I am trying to keep up a certain basic level of sanity over here folks, but our (only) car has been in the shop since last Friday and I think today might be the day I start to get a little stabby with certain people involved in the situation, none of whom have been trapped in the house with these two children for six days. SIX DAYS I JUST WANT TO GO GET SOME LIBRARY BOOKS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Also, for future reference, when you have one rather old car and you are planning to buy a new one? Shortly? It’s a really terrible plan to wait for your one old car to break down. How did I think that was a good plan? Now we have 1. no car to go look for a new car with and 2. to pour money into the old car just so we can trade it in. Rarely have I had such bad plans that I felt so confident in.
Anyway, in order to keep myself from really losing it and running down the street stark naked, I will now share some nonsensical consumeristic ramblings about clothing.
I always know things are going badly in the State of the Closet when I start stealing my husbands clothes. This means I have given up and embraced my inner schlub because I have nothing I want to wear.
I’m not sure if I want to get into why I have nothing to wear when my drawers can barely be closed, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I buy clothes as insurance against that terrible feeling I got as a kid when I arrived at outdoor school and all the other kids were wearing Guess jeans and I had two pairs of elastic waisted pink corduroy pants. And so I tend to throw nondescript t shirts in my cart at Target because I can pass them off (in my own mind) as part of the “Random Crap I Bought At Target) budget and it’s easy and it lacks intention. If you don’t try, no one will know you care, right?!
I can dress myself up for an event like no body’s business. I think because in my head that’s “allowed”? It’s ok to be seen as “trying” for events that you are supposed to look nice for. But most of the time I am not attending a fancy dinner, and it’s the day to day stuff I am really having trouble with. If I am going to the grocery store or the park or preschool pickup, I won’t let myself wear a necklace or heels. I always feel over-dressed. I always feel stupid. I feel like something is going to think “Why is she even bothering? She looks so stupid. That effort sure failed!”
I am pretty sure I have never thought any of those things about anyone wearing cute shoes or a nice necklace in the preschool pick up line, so I have no idea why I hear those things in my own head. I never think those things about anyone! (But me.) I really just don’t want to look like I am I am trying and I failed. I don’t want to look stupid. So instead I just give up. Which is ridiculous, because really?
Somewhere along the line it just became easier to not try, to put all my extra money into clothing for my kids or into patio furniture. But the truth is that if I weed out all the things that don’t fit and the things that don’t quite zip up and the things that fit but look awful or that are too see thru, I’d have almost nothing to wear besides some fleece pants and some ribbed tank tops.
I kind of have a new plan though. Want to hear it?
A few years ago, I think, I read on Jordan Ferney’s blog that she tries to limit her kids clothing to 5 items. So they each have 5 t shirts, 5 pairs of pants, 5 sweaters, etc. At the time I dismissed this as INSANITY, but I think about it all the time, and I’m kind of wondering if the solution to my “every day schlubby stay at home mom” look isn’t in making myself buy more floofy shirts or skinny jeans, but instead if I just need some kind of uniform, for lack of a better word, 5 pieces each of some basic things, all of which fit, look good, and which I am confident in. If something is too small or too see through or a zipper breaks, then I buy another one, always keeping the number of pieces to 5.
It would be something like this: (all in shades of navy, white, tan, or orange so I mix it and match it).
5 plain T shirts: 2 navy blue, 2 white, 1 navy blue polo shirt
5 long sleeved t shirts: 2 navy blue, 2 white, 1 in a different color
5 tank tops
5 other shirts that I probably won’t wear: 1 long sleeved button down, 1 fancy blouse type thing, 2 “fancy” t shirts
5 longish bottoms: 2 pairs of regular jeans, 1 pair of trouser jeans, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of khaki ish pants
5 shortish bottoms: 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of denim capris, 2 pairs of work out shorts
3 skirts plus 2 dresses
5 misc extras: 1 belt, two scarves, 2 chunky necklaces
So I would clean out EVERYTHING and get rid of it unless 1. I like it and wear it and 2. it fits into my plan. And then I would slowly buy stuff that works and fits into this schematic until I had all these pieces, and then I wouldn’t buy anything else unless I need it, because I have to get rid of something.
I have to say I really like this idea. I once knew a kid who had a spreadsheet to tell him what shirt to wear on what day and I made so much fun of him, you don’t even know, but I am really feeling this. None of this would be fancy or accessorized or something you’d see on a fashion blog, but it would be clean and it would match and it would fit and I think in a certain preppy California way it could even be kind of cute. It’d be a damn site cuter than “here I made no effort at all to do anything besides throw on my husbands wrinkled Detroit Tigers shirt so please don’t judge me”.
(Here’s an idea of some of the stuff I’m of, if you want to check out my Pinterest board.)
Is this something else everyone else is already doing? Do think this is the worst idea you’ve ever heard? Although trust me it can’t be any worse than that whole “wait until the car breaks to a buy a new car” idea I had.
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