So -- now the challenge after ruthless paring down was to separate each of the remaining pieces of clothing (which still numbered way more than 35) into one of the five categories I'd determined: (see the circle chart below)
1. purple circle: dressing up, the 'glam' clothing
2. red circle: daily Mass and shopping or visiting
3. brown circle: yard work, super casual clothing
4. green circle: ordinary casual clothes for housework (not as casual as #3)
5. blue circle: Sunday Mass clothing
I started with the category of going to daily morning Mass, which right now I do three times a week, and I have this "thing" about not wearing pants to Mass. Like I said, I tend to use any excuse to dress up. If you check the chart below (and ignore how horribly I numbered it) you can see that I was trying to fill out this category by picking eight items that I could wear to daily Mass and for slightly dressy occasions, like visiting. Two of these items had to be able to be worn in other categories -- in this case, the dressy category and the more casual working category.
I started with a navy blue sheath, a purple tank dress, a brown nursing dress, and a vintage 70's dress that I wear once in a while for fun. The trick here is that I won't be able to wear some of these dresses for a while once I have the baby and start nursing, so this category is set to be in flux in the near future.
Then I paired the dresses with three new jackets I had just bought (one new on clearance, two from the thrift store) and an old one. I knew it would be best for me to keep only six of these items.
It was a nice surprise to discover the new pink light jacket matched the vintage dress. Hooray! The brown dress (from Motherwear) I'm keeping, though I'm irritated with it for being so low-cut. I always have to wear a camisole with it, and it's a real disappointment that something so expensive has turned out to be not as flexible as it seems. (I'm going to write to Motherwear about it.)
After trying on each outfit (and matching with shoes, scarves, etc.), I decided to eliminate the purple sundress, whose sandwashed silk I love but --well, on two different occasions when I wore it, my husband said, "Do you HAVE to wear that?" I guess it's just not flattering to my figure.
After some debate, I decided to keep the navy blue silk jacket but retire it to the back of the closet: after all, it's not its fault that dark blue has been out of style for the past few seasons. I know I look good in navy, and it's a basic piece, so I'll let it sit one more season.
Sadly, since I took this picture, the navy sheath dress was ruined in the wash. :( Although I could only have worn it for two more months, I miss it. But maybe I should start looking for a navy sheath nursing dress...
To fill out the eight items in the category, I put in this white sweater and the black silk shirt, both of which I can wear over these dresses. The silk shirt naturally overlaps with the "dressing up" purple circle but I admit it's more of a stretch to describe the white sweater as "super casual" (although I do wear it with jeans sometimes). Or should I have put the pink jacket in the super-casual overlap? Hmmm.... Tweaking the system, tweaking the system...
So -- down to eight items for circle #2 -- four circles and 27 items left to go!