Wednesday, March 30, 2016

early spring curated closet: outfit roundup #3

The end of March is fast approaching, which makes a month of the curated closet experiment.  Here's what I wore as the month drew to a close.

Lots of bad selfies, lots of stripes, and lots of outfit repeating... (yes, I love the green cashmere with the navy/white stripe tee, and denim pleated skirt!)

I tried to mix it up a little by wearing my sea unicorn dress.  It's sleeveless, so it's a little cooler than most of the clothes in this capsule collection, but we were having good weather and I layered my navy cardigan and a scarf, so I stayed warm enough.  I also cheated a bit by adding in the new-to--me southwesty sweatshirt I got on my big Goodwill Superstore adventure as part of my athleisure theme.

My brain was working differently when I did this collage and it's actually going back in time from Saturday of last week toward Monday, with Thursday missing.  I forgot to add in my me-made day:

Oops!  It's another cheat - it was sunny and I just wanted to wear my new flowery skirt instead of wintery plaids and heavier prints. Also, I wanted my sweetie to get some pictures for my Veronika skirt post.

I'm wearing new-to-me pants that I got from my Naked Lady party - a pair of  Levi skinny denim jeans and Levi skinny black cotton velveteen pants. When I brought these in, I stored the jeans I previously had.

I wore two semi-cheats of outerwear sweaters that I sort of think of as coats for transitional weather... The dark green vintage one is for St. Patrick's Day, with matching vintage suede hunter green flats. The long pearl grey duster was the only sweater I had that layered well over my sparkle hi-lo tee, which I wore for a date day in Portland.

I really enjoyed wearing my new knitted tee for the whole trip, from the drive, to shopping and bopping around town all day, to going out for a fancy dinner in the evening.  It's easy and fancy at the same time.  I was quite happy with how it wore in a real life test.

Another cheat.  I bought a pair of shoes at Buffalo Exchange on Hawthorne Street - I went in just to look for Oxfords and I fell in love with these Vans leather saddle oxfords. Oxfords have been on my thrift wishlist and in my plan for shopping for late spring/summer, so I was excited to find some on our adventure.  They are a happy souvenir of a very happy day with my sweetie.


Clearly my will to stick with the current capsule has been waning as the weather has been slowly changing to spring and all the bold and somber winter colors/fabrics/styles started to feel heavy and depressing - especially after the funeral.

So... Easter Sunday, I spent the day sewing, reflecting, and reorganizing my closet. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the minimalist zero-waste blog Jane+Jo+Julia lately, in how she edits her wardrobe by the month. I decided to evolve my plan to be month-by-month, rather than spanning over a full season.  Spring in the PNW changes too rapidly for that to work very practically.

I retired some things from the first capsule iteration that were feeling particularly heavy and brought out a few new things to lighten the feeling of my closet. Overall, I edited to have fewer things in the closet, which I considered a win.

I added in the rose babydoll dress I got on my Goodwill trip, in lieu of the heavier long floral dress. I rotated out all the wool/plaid/heavy skirts, leaving only my denim skirt and added in my two new Veronika skirts (yes, I finished another one this weekend - will be blogged soon!) leaving room for a few more me-made skirts to be added over this month, but overall paring down the number of skirts I have in my closet. I also added in the navy/white blouse and navy velveteen blazer, for which I traded out my yellow plaid & red silk vintage blouses, the southwest cardigan, and the buffalo check pullover.

I stashed my black turtleneck and added in a shortsleeve mint tee from storage and the short sleeve navy/white striped tee and cardigan from my recent Goodwill adventure, as well as my newly finished Twisted Grapes sweater.

I left a few pieces from this month's capsule that I didn't get to wear because it hasn't been warm enough yet & they don't work as layering pieces.  The mistake of adding these items into a March closet was a good learning experience - transitional season items must layer easily, so no full/poufy sleeves until summer!

All in all, I am refreshed and re-inspired by the update - it feels like a natural rhythm to edit slightly month to month and the changes didn't involve buying new clothes - just incorporating in a few mindfully thrifted items from the last month, updated jeans from the naked lady party, making some me-mades, and pulling out things I had stored.

However, cheat-buying the oxfords made me rethink my shopping plan of waiting until May to shop. I decided that I do better with gradually collecting & that I wanted to buy some fabric now to make a couple of key basics for later, so I don't want to make rigid rules about when to shop... rather, I can accomplish the goal at the root of my planning idea, by setting a budget for a defined period of time to conserve my own financial resources and be mindful of improving the sustainability & intentionality of my fashion-related choices.

I set a budget for now until July 1st that includes all fashion-related purchases both ready-to-wear and raw materials.  I'm counting PDF patterns for sewing and knitting, yarn, fabric, notions, shoes, clothes, and accessories - from thrifted, online, new, and resale sources. My goals are to try to make from my stash, thrift what I can't make, resale what I can't thrift, and buy new things only very mindfully from made in the USA &/or fair-trade sources.

I spent about 40% of the budget right away. I counted the saddle oxfords as the first purchase from this budget and I also bought a pair of resale grey suede wingtips on ebay; fabric for two neutral basic skirts, and a bias tape maker.

I'm pretty excited about making my own bias tape.  How fun will it be to make printed tape? And it will be a good way to use scrap fabrics too!


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