Back in January I set a small challenge for myself. No shopping for clothes, or shoes for 6 months. I’d love to do a whole year but I’m a bit chicken.
A few weeks into the challenge, a special date night came up. That is typically the kind of thing that sends me running for “something new”. Sure, “new” might mean thrift shopping or resale but it’s still adding something to my closet that was previously not there. Resolved to stick to my challenge, I hunted around my closet, got myself dressed and headed out to enjoy an evening with my husband. My “date night” outfit was nothing special yet, I felt beautiful and very myself: black jeans, white t-shirt, black blazer, and shoes, that are older than my first born child.
We sat down to dinner with beloved friends, chatting and laughing through each course, then as I was leaving the bathroom, the heel of my shoe caught on the bathroom door. There was an audible “snap” and my previously buckled sandal, slid off my foot. Hmmmm, I’m in the middle of a restaurant, do I try limping back to the table and keep my shoe sort of on my foot, or do I just grab it up and walk with one bare foot? (I went with limping, it was awkward.) I returned to the table with a frown thinking my night was now over. My husband assessed the situation and successfully MacGyver-ed my sandal back on my foot with some handiwork and a band-aid! Our evening continued with two shoes on my feet the entire time.
Not ready to consent to the death of my sandals, I later set off to the cobbler to see what could be done. It was an easy, inexpensive fix and my 13-year-old, resoled twice, sandals continue to trot on.
Without this challenge, I undoubtedly would have purchased something for my date night, would have tossed my old, broken shoes, and then spent hours looking for something new. Thanks to this challenge, I had a nice conversation with the cobbler, saved myself the time and frustration of trolling the internet for sandals and realized my date night clothes don’t need to be very different from my daily clothes.
Anyone else doing challenges like these to reduce their consumption?
800 arrows used to post about things like….. reducing your waste, shopping resale, figuring out at least three ways to use every item in your closet. Remember when I complained about how marketers and advertisers hi-jack your brain and self-esteem so you buy stuff? Well, there’s a reason I write abut that stuff, it’s like publicly declaring my ideals and values. When I fall short of those ideals, like really, really short, I feel it’s right to also offer up myself for a public flogging.
So here’s where my arrows are taking me lately:
Gap. Gap was my first “real” job and still seems to be my first stop when I want basics. But then I saw this black jeans campaign, and realized their store looks almost exactly as it did in 1993.
Next up. Hair.
I have curly hair. I’ve never loved it, on the best days I sort of like it. Two years ago I tried the Keratin treatment, also known as a Brazilian Blow out. Yes it has chemicals, yes it’s basically toxic, yes I can be a huge hypocrite. Moving on. Still needing hair satisfaction I am trying out something new, not Thermal straightening (also known as Japanese straightening) as seen growing out on Keri Russell above (years ago), but something in between. It too willl be toxic and generally against the natural order of things.
Shoes, I’ve ordered 4 pairs of shoes. I can’t hold off the skater shoe attraction any longer and I’m even going for it in the trendy shade of maroon….maybe they’ll go with my black jeans. HA! Riding boots are really the only thing I’m getting to replace something. The other three are for fun! For the shoppers, the riding boots and Vans are Madewell, the Riekers and Frye are at 6pm.
Lasytly, in an attempt to give a little depth to this super shallow post, check out this wonderful link from Khan Academy. With school recently back in session this gave me a whole new perspective when I watch my kids struggling with their work.
P.S. Next week’s goal get through all 12 exercises in Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and their Parents). Hoping to bring a little more balance to my interests.
With a change of season around the corner I find myself playing in my closet. What’s too used, what’s too new, what’s missing, what haven’t I put together before?
When inspiration has left the premises I turn to this little lady I’ve been following for years. She’s turned “playing dress up” into an entire career complete with wonderful photos for your viewing pleasure. Jane is a great reminder for me to have a little fun, scratch that, have a party with my clothes! I can suffocate myself in gray, black, denim and white – not very fun.
When I’ve looked at 100 pairs of black boots but can’t seem to find anything I like. I start thinking about these lovelies from The Office of Angela Scott and all of the sudden black seems boring!
Happy Friday, hope everyone has a little fun playing dress up this season!
Ever notice how more and more people spend their days in work out wear? I’m not in an office, I work out of the home, go on grocery runs, school runs, extra-curricular kid places, hopefully an occasional date night or family dinner out thrown in there and what I notice is loads of women (and some men) in exercise clothes. I’ve been totally judge-y about it too, wondering aloud, “are they actually going to or coming from a work out”? “Where have all the real clothes gone”? Well, I’m completely changing my tune on the subject.
While doing a cleanse I mentioned my “distraction sit-ups” as well as finding a yoga class I like, and I’ve begun these little bursts of what I’ll call “spontaneous exercise”. Sometimes I just want to take a brisk walk or kick up into a handstand or do a few sun salutations or push ups or jumping jacks – all of the above are far easier when one is properly attired.
Enter the emerging trend of workout gear becoming more street ready. Theory, the ever popular women’s contemporary line, launched Theory 38 with highly progressive options for the gym and on the street. Lululemon, arguably Dallas ladies’ daily uniform of choice will offer &go, a nice alternative to heading to the grocery store in skin tight yoga wear. Above you see what Nike has going on, sporty but relaxed, and that cape would make me feel like a super hero, it’s my second favorite. The company that tops the list however is Aether, based in Los Angeles, they seem to have nailed exactly what I’m after. No crazy neon, or fussy fabrics, just a perfect cross of slightly nicer lounge clothes and less serious workout clothes.
