Day 16 How to Dress for ease

Day 16 Wednesday is Chapel Day for my kids and my favorite day of the week. It’s like an exhale in the middle of the week to get you through the rest. Even though my kids have school uniforms, it functions similar to the capsule wardrobe: you have lots of choices. On Wednesdays, however, it’s the beauty of the static wardrobe applied to their morning: chapel wear is mandated and there are no variants. No choices, no drama, no arguing.

This particular Wednesday, the sun was finally shining, so I could ditch my sneakers and my cardigan sweater for my Birkenstocks and tee shirt. I wanted my gold tassel necklace, but that had gone missing somehow, so I went with the even more casual non accessorized look. That was ok since I was just shopping for my Nourish group dinner on Friday and running kids’ errands.

The days seem to run together when you are so busy and checking off the to-do list one thing at a time at a mom-frantic pace. Moms know what that means: in the moments when you think you have free time, you can’t relax because you know that margin in your day might vanish in a flash for any number of reasons (some come with great stories, some come with Facebook moments … but many you’re just getting through). Since I don’t have to think much about my wardrobe I don’t. But I have already started planning for my next fashion experiment.

I will mostly keep to my static wardrobe, but add in Rent the Runway for parties, special occasions and some everyday or weekend wear. I set up my account on the unlimited plan, this way, I can return as much as I want and order as much as I want, always having three pieces at home. To try something on, decide if I like it, etc. Since you really can’t rent a whole wardrobe I am using it on an as-needed basis. I am doubtful, however, that this will be a good addition since I have not even got the first box and the process is already frustrating. I saw things I liked but they did not have my size or it was not applicable to the unlimited plan … they do have a limited amount of special occasion outfits on the unlimited plan. I also am doubtful I will be prioritizing trips to the UPS store to be able to access my next styles.

The question is Why? Why do these fashion experiments? Why try to minimize? Why try to fix something that isn’t broken? Or maybe it is broken, but it isn’t burning the house down? Learning and growing, changing to make things better, is always beneficial. Being raised in the North with definite seasons, it was a necessity to change your wardrobe out seasonally, as well as follow the Fashion Rules. But I never had direction as far as how to structure it: two pairs of jeans and three tee shirts. Back then we really only bought the necessity of what we could afford. I had one pair of Jordache Jeans that I wore until they wouldn’t zip, no matter what … even with me laying on the floor. I remember paying the outrageous price of $16.99 for jeans. Then came the brand called “Used” … they had patches and rips. I wore them with my Coca Cola brand jacket and Benetton Rugby shirt. Though my sister and I stayed current on trends, we were limited in the number of items, and hence limited on options. That was until we both started working in the mall (at 14 and 15 years old), and in short order our closets were filled and options were vast. And so it started with my closet problems! That is, until I got to NYC and closet space and funds were so limited the clothing options had to follow suit.

I am learning that having structure is the best plan to stay organized and keep the chaos at bay. Up until this point I have not really been a list maker. I know everyone raves about how great lists are, blah blah blah. However, my previous experience with lists was that I would write them and never go back and read them. Similar to my closet and the half a billion other things I do or want to do, I get super into it. Accomplish a ton, then disappointment strikes in one way or another, or it’s not giving me my desired results … and then I am onto the next “obsession.” Some obsessions last longer than others: CrossFit lasted 4 years until pregnancy injuries brought that to a screeching halt. I still plan to go back to it when I’m fully recovered from my abdominal surgery, but probably at a more moderated level of enthusiasm and involvement than before.

That constant element of moving on to the next obsession was probably part of why the fashion industry was a good fit for me: the industry (and the personalities) were so volatile, job changes happened all the time. At the same time, it was super easy to have a very lucrative career as a freelance designer. So I frequently had a fresh start: new adventure, new enthusiasm. I could make the most delicious lemonade out of those lemons.

When your life is so crazy busy, thinking straight is a challenge. You frantically move from one thing to the other, hoping you haven’t forgotten something like picking up your kids or feeding them, the essentials of life. You feel like there is nothing you can cut out. Maybe not completely, but minimizing is a great plan. I am also super excited for a closet sale, getting rid of most of my clothes is actually an exciting thought for me. Like I said before minimizing my choices is my exact goal, this should help my to-do list shrink, less things means less to take care of, less on the list.

Follow my blog for more posts and more on minimizing and simplifying this crazy life.

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