In May of last year, I published a two-part series (starting with this post) that I called “the state of the wardrobe.” I covered a number of topics in those essays, one of which was a new concept I termed “The Rule of Ten.” I created this rule to help me reduce my “out-and-about wardrobe” to a more manageable size – and keep it there.
The basic tenet of the Rule of Ten is that I should limit the size of each wardrobe category to ten or fewer items. At the time when I created this rule, I divided my closet into three distinct sections: at-home clothing, out-and-about clothing, and “crossover” pieces (which could be worn either at home or when I’m out). Since out-and-about items have long been my “problem area,” in that I have too many of them for my lifestyle needs, I opted to apply the Rule of Ten only to that section of my closet.
Revisiting the Rule of Ten
I didn’t do much with the Rule of Ten after its introduction, as I got swept up in the chaos going on in the world and forgot about many of my wardrobe management efforts. I’d like to revisit it now in a series of posts that I’ll publish throughout the coming months. Each post will cover one distinct area of my wardrobe, beginning today with my shoes.
Earlier this year, I published a two-part series (HERE and HERE) announcing my theme for 2021: “less.” I’ve been writing a lot about wardrobe-related subjects lately, but I’d like to switch the focus back to my overall life for a bit. If you enjoy my wardrobe musings, they’ll be back soon, as I’m committed to cultivating a smaller and more workable wardrobe as part of my commitment to “less is more” this year. However, some other topics have been more top of mind in recent days.
The other night, as is often the case, I had trouble sleeping. A cascade of thoughts raced through my mind, and I was unable to settle down enough to get the rest I needed. When I woke up the following morning, I was not just tired; I also felt unsettled and angry. At the root of those feelings was the fact that I have shifted off course once again. I’ve allowed “more” to permeate various facets of my existence, such that it has disrupted my peace and serenity.
Does information overload ever disrupt your peace and serenity?
We’re now over a third of the way through the year, so I’d like to increase the focus on my less theme. I was going to do an overall update on how I’m incorporating this theme into my life, but I’ve decided to take a different approach so I can delve deeper. I’ll periodically write about an area of more that I’d like to pare down. I’ll share the current state of affairs and let you know what I plan to do to address the situation through the lens of less. We’ll start today with a longtime problem of mine, information overload.
This is the third and final installment in my three-part series about what I no longer wear. In my first post, I explored two types of garments that I previously loved wearing but no longer do: skirts and blazers. I reflected upon how the combination of certain types of skirt and blazers created an overly-formal vibe that didn’t work with my casual lifestyle. In part two, I showed how I progressed to the interim outfit formula of maxi-length skirts and dresses paired with cropped or tie cardigans. I also shared the current state of my skirt wardrobe and mused about whether or not skirts will continue to be part of my summer style.
Today, I look at how my style preferences have evolved and what I’m wearing now instead of skirts and blazers. I also highlight some of the reasons for my style shifts and what these changes reveal about my current style preferences and my future sartorial journey.
New Preferences: Cropped Pants and Mid-Length Dresses
After I went through menopause in 2016 and my body changed (more on that below), I started to migrate more toward wearing cropped pants in warmer temperatures rather than skirts. This shift in terms of my bottom pieces has continued as the years have gone by. My current collection of cropped pants is pictured below (I also have a few other pairs that I wear only at home):
This is my current collection of cropped pants that I wear a lot in warm weather.
In my last post, I offered a suggestion for helping you increase your understanding of your style preferences. Since many of us have a better sense of what we don’t want in our lives – and in our wardrobes – than what we do want, I recommended starting there to gain some powerful insights. I also suggested looking back at what you used to love wearing but no longer do, and I explored two of my previous closet favorites that have since fallen by the wayside: skirts and blazers. I shared photos of some of those formerly loved garments, as well as examples of ensembles in which they were featured.
I used to love wearing skirts like this, but I don’t anymore.
In today’s essay, which is the second installment in what will now be a three-part series (I found I had more to say than I originally thought!), I look at how my style has evolved to the point where I very rarely wear skirts and blazers any longer. I’ll show how I progressed from my too formal summer “uniform” of skirts with blazers to an interim formula that better suited my lifestyle and style aesthetic. I also share my current skirt collection and my thoughts about the future of skirts in my wardrobe. The third installment in the series will cover my current style preferences and some thoughts about my future sartorial journey.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what we want. This may sound counterintuitive, but one good way to determine what we want is to first look at what we don’t want. The reason for this suggestion is that we often have more clarity about the unwanted elements of our lives. Our wardrobes can be much the same in this respect. Thus, when we feel stuck with regard to our personal style, it’s often helpful to start by considering what we don’t like wearing.
For all of us, there are types of clothes, shoes, and accessories that we’ve just never liked. I’m sure you all can picture a few such items right now. Sometimes just envisioning the opposite of those “That’s not for me!” styles can get you on the path to determining what might work well for you. For instance, if you don’t like garments with a lot of “bells and whistles” (as I mentioned in my last post), perhaps a more minimalist style aesthetic may hold appeal for you. Likewise, if you feel that a monochromatic neutral ensemble looks boring, maybe you’d be happier wearing more colorful clothing.
Examining styles that you’ve never liked and imagining their opposites can spark ideas for pieces and aesthetics to try, but there’s another place you can look. There’s “gold” to be found by considering what you used to like wearing but no longer do, which is the topic of my next series of three posts, beginning today.
What types of clothes, shoes, and accessories do you no longer like wearing?