So until we are all wearing some kind of Tron onesie, I’m adding the new criteria of “cartwheel friendly” to my new purchases.
This year’s spring shoe trend is calling like a siren. The slip-on skater sneaker, so cool, so easy, so perfect. I’ve ordered a few and returned a few, see I’m a little gun shy after following the last shoe trend, I give you the concealed wedge sneaker:
I’m still shaking my head in shame for that one, but come on, it’s a sneaker that also gives you a little lift! Yet, somethings should never be, or maybe they should – but on the under 20 year old set only. So here I am a year later, maybe a year wiser – my concealed wedge sneaker donated to charity, my trusty black converse on life support and skater shoes everywhere calling my name.
Here are my favorites:
But this bargain at $650 seems to still be available, phew!
All joking aside, I’ll probably play it safe and replace my Chuck Taylors with these Superga’s.
I already own them in white, they have the perfect arch support and I’m always happy to put them on my feet. Plus I won’t have to worry about waking around puddles or avoiding muddy terrain in fancy skater shoes……I’ve almost convinced myself, can you tell?!
I know, I know, last week I was talking about the retail dream BUT this thought popped up while at a party last night. The person sitting next to me was proclaiming the joys of “retail therapy” and I immediately thought, “therapy????? more like torture”. When was the last time you walked into a regular retail establishment and left feeling better than when you walked in?? For me it’s been a very, very long time.
I’ve harped on this before but during a time of year when people might be starving themselves to fit into a dress for a holiday party or racking up debt buying things they don’t need, it bears repeating. Stores do not exist to make you feel better about yourself. Their goal is to make you buy things, more often than not they accomplish their goal by making you feel less than. Not cool enough, not young enough, not current enough, not thin enough, not fit enough, not smart enough, if there is an insecurity out there it will be attended to by the retail darlings of our world. Whether you are walking into Foot Locker or Victoria’s Secret it’s about selling you a dream, jumping higher with the right shoe, 40 year old boobs transforming into 20 year old boobs with the right bra……..it’s agonizing. Rationally we know we can’t all look like the guy/girl in the picture, nor should we – HOW BORING to all be carbon copies of what the media deems as “perfection” at the moment. However, when that’s all** you are presented with day in and day out, in the stores, on the internet, TV, and movie screens it can screw with your head. Suddenly that’s what “normal” looks like. (Small aside: has anyone figured out what “normal” is by the way, or “fitting in”…..fitting into what, exactly? Any clarification you’d like to offer is welcome) While flipping through an InStyle magazine at a friends I noticed 2 pages for “full figured women”, 2 pages out of…..possibly 200? Yet when I walk around my city I see 75% full figured humans and 25% smaller sized humans – for most people media is not selling a dream, it’s more like a nightmare.
So, what can be done? Positive affirmations every morning? Boycotting the offensive parties? Sure! Why not?
This is not a new idea, we are voting every time we spend a penny. Give your money to places who are in line with your priorities.
I’m not talking some obscure hard to find store, for example Gap has made an impression on me with some of their holiday model choices – older women and men, diverse ethnicities. Okay maybe there are no visible lines on Cyndi Lauper’s face but it’s a step, a step I will support when I buy new Gap socks for my son’s ever growing feet.
But let’s also talk about the lesser retailers, the “mom and pops”, in Texas we have Run On, a fitness shoe/apparel/etc. retailer. These people are not about fitness to fit into a dress, they are about health, strength, community, when I need running shoes, they’ll get my money.
As for affirmations, be your own cheerleader, tell yourself wonderful things. This is hard at first and feels really forced but it gets easier. When I started being kinder to myself I wrote things and stuck them to the mirror inside my closet. Here’s an example, instead of hating my thighs I remind myself that they allow me to run, jump, skip, I’m lucky to have them, as I read in this hilarious letter. Write down a few things that don’t feel ridiculous when you say them and try and work it into your daily routine. I like this quote from Lauren Hutton, reminding me that the choices are mine, I don’t need to feel bullied by trends.
Lastly, my concerns on this issue usually circle back to my 8 ear old daughter who already feels the pains of not “fitting into” retail offerings. If I struggle at 37 years old, imagine how the little ladies in our lives are fairing?! Came across this book from Katherine Schwarzenegger, “Rock What You’ve Got”, might be a nice present for young ladies in the 12-17 range this season.
** Thanks to the amazing internet, there is something out there for everyone. Forget what most of the world is presenting in their media campaigns and go in search of things that ring true to you.
Notice the lovely wide leg pant on Holli Rogers above. It’s been in what I refer to as “fashion jail”. In an effort to make sure we all continue to buy the skinny legs that have taken over the past decade, very few alternatives are offered by the big box retailers. I get it, all part of the terrible “feed the golden arrow” plan. While this is hardly a new issue, things have come in and out of style for centuries, we’ve all noticed the growing pressure of following trends versus curating your own style. Let’s take a note from Amsterdam and step away from the pressure to wear something specific and wear what you like. If you are feeling hemmed in by the retailers, maybe it’s time for some thrift, consignment, vintage, resale shopping! Hey Macklemore.…