"Express Wardrobe Challenge", Week 2

So I'm smiling, but it took effort. 
Merino v-neck, Hermès pointu

The clothes and the temps (18C today!) have not lined up, a burst of golden Indian summer causing everyone to cavort in shorts and t-shirt one last time.

Have not been able to wear several items, just too heavy, and I'm not willing to cheat...yet. 

So, working about 6 items hard: two lightweight matte jersey skirts, the black techno pant, the two light merino v-necks, and lightweight grey wool tunic. (Considered swapping a wool sweater for an identical one in silk but really want to see this experiment through.)

In the photo, one of the merinos and the pointu, a useful wisp of accessory. But temps will slide down after today and the dusty pink cardi and black cashmere sweater are thrumming on the runway.

What I've learned after two weeks:
- On a capsule wardrobe, forgetting to pick something up at the cleaner's is a big deal
- Missing wearing a few things desperately but have kind of forgotten about 70% of my clothes
- Deeply enjoying the less-is-more life
- If I were in an office environment I'd likely feel more pressure to display more variety
- Got a navy manicure. It has to come out somewhere.
- Hallowee'n is Sunday night and I'm using my Free Pass to be a '50s car hop, in none of the Express Checkout clothes! How about a root beer, honey?


How's it going for those of you hanging in?

17 comments

Frugal Scholar said...

I've kind of been drifting away...I added about 4 items, mostly because I forgot I was supposed to be doing this. So it hasn't been a big deal or hardship, especially because all my clothing is washable.

Just noticed that my long black cardi, which I wear almost daily, has a tear along the neck seam. Ergh. Banana Republic is not what it was.

I'm getting more appreciative of the things I'm NOT wearing. I do appear in public 3x/week, but my students have been paying attention to my necklaces (if they pay attention at all, that is).

Deja Pseu said...

I LOVE the colors in that pointu!

Like Frugal, I'm gaining an added appreciation for some of the items not in the current rotation.

I had to deviate slightly today as we're expecting temps in the 80's, so subbed my cotton black ankle pants for the ponte knit, as they're just a bit cooler.

LPC said...

I like your lessons:).

Vildy said...

I'll be following along the experiment with interest but have no insights of my own to add. I dropped on day 11. A friend pointed out I was denying myself small pleasures of my favorite clothing season and was gaining nothing in return. Except maybe the knowledge that I wouldn't want a minimal wardrobe, after all.

I did miss the rest of my clothing - even with 2 of the challenge items still unworn when they went back into regular storage. I want clothing for physical comfort, psychological comfort and aesthetics. I found that the additional small but frequent discomforts caused me to think about clothing a whole lot more than I did with the ability to use more of it! I didn't like that.

I purge continually, anyway, and don't overspend so I think I'm fine going on as I have been.

Anonymous said...

This experiment has made very clear what I need more of for the winter (warm washable pants, long-sleeved t-shirts) and what I have plenty of (sweaters, blouses)--but I couldn't feel less interested in shopping! Is this like one of those diets that cause the dieter to lose interest in food?

---Which reminds me: I'll have the foot-long hot dog with mustard and relish, and a chocolate malted, please. Will you be wearing roller skates?

Duchesse said...

Deja: Subbing is smart, and the idea of like for like, just different weight preserves the perspective.

LPC: Thank you. Le Duc hated the navy nails. They do look black at night.

Vildy: Thanks for coming out!

Anonymous: FInding warm winter pants that are washable is really hard, must be a drycleaner's lobby.
Would love to be on skates but with giving out candy to little kids, don't trust myself. And there is Kaluha in that malted, watch out.

Duchesse said...

Frugal: Think you are out of the experimental pool, not to worry. A huge learning for me is how little of what I really like is washable. (Leather tee? As if.) But in summer it would be.

BR not cut for the tall, voluptuous woman so abandoned them a good decade ago. Neck-seam tears are galling.

Susan said...

I remember when J Crew first came on the scene. My husband and I were in our 20s! We looked at each other and said, "they KNOW us!" The sad thing was that we couldn't afford their clothing.

I was just in a J Crew with my daughter in law last weekend, drooling over several things. I will be so disappointed if their sizes are not cut out for me.

materfamilias said...

Good lessons, indeed! I'm glad I ended up not opting in to your challenge, though, as I'm finding that a fragile mood needs to dress carefully. I wonder if any of your participants will find that they have days when their moods simply demand a bit of coddling in something else from the closet. . .On the other hand, I suppose, the freedom from fretting about what to wear is a coddling of sorts itself.

Duchesse said...

materfamilias: I'm getting great comfort and joy from a stack of Indian shawls, scarves and jewelry. My purpose was to step away for a "I need something new" mentality (easy for me to slide into) and it's strangely comforting to break free of that- at least for awhile.)

Genuine Lustre said...

I was not participating per se, but just returned from a little 10 day trip that required one small bag. Everything I took was brown or black, with a few scarves. Loved the simplicity but am not big fan of black around my face.

Having a chuckle about your manicure.

Frugal Scholar said...

Have I been eliminated?

Susan said...

My issue has always been not RECOGNIZING that I need something new--and wearing an appropriate, but dated ensemble, way past its "sell by" date. It comes from guilt about buying things for myself and a frugal childhood.

Duchesse said...

Fugal: Nah! I read "I forgot I was supposed to be doing this" and thought you were no longer experimenting.

I'm hoping it will be an experiment in awareness, as Fuji mentioned, (not a miserable, thankless activity).

Genuine Lustre: 10 days, one bag! The new reality of air travel. Yes, you did one third of the experiment and away from home is harder. Extra points!

Susan: LOL! Like my mother, it is hard to part with "still perfectly good."

Susan said...

It was my mother who questioned every purchase of clothing for me when I was still under her roof. I didn't realize for YEARS that HER frugality had been such a deep seated part of our household.

These days, I am purging the closet--and some of the things are "perfectly good", just not flattering or still stylish. But, I've never had that urge or desire to go out and buy something new. I "replace" things like black heels, but seldom buy something just for fun or fashion.

ChristineB said...

Wow...I'm in exactly the same boat as Genuine Lustre. Just got back from a 10 day trip (to Seattle), wearing mostly brown/black, and I also do not like black around my face.

What I've learned so far: accessories are *much* more important than I previously thought. Also, I have an annoying tendency to spill coffee on myself. Fortunately, no lasting stains (yay! for brown and black).

I still have to finish sewing one top tomorrow, so I'll have something "new" to wear for the rest of the challenge.

Duchesse said...

ChristineB: A trip these days usually means a version of the "Express Checkout", and I am ever more interested in travel-friendly items for this reason. Accessories are the most important item in the bag!