Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is my 1001st Post, and I'm Going to Talk About My Wardrobe

Kinda missed the fact that yesterday was my thousandth post. I like that it was what it was, that I didn't notice, that writing here is less about how many posts and how much I can say and more about, well, nothing. I can't believe that all three of you still show up to read this crap. But thanks! And here's to 1001 more posts.

Maybe it started with watching too much What Not to Wear, or maybe it had something to do with seeing so many fabulously dressed folks on the web, but at some point I started really paying attention to what I wear and how often and how it makes me feel. I started to loosen up my rules about clearance racks and only clearance racks and I'm sorry, that costs more than $14.99 and it's not on the clearance rack. I began steadily building a wardrobe with items that cost more than I am comfortable admitting I spent. But here's the thing: nearly every single item I bought that I felt guilty about due to price, I still wear and love. It started with a pair of Camper Twins years ago, shoes that I wore twice this week, which are still in great shape, which I still like, which have never caused me pain of the sort only obtained through shoes purchased on clearance at a discount outlet. I'm not saying that I haven't gotten cheap things that I love, but when it comes to ratio of Love It! to Shouldn't Have, Not Ever, the pricier items are clearly winning. Have you ever heard that you get what you pay for? Turns out that one's often true.

Of course, one can't buy everything that is attractive and fits well. So I have an informal ratings system. I score based on fit, likely opportunities I'll have to wear it, how it makes me feel (yes, yes, I know, cheesy, but it's important--if I don't feel good in it, I won't wear it, no matter how much the salesgirl gushes that it looks perfect), and price. I prefer to at least be saving something. If it's fantastic, Boden's frequent 20% off plus free shipping and returns is sufficient. If it's 50% and I've been stalking it at Anthropologie, it's pretty much a done deal. With this system, plus staying within a designated clothing budget (if I don't have money, I can't even look, it's that simple), I've managed to build a wardrobe that is smaller than it used to be, but that is full of pieces that I truly enjoy putting on.

At the end of this month, I will turn thirty-four. My big kids turn this number over in their minds, and I ask them if they can imagine being thirty-four. When they tell me no, I admit that I never could when I was a kid, either. The highest age I could comprehend eventually being was twenty-three. But I am glad to have reached this point, beyond what I could imagine then. I am so much more comfortable with myself at nearly thirty-four than I was at twenty-three. I am more confident and feel more attractive. I'd be lying if I told you that the wardrobe isn't part of that. But I'd also be lying if I told you that the good wardrobe has nothing to do with what I've learned as I've gotten older. I might miss the lack of crow's feet and smile lines of my twenties, but I don't miss the rest. Not at all.

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