Day 4 Reaching for my daily outfit, I had a thought: “I really do NOT want to put that on.” I was tired, struggling with a cold and generally feeling blah. I needed comfort and the feeling of comfort. I wanted to reach for one of my old standby outfits, my cute multi colored dress and black leggings, with black clogs. I always feel confident in that outfit, and putting it on is like curling up in a comfy blanket. Not to be confused with looking or feeling like a blanket. No, it’s the emotional feeling, the familiar comfort of something that never lets you down, soothes your nerves when you’re stressed, drys your tears when you’re sad and shares in the best of times too. That dress and leggings always fits, never tells me I’m fat and always tells me I look fabulous. Pivotal events in my life happened in that outfit: we signed the contract on our land to build our house, for one. It’s a traveling dress that has seen great business trips and fun places. Like a piece of cheesecake after a rough day, this outfit always helps me to feel better.
I resisted the urge to grab my go-to outfit and talked myself into my static wardrobe outfit. I did realize a mental struggle that can come with wearing the same clothes everyday. Not just boredom that can set in, or the feeling of loss of self expression, but also the emotions that surround daily wardrobe choices.
After a few minutes of lament wearing my static wardrobe outfit, I settled into my emotional groove. I was working from home, so a tee shirt and skirt was perfect, and then when I went to pick my children up from school I threw on a a navy cardigan and my birks. I got to school an hour early because I forgot about choir practice (insert face palm here). The kids wanted to linger at school a little longer because they love school . We played outside and spent time visiting the school butterfly garden and playing in the nature playground. It was a little hot, so I just wrapped the sweater around my waist. The clothes I chose worked perfectly and I felt great. Thankful I had overcome my urge and persevered with my plan.
When you are choosing and building your own static wardrobe, think about your life style: Is it generally casual or generally more dressy? What do you do in the week? What do you do on the weekend? If your life is generally more casual, choose just one or two pieces that are your go-to pieces to dress things up — blazer or a nice blouse. If your lifestyle is generally more dressy, you will add a casual shirt and a casual bottom for more comfort. To build this, you may want to key into your favorite pieces and buy more of those pieces and then sell, donate or toss things hanging around in your closet you don’t love so much. We will chat about how to think about colors in another post.
I had this idea first about 17 years ago when I was working such long hours in the fashion industry, and I was so so tired … I could not even think of what to wear, or have the time to do laundry. Some of those dog days I didn’t even have the time or energy to be organized enough for *someone else* to do my laundry. I remember having a medium weight wide rib turtle neck in three colors and suede pants in two colors and I wore that about everyday fall to spring. It eased my mind not to have to think, and to focus on building my line of clothing for others. Sort of like that story about shoemaker’s kids with no shoes. My clothes we exactly stylish, even ahead of the trends. But nonetheless I joked with my co-workers that it was my uniform, and my assistant eventually developed the same habit. Now it has come full circle with not only experimenting with a static wardrobe but also setting an example for my children. As my daughter was watching me prepare for my blog — sketching, recording videos and working hard — she has been mesmerized by my sketching and creating. That is why today’s fashion sketch is: my daughter, since she asked that I sketch her!
Transitioning to a static wardrobe has been easy as far as being no effort, saving my brain power and energy, as well as a significant time savings. My surprise so far has been the emotional reaction to not choosing my favorite clothes: I did not realize that like many people who turn to food, I turn to clothes for comfort. I am thrilled for all of the good and the challenges of experimenting with a static wardrobe. Building mental discipline to overcome the emotional hurdles that come from wearing the same 7 pieces is a valuable aspect of self preservation. Day 5 will be a two outfit day , both using pieces from the static wardrobe. How will that work out? Come back tomorrow and see.