Isn't it wonderful to make plans again, with a reasonable expectation that they will come about? Do you have plans? Do you find that the planning part is almost as exciting as the event?
I have plans for some sunshine!
Isn't it wonderful to make plans again, with a reasonable expectation that they will come about? Do you have plans? Do you find that the planning part is almost as exciting as the event?
I bought a pair before breakfast today! (Well there has to be some fun in life when you are tidying in Marie Kondo's komono category ..... )
My post yesterday made me think What if they discontinue my favourite shoes?
It happens doesn't it? You spend years finding the perfect shoe/pen/shampoo/bra/whatever and before you think of stocking up it's discontinued, or they make a new version, or change the formula.
A friend sent this phtograph of a childrens' shoe shop in Bruges. Thriling. Better than a sweet shop!
Back to my favourite shoes. See this post. I have them in lime green and in blue and have just ordered them in red (half price in White Stuff sale) - all of which go with my neutrals navy and grey, and can be matched with my new necklaces!
I just need somewhere to go now!
Among my copious notes I found this advice -
If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour!
I photographed this shop window in Venice one evening and planned to visit it next day, but next day - lockdown!
Oh well, I couldn't have afforded to buy every colour and would have had a very hard time choosing...
..and a good way to spend dull wet day. I have tidied tops, bottoms, dresses, nightwear and jackets, and so far have 9 things to part with (two of them unworn :-(. )
Some years ago I bought this necklace at the Saint Nicholas Fair in York from a lovely jeweller called Anna King. It has been a graeat favourite.
I always meant to order more, and to ask if she woould make me slightly shorter ones to sit inside the neckline of my standard Tshirts - a simple look I really like. It took lockdown to make me get around to it! They arrived today adding a little zing to both the day and my wardrobe.
The quality, price and service were all excellent (she arranged to send one to a friend too). I think you may like a browse of Anna's website here.
Surely not as dangerous as comfort food!
In my style notebook I copied down:
We want that utopian place where comfort meets good looks
It may be useful to identify the clothes you have that fit those criteria - then buy them in several colours! I have done this with Fly Yaz shoes and fine knit sweaters from Hobbs,
But there are also shabby old things which provide great comfort - A Cotton Traders thick jacket which I put on for outdoors breakfast on coolish mornings, or to snuggle in on the porch as the sun goes down. It's like an old friennd always there at the back door.
You may remember my kagoul which also hangs at the back door fell onto the newly painted floor. I bought a new one and waterproof trousers online - essentials in rural Scotland. Don't quite spark joy but I suppose there is joy in not getting soaked to the skin..
I'm having fun with MK's step by step approach (see link on yesterday's post). It's good to have an overview of all my clothes and figure out what still works and what doesn't.
I had the beach to myself this afternoon.
..in for a pound.
The full Marie Kondo.
Every item of clothing in one pile. No, I'm not going to show you the pile! It is embarassingly large..
But I will show you the three items chosen because they definitely spark joy. MK suggests you do this to remind yourself how to judge if something sparks joy or not. See Day 9 Learn How To Joy Check - how useful a skill!
This may look an unlikely candidate but I feel like myself in this and would happily wear it anywhere. Well maybe not to a wedding..but I have worn it over something quite dressy. It's longer at the back than the front which I really like (not uneven as it looks in this photo) and I will never part with it. I can't remember how many years I have had it.
This one is new and I have not worn it yet. I love it's simplicity and the fabric, and I have some scandinavian silver jewellery I am looking forward to trying with it. Could be dressed up or dressed down. I think it's going to be a favourite. Instant falling in love in the White Company Shop before lockdown.
Another falling in love (in M&S children's department a couple of Christmases ago!) Ballerina dreams. Love the moon and stars fabric. and have worn it to two parties and a wedding..
Can you find three things that spark joy and hone your joy checking skills? As Swissrose says wouldn't it be fun if we could peek into each other's wardrobes here....
Can you find three things that spark joy and hone your Joy Checking skills!
As Swissrose says wouldn't it be fun if we could peek into each other's wardrobes...
My browse through my Simply Stylish posts (see sidebar) reminded me how much fun I have had from clothes in the past.
It does take a bit of effort (see Apply Brain) and some of that effort is pretty mundane.
