I worked in an office – however, they fit so perfectly that I cannot bear to get rid of them.

    I’m going to play along (though not post a picture) and say that today is a stay at home and research day, along with occasional walks in the sunshine, a possible pint at the pub by the river, and a dental appointment. My feet also hurt from walking seven miles in inappropriate shoes yesterday. So today I am wearing high-waisted dark denim trousers from Kohls, a grey ss top with a tiny floral pattern and a pintuck yoke detail from H&M, and my navy Converse low-top sneakers.

    Really long comment, sorry!

    • May 10, 2011 9:37 am

      Love the really long comment!
      If I had to pare things down even further, I could, but since I have to go to an office every day and I actually have some (not a ton, 50s closets were not huge) space, mostly I’m trying to get to a place where I feel like I look good and feel comfortable with minimal effort. However, FROM this, I could pull a very small wardrobe that would work. I had a thought of doing that, too. Like, choose 5-10 shirts, 2 pairs pants, 3 sweaters and one skirt, or something. See how far you could get with just that.

      My wardrobe is actually a *little* more varied that I present here (for instance, there is also one red dress, and a red blouse, and probably two more skirts which I forgot, etc.), but going into detail would be exhausting.

      • May 11, 2011 2:52 am

        Phew, that’s a relief on the list. Makes me feel a little less clothes-horse-y. My flat was built sometime around 1847, before the invention of closets (/sarcasm but not really) so my storage space consists of half a wardrobe for hanging, two regular drawers, one sock (size) drawer, and one under-bed drawer. Just saying that makes my head ache. Oh, I also have a couple of pretty storage boxes for switching out summer and winter stuff. I also have no storage system for shoes so I count on having a few pairs by the front *and* back doors. I definitely need a better system overall.

  5. May 11, 2011 5:44 pm

    Kate, I totally have more clothes than I listed. Not MUCH more, but probably a few skirts, sweaters, and casual-type things. I am so sorry to hear about your clothes-storage situation. That is sad. I have to keep most of my shoes in the garage because even though we have three bedroom closets, the two that I use are not good for shoes (and when I say two, I mean, two 50s-size closets, which is about the same as one modern regular (not walk-in) closet. I have plenty of room for what I have but I’m glad I’m not a total clothes addict. It helps that we have a coat closet because I am a bit of a coat collector.

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