Friday, October 05, 2007

Clothing Organization part 4: Finding Daily Mass clothes

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!


Mary Poppins NOT said...

I am suprised, nay, SHOCKD that you have plastic hangers. I have found some lovley old wooden hangers at the thrift store, as well as some very affordable ones as IKEA.

The thrift store hangers are old and have lovely tones to the wood. It has taken me a few years to completely replace my plastic hangers, but I have succeeded.

I am getting the jist of what you are doing here, and will begin the sorting of my clothes. Then I'll follow your system with a few tweaks so that the circles fit my needs a little better.

I have yet to see such an enjoyable, practical series.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Gosh I am so impressed with this system!! Good for you. I am going to get some paper plates out and make my circles - I need a real hands on visual. I may have to adjust my numbers a little since I am not quite as disciplined as you seem to be. But it is my first time. Maybe by next year I can slim the wardrobe down a little more!!

MOm said...

If Andrew doesn't like the purple sunddress but you like to fabric, why not think about turning it into a skirt and tank? Maybe adding a waist in that way will change the shape of it enough that he likes it, or at least you have a skirt that you like and can wear with lots of things.

Kristyn said...

My question is...
Do you devote x amount of time daily to this process, or do you do it in one fell swoop? I apologize if you've already discussed this...
Years ago I paired down to seven outfits which was far too little. This seems more reasonable, and a lot better than an overstuffed closet filled with stuff that doesn't really go with anything but was bought because it was such a good deal. :o)

Nissa said...

Ooooh, Regina, I'm in love with the pink flame patterned number. Just gorgeous.

I'm down to about 4 outfits, but not because I planned it. Just out of things that fit my, er, matronly figure! :D

regina doman said...

Mary Poppins - Actually I've thought of getting wooden hangers but cost hasn't yet allowed... in the meantime, I have my wardrobe hangers color-coded. So the pink clothes are in the pink section on pink hangers... the black on black hangers...the brown on brown hangers...etc. I bought the hangers at the thrift store here and there, and the system works well for me, mostly because I have very few prints!

Mrs. Pickles said...

I'm really appreciating all these posts about clothing! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.
I hear you about the Motherwear dress -- my husband bought 2 of them for me b/c I loved them in the catalog, but failed to notice how low the neckline came on the model. And of course they're both knits. Low knit necklines plus squirmy baby in Mass really do NOT go together. I should write Motherwear too. I don't think I'm the only nursing mom who doesn't really need to show off her nursing bra to the public!