I tried on all my trousers. My least favourite item to shop for. I don't make a feature of trousers - if I had long gorgeous legs I might, but they are a kind of neutral, background item for me. Only one pair felt a good fit and just right so I looked up the label (LauRie) online, and found another pair with 60% off! My size, my colour. Slim Straight leg, no tabs, zips, pockets, rivets, or bulky seams that spoil a smooth outline. Decent fabric, Free delivery. Yay!
Back to the recycle bin with three old pairs! Ptogress.
I want to feel delighted when i look in my wardrobe
Another small step - I also put like with like. How did it get in such a muddle?
Tell us what you want to feel and what you did with your wardrobe today?
NB Marie Kondo is doing a free 8 week tidy challenge. This week is week 2 and the category is clothes! I am asking myself if I am up to the challenge of her way of doing it - it looks like a huge effort, but I did it a few years ago and loved the result. Are any of you up for it?
Upcoming posts - Fantasy wardrobes, shopping online, the challenge of transitioning to 'normal', is it possible to make plans?, the Keto diet and autophagy....
..trying to tell you?
I opened my wardrobe and tried to answer this question.
After the first few weeks of lockdown when I never got out of my gardeining clothes, I had a little online shop and got nearer to a 'capsule wardrobe' than ever before. It's an idea that has always quite appealed to me.
I bought three pairs of chinos and two new T shirts and teamed them up with two summery scarfs which I love. I only wore the necklace once but it made me feel good when I did.
I would have liked two new pairs of coloured sandshoes, but buying shoes online is tricky and returning them even trickier, so I wore my old very faded but comfortable purple ones.
Clothes are still my fun.
Of all the hard things in life throwing away old shoes shouldn't really rank highly. But I find it really really difficult!
The faded purple sandshoes. There's somethin.g very nice about faded sandshoes on a hot summer day in the garden or on the beach. Though I also have a faded grey pair. Maybe I'll keep the spotted laces
The slippers are pretty horrible and I was given money at Christmas for a new pair.
Apart from a pair of tan patent shoes with a silver buckle which I bought when I was about eighteen from Russell and Bromley no less, these lime green Fly shoes are my favoutite shoes ever. One of them has a big hole in the sole. I bought another pair but they are a very slightly duller green - they don't have that zing whch makes my heart sing when I look at them. There is an old fashioned cobbler in Byres Road - the kind of man who is interested in shoes - I might just ask him if anything can be done....
The little boots, ten or more years old, have been so useful. Or they were until they began letting in water. You could put them in the washing machine.
Even books are easier to part with than shoes!
What do you find hardest to let go of?
I do love a bargain and perhaps because I am a small size I am very lucky in the sales. In fact I rarely pay full price for anything.
This year I have bought a big warm scarf (50% off), a pair of shoes (25% off - so glad I waited) and this hat which I simply adore. (Children's department of M&S £12 reduced to £4.)
Don't laugh. It's age 6 - 10! I'm not that small! Chilfdren these days must just have big heads....
It's my Venice hat.
Has anyone else been to the sales?
I felt lucky to get to the annual Click Sargent charity concert in the city (start of Christmas proper, a heartwarming event) and to get home again as winds of 47mph and heavy rain are causing some travel problems.
Dressing for the ferry,/bus, dinner, a concert, a party and an overnight stay is something of a challenge too!
Layers, of course. I bought this dress from COS and think it will serve me well for the season and beyond. It's wool and cotton.
I can wear it with a necklace (also from COS a few years ago) grey tights and my party shoes or with a big warm scarf, jeans and thermals underneath and my blue Fly shoes or boots.
Poor photograph - the scarf is navy and the shoes brgiht blue!
I bought this gift in the Christmas Market . IWouldn't it look lovely as a table centre with a large pillar candle in the centre?
Definitely getting in the festive mood now. Are you?
I do love all the seasons, and the fact that we have four, and I have always enjoyed changing things in my home to reflect the seasons,
I like to do it slowly. Incrementaly. The bowls of fragrant quince are on the summer rug - soon to be changed for the winter thicker one.
I've bought a new jacket and am wearing it with a summer scarf at the moment. Autumn is very much about textures isn't it.
Have you nade any seasonal changes yet? To your home and/or your wardrobe?
Ah yes, getting dressed. I was reviewing how my life is simpler on a daily basis since I started writing Live Simply Simply Live... From when I open my eyes in the morning, listening to the first sounds and getting washed and dressed..
