Lessons from My Outfit Journal – Pants and Coats

Last week, I started a new series in which I share some of the entries from my outfit journal.   The first installment elicited quite a few comments and seemed to be popular with readers, so I’m going to dive in to another post in the series today.   This time, I will be focusing on a theme, pants/jeans outfits with coats.   I was basically happy with three out of the four looks I feature below, but there were still things I would change about each outfit.

Outfit Journal

Do you keep an outfit journal and/or photograph what you wear? 

Keeping my outfit journal is helping me to fine-tune all of my ensembles and I’m happier with more of what I’m wearing as a result.   It’s very rare that I rate anything I wear below an “8” on a scale of one to ten these days, but my standards are also increasing.  I am no longer willing to settle for ill-fitting or uncomfortable clothing, especially since I now know that I can get by with much less.  If I don’t love – or at least strongly like – what I’m wearing, I’m perfectly happy to pass it on to someone else.

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February 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s not quite the end of the month, but I decided to share my February installment of useful links a bit early this time.   My mom has been visiting and I only see her a few times per year, so I’ve wanted to minimize my time on blogging and other activities so I can spend more time with her.   I’m constantly compiling interesting and useful articles to share with you (as I’ve said, I read a lot).  In fact, I could probably share useful links far more often and still not run out of excellent content for you to enjoy.   But monthly is just often enough to offer information without information overload!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, the area where my mom is visiting from. 

Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the topics of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development.  I’m also sharing a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now).

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From Spiraling Out of Control to Thoughtful Shopper

The following is an email I received from reader Jessica (now blogging at “One Hundred Hangers“), who wrote to me to share her journey of overcoming a serious compulsive shopping problem.  I was so inspired by her story (she gave me some great ideas to use in my own recovery) that I asked if I could share her letter as part of my “Stories of Recovery” series.   She graciously agreed and I’m delighted to share her words of wisdom with you today!

Thoughtful Shopper

It is completely possible to shop thoughtfully & love our wardrobes! 

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts. Continue reading

Lessons from My Outfit Journal – Part One

Before I delve into the topic of today’s post, I’d like to say a few things about my last article, “Putting Together a Dressy Wardrobe Capsule.”  Judging from some of the comments I received, I realize that I wasn’t clear enough about some aspects of that post.   I had originally intended to put together a true formal wardrobe capsule, but then I realized two things:  I own very few true formal items and I rarely attend those types of events.   So instead, I put together wardrobe options for the occasions when I get more dressed up than usual.

Some of you wrote that most of my outfits in the post would be things you’d wear to work.   If I worked in an office, I would very likely wear such outfits to work, too.   However, I live in a very casual community in Southern California where t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops reign supreme.  Thus, what’s considered dressy around here may not mesh with that description in your part of the world.   Even if our environments and lifestyles are widely divergent, I still hope that my “dressy” wardrobe example was useful for you.

If what you will need for more dressed-up or formal events is different from what I showed, you should definitely compile your dressy capsule in line with those considerations.   If you are interested in writing a guest post depicting a true formal wardrobe capsule, please contact me, as I would welcome such a post!

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Putting Together a Dressy Wardrobe Capsule

Most of us closet pieces that we don’t wear very often, yet we keep them around “just in case” we may need them one day.   In many instances, these items fall into the formal or dressy wardrobe category.   In truth, it can be a good idea to retain a small capsule of formal items, as we generally do encounter such occasions periodically.  It’s easier to have some go-to pieces on hand than to have to shop on short notice and face the possibility of not finding what we need.

Dressy Wardrobe Capsule

Have you put together a formal/dressy wardrobe capsule?

When I shared my 2014 wardrobe “benchwarmer” update last month, I noted that many of my unworn items were too dressy for my day-to-day life.   My benchwarmer shoes in particular could be classified as such.   I continued to hold on to these pieces because they were still in good condition and I thought it would be good to keep a dressy wardrobe capsule in my closet.  However, I had never actually taken the time to compile such a capsule.  The dressy pieces were in my closet, but I hadn’t given much thought as to how they might work together or even if they would coordinate well.

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Being Deliberate with Our Wardrobes and in Our Lives

Many personal development experts recommend selecting a theme for each year to help guide our focus and direction.   Some even advocate doing this in lieu of creating specific personal and professional goals.   Last January, I selected two words as my guiding focus for the year, simplicity and joy.  Without comprehending the irony in my doing so, I also laid out fairly extensive lists to govern my wardrobe and shopping as well as my overall life during 2014.  That wasn’t exactly simple, was it?

While I experienced some success with simplifying my life and increasing my sense of joy last year, I think I diluted my focus too much by having two themes, as well as a large number of goals.  Thus, I have decided to do things differently for 2015.  In the spirit of both simplicity and joy, I have opted to only have one single theme for this year.   At first, I selected “flow” as my word/theme for 2015, but I soon felt myself inextricably drawn to another word.

2015 Theme

Have you selected a word / theme for 2015?

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Love It, Wear It Challenge: One Month In

I just completed my first month of my “Love It, Wear It” Wardrobe Challenge, so it’s time for an update.  Here’s a quick reminder of how the challenge works (read more here)…  The idea is to create a “working closet” by moving everything I actually wear into a specific area of my closet.   I will only wear what I really want to wear and anything that I find uncomfortable, fussy, or no longer my style will be passed on for donation or consignment.   In addition, I will only buy new things as replacements for worn out favorites or if I find myself continually wishing I had a particular item to include in my outfits.

Love It, Wear It Challenge

The objectives for the challenge are to wear what I love and to have the right types of clothing, shoes, and accessories for my life.   By “my life,” I mean the life that I am actually living in the here and now, not an imagined, wished for, or previous lifestyle.   While there is room for a small formal wear capsule in my closet (I will write more about that soon), I definitely don’t need to hang on to a plethora of fancy or going out wear when the majority of my life is spent at home or engaging in very casual activities.

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