Monday, October 29, 2012

One Dress, Different Combos & Another Self-Imposed Challenge

So one thing I've been thinking about in regards to this no buying month is the obvious reality that I should just be using that which I already own. I also started wondering whether posting outfit combinations was really in alignment with this whole "buy nothing and focus less on consumerism" mentality again, but upon further thought, I decided that it's okay as long as I'm just focusing on using clothes I already have rather than desiring to purchase more.

Y'all know that I have the tendency to just wear the same general type of things anyway and in some regards I wonder if this whole mentality shift might help me to reduce my wardrobe (and other items) down to what I really use and need. (I mean do I really need three pairs of suede boots when you can't wear suede in the rain...and this is Oregon?!) The catch though is to not restock to over-filling which is what so many of us, myself included, have the tendency to do. So do I really need this? Will I really use it? Do I really love it? Is it functional and is it flattering? Does it have meaning? These are all questions I'm starting to focus on again, especially as I begin to think of the many ways I've spent money this summer on THINGS to attempt to fill me in some way while going through this most recent life transition....hmmm.

The other thing y'all know is that I love dresses and skirts, but seriously, dresses are back to being my go-to item. You just throw a dress over your head, add shoes, potentially add a belt, some earrings, and of course maybe a cardigan---and there ya have it. Accentuate what you want, hide the rest--LOVE. (Sounds like a good motto for life!)

This week I've been thinking about some of the items in my closet. I already cleaned it out earlier this fall, but I also know that there are still other items I almost never wear and there are a few items I rarely wear but also have duplicates of (black button-ups!). I'm waiting on my gal R to come over to look at the stuff I already cleaned out and to decide if there are items left in my closet she'd's so much easier to pass stuff on when I know it'll actually be needed and routinely utilized. My other current issue is that due to all the routine exercise/running and not eating as much due to stress & living solo, I'm finding that half my wardrobe is a little baggy on me these days. I don't want to get rid of much of it, because the (still healthy) weight is guaranteed to come back eventually but it also means that I'm having to keep some things I wouldn't currently wear...and figure out how to alter or belt a lot of items that are a bit looser.

All that being said (gosh I'm wordy these days!), this week I rediscovered a great dress I fell in love with and purchased on sale this summer, and I wanted to see how I could transition it into additional seasons beyond just the summer.

Here's the dress when I wore it to the Women at the Center presentation/dinner downtown in September:

And this is what I came up with for errands the other afternoon when I rediscovered it: 
I also almost wore it to a get-together Friday evening in this same combo but with my skinny jeans underneath--it looked pretty decent and my legs were covered for the cool night. I could also probably wear it with a pair of gray leggings or brown tights with this same combo or with brown flats.

And then because I love to wear the same thing multiple times in one week these days :), I added leggings, flats, and swapped to black extras in order to wear this yesterday to church and to visit my high school friends: 

Upon further thought I could probably also wear this with a similar combo in the form of my dark blue cardigan & blue flats or the same mustard cardigan & orange flats. 

Another example: I just showed you that I wore this black & brown combo last Monday to the courthouse. I seriously love this dress because it can be worn to work yet it's also an item that could be dressed up to go to a winter event also. Plus the dress is incredibly warm and cozy, yet professional. While it's pretty basic I can add warmth with tights and camis underneath and I could play with color via belts and tights also. Today (and most days) I still kept it basic to run to campus with tall black leather boots and a black belt at the waist.

So my challenge for myself this fall and winter is to truly look at what's in my wardrobe and what I have for accessories...and continue to ask myself those questions: Do I really wear this? Do I really love this? Can I wear this multiple ways? Should/could I wear this more and if not, then why am I keeping it? Can I think of someone who would use this more than I? Is it flattering? Is it comfortable? Is it age appropriate? Is multi-seasonal or can I figure out a way to make it function in more than one season?

Because the reality is...we can only wear so many clothes..period. And at this point, I'd much rather have a wardrobe that is full of pieces I love and that can play double duty. Pieces that are flattering, that can be worn in multiple combinations, and that make it incredibly easy to get dressed. I don't need a large wardrobe honestly, I just need pieces that will get the job done and yet still make me feel good while wearing them. And I also know that those pieces are already IN my closet--some will need altering, some will require me to play dress-up to figure out additional combos, but I'd love to get to the point where I can always just grab and go without having much to question! Sometimes less truly is more....

These challenges for myself just keep on growing..... :)


  1. My wardrobe is pretty basic, skirts and tanks in the spring/summer, yoga pants/jeans and tanks/sweaters in the fall/winter...when I need a new skirt I make one :-) I have a couple of dressy outfits for when I need to make a wedding appearance, or other special occasion. But, for the most part I have gotten rid of everything else...because I didn't wear it, and I was sick of looking at it!

    1. Love this! And I want to see a picture of a made-by-you skirt :)

  2. Fun post! Love the black leggings and cardigan look! It's always nice when you can use one item in so many ways. Wonder if you'll come up with any other combos :)

    1. Yes, I'm sure there will be plenty more combos--seems like these "takes" on the same dress are my go-to these days! I love the leggings look too--still "nice" looking but too. Hope you're having a great week cuz!

  3. I selfishly love outfit posts because it gives me ideas and also it's another way to get to know the blogger! I always love the combos you put together. I, too, love dresses and skirts!

    I am trying to do something similar with my closet. At the end of each season, I am culling out all of the things I didn't wear that season. I did it towards the end of summer, and it's time to make another sweep through, I think.

    1. I love your culling idea--makes so much sense to take stock right as the season ends--that way you really know what you wore and what you didn't. And I agree, I do like looking at what other people are wearing---I just have to get to the point where I remember to stay out of stores! :) Ha! Have a great week gal!