The Charity Shop Test

Yesterday I found myself in a state of dis-dress at work.
My outfit had seemed so great at 7 am:  new culottes, favourite Portfolio seersucker top, black cardigan, fun beads in colours to match the top = lovely!

Favourite top and beads

But I totally misjudged my footwear.  I had on my black Camper ankle boots and a pair of crazy over-the-knee argyle socks in black, red and green.
By lunchtime my feet were steaming, and because I had taken off the cardigan I was this awful mess of winter bottom and summer top.
When I saw myself in the mirror in the Ladies’ I was ready to jump in my car and drive home there and then.  Ugh.
It was a stressful day anyway, so this sartorial tragedy was the salty icing on a very bitter cake.

You let me down – I thought you were my friends!

Today I approached my wardrobe with a hatchet in hand.

Take One:
My starting point was to throw everything on the bed, and then iron and hang up only the items I LOVE.
That didn’t take long!
I had to walk away and make a cup of coffee to avoid giving up there and then.

Take Two:
I took a second pass to identify the items which I would consider trying on if I saw them in a shop.
Nothing.  Nothing!
Oh no!!!

Take Three:
If this was a charity shop, what would I find attractive enough to pull off the rail for closer examination?

A few items resurfaced – phew!
Several more went straight into a bin bag.
By the end of two hours, I came to the conclusion that something must have changed.
I must have changed.
Because it is hard to believe that I have been walking around in clothes I would not be seen dead in. But that seems to be the logical conclusion.

The curtain rail is festooned with a row of nervous twitching garments on a suspended sentence.  If they are lucky, I will put them on probation for a couple of weeks:  if I can make them work they can stay.  If not, they are leaving this house never to be seen again.
It is simultaneously exciting and scary.
I seem to be ready to start again, almost from scratch.
Without checking, I know I still have sufficient clothing to get me through a working week.  And I had the sense to buy some plain black bamboo socks this morning, which will avoid a repeat of yesterday’s malfunction!

No socks!

I downloaded the Into-Mind e-book “Personal Style and the Perfect Wardrobe“.  It is pretty intimidating but incredibly thorough.
There is a worksheet for every possible scenario, to analyse your lifestyle and the roles which your clothes need to perform.
There is none of the usual:  “You need a trench coat, jeans, a white shirt and black loafers”, though that sounds pretty appealing right now!
Instead, it is all about understanding what you like and why, identifying gaps in your existing wardrobe and making the right choices… long before you even think about going shopping or sewing up a storm.

Let the sunshine in!

Tomorrow, I plan to sew an everyday staple top.
But right now I need to pick up my knitting and find my zen.
I know it’s here somewhere…
Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope the sun is shining where you are.