Isn't life easier in good weather? Cotton underwear, loose chinos and a linen shirt with sandshoes have been my 'uniform' for six or seven weeks now. So easy. So simple. Old comfy ones for gardening, newer crisp ones for going out for meals with friends - all in great colours with perhaps an added string of beads. I am treating this heatwave as a holiday at home and as we now have a village restaurant within walking distance I am taking full advantage of it.
I've loved having worked out what I like and what suits me and have pretty much stayed with that look since this post.
Have you figured out your style? And thus simplified your wardrobe? And your life?
There are quite a lot of posts to browse under Simply Stylish (clothes are my fun!)
I love this top from COS. Clever tucks and folds have created a lovely shape and the disjointed pattern on the fabric adds to the complexity, yet it is not fussy. Deconstructed is the word that comes to mind!
I plan to make it the foundation of a capsule wardrobe, something I've always liked the sound of but never really focussed on before.
I've been on this theme for well over a week but it has led me to such interesting places - sociology, psychology, history, nostalgia.... There are some great books and blogs to explore.
I reminisced in yesterday's post about my family's interest in making things, clothes included. The things they made were more homely than fashionable but in my father's family (coal miners) Great Aunt Jen, Aunt Nan who worked in the fashion department of a big store, and Aunt Margaret who was very pretty had style.
Aunt Jen was housekeeper to a wealthy family, and when she visited home, a two roomed house (that's not two bed-roomed, that's two-roomed with outside toilet shared with another family) I remember her furs, hats, discreet make up, jewellery and perfume - all in the best of taste, and understated, never flamboyant. The lovely thing was she was perfectly at ease about these things and shared her pleasure in them with us all. I think ease with whatever you are wearing is a hallmark of real style. She was quite a character, with a great sense of humour, and I wish I knew more about her. She holidayed in Switzerland. Switzerland!! It might as well have been the moon.
We were thrifty and frugal but knew quality when we saw it. I remember my Mum showing me how some cloth was full of dressings which would wash out and leave the fabric limp. She would also examine the weave for closeness (thread count though we didn't call it that).
Studying Printed Textiles at Glasgow School of Art further refined my eye for good quality, design, and style and when I see someone or something with style I always do a quick analysis - it's fascinating to me, and fun.
What were your influences?
My Mum knitted me this beautiful jacket to a Kaffe Fassett design.
I love the comments on this blog! I like that it's a conversation and exchange of ideas - interesting ones from interesting people. Thank you for that.
Guilt! With regard to clothes it's usually that we have spent quite a lot on something and hardly worn it. Evil? Immoral? Wicked? Criminal? No, we just had a splurge for whatever reason. We didn't let our children go hungry to buy it, or risk losing our home. We just splashed out a bit more than usual and now it is sitting there unworn.
a) wear it again, altered perhaps (and practice chutzpah)
b) give it away so several people benefit (charity shop worker has a job, purchaser gets a bargain, end user of charity service gets help and we ourselves no longer feel guilt every time we see it
c) sell it on eBay or similar and buy something we will wear and enjoy wearing.
And I think we can forgive ourselves. That's what you'd tell your best friend, wouldn't you?
Lucille mentioned 'chutzpah' even the sound of it suggests supreme self-confidence. I have looked at my collection of seldom/never worn things to see if there are any that I am simply not wearing because I lack the confidence, and I intend to gradually learn to have more chutzpah. Let's be a bit more daring and not take our clothes too seriously! It won't hurt. Join me?
The interesting question was from Linda who asked in yesterday's comments where our interest in clothes originates. This sent me on a nostalgia trip....which I'll elaborate on tomorrow.
Meanwhile..I am loving these
but they squeak!
A chance lighting effect. Flowers under a lamp are always lovely. These little roses remind me of summer. Yes, as is my habit, I am still resisting autumn!
What I thought was going to be a 'tweaking' of my wardrobe has turned into something more.
It seemed a good idea to put all the things I rarely or never wear - you know the ones you put on but always put back on the hanger - into one pile -it's huge!
Now how ruthless do I want to be? I suppose the answer will be in looking at the pile and asking myself of each thing 'How does it make me feel?' and 'Would I buy it today?'
Reminding myself of how I want my clothes to make me feel....
I think my favourite charity shop is about to get a big donation.
Thank you for sharing your good ideas!
Back to clothes. (I know. From decapitated whales to dresses and skirts is a bit of a leap - you never know what you are going to get on this blog!) Yesterday's post reminded me that a much ignored part of my wardrobe that needs my attention before winter comes is my outdoor outfits...I'll get to that later.
