The Crazy Suburban Mom: How do you build a wardrobe anyway?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How do you build a wardrobe anyway?

As my decluttering ramped up this month I realized I need a total wardrobe revamp.  It's a hard thing to do with a limited budget and my ongoing weight loss (I've lost fourteen more pounds since mid-May).  What I buy has a lot to do with my weight now, projected weight  and where I can shop for things that will span multiple sizes and cost about five cents.

Besides the money issue, I'm most concerned about buying towards a projected size because it's a slippery slope.  I don't want a lot of reminders hanging in the closet taunting me.  Waiting for perfection is something I've done in the past and it gets me no where.  It's also pretty depressing.  I end up with a few great pieces that I stare longingly at while wearing stuff I don't much like.

On the shopping front, I found two shirts at a thrift store (with tags!) for five dollars each.  One was a white linen shirt from Lands End that they don't have anymore but similar styles run about Seventy Dollars.  The Coldwater Creek shirt (in white) is also sold out.  It's a double wing collar white cotton shirt and similar items are about eighty dollars.  I had them dry cleaned (because who knows where they've been) and for about $21 dollars I have two brand new shirts.

Granted... Both are at least a size too big but I wear them over tank tops and they work; blousey isn't so bad when it's covering something form fitting and left unbuttoned.  

I'm doing a very low carb / high fat diet and it feels really good.  I don't mean the weight loss as much as a sense of general equilibrium; like I'm eating right for me.  I cut out sugar (which is amazing, I never thought I'd get that coffee creamer monkey off my back).  My carbs come from veggies and nuts mostly and I rarely think about food or get the urge to eat for it's entertainment value.

I also started to supplement my diet with vitamins and amino acids.  Having just got my Vitamin D level to normal (from an impossibly low nine...) I figured if I was that deficient in D other things might be as well.  I started taking Calcium, Magnesium, and Biotin a while ago and the Biotin has made a huge (HUGE) difference in my nails which were thin, bendy and in general ill repair.  

Recently I added L-Carnatine, GABA, and 5-HTP after reading Julia Ross' book The Diet Cure.  The book was updated in May 2012 and it's so interesting!

I also added  Rasperry Ketones and  coconut oil  (I cook with it, use it as a supplement and topically it  has done wonders for my acne, dry skin and hair.)

I don't know when I will attain weight loss nirvana; it's such a sticky subject.  When I was in my twenties I got very heavy and then  lost a hundred pounds.  Even as a size small I felt fat and hated all the same  body parts I hated when I was a hundred pounds heavier.  It makes no sense really, I know that, but I never seem to be happy with what I see in the mirror.   

Somehow I need to build a wardrobe as a I build a better me and I have no idea how, do any of you have any tips and tricks for doing that?  I'd really appreciate (and need) the help.


angela 7/18/12, 11:21 AM  

I analyse my wardrobe once a year and find that it's always best to sort out what you do wear, what you love and what needs to be given away to charity/binned/given away :)

After that, sit down and write a list of your essential items. For me, these include basic cardigans in neutral colours, at least one basic skirt in a flattering shape, basic white vests, a basic but classic floaty blouse, etc. Obviously, don't make this list 500 items long as that's just silly as no one has a need for that many clothes!

Then see what colours suit you and make you happy. I've always been quite a neutral dresser; nudes, beiges, whites, off whites; and even though magazines were saying neons/brights/whatever were in fashion this summer, I didn't listen. I stuck to what I felt comfortable and 'chic' in and left it at that.

The next step is to see that you have tops and bottoms that can be matched! There's no good having a top that doesn't go with anything within your wardrobe; and so requires you to go out and buy matching bottoms, shoes, bags, jewellery, etc.

Now, you can go back to that list and see what you really want in your wardrobe. Maybe give yourself a maximum number of items to list; say, 30 to begin with, including shoes and handbags. Then, experiment with this wardrobe for 30 days/2 months/whatever timescale you feel is relevant, and then you'll be able to figure out what clothes you should add to your wardrobe (because there is a lack of them rather than to add to an ever-expanding inventory of skirts for example).

