I Hate My Wardrobe

dreary closet

(Erika/Mom) A few mornings back, I shivered into my attic closet and couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear. All of a sudden I hated everything. This is not characteristic of me; normally I am cheerful and optimistic about my chances of wearing something that looks decent without labeling me as a “mom in mom pants” or worse yet, a slob.

The all-too-familiar patterns of all-too-well-worn shirts and blouses hung tiredly in their places. Limp cable-knit sweaters melted together with blended-fiber turtlenecks and miscellaneous cardigans. Two pairs of jeans folded neatly among some decidedly high-waisted mom pants that Lizzi begs me not to wear. So I wear my jeans a lot. I spent months looking for slim black pants that didn’t give me a muffin-top belly; never found ’em. Most of my dresses are from the mid- to late 1990s–classics or has-beens, depending on your mood.

So we all get the problem–or do we? I’ve been thinking about this quite deeply, and decided that in my case, it’s not about having anything decent to wear. It’s more about laziness and under-utilizing observation and experimentation. Most of us evaluate our wardrobe in the morning, which isn’t always the best time for creativity. Rows of clothes are scanned quickly and our eye picks up the same things over and over again. Anyone who shops like this is bound to leave the store disappointed. My mother shops like this and it drives me nuts. How can you find something unless you really look for it? Clothing will not come out and curtsy to you. You gotta dig, man.

Same thing with our own closets. Digging a little deeper, I discovered (or re-discovered) a few things that have great potential, worn right. Take this blouse, for example:

I've had this lacy blouse for longer than I care to admit. It's from The Limited and is still in great shape.

I've had this lacy blouse for longer than I care to admit. It's from The Limited and is still in great shape.

By itself, it’s pretty blah. But if I take the time to pair it up with another shirt and some interesting accessories, it really takes on a new life. The first set is the blouse over a Macys v-neck tank and a long necklace doubled over:

This combo is much better, I think. With some acid-washed jeans and shoes other than mom-clogs I could hold my head up.

This combo is much better, I think. With some acid-washed jeans and shoes other than mom-clogs I could hold my head up.

Going one step further, I fished out an old Cabi belt that I bought in 2005. I never wear it, but it’s actually really pretty. (Lizzi, tell me if I’m delusional here.) Anyway, adding the sparkling belt with a really soft scarf in an incredible shade of blue, I came up with this:

It's possible...for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage...a Cinderella transformation of my old blouse.

It's possible...for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage...a Cinderella transformation of my old blouse.

So what do you think Lizzi?

(Lizzi/Daughter) Mom, I think you should stop wearing your clogs and start wearing your awesome belts!

I do agree that a lot of your clothes are a little bit old, but if you dress things up like you did to that blouse, you’ll be the most fashionable mom on the block (even though you already are…). Even though it’s easier for me to always have new things because I’m still growing, on most days, I’ll look at my clothes and totally hate what I see. I think we all have those days.

A better way for me to pick out my clothes is to do it the night before, when I’m not so groggy. I also like to ask Mom for help because she always thinks of things to pair together that I would never think of.

The other day, I really hated how small my wardrobe was compared to my friends’ and asked my mom for help. She told me to pair a gray sweater vest with a striped sweater, which I thought would look really odd, but it ended up being my favorite outfit of the week.

A great accessory to add to your wardrobe is a belt. Belts can either accessorize your pants or your top. The best place to put your belt is at your waist, like mom did. You can belt anything from cardigans to loose tunics (think medieval!)

Like this:
belted cardigan and tunic

Mom and I are going to try and feature more “reality” posts with our own clothes, so excuse us while we go tidy up our closets.

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