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Valued Contributor
Posts: 511
Registered: ‎10-20-2011

Hi fashion friends!

Fashion musings...

For the past few years, every time I counted all the pieces in my closet (I'm a counter...it's weird, I know), I've consistently had between 120 to 130 items (all clothes, all seasons). Out of those, at any time, I could easily pick out between five and eight items that I call my "one-out" pieces (the one-in, one-out rule).

My "one-out" pieces are pieces that, pre-Purge, I was attracted to for whatever reason, but rarely, if ever, wore. Pre-Purge, I purchased these kinds of pieces because they were artsy!!unusual!!, trendy, on sale, an impulse, or just "fun."

Even though I rarely wore them, I held onto them, usually, because I hated to waste the money or just in case I might need them some day (you never know when you'll need 14 white tees or an embroidered red silk dress with a matching cape haha). A pile of artsy!!, trendy, impulse, etc. purchases that I quickly tired of wearing and, yet, foolishly kept adding to...this crazyness was one of the catalysts for The Purge.

Rather than eliminate these kinds of purchases entirely, which was an unrealistic goal because I want new and different things (Fashionista, know thyself!), I recently realized that what I unconsciously did was replace the expense of these pieces with thrifting. I can get my fashion "kicks" without spending a bundle and without feeling that I need to keep these pieces.

And, I've saved an amazing amount of money by thrifting (and ruthlessly examining myself and my fashion addiction and drastically changing my shopping behaviors...ugh); I have more than enough clothes that I love and wear on rotation; my closet is manageable; and I always have a handful of items that are interesting and fun.

There are two items this week that are "one-out" pieces, like the beautiful QF jacket from last week. What can I say? I'm not running a fashion museum (although that would be a dream job haha).

#1
This cute thrifted top didn't have a brand tag. It has a beautiful drape and (cotton rayon) hand. It's teal...more green than blue (I thought it was olive at first glance). The embroidery is beautiful and in perfect condition. Washed and dried like a dream.

This is literally the only outfit I can come up with from my closet (no, I'm not buying anything to go with haha)...I did not like it with any other denim wash or color on bottom. I LOVE that it has elbow sleeves! It's kool, but not versatile and looks like the kind of fun top I'll get tired of easily. AG Isabelle midtone, red leather Sak, reddish pink Franco Sarto suede sandals...






#2
Thrifted 100% wool (but sheer) brown pintuck Ralph blouse in "Gramma's couch" floral pattern. This is a second outfit I came up with...I wore it during transition with a base layer, midtone denim wash jeans, and ankle boots.

Yes it's a beautiful blouse...if you like florals...and pintucks...and sheer wool (this does not compute to me haha). And, of course, it's Ralph, so the quality is there. But...I know myself, and I'm going to tire of this one sooner or later. It's not really me and a little outside of my norm.

IMO, this outfit is just okay...I liked the transition version much better...so the versatility is limited.  Thrifted Mesmerize ankle pant, woven British tan Bueno sandals, straw Sak...




#3
This is more the norm for me. This outfit is all about the thrifted (beach consignment) silk scarf in my opinion. Old Eileen Fisher cotton gauze shirt, old AG Harper midtone, thrifted Donald Pliner espadrille sneakers (espa-sneaks haha), old Baggallini bag. Nothing used in this outfit is on the one-out list...






#4
Thrifted (beach consignment) Mesmerize "Muriel" rayon blend ankle pant with front slits in light khaki. I'm in love with this pant...fit is perfect and comfortable, and it's made in the USA. Tempted to buy the black (Amazon, My Fair Lady).

I was a little worried about khaki because the beige shades are not for me, but I love it with black (and a couple other summer blouses in my closet), and it gives me an opportunity to wear gold jewelry.

Looking at the pic, I just realized I have the perfect scarf to go with this outfit (one of the bonuses of taking pics of outfits is a different perspective for critiquing and idea inspiration). 

Nothing in this outfit is on the hit list.  Old EF cotton gauze, Time & Tru straw sandals (love!), gold charm bracelet (which used to be packed with charms that had to be sold during a desperate time of my life), old gold tone Aztec earrings, Old BMak champagne metallic bag...






I'd be curious to know if you've ever thought about or have done a major closet purge or changed your shopping habits drastically.  What was the catalyst?  Was it worth your while?  Did you fall back into old habits?  That sort of thing.

