Dressing and Shopping for a Life in Flux

I’m currently going through a period of transition in my life.  My wardrobe consulting business is winding down and I’m not sure what’s next in terms of my career.  I’m also working to cultivate new hobbies and interests, which I hope will also lead to new connections and friendships.  At present, I don’t go out much and when I do, my outings are mostly quite casual in nature. The majority of my time is spent at home with my husband and two cats, and I spend many of my days in workout clothes and lounge wear.

Transition and Our Wardrobes

While all of this transition has been going on, I’ve also been working on paring down my oversize wardrobe to a more manageable level.  However, as I’m not sure what’s next for me in my life and what clothing I’ll need for my personal and professional activities, it’s been difficult to decide what to keep and what to purge from my closet.  Since I know many of you have experienced or are currently going through similar challenges, I decided to address the issue of dressing and shopping for a life in flux.

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Recommended Resource: “Svelte in Style”

Today’s post introduces a new category for “Recovering Shopaholic.”  Periodically, I will recommend a resource (or several) that I believe will be beneficial for my readers.  This resource may be a product, book, course, website, or even another blog I enjoy.  I’m open to suggestions for resources to review and recommend, so if you know of something that may benefit my audience, please feel free to contact me to let me know about it.

An E-Book from Two Women I Admire

Today’s resource is an e-book that was recently released by two women whom I really admire.  They asked me to review their book on my blog, and although I haven’t done this type of post before, I agreed because I knew that anything they produced would be stellar.

I’ve mentioned Jill Chivers of “Shop Your Wardrobe” on the blog before and her excellent programs are listed on my “Resources” page.  She recently partnered with Imogen Lamport of “Inside Out Style(one of my favorite style blogs!) to write a book geared toward helping women who are on a weight loss journey.  Their e-book is titled “Svelte in Style:  How to Look and Feel Great While Losing Weight.”

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Stay True to Yourself

Growing up, I was always insecure about my appearance.  I wanted to fit in, but never really felt I did, especially during the difficult high school years.  Back to school shopping was a stressful ordeal, as my family didn’t have a large budget for school clothes and I wasn’t sure what to buy.  I liked clothes, but I definitely did not have an innate sense of style.  I also struggled with weight issues and carried excess weight on my frame throughout much of my adolescence.   My height only made things more difficult, as I always stood out even when I wanted to blend in.

“Quirky and Fun” Style Statement

Over the years, I cultivated a “quirky and fun” style statement.  Since I didn’t know how to dress stylishly in the conventional sense, I basically decided to opt out and form my own style.  The body image issues I struggled with regardless of the number on the scale led me to dress in baggy bohemian style clothing.  I draped my figure in fun colors and prints and wore loads of unique jewelry.  And so it went for many years.

Quirky and fun style statement

Some of my “quirky and fun” outfits – Early 2000’s

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Forget Fast Fashion! Join the Slow Fashion Movement

The following is a guest post from Erin DePew.  Erin is a web developer and graphic designer who happens to love shoes almost as much as “hackathons.”  Her blog, Pixel Perfect, is dedicated to musings on minimalism, client-side scripting, and the pursuit of the perfect pumps.

If you have an idea for a guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.


Slow fashion is a movement that has been steadily gaining traction over the past few years. As you have probably guessed, slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion. But if you consider fashion to be one of life’s small pleasures (guilty as charged), there’s no need to fear having to give up shopping entirely. Instead, slow fashion is about consuming less, thoughtfully and with purpose. So how can you join the slow fashion movement?

Slow Fashion Movement

Slow fashion is about consuming less and being purposeful.

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Why I’m Skipping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started last Friday.   This has always been my favorite sale of the year, my “holy grail” of sales shopping.  I looked forward to it all year and when mid-July rolled around, I was ready to shop until I dropped (or at least until I dropped a veritable fortune on clothes, shoes, and accessories!).

A Plan of Action and a Change of Heart

Up until last week, I thought I’d shop the sale this year as I always have.  However, as a result of what I’ve learned from writing this blog, I intended to approach the sale from a different perspective and shop much more wisely.  I had planned to write a post about shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my new resolve and share how I met this challenge head on.

Saying No to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I’ve decided to sit out this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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“Benchwarmer Project” Update – July 2013

At the beginning of this year, I designated two new categories for the items in my closet, “wardrobe all-stars” and “wardrobe benchwarmers.”  Since I have been tracking how often I wear everything I own since the start of 2011, I had accumulated a lot of data about my clothing and shoes.  I learned that like most people, I wear some items a lot and other pieces rarely, if at all.  I decided to categorize all pieces that were worn at least eight times in a given year as “all-stars” and anything that I didn’t wear at all or only wore once as “benchwarmers.”

My Sad Statistics for 2011 and 2012

Sadly, I learned that in 2012, I only had 39 “all-stars” (26 garments and 13 pairs of shoes), which constituted roughly 12% of my wardrobe.  In contrast, I had 146 “benchwarmers” (125 garments and 21 pairs of shoes), a full 45% of what was in my closet!  That’s right; close to half of what I owned was only worn once at best last year.  Clearly, something had to change!  So I created what I termed “The Wardrobe Benchwarmer Project” in order to address the large proportion of my wardrobe that wasn’t seeing the light of day.

Wardrobe Tracking - Benchwarmers

My January closet – the binder clips all designate “wardrobe benchwarmers.”

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The Cold, Hard Facts: The Missing Piece

When I started this blog in January, some of my early posts addressed some of the “cold, hard facts” of my compulsive shopping situation:

The Missing Link

I wanted to be as honest as possible with myself and my readers as I began my “Recovering Shopaholic” project.  However, I recently realized that I left out one very important piece of the puzzle:

How many items am I buying each year?”

How much are you buying?

Do you know how much you’re buying each year?

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