I have nothing to wear! I need a new dress! What should I wear? I can’t go to that fancy cocktail party, what would I wear?
Sound familiar? How is it that we women can walk into a closet full of clothes and still have nothing to wear? My husband used to laugh at me when I would fret over not having anything to wear, and then he would confidently walk over to a row of dresses, pick one out and say, “What about this, it looks terrific on you?”
I would frown and say something like, “No, I wore that last time we went out and some of the same people will be there.” Fine, he’d say, then he would proceed to pick out another dress, and I would have another lame reason why that one wouldn’t work either. This exchange would last about 10 minutes until we got to what I was waiting for: “Well then, I guess I have to go shopping for a new dress!”
Anything to get a new dress, right? New event. New dress. Simple! Well guess what: that didn’t last long, as our family grew and I found myself raising two young boys, those dress-up days became less frequent, and brand new dresses even more so.
My boys are grown now–21 and 23–and I have re-discovered my love of clothes and fashion. I never really lost it. I think it just went dormant while raising kids, nurturing a marriage and working out of my home. I did foster it by “dressing” my husband and helping him break out of wearing boring ties and traditional black, blue and grey.
With age comes wisdom, well at least that’s what we all hope for. I am now in a place of pairing down, decluttering my life, and I realize less is more, simple is better. And that includes my closet. I read an article recently about organizing and cleaning out your closet, and the writer challenged its readers, asking them if they could live with 37 articles of clothing, or maybe even less! WOW, I thought; no way–I need more! But do I really need more?
That is how my philosophy of 48 Pieces started. It’s about intentionally and mindfully taking stock of what’s important to me. Simply put, 48 Pieces asks 3 questions: 1) Do I really need this new blouse, jacket, dress, etc.? 2) Can I afford it? 3) Do I have room in my closet?
I am the first to admit I’m not there yet. But while I do have more than 48 Pieces in my closet, that’s not the point. For me it’s being aware of what I own, and how to make what I have work in harmony to create several looks for day and night. 48 is a number to strive for, but really it’s more than that to me: it’s the perfect age for a woman to discover her true self and lovingly embrace her beauty and uniqueness.
I have adopted a new rule that so far is working wonderfully for me: when I purchase something new, I retire something old. This way I am making room for the new item, and maybe making money off the old, or gifting it to a family member or charitable organization … more on this in my next post.
In the meantime, think about what works for you. Next time you walk into your closet and have nothing to wear, try and look at what you do have with fresh eyes. There may be a hidden gem of a dress, or a beautiful blouse you forgot about.
What’s your signature style number?
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SimplyTwo, Design & Style Made Simple
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