Monday, April 16, 2018

Continued... more to say on wardrobe matters...

I got asked a great question on my previous post, and thought it would be a lovely mini post topic, while we're on the subject of downsizing wardrobes.  The question, was asked by Shannon.  She writes, "What do you clean house/work in the year/do projects in? All I can imagine is a 50's housewife out in her peddle pushers & pearls but know that's not really the case. I feel like I can manage a smaller "nice" wardrobe but the bulk of my SAHM day demands things less...structured for lack of a better have you approached this?" 

When it comes to household duties, I definitely have some thoughts.  Firstly, after reading the Madame Chic books, my attitudes about how I presented myself to... even just my own self...  significantly changed.  I won't get into what all the author shares, as you can read them yourself, but I definitely had to stop and consider why I dressed well sometimes, as opposed to why I might have chosen to stay in somewhat sloppy items for some of those stay at home mom days.  It honestly changed my mindset. I try to look polished now, no matter the occasion. Polished for me, might vary from a polished look on another and that's why her books were so helpful. (You can check out her books and then decide for yourself how you feel about the way you dress when you're not going to see another soul all day, but I would bet you might think differently when you read some of her insights.) 

1) My children are older now, but I do think I would have changed a LOT of my wardrobe choices and routine, when they were smaller, had I know then, what I know now. I wouldn't have allowed myself those yoga pants days (months... years) and I would have pulled myself together at least enough to assemble a set of two or three nice, flattering, easy-care tops with a streamlined looking pair or two, of dark wash jeans and worn them in rotation all week long.  That would have worked just as well as the yoga pants with the holes but I certainly would have felt much better about greeting the delivery man at the front door or those friends who unexpectedly dropped in.  Know what I mean?  I had a ton of clothes back then because I was saving them for a special occasion or keeping them for "just in case." (Again, the books hit on this really well. You're a special enough occasion to dress well and reap the feel-good benefits from that all day.)

2) Practically speaking, if I know it's going to be a day of doing chores that will include things like heavy cleaners, I often opt to add that in to my morning workout routine, and wear those clothes until the chores are finished.  I get that done, and then get myself ready for the day. (I do keep an old pair of jeans and a tee that I can get paint on if need-be, but they don't get worn for anything else.) But regular daily chores such as kitchen counter wiping, floor sweeping and laundry don't warrant a sloppy maid-outfit.  You can do those low key chores just as well in a casual dress or jeans and blouse that you've been wearing all day long. (Maybe...dare I say, better? Look good... feel good... feel good... work good.) 

3) One tip I loved from the Madame Chic books, was apron wearing.  I pretty much throw on an apron every evening when making dinner, so as to keep my tops as stain-free as possible. This works really well and I haven't had anything stained or ruined beyond repair at this point, over the past couple of years of doing this.

4) I do own about four really cute, polished looking athletic sweatshirts.  (See above, for me in a quick phone snap, wearing my very favorite one. I have two in this color family but this is my most non-polished one, being branded boldly with PUMA. I don't love that exactly, but I do love the color and fit.)  I don't include things like sweatshirts into my "ten-item" wardrobe because they are more or less just all year items that I keep in my workout drawer.  Mostly for working out, walks around the neighborhood or track meets. That said, I am VERY selective about my sweatshirts.  They must be always clean, good quality items and though I don't wear them daily, they are polished enough (no fading, rips, holes, stains or fraying) that I sometimes wear them out and about.  I have two with cute cowl necks and a fitted silhouette (LL Bean from years ago) and they look really cute with jeans and ballet flats. (Also, don't laugh at me, but I often also wear them with pearl or diamond stud earrings and I almost always wear a silk camisole under all my sweatshirts when wearing them for non-workout times, because it makes me feel good about myself to have that swishy fabric against my skin.  I guess the point is, even a casual look can be polished enough to make you feel pulled together.) (And P.S. If you have a stretched out, stained, ripped, threadbare, or bad looking sweatshirt that you'd never run errands in if you knew you'd see someone you knew... that's your cue to THROW.IT.OUT.) 

5) Lastly, remember your basics.  Black tees... gray tees... white tees.  Things like that are great to pull on when a nice blouse or top won't do.  They are year-round items every woman should stock up on and have on hand and so versatile.    

And also, totally unrelated... I decisively chopped my hair last week. I was losing quite a bit of hair and the ends were all whispy so I cut about four inches right off the bottom in a nice, blunt cut.  I am loving this length. It's so much easier to manage! Anyway...  I hope you enjoyed this very long post answer to one single question.  Happy wardrobe managing! And if you missed my previous post, on my spring wardrobe review, you can click here. 


  1. Glad (for my own conscience) to hear you have a few more clothes than just ten. Looks like you've got the perfect combos for your lifestyle. Having returned to full-time work two years ago I'm still figuring out what really works and what doesn't in terms of numbers/washing routines (outdoor clothesline all year)/daily needs/seasons.

    I've worn aprons my whole life because I'm just messy. Aprons are great. And this week I've also been considering chopping 4 inches off my hair because my ends are all wispy too. Yours looks a good length.

  2. Oh Sasha - I love that you followed up my question with a full post! That really helped a lot. I read her books eons ago and will revisit. I'm giggling though that I'm reading this after coming in from the first real yard clean of the year. Madame Chic well....elle serait dégoûtée! :D I do love my aprons and need to break them out more for than just dishes. Thanks bunches. That bright pink is perfect on you.