Have a great week, ladies!

~~~11th Commandment: Thou shalt not quote MacDuff's ridiculously long posts; once is ridiculously long enough. Amen~~~
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,800
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

MacDuFF, your accessories this week were particularly lovely.

 

#4 Mak metallic bag, shoes and charm bracelet were beyond.  I also liked the red Sak bag and sandals in #1 (which looked like they matched the shirt perfectly).

 

Your black gauze shirt in #3 screams "quality" so I wasn't surprised it is Eileen Fisher. Shoes are cute and I love the color of the blue bag.

 

I never really had "play" clothes, everything I had was geared to work. I am now retired and all of my blouses and tops are really too "dressy" for every day wear. I can't go out and buy a new wardrobe so have been buying "as is" things occasionally and did splurge on a pair of Laurie Felt jeans (which I haven't worn in twenty years). I have been purging a bit, donating clothes so others can enjoy them. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,317
Registered: ‎06-14-2010

Whenever I change my clothes to fit the seasons, I try to purge the tops and bottoms I hardly wear or may not fit anymore, either too big or snug!  I donate my clothes and It is for the most part easy for me to do.  However, there are pieces I hang on to because I still like them and always think I will wear at some point.  I still have too much .  

 

I have more clothes in retirement than when I worked, that is crazy!!!!!  LOL

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,133
Registered: ‎05-15-2014

I really like the outfits you put together.  I am not a thrift shopper but I am amazed by your finds at times.   I have purged my closet many times, donated a lot of clothing over the years.  Embarassingly some with the tags still on.  Impulse shopping has always been a weakness for me and I have been trying to restrain for several years, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!   It's hard for me to pass up a good deal to this day!

 

Thanks for the time you put into your posts, it is appreciated.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,637
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Interesting question.  I no longer have a handbag addiction and the catalyst was when purses were getting stolen at work and I started leaving my purse locked in the trunk of my car.  So I no longer changed purses to match outfits.  Now in retirement I find that it works for me to have one nice leather bag for fall/winter and one bag (usually fabric) for spring/summer. 

 

Clothing is a different story.  I still have too many clothes and am continually trying to simplify my wardrobe.  We have four distinct seasons where I live and that complicates things a bit for me.  Or maybe that's an excuse!  I followed your closet purge and your weekly posts are inspiring to me. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,206
Registered: ‎09-07-2014

@MacDuFF   Good Morning! Sunshine and springtime weather is finally here!  I enjoyed reading this week's post about closet purging. I go through my clothes as the weather transitions. I've also been trying not to buy because I have too much already and I'd rather save money. (However, if I see something that's so cute, then all bets are off! I'm only human.)

I recently went through my closet and will donate 4 pairs of dress pants which I still like but not longer fit me correctly. (Thank you, menopa**se.) Once I retire, I'm sure there will be much more to donate. It will take time, but I would like to pare down a bit.

Enjoy your day.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 511
Registered: ‎10-20-2011

Thank you @DSD2  That BMak bag has to be about 25-30 years old. Granted, I don't use it often, but it still looks brand new. EF gauze is about 6-7 years old and has been washed/dried dozens of times and still looks like the day I bought it. What a relief the red Sak and suede sandals work with the embroidered top! Otherwise, I'd have had nothing but black to go with...and I would not have liked it at all with black haha.

I hear ya about having all work clothes, but no play clothes. That was me for 40 years, seriously. Although I did wear dressier tops with jeans, so double duty on some pieces = phew. You're smart to shop "as is!" Whenever I put something in the donation bag, I say "some one else will love it." That way, I don't feel too awful about re-donating a piece I only wore a few times. Twenty years without jeans!  I cannot imagine! I hope you love and wear your new Laurie Felt jeans in good health.

@spiderw   Hahaha that is crazy, woman! It's gotten so that I'm continually purging...for 90% of my clothes, I either love it or it's functional and I wear it, or it's outta here.

Thanks @LindaSal    I hear ya! One of the catalysts for The Great and Terrible Closet Purge of 2018 was finding a cardi that had fallen in the back of the closet with tags still on. I was shocked that I bought this piece and never wore it and, apparently, completely forgot I'd bought it and never wore it. It's easy for me now, but there was a time when I couldn't pass up a sale to save my life!

I remember we had some fun and interesting interaction during The Purge @sandy53    I never had a handbag addiction...couldn't afford it after buying clothes haha...so I did the same with a neutral bag or two for everything.

 

I definitely don't think having lots of clothes for four distinct seasons is an excuse...it's a real problem for lots of women (I'm from the mid-west, so I know). Storage alone used to be my biggest problem. I do think, though, that it's possible to get a handle on any size closet, any budget, etc. But, believe me, it's a royal PITA and one of the hardest things I've ever done! Very nice to "see" you again, sandy.

@Lisa Y    Enjoy the warm weather Cuz! I know what you mean about being human and seeing something you can't resist. One of the first things I noticed about my shopping behavior when I got serious about my closet situation/fashion addiction was that I was always attracted to unusual pieces, couldn't resist, had to have them, and then they'd hang in my closet gathering dust.

 

Why was I buying clothes for some fantasy life?!  It was one of the hardest behaviors for me to break. I trained myself to notice my thought process while shopping. If I said anything remotely along the lines of, "Oh! Isn't that unusual!! [different, artsy]," I'd run the other way. Now, I'm just super cautious, but more forgiving of my human nature.

 

I suggest to women all the time to stop buying work clothes at least two years out from retirement. Live with what you have, and you'll thank me later!

Thanks to all!

