Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sartorialist

Warning: first world problem ahead.

I have nothing to wear. Well, more accurately, I should say that I have very little to wear (not a huge problem in and of itself, I admit-- I am in theory a fan of the small but well-chosen wardrobe) but nothing that I like to wear. Do you too go through these phases where everything in your closet looks boring and tired and unflattering and decidedly un-chic? I am not one of those people who claims to not care about clothes and throw on whatever happens to present itself; I really like clothes and fashion and fabric and color and I like to think about what I wear. Sadly, most of what fills my closet makes me feel more gloomy than happy. I have taken a dispassionate, steely-eyed resolve to my closet lately, adding item after item to the Goodwill pile after deciding that no, I don't actually like that shirt and no, it doesn't actually look good on me. I have not been buying clothes, however, so my closet keeps getting emptier and emptier. I've been losing weight at a slow but steady rate and have shrunk out of several sets of clothes but am not yet at what I hope will be my final size/weight, so that complicates matters when it comes to shopping. I haven't shopped for clothes since those immediate postpartum days when I was too big for any of the multiple sizes of clothes that I was storing in bins in our extra closet. I've lost a good 40 lbs since then and have cycled through most of those clothes except the very few pieces of pre-Grace clothes I have held on to, which I hope to be able to fit into, oh, about when they look ridiculously 5-years-out-of-style.

And even if I were to go shopping, I can't decide what I actually want to buy. Most of my days are spent with at least some substance on my clothes that wasn't there originally and I do a lot of carrying and cooking and cleaning, so nothing that has to be dry-cleaned or minced about in. Most of my friends in a similar stage of life have embraced jeans as their uniform of choice, but I am just not a jeans person. So uncomfortable! I have one pair right now that I can tolerate pretty well, but those are starting to get too big. I really do prefer to wear skirts, which I think means I need to invest in some tights for winter. I have a longstanding desire to dress in a more eclectic (eccentric?), funky, vintage-y style, like Gertie or Erin or Amanda but I struggle with how to actually do that, short of throwing everything out and spending a lot of time/money to sew/buy my whole wardrobe afresh. I have taken great strides to break my habit of buying myself boring clothes from Target and Lands End but I can't quite figure out how to dress myself without those crutches. Clothes-- GAH!

In less angsty fashion-related news, I recently got out another bunch of Grace's hand-me-downs for Violet to wear and can I just reiterate how fun it is to get out these sweet clothes and use them again with a second baby? It is causing me a bit of cognitive dissonance, though, because Violet is wearing clothes right now that Grace wore when she was walking. WALKING! This is partly because Grace walked early (at 11 months, which Violet will be in just a few short days) and partly because Violet is a bit bigger than Grace was at the same age (about 1 lb more at their 9-month check-ups). It seems just impossible and wrong that these clothes can be worn by a crawling, non-walking baby. Violet last week learned how to pull up to standing and crawl up stairs (within the same 24-hour period), but she isn't going to start walking anytime in the immediate future. And Violet is wearing turtlenecks for the first time, since we have been having a delightful cold snap, which also makes me do a double-take. The very first time I ever put Grace or Violet in a turtleneck, I thought, "Whoa! Beatnik baby!" Just like the first time I put either of them in a little polo collar (on a dress, I think...) my first reaction was, "Whoa! Preppy baby!" It's funny what you get used to.


amydove said...

I am totally with you! This is what caused my recent dilemma about how much effort to put into my appearance. It turns out that I just had nothing to wear. A few shopping trips have helped tremendously. But then I am a-ok with an all Old Navy preppy wardrobe, so it is easy and cheap to come by. Though you can always look eclectic/funky by wearing normal stuff in abnormal combinations.

Congrats on all the weight loss!

Anonymous said...

So glad you keep up with this blog. Always, always enjoy your posts. :)

ashley said...

We JUST watched a video of Anna when she was 12-24 months and walking - Rachel is currently wearing the clothes that we watched in the video. It's so strange isn't it?? Good to know we're not alone.

Emily said...

Kudos on the weight loss!

The two rules that seem to govern my life in regards to my appearance have really been showing themselves lately. One, if my hair is long enough for a ponytail, that is how it will always be styled. Always. Two, I will, without fail, gravitate towards the ugliest and grungiest clothes in my closet a la hiking pants and college sweatshirts. It is a bad, bad, bad situation.

Maybe some time at Northpark mall with the like-minded moms there will help? Just kidding :)

Eva said...

¡Beatnik baby!... I love it.

And wow, very impressive weight loss.

You know I am not fashionable at all, but I find that a few items that I acquired in festivals, street markets, or random artisan stands help a lot in making your wardrobe feel "different" and fresh. I don;t know how much of that is available in Dallas, of course.

Kiki said...

I'm totally in the jeans and t-shirt category. Preferably t-shirts I can get rid of sooner rather than later for the exact reason you described. And I keep dreaming about when... I can actually buy and wear the clothes that I would prefer to wear! I do have a few that I wear on special occasions, you know, church and running errands kidless. But, I keep thinking too, well we want one more baby so no need to buy new jeans yet.

Also, yes! So fun to use clothes for the second (or third) baby! It has been so funny for Levi because Kolby was so much um, rounder, so some of the pants are stretched out and they don't quite stay up on little Levi. Also, to see Levi walking around in them when Kolby and Sage were still crawling! And to see Levi in them and be an exact replica of what Sage looked like, except Levi smiles!

So, I identified with everything you wrote about!