Sorry if this comment is long winded and quite blunt in places; it's just the sort of things I do when I sort out my own wardrobe and I find that it works :) Hope this helps you in some way and that you work things out :)

Congrats on losing fourteen pounds too! That's a hell of an achievement. I've also started taking vitamin D (my blood test showed that my level was quite low - can't remember the exact number but it meant I was in desperate need of it!) and it seems to have done wonders for me in more ways than one :)

Tracy Reinhardt 7/18/12, 11:26 AM  

Angela, Thank you so much and long, is great! The more info the better so if you think of anything else... defiantly let me know. I'm going to print what you wrote and do that - the advice is perfect.

Thank you so much! That must have taken some time on your part and I'm very grateful!

Lin 7/18/12, 9:00 PM  

Good advice! I think the key is constantly evaluating your closet. I do it with every season and what I don't toss at the end of the season, I may get rid of it the following year. sometimes things have a way of looking "older" after a year.

I don't think you need a lot of clothes--just the right ones to mix and match.

congrats on the weight loss!! WOWIE!

Jill Wininger 7/19/12, 12:01 AM  

How long did it take to get your D up? Mine is 4. The doc put me on prescription D at 10,000 iu's 3 times a week. I added a multi-vitamin and magnesium.

Amanda (from Paper, Pens and Ink) 7/19/12, 3:37 PM  

Hi there,
One tip I found invaluable re: a wardrobe is to choose a palette of colours that suit you and that all go together (like cream, navy and dove-grey) - then you can be sure that whatever you pull out of your closet will work together. Likewise, choose just one or two accent colours for scarves, bags etc (like red or pink) that go with the basic palette.
Hope that helps... Always enjoy your blog.

Tracy Reinhardt 7/20/12, 6:26 AM  

Lin, thanks for the wowie! And I agree I don't need a lot of clothes, just stuff I love!

Jill - About a year to get my D to normal. Yours might not take that long because I only took 10000 once a week, not three

Amanda - That's what I'm trying to do now - the colors. I think I'm an autumn - but trying to refine that now!

HM 7/20/12, 8:55 AM  

Wow, congrats on the weight loss!
You think you're still losing and don't want to invest in the size you're right now, I've been there! I would buy like one pair of pants that fit me well now, and 2-3 nice tops. Then you can make do with the ones that became too large. Of course this works best if you don't work...
You can't start building your wardrobe until you reached 'your' size (except if you have enough money!), so I'd stick with few things you can update regularly as your size changes!

Vonlipi 7/21/12, 7:39 AM  

I think finding clothes that you love is quite complicated at any size, because now we get older too!

I don't care for the Sears mommy look which makes anybody look at least 10 years older.
But I don't care either for the floozy look...

Since we have a dress code at work, I prefer dark basics (black, grey) amd add splashes of colour. I call these my uniforms and I find that if I have pink near my face it gives me a glow so I like that.

I just found out that weight loss is a journey and it might take the rest of my life. It's not only about the weight it's about the issues too...

Tis past year I've taken to cross the border and shop at Van Heusen and Bass because I like the clothes the prices are right (most of the time) and I fit in an XL which is much better mentally for me than Plus sizes.

Hang in there my friend! You are loved and we all root for you (all your bloggy friends)

Your pal,

Miss V :)

Shabby Vintage Junk 7/22/12, 10:20 PM  

Hmmmmm....A VERY FAMILIAR issue Tracy as I too have dealt with yoyoing weight over the years....I fluctuate between 63 & 85kg (138 - 187lb) & my wardrobe has a range of sizes to accommodate....When I'm carrying the extra weight I tend to wear comfy track pants & loose tops (yeckkkkkk....!!) with a bit of give because I loathe buying clothes in larger sizes....I reckon this is because it seems to me as if I'm giving up....It's an annoying merry-go-round to be stuck on....!!!!!

Good on you for losing your 14lb....I hope I don't FIND them....hahahaha....**wink**....!!

Tamarah :o)

Shabby Vintage Junk 7/22/12, 10:24 PM  

PS: Ditto on the LOW Vitamin D....I've been taking mega supplements on & off for a couple of years now....I LOATHE the winter months as the lack of daylight hours plays havoc with my energy levels & cheery disposition.... :o) !!

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