Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Good Steward: Clothes {Part 3}

This week I've been talking about how I have being challenged lately to be a better steward of the things I own. Yesterday, I offered my first four tips on how to best manage one's wardrobe. Here are my final pieces of advice regarding all things closet...

5 :: Lay out clothes the night before.
Another reason I think we tend to wear the same thing over and over again is because we don't plan ahead. I am the biggest fan of choosing outfits for the next day at bedtime. I don't know about you, but I have noticed it takes me about three times longer to coordinate an outfit in the AM, and I end up wearing something boring or going for the clothes I already wear all the time... For some reason, at night, I just scan my closet and decide, "I will pair this with this, and wear these shoes." Bam. Done.

Here's my outfit for tomorrow.
Writing this blog post has inspired me to try wearing a short dress as a tunic with my cigarette pants.

6 :: Keep a running "needs" list somewhere in or near your closet.
This is something I am going to try to get better at. From time to time I will jot down an item I need in my planner or in a journal somewhere, but I have never kept a running list in or near my closet. ***I must note here that I use the term "need" loosely. All we really need is some kind of fabric over our bodies to protect us from wind, rain, snow and sun and to allow us to enter into public places. For many people in many cultures, this is ALL they have. I don't really NEED anything.*** However, when I come across an item that would be an incredibly efficient addition to the clothes I already own and would help me dress appropriately for my current roles in life {teaching, etc.), I put it on the "needs" list. For me, this list is VERY short right now. For about five years now, I have NEEDED new white flats. I wear mine consistently from Easter to Labor Day {yes, I follow those silly rules} and I have had the same pair since 2004! That was a very long time ago and mine are in bad shape! I have been searching for a replacement pair every year and have yet to find one! The only other needs I have right now are for a black camisole {$3 at Forever 21 should take care of that} and a new strapless bikini. I wore mine to death. The back clip literally broke in half last month, and I don't like the new tan lines I am quickly acquiring!!! Now, if and when I shop, I can take this list with me to buy things that actually have a purpose in my wardrobe instead of buying a cute shirt that I absolutely do NOT need.

7 :: Don't be a sucker for sales.
This leads me to the topic of sales. Sales are awesome. I love them. I love all things clearance rack, additional 20% off, rack out on the sidewalk, and discount store {Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, etc}. But sales can be overwhelming and result in poor spending. How many times in my life have I gone crazy at a sale and come home with $300 worth of clothes that only cost me $80 only to realize that I didn't need ANY of the clothes, even if they only cost me $80 total?  I have tried to lay off the sales in recent months. Now there are times when I just can't pass up a $5 cardigan, but for the most part, I am trying to change my ways. If the things I need are on sale, then I am in heaven. But ultimately, I would rather spend a little more for higher quality on something I will wear all the time than buy ten things on clearance that will only get worn a few times or get destroyed quickly due to their poor quality.

Make fashion interesting by challenging yourself. I strongly recommend the 30 for 30 challenge, because it's short and sweet but very convicting. Other women have committed to stop shopping for clothes altogether for various amounts of time - a month, six months, a year. Some women have made a commitment to buy all secondhand clothing for a year, instead of new products. You can always recreate the ol' college roommate days and trade clothes and accessories with a girlfriend. Next time you need a dress for an event, I dare you to BORROW one instead of buying a new one! And when you see an outfit you like on someone else, make note of it or try to figure out what about their outfit caught your eye and see if you can make a similar look with things you already have in your own closet. Also, don't be afraid to play with your clothes like you did when you were little. If you have the time, experiment a little bit. You might attempt to wear your shirt backward or perhaps tie it up for a fresh look. If you are really daring perhaps you can turn a belt into a headband. The point is - have fun! Sometimes the result might be hideous, but you also might surprise yourself by discovering the next new trend!

I took a few minutes to play around with my clothes at the end of the challenge, and this was the result! The first attempt at the skirt/loose top look was pretty ugly, but after tying up the shirt and adding some boots, I loved the result. Micah told me I looked like June Carter! Best compliment ever!

Linking up with Gussy!


Jessi said...

My mom used to make me pick out my outfits for school the night before. It made life so much easier! I think if I worked, I'd definitely start doing it again.

And the idea to have a list of "needs" is great! I might have to give that a try. I always have something in mind but then when we actually go to the thrift store, I always forget what it was!

Love those 2 pics at the end. It's like 2 completely different outfits! Very well done. (oh, and I "need" to get me some cowboy boots :)

Beffy 55 said...

I like the June Carter look better also!

jozen said...

love your tips!! and i have to say that i am indeed a "sucker for sales" and i really really MUST stop!

Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

Such amazing tips! And I love love LOVE both of these outfits.

What part of AZ are you in, if you dont mind me asking. Im on the west side :) I am following you now! This post totally intrigued me :)

Id love for you to link this up to my new diy fashion linky party called DIY Diva Thursdays! We party until Monday so you have plenty of time to stop by. Hope to see you there :)


Heather said...

Great tips! I completely agree with you about not getting suckered into sale items. I am going to start laying my clothes out the night before and see if that helps me :)

Michelle said...

Adorable and thanks for the tips!! I am visiting from Mine for the Making and I am a new follower!!

Hope to see you around soon!
Have a great weekend!