When I got pregnant I realized that a lot was going to change. My body. My life. And yes, my wardrobe. For the most part, I’ve dressed the bump in any way possible. At first, my mom was great about picking up secondhand maternity finds in thrift shops and sending them my way. Between her finds and my clearance buys, I managed to have several work appropriate pieces and even some fun weekend ones.
Now that my pregnancy is drawing to a close though (and I’m steadily outgrowing those maternity clothes I worked so hard at gathering) my mind is lingering to what I may be wearing in my post-baby days. In my immediate post-baby days I fully understand that I will be wearing maxi skirts, yoga pants, and Adam’s t-shirts. I’m fine with that. I’m way more excited though about the prospect of entirely changing my wardrobe, and my style, after baby’s arrival. For weeks I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas of how to rebuild a wardrobe to be both work appropriate, stylish, and versatile. In my lurking, I’ve discovered several things about my typical clothes buying habits.
1) I buy without a plan: I’m an impulse shopper. I sometimes go to the store with a goal to get a pair of jeans but then find myself with no jeans but four tops that I found on clearance that are just “too cheap and cute” to pass up. I never pause and try to figure out how those four tops are going to play in my wardrobe. Do they only go with jeans? Can I wear them to work? What about weekends? Would they work with a skirt too? How is the quality? Is it too trendy? I don’t ask myself any of these questions. I just buy the tops. As a result, I end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
2) I am attracted to clearance: There is nothing wrong per se with buying clearance items. The problem is that when I go into a store, it is usually the only place I look. If I’m shopping online, it is the only tab I click on. If I can’t find a coupon code or a discount, I don’t purchase. This alone probably isn’t the worst shopping habit to have but it starts to take its toll when I look at my wardrobe overall. By only picking up extreme bargains, my closet is devoid of some “wardrobe basics.” I don’t have a plain white button up shirt that I love (or even a plain white tee). Similarly, I don’t own a single pair of non-distressed jeans. That’s a problem.
3) I don’t think about accessories: While I have some necklaces and scarves that I’ve picked up on clearance here and there, overall, I never think twice about accessories. I’ve always considered money on accessories as wasted money. But when I scroll through some of my favorite Pinterest looks, I can clearly see how an accessory alone can sometimes completely change an outfit. I need to learn skills for picking proper (versatile) accessories and come to terms with spending some money on them.
4) My Shoe Problem: First let me say that I’ve always loved being a 6.5 in shoes. If this pregnancy ups my shoe size permanently I’ll be so sad. Now that I have that out of the way, let’s discuss my problem with shoes. I love shoes. Love, love, love, love! Pretty heels (and even flats) make me so happy. Because they make me so happy, I tend to buy way too many of them. (Gasp! Can a girl even HAVE too many shoes? Yes. She can.) Like with most of my other clothing choices, I go for quantity over quality in shoes. When I go shoe shopping, I rationalize that dropping $100 on THREE pairs of mediocre shoes is way better than spending $100 on a quality pair of wardrobe staples. So I buy three, wear the crap out of them, and then in three months they are falling apart. I can’t tell you how many shoes in my closet are just worn out. Then, instead of chunking them, I hold onto them forever with plans to get them repaired. But I never do because what’s the point in repairing shoes that the repair would cost MORE than the shoe? In short, I need to weed down my shoe collection, buy some QUALITY staples, and learn that less is more.
After really mapping out why my closet is currently stuffed yet useless, I made a decision to go on a rather large purge soon and toss and/or sell many items. Then, as my body recovers from this pregnancy, I will slowly rebuild my entire wardrobe. I hope to end up with waaaaayyyy less clothes in my closet but many, many more options overall on what to wear each day. In addition, I’m hoping to up my style a bit and add a touch more sophistication. That’s where The Skirt comes in. I bet you were wondering when I’d get around the talking about the skirt that this post is named for huh?
Well, the other night while shopping at Target’s clearance section (old habits die hard right?) I ran across the most perfect pencil skirt. All my recent Pinterest wardrobe checklists have told me that a young professional needs a black/white patterned pencil skirt. Low and behold, I saw this beauty — in my pre-pregnancy size — and I started to see my new wardrobe fall into place in my brain. I realized that it would be a long time before I could comfortably wear this skirt but I knew that hanging it in my closet would give me motivation on two fronts: 1) Get back to my pre-baby size; 2) Clear out the clutter, add in some quality pieces, and build the wardrobe I’ve always wanted. It was pure skirt inspiration!
So, I bought it. It’s hanging in my closet and I feel really good about it. So now the countdown is on to my new and improved wardrobe. Oh yeah — and the kid that should be here in like four weeks! Eeek!
PS: If you have any good resources for rebuilding wardrobes please let me know. I’m really interested in anything that gives me solid guidance on how to pick out new pieces once I’ve purged all the crap.