Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wardrobe Building

     Long time, no blog. Blah blah blah. I've got five kids. My blogging will be sporadic at best. Get over it.

     Now that I've gotten that out of the way- This year I turned 30. It's something I am completely relishing. I'm a firm believer in age being a number and you are as old as you believe yourself to be. I spent the course of my twenties having baby after adorable baby, and while my diaper changing days haven't quite come to an end yet (my two youngest kids are still in diapers) I am looking at my 30's as "the decade of me." My free time is increasing slowly but surely with my youngest turning two this year and since I have no more babies happening in my future, I can start building the proper wardrobe that I've always wanted but couldn't do when my size was doing the yo-yo thing with all the pregnancies.

     I love clothes, but I've never thought of myself as a clothes horse and I've never desired to be one. I'm all about the curated wardrobe, minimalist wardrobe, five-piece french wardrobe, whatever other name you want to call it. Looking around online, I've seen a LOT of lists that claim to be the essentials that every woman needs and I think a lot of it is a load of hooey. Women are diverse and unique beings with diverse lifestyles and personal preferences. What may be an essential to one woman's closet could be completely useless in the closet of another, even in very similar ladies.
     Take my best friend, Kyndal and I. We are the same age, we're both married, and we're both stay at home mothers with young children. However, she lives in a city and is married to a doctor and therefore attends dinner parties and charity galas and needs to keep a cocktail dress or two in her closet. I am married to a staff sergeant in the army who is attached to a reserve unit (so no military balls) and live in a small town where there is nothing even remotely fancy, so a cocktail dress wouldn't be getting the proper amount of love it deserves. Alternately, I live in a northern town in the mountains where we can easily have 9 month long winters and the only part of an outfit that most people will see is your jacket and boots, so I live for outwear. Kyndal lives in a warmer climate, so having a vast array of boots, jackets, and coats isn't necessary for her.

     For me, I like to have a uniform of sorts. Not that I'm wearing the exact same thing every day, it's more like a formula. It typically goes a little something like cardigan + t-shirt + jeans + flats. Sometimes I go for a blazer or jacket instead of a cardigan, or boots or sandals instead of flats as the season or weather allows. Sometimes it's a tank-top or blouse, sometimes it's fitted, sometimes it's flowy, sometimes I swap the jeans for a skirt, but the basic formula is how I like to build my outfits.

     Today makes one month away from the first day of school for us, so fall is right around the corner and I'm looking for my handful of items to spruce up my wardrobe of basics. Here's my working list at this point:

quilted puffer vest from J. Crew Factory
     I'm a little bit obsessed with this vest right now which, if you follow me on Pinterest, should be pretty obvious. I'm still undecided on what color I want and go back and forth between navy, black, and the black herringbone. I wear TONS of navy so part of me thinks, "Obvs I need the navy!" and the other part of me thinks, "I already have SO MUCH navy, maybe I need the black or the print to mix it up?" Let's be real, I'll probably get the navy. It's my go-to neutral. It's softer and easier (in my opinion) to wear than black and goes with both browns and greys. 

classic button-down shirt in plaid
     I've had many a plaid shirt show up in my closet, but they've always been given to me by other people as hand me downs and thus have been colors I haven't loved or sizes that don't fit me. This is the year I'm going to buy my own dang shirt! I'm not sure if I want it to be flannel or not, but I definitely want it to be something that buttons from top to bottom (and not just at the top) so I can wear it open over a t-shirt, and I want it to be slim enough that I can layer it underneath the above vest or a sweater.

a felted wool hat
     I incorporated a straw trilby into my spring/summer wardrobe this year. It was an impulse buy, but I have worn the heck out of it and am really wanting to get a felted wool version for my fall/winter wardrobe. I'm not sure on color. My go-to jacket for when it's too chilly for just a cardigan, but not chill enough for a heavy coat is my grey plaid fleece peacoat, and my heavy coat is a lovely vintage number in sage green. I'm kind of leaning towards a burgundy/mulberry color, but maybe I should just go with basic black.

quilted jacket
     Southeast Idaho can get some cold winters...and falls...and springs...When we first moved up here I was sure I'd be wearing my heavy coat a LOT. What has actually transpired however, is that I don't wear my heavy coat as often as I thought I would and I usually grab my polar fleece peacoat. It offers more warmth than a cardigan or a blazer and is more comfortable for driving and running errands. (Who wants to walk around the grocery store with a big heavy coat?) I can wear it over a simple long sleeve cotton tee in the fall, or over a chambray shirt and sweater and add a scarf for when the temperatures start to dip further. I wear it ALL the time, but it isn't perfect. It's not super water resistant and wind cuts right through, so I'd love to get a light-weight quilted puffer like what my kids wear during the winter. It blocks wind and snow without being heavy and bulky. This one happens to be from Land's End, but J. Crew Factory and Boden have some lovely ones as well. (I'm trying to focus on investing in quality items for things that I want to wear over and over for years and years, that's why there's no Target or Old Navy items on my list. Plus, it's July and most websites don't quite have the fall stuff out yet.)

     What about your wardrobe? Do you have a "uniform"? Are you already thinking ahead to cool temperatures? Anything you are wanting to add to your wardrobe for the fall or winter?