~~~11th Commandment: Thou shalt not quote MacDuff's ridiculously long posts; once is ridiculously long enough. Amen~~~
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,533
Registered: ‎03-19-2014

All four are great looks.  My favorite would be #4 with #1 as a runner up.  I'm kinda (OK....a lot) OCD when it comes to clutter and organization so I've never felt the need to do a major purge, etc.  I tend to go through my closet 2 - 3 times a year and put items in my Goodwill pile.  

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
- Author Unknown
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,405
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

@MacDuFF wrote:

I'd be curious to know if you've ever thought about or have done a major closet purge or changed your shopping habits drastically.  What was the catalyst?  Was it worth your while?  Did you fall back into old habits?  


@MacDuFF 

My major purge occurred 15 years ago. Beginning in the 90s, I was shopping once a week in stores and frequently on QVC & HSN. I also shopped fashion catalogues & when mainstream Internet shopping became popular I did that way too often. 

My bedroom closet and dressers were stuffed, and I had 4 of those assemble yourself portable closets in my basement along with several large plastic bins. I wore everything at some point, but I had so much some items weren't worn more than once a year. 

 

One January, I totaled up my purchases from the previous year. Seeing that total in front of me and understanding how many years I'd been spending that much or more, was my catalyst. It wasn't a financial issue. I could afford everything I purchased. I just decided it was too much. I cut way back on shopping, especially online, which was way too easy. 

 

The first purge resulted in downsizing to one closet and 2 bins in the basement for out of season clothes. Clothes in my bedroom were in season items only. I was very proud of that purge, but I kept buying lots of new things. 

 

When our basement flooded, I decided it was time to get all my clothes for all 4 seasons in my bedroom. It took a ruthless purge to get there. I have kept my wardrobe limited to one closet and 2 dressers ever since. But, I still buy too much, but purge regularly. 

This year, I'm trying to do a low buy fashion year. I don't really need a lot of new things. I'm trying to only buy what truly needs replacing, and maybe, a few items if I really really love them. I've purchased less in 2023 than in any year in recent memory, but it's only May so still a long way to go. I love to shop in person so I'm not going inside clothing stores unless I truly need something. I don't shop as much online anymore, but the temptation is always there. 

That's my story. Thanks for reading.

Have a Great Day! 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,904
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: WIW (w/e 5/6/23)...

[ Edited ]

@MacDuFF: I agree with you about the two blouses that are on your Out list. If they do not play well with others, have a limited wearing season or become just a Like and not a Love, they can go in favor of something better- no guilt.

 

In answer to your question about the catalyst for becoming a Fashion Thrifter: I lost a lot of weight during the pandemic. Gave me something to do besdes baking and eating bread, LOL! I have been thrifting home goods and furnishings for decades, but as a plus size the thrift fashions were few & far between. The occasional ebay find was about it. 

One woman said that as I continued to lose I should not buy new as I would blow through sizes quickly. She was right- never occurred to me. I admired a friend's outfit after that and she told me she buys all her clothes at our local charity thrift, and the rest is history. Over time I have found many wonderful local thrift stores.

 

Your exquisite taste and ability to play with your wardrobe never ceases to inspire!

 

Designer thrift sale #2 was Thursday. My haul included:

 

2 pairs of lightweight j.jill slimming slightly bootcut jeans in my petite size- orig. $89.00

Ann Taylor blue linen/cotton short sleeve button front blouse

Loft cotton gauze 3/4 sleeve v neck 1/2 placket top (wearing today with crop jeans)

and always an EF item- this- a textured plum silk jacket lined in silk. Nothing like the EF style, fabric and fit. Prices ranged from $12.00 for jeans & tops to $37 for the EF jacket. More than my usual thrift prices, but it was a giant semi-annual charity fundraiser.

This sale featured more Talbots items than any Talbots store ever could.

 

While some stay away from thrifted footwear, I'm OK with it, because;

 

black tall Coach leather boots

black tall Aetrex boots

black Hoka sneakers

Haflinger boiled wool clogs ( my fave house shoes.)

 

Footwear ranged from $10.00 for the clogs to $25 for each of the others.

 

Another reason to thrift: I wore an all (mostly) thrifted outfit to church on Sunday. All originally from different retail sources and all wonderfully coordinated:

 

Blush lightweight faux suede topper over Apt. 9 (Kohl's) blush elbow sleeve rayon top, narrow blush leather belt with blush appliqued flowers, Chico's medium khaki slim leg pants and blush Skechers ballet flats (purchased recently at the QVC outlet store) and Think Roylin metallic bag, also from the Q outlet.

 

Of course, like you I am very particular about condition, fit, etc. Never buying just on price. Keeping to a narrow color pallette also helps to mix & match and not let the wardrobe get too out of control in size.

 

As always, thanks for your weekly update , wisdom and inspiration!