Thursday, March 11, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere

I’m reading Nina Garcia’s newest book, Style Strategy and it’s pretty inspirational so far. Her purpose for the book is, as she writes, “to help propel you forward into that place where style and shopping are one.” In other words, where what you buy is in balance with what actually works for your style.

She writes that, for many women, our closets are like the expression “water, water everywhere…but not a drop to drink”. We women have closets bursting with clothes. And yet anytime an event comes up, be it a baseball game or a night at the opera, we somehow have NOTHING to wear.

We all do it. We keep clothes because they bring up a fun memory, because it was a gift, because we feel stupid for buying into a horrible fad, or because we spent a sinful amount of money on it. Or how about because we are absolutely convinced it will fit us again…someday.

These things take up space in our closets despite the fact that they’re worn out, outdated, ill-fitting, and unflattering. I only got four chapters in and I was MOTIVATED. I was gonna do it! Clean out the closets and drawers and boxes and find all the stuff that just doesn’t work for me and clear it out.

So, I grabbed a can of rocket fuel and three garbage bags. Three bags is a lot. But darnitall, the time had come to toss what doesn’t work. I set out, determined to find three bags worth of stuff to toss to the Goodwill.

And this is what I ended up with:

NINETEEN bags of clothes that no longer work for me!!! I didn’t even think I owned that many clothes! The purging produced mixed emotions.

This sweater was an easy toss. It’s one of those things that’s super comfy….but I faced the reality that I am way to busty to be wearing such a bulky sweater.

I went from mad to indifferent with this blazer. It’s a favorite but I sloshed coffee all over myself wearing it and stained it. But I happen to have a piece of wool that’s incredibly similar. The cut of the blazer is kind of 1980’s so now I’ll be able to make one with the exact same color blend and weave, just in a more modern cut.

Can you even tell the difference? (The arm is resting on the new fabric).

This pile was a bummer

In sewing class we were taught sewing techniques. But we were not taught about fit, form, or flattery. So I MADE this whole pile of tops years ago. They look like this:

I’ll be blunt. I’ve got big jugs. And if you’re gonna carry big jugs, you need big arms to do it. I do not have the upper body figure for tops like this. What a blow to have to toss so many self-made items!

This one made me almost cry. It’s one of two vintage suits that I bought. True vintage in good shape is hard to find. I found ‘em but they’re two sizes too small. I guess I thought that if I squeeze my eyes really hard and click my heels three times, maybe they’d fit. I’m going to try selling them since I just can’t bear to give them away.

I love this dress. I love the design, the color, and the fabric. It’s the dress I wore to stand up with my friend when she and her husband renewed their wedding vows. She wore a similar one in white. Dresses like these are NOT the right style for either one of us (gosh darn potbellies!) but they were the style and all we could find that year. THANK GOODNESS I sew. I love so much about this dress to toss it, and it’s attached to a great memory. So I'm going to try and re-purpose it.

I made this Bill Blass designed blazer (Vogue 2464). It doesn’t fit. At all. But darnit. I’m keeping it. I don’t care how hard I have to squeeze my eyes and how many times I have to click my heels. It will fit me. Someday.

I know I’m not the only one that has the bad habit of buying way more than she should. My sister came over and saw the Goodwill pile. Her comment? “Wow you really did some shopping, didn’t you?”


  1. Thanks for the comment on the mother huddle about my vinegars. You look like an amazing seamstress to me and you are funny in your writing.

  2. Suzanne, you are right! This blog is entertaining and motivating!