Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wardrobe Challenge

I'm doing something that has been dubbed "crazy." Women are screaming in unison, "how is it possible" and "how will you make it" and "why?" I wish I was talking about something as admirable as swimming from Cuba to Florida, then all the shock and sympathy would make more sense, but I'm talking about a self-imposed moratorium on buying anything new to wear on my body from Labor Day to Memorial Day. This includes clothing, shoes, handbags and jewelry. If it isn't in my closet right now, then I'll have to dream about it for the next nine months (my daughter's entire kindergarten year) or perhaps I'll put it on one of you. When thinking about closet edits and re-working wardrobes, there are lots of things you can do: Add a belt or a scarf or both, pair different prints together, change the jewelry, throw some jeans under a dress and switch the boots out for pumps, etc. It feels different now that my words are turned around on me, but there's no turning back. I'm committed and excited to see how creative I can be with what I already own. Follow me or better yet, take this challenge with me (thank you, Amy and Cara) and let's see what we can re-create and resurrect.

I wrote the above paragraph with excited anticipation of Labor Day and rising to this challenge. That was before I ordered a gorgeous nude dress to wear to a dear friends wedding in Los Angeles. LA: The land of the pretty people, where great style is a way of life and perfect pieces are ripe for the plucking. I received the dress a couple days before Labor Day, took it out of the box and just stared at it for awhile. It was prettier in person than it was online. It was my "signature" dress style: short with long sleeves, was covered in patches of nude sequins and was beautifully made.The shoes I had already purchased to wear with it are the most gorgeous pair of perfectly nude (not too pink, not too yellow, not too taupe) pointed-toe pumps with a 4" heel. These darling Delmans are usually $398, and I snatched them up for $100. I took them in my arms, carried them to my car, strapped them into the 5-pt. harness car seat and drove them to their new home. If you're thinking this sounds like a seriously legit ensemble, you are correct. Only, it. looked. terrible! I had taken every precaution to make this a no-fail style moment. I ordered the Small and the Medium (they didn't have it in the store to try on), and I paid the extra $15 for two-day shipping so if it didn't work, I would have a couple of days to find a replacement. The two-day shipping turned into getting the dress five business days later. I guess "handling" was the hold up. Normally, I would have been upset about the delay, but ordering it in two sizