Black Lace & Destructed Denim

I’m fairly confident in my fashion sense. I know what I like; I know what looks good on my figure; I know what’s in (and, more importantly, out) of style. I have to admit, however, that today’s agenda gave me a little wardrobe stress. Dressing for a fashion trade show in Italy on a commoner’s budget is not for the fainthearted. That’s squarely where I found myself this morning as I got ready for Origin: Passions and Beliefs in Vicenza. This trade show puts Italian suppliers together with artists, designers, buyers, and fashionphiles from around the world together in one convenient location.  Continue reading

The Conscious Closet Challenge: An Update

Just to get new readers up to speed: I began the Conscious Closet Challenge sponsored by grechenscloset.com midweek last week. I pared down to what I would’ve once called a minimalist closet last year but I’m ready to edit down even more. You can read more about it in my initial article here.

As I write, I have a huge stack of clothes to donate. I feel like this is a really great time to be working through my thoughts and feelings about clothing–and possessions–in general. This challenge didn’t exactly start this process but it was my incentive to actually sit down and create a list of Dos and Don’ts to follow. I think this topic will spin off in a number of directions but I wanted to just create a simple update of some things I’ve learned.  Continue reading

A Minimalist Wardrobe: The Conscious Closet Challenge

conscious closet challenge

One year ago, a major move from Texas to Italy forced me to create a minimalist wardrobe. The final tally included donating and/or selling nearly 60 pairs of shoes and about 90% of my clothing. Since moving into our Italian home (no closets…gasp), I’ve come to the realization that I needed to get rid of much more. The makeshift wardrobes and racks are full. Earlier in the week, Grechen from grechenscloset.com–one of my longtime favorite blogs–announced a Conscious Wardrobe Challenge. Grechen is very focused upon building a minimalist wardrobe with U.S.-made pieces. Living in the land of Italian fashion, buying American is nice but not a goal for the next couple of years. That being said, I would like to be a little more informed about where my clothing, shoes, and accessories originate. One thing I learned quickly while living here, a “made in Italy” label like we find so often on high-dollar goods in the U.S. doesn’t always mean you are getting a product sourced 100% from Italy. It has been very eye-opening.

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A Note on an Upcoming Series: Closet Cleaning

cleanout

Gutting your closet can have some interesting and profound (yeah, not kidding about that one) effects on you. In preparation of our move to Vicenza, Italy, I’ve been drastically cutting and editing down my entire wardrobe since January. I’ve sent 75 pairs of shoes to Goodwill so far during this mad closet cleaning period, if that’s any indication of how brutal this has been. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve learned so much about my shopping habits and my own personal style in just the past few weeks.

A friend and I were discussing all this just days ago, and it actually prompted her to take a look at her own wardrobe and buying habits. In fact, she was the one who goaded me to actually begin a series here on my blog. After a little thought, I figured why not. I’m not an interior designer or psychology major (though I am one whopping class away from a minor) or some other type of specialist, but I can share my own thoughts that may help someone else.

So what will you find in this series? Rules? No, none, nada. There are plenty of people who talk about rules for organizing and determining your style. I find that very few rules are worth sticking to. I’m more of the mindset that there are some realizations you can make based upon what’s in your closet. Once you see the pattern (and I’m willing to bet my firstborn that there is a pattern in everyone’s closet), you can make changes, if need be. Topics to come include

  • Saving items past their expiration dates
  • Age-appropriate dressing
  • Caring about said age-appropriate dressing
  • Creating a do-not-buy list for yourself
  • Quality, brand, price, want, and how this should affect your purchase

If you’ve had any closet cleanout epiphanies, let me know. I would love to hear what you’ve learned about yourself. I just created a Facebook page for Case of Consumption. Come on over and let’s talk.

 

New year, new focus: a capsule wardrobe?

When I began this blog about a year ago, my goal was to test, try, and review all the products that cross my path. The “Case of Consumption” name comes from my love of things…make-up, clothing, shoes. Since having my second baby back in June, and since my husband received orders to Italy (where homes are much smaller than my Texas abode), I’ve been re-thinking the amount of stuff in my closets. Let’s be clear about two positive points: (1) I’m not the type to shop myself into debt and (2) I’m far from hoarder status. I’m just kind of over the rush of adding quantity to my home.

So the question becomes this: is a capsule wardrobe my answer? Honestly, I don’t think so. In case you haven’t been hipped to the term, a capsule wardrobe is a bare-bones collection of clothing articles that can be mixed and matched. Some who have moved to a capsule wardrobe are strict, limiting themselves to 10 items. Others are a bit more lax, focusing on creating a smaller, more neutral wardrobe with accessories to pop their ensembles a bit. I’m a collector, so the idea of ditching several of my favorite pieces just so I can boast a 10-item closet makes absolutely no sense at all.

Still, do I really need 150 pairs of shoes? Do I really need 20 pairs of jeans? Is a pair of 5-inch platform wedges smart since I’m chasing a 5-year-old and 6-month-old? The answer is probably no. So here’s where I’m embarking on a new focus for my blog. This year–preferably before we leave the boundaries of the U.S.–I’m going to re-think my needs and pare down my closet. As of now, January 4, I’ve already purged 20 pairs of shoes, my entire maternity wardrobe, and a slew of accessories that have gone unused for several years. Now I’m down to the hard stuff. What do I use? What will I use? What makes sense for me to own? These are the types of questions I’ll tackle.

What about you? How are you feeling about the number of items in your closet? Have you pared down to a capsule wardrobe? I would love to know. Visit me on my Facebook page and let’s chat!