Do This Before You Shop: Honest Assessment

I used to have a closet full of beautiful shirts.  Silky camisoles, cashmere tees, even a suede halter top, beautiful with heels and good denim.  I also managed to acquire other fun fancy items over time, like a vintage Pucci dress and some amazing Bottega stilettos.  I hardly ever went out, since I was teaching full-time while also attending graduate school.  But if the call came to hit the town feeling festive, as it did once in a blue moon, I was ready.

Sadly, in spite of my closet full of cute, I was ill-prepared for all the rest of my activities.  I had the outfits for the jet-set life of my dreams, except that the rest of my life choices were not jet-set.  And while I didn't have to wear stuffy suits to work, I did still have to make sure that I was dressed appropriately, which sometimes felt stuffy to me.

Aside from causing me to reflect on the fact that maybe I needed to rethink how I was spending my time, it also got me thinking about how we tend to spend a lot of money on special occasion outfits, or buy clothes for the life we want, but then hesitate to spend money on workhorse clothes for the life we are actually living.  Or maybe it was just me that did that.  But just in case it wasn't just me, here are some additional thoughts on it...

Starting with that realization, and additionally motivated by my relationship with my very casually attired beau-at-the-time-now-husband, I gradually shifted my wardrobe away from sequins and heels, towards jeans that can take a beating tops I can comfortably lift children in, and shoes that can go for a walk on the way to dinner, trying hard to still make selections that were special or appealing.

It wasn't an easy shift, and not a linear one.  I still occasionally need, and want, a dress and a pair of heels. I'm still not always sure how to approach business-casual in a way that doesn't feel like a watered down version of me.  But as the years pass, I no longer feel pressure to break the budget on a fancy dress, I have a much easier time getting dressed for the day, and I'm much more likely to re-wear the old favorite heels, rather than fill my closet with new pairs.