Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wardrobe rules?

Clearly I was looking for adventure this morning as I creaked out of bed. Why else would my first stop have been to clean my closet? I just knew I couldn't calmly look the next workday in the eye shuffling through that disarray. I am trying to eliminate all potential issues, that I am aware of, in preparation for Monday mornings these days. There are plenty of fabulous surprises waiting to hurl themselves my way, so I feel it behooves me to remove known obstacles and wear a catcher's mitt. So where was I? Ah yes, trying to find the floor in the closet...

I have tried a variety of organizational techniques when it comes to my clothing. I work at a preschool/germ factory/wet paint zone. Therefore, I have a line of clothing that is either old or unattractive enough to be exposed to the risk of damage. There are my alleged "dressy" clothes, and I am not really sure where I wear those, but I like them enough to protect them. I have many mystery garments that I cannot explain the hows and whys of. I also have many shirts that I got for great prices (we're talking $3 or $4 a piece) with the intent of jazzing up my work clothes; but then I have a hard time sacrificing a brand new shirt, regardless of the price. Pants are in a category of their own because that is all about what level of comfort I am looking to achieve on any given many shapes and sizes.

Today I tried to concern myself with a fashion reality check. This is when I desperately needed some wardrobe rules spelled out for me. Clothing with expiration dates would be a plus, as it is my sense that fit is not the only thing to consider when holding onto items. I would like to see an expiration date related to the decade we are living in and also one regarding how young (or old) I should be to wear the threads in question.

I made an executive decision today to donate a jacket I recall wearing when I was first pregnant with my 9 year old daughter (um, and I don't recall wearing it since). I made this decision operating on the assumption that styles have changed? I also know I bought it on the clearance rack, so it was probably close to out of style the minute I first wore it.

Now there is an exception to the rule, still hanging in my closet. I have a great corduroy zip up shirt, still looks new, that I remember wearing when my 12 year old son was a baby. I threw it on for work one morning because I knew it had lived a good life (and was quite frankly surprised to see it still on a hanger). One co-worker complimented my shirt and asked if it was from J. Jill. What? I've never walked in there for fear of signing over my next three paychecks (and if I did go on a spree, I don't think the stuff would go in the "ok to wear to work" pile). Well didn't I feel hip? Then I wondered if that shirt should be moved to a different category in my fledgling closet organizing system!

I had some gift cards to treat myself with, and as I walked into the Gap, I wondered if I had exceeded the "you must be this young to shop at this store" requirement. Sure, there appeared to be things I could wear, but the outfits the mannequins and workers were wearing did not seem like looks I could pull off. I need that complete garanimals-these things go together--no further thought necessary information. (And even then, I get home and am at a loss for what to put on my feet, if that part of the equation wasn't purchased...which it never is!) I found a sweater that I liked, but realized I needed something to wear under it. I went to the salesgirl for help with exactly what that might be. Her response was a little bit like if I tried to explain seventh grade geometry to a preschooler. She really didn't seem to know where to start, or just how clueless to assume I was.

I just looked down at what I am wearing. Today's issue is an "oops" I have perfected called "it's only a decent outfit if you keep the sweater on". Many times I will wear an icky, ill-fitting, or just generally unflattering shirt under a lovely sweater, with complete disregard for any climate changes that might occur over the course of the day. Oh well! Even when the moon and stars are aligned in the galaxy of clothing, there is still the issue of hair and makeup...

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