It is fun sharing ideas and from Julia's comment yesterday I got a new one. I will put aside, all in one place, the things I just never wear or use then I will go to that place as if it is a shop and shop there as though I hadn't seen any of it before. And report back! A variation of 'shopping your closet'.
But back to the matter in hand. It will be the work of moments to deal with skirts and dresses. I have two of each! One skirt I never wear - into the 'shop' with it.
Something that I knew would come up and want to find a solution to is the matter of 'good' clothes and in my case 'dressy' clothes. I'm rather fond of dressy clothes but as an artist and gardener living in rural Scotland I very rarely have the opportunity to wear them. Not that I have very many but I'd like to wear those I do have, and I'd like to wear them out!
The secret I think is not so much finding occasions to dress up (though a few would be welcome) but devising ways of dressing down so that I don't feel uncomfortably overdressed but still get the pleasure of wearing my 'best' things.
Today I did jackets and to my surprise find that I have quite a lot of them. But I also realise that I wear them less often as I no longer have a car - I tend to need a coat - though some are thin enough to wear under a coat. I need more time to think about these...
Rather a muddled post today - too many unresolved questions - but that's what the process is about I guess. My little style notebook which I began using in 2013 has been invaluable. Sizes, stockists, quotations, lists of needs and wants....do you have a style notebook?
I'm taking the wardrobe sort quite slowly this time. I've considered how I feel now and how I want to feel. (One person I helped felt 'confused' to start with and 'delighted' when we finished. Nice result.)
I've removed everything from the wardrobe that is not ready to wear for whatever reason. I'll examine one category at a time.
I'll start with my problem - trousers. I have many shabby pairs and not many that fit well
There is one beautiful pair I have had for 11 years and not worn for the last five, maybe six? Why am I keeping them? Because they are beautiful, they were quite expensive, I felt so nice in them once....but I try them on but always take them off again and choose something else. I realise they are a bit dated but I could go looking under the same label for an update....
What kind of trousers suit you and your lifestyle best?
Being very small, I suit narrow slim leg or straight leg, full length - jeans/jeggings, one summer dressier pair and one autumn/winter dressier pair, and the one pair which really fit nicely - I am off to buy two more the same to swap with some of the worn ones - that will be the answer for me. I do wear trousers every day.
Because I tried them all on, that took about an hour on yet another rainy day. An hour well spent. Three to donate, one to recycle, two for gardening folded in a drawer, one summer pair to put away elsewhere, five wearable pairs hanging in the wardrobe and one pair on. Nice result.
The tee-shirts took five minutes! Six on the hangers, one on, one in the wash. Some fading and stretched at cuffs and neckline. Could do with three new ones. Standard length, cotton, long sleeves, self colours - a shopping list is developing and the search is on for the right colours. That's my basics.
Are you making progress?
I will change the subject tomorrow - a gruesome tail....
A slightly different angle on questions about your wardrobe ... How do you want your clothes to make you feel?
Comfortable/confident/ attractive/ warm/ dry/ stylish/ creative...
More food for thought in this site - lots to browse if you have the time and the inclination -
Scarves are my favourite accessory and I have lots, hanging on their own set of hangers, ironed and ready to wear. I spend more than I used to on lovely quality fabrics (though I do buy in the sales) and the quick addition of a fresh scarf and perhaps a pair of earrings makes me feel ready for anything!
I am taking out from the wardrobe everything that is not ready to wear now. So, those things that need altered or dry cleaned and the many pairs of trousers that don't fit, as well as the ones which are only fit to garden in because I have way too many gardening clothes.
Do you have things in the wardrobe that you can't or don't wear? Getting them out of there is a great step forward!
Have you thought about your feelings regarding the clothes you have? It's a good place to start. (See yesterday's post.)
So, How do I want to feel when I look at my wardrobe?
Quietly pleased, maybe a little excited? Relaxed, knowing that I have something for every occasion, and that everything hanging there is ready to wear. That I can dress things up or down with accessories I love.
I'm happy to say I don't need to Kondo it - that was indeed a one off - I just need to tweak it a bit.
No big deal.
Just pleasure. If I sound a bit smug, and maybe I am :-) it's because I worked on this some time ago (engaged brain!) and it has really paid off.
Fashion is still my fun!
More favourites. Scarf: The White Company. Necklace: Cos.
Scarf: White Company sale. Necklace: Sahara.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)