It's an addiction. I love clothes. [...] I have lots of costumes. You never know when you're going to have to dress up like a milkmaid from the 1600s.
~ Zooey Deschanel
I never dreamed it would get this bad, but I finally faced the truth and realized that it had to be done. I have arranged an intervention for… myself. I singled out one of my friends who, in my opinion, always looks classy and “put together” and asked her to play Stacy and Clinton (Stacon? Clintacy?) from “What Not to Wear” with me.
My wardrobe is hopeless – I have a closet full of clothes, but I never have anything to wear. Nothing goes together and even if it did, I wouldn’t know how to combine things. I end up wearing the same old handful of standbys all the time and, while I will grant you that I’m usually easy to spot in a crowd (!), I don’t think anyone would ever say that I look “put together”.
So, I asked my friend, W., if she would take me on a shopping trip and help me start from the ground up to assemble a good, solid wardrobe and learn how to dress myself. Once she realized that I wasn’t expecting her to provide the credit card pre-loaded with $5,000, she was happy and excited to sign on. (Poor W. – I don’t think she knew what she was getting into – the money is likely to be the least of the difficulties!)
We each did our homework ahead of time. W. picked out the stores that she wanted to include in our shopping extravaganza and I looked up and aggregated a bunch of different lists of “basic wardrobe staples” from the internet. (A good one is at Real Simple.)
Oddly enough, when I showed her my initial list of over 50 items (just the basics, folks, nothing but the basics), it was not received with overwhelming approval and satisfaction. Apparently she wanted me to “prioritize” or some such nonsense… She didn’t even give me credit for the fact that I had already weeded out the velvet jacket! ;)
What!?!? We can’t purchase a basic wardrobe of about 50 items in a single shopping day? Humph….
After a painful and brutally ruthless editing session, (cue triumphant Rocky theme song), I was able to get it down to about 30 items. Yay!
Here, then, is my prioritized list:
- At least 1 camisole in a neutral, skin-tone shade
- Tank tops – 1-4, at least 1 in black
- Short-sleeve t-shirt – at least 1 white & 1 black, possibly a couple more in other solid colors
- Long-sleeve t-shirt – 1 white & 1 black
- Pinstriped oxford shirts (2)
- Silk shells (at least 2)
- Cardigans – possibly 1 in black and 1 in white
- Fitted jacket/blazer
- Skirts for work – possibly 3 – maybe 1 solid/neutral and 2 patterned
- Blue jeans (2-4 pairs)
- Work slacks - 3-5 pairs, to include khakis, grey & tweed
- Solid color shirtdress
- Printed dress
- Belts – at least 2
- Flats – at least 2 pairs
- Graphic sweater
- Short sleeved white blouse
- Bold blouse
- Ruffled shirt
- Denim jacket
- A-line, wool skirt
- Little black dress
- Black suit – I own one suit and there are not many times in my job when a suit is necessary
- Summer suit – ditto
- Black pants – I already have a pair, but 2 isn’t bad
- White button up shirt – I already have one, but 2 isn’t bad
- Polo shirts (1-3) – meh…
- Black turtleneck – I live in Florida – there are enough warm tops on my list already
- V-neck sweater – ditto
- Patterned jacket - ditto
- Sparkly top – I’m not a night-life kind of a gal
- Cocktail skirt – ditto
- Party dress – ditto
- Sun dress – I can make these, plus, it’s January!
Besides the obvious (i.e., insane), what do you think about “my” (internet-plagiarized) shopping list? Luckily, W. is a frugal shopper, so I’m counting on her to help steer me towards the bargains. Although, I do believe that you get what you pay for, so I don’t want things to be too cheap.
I have no idea how much progress we’ll be able to make in one day, but this will be the first time in my life that I’ve ever shopped with a wardrobe plan – so wish me luck! :)
And stay tuned, to see how it all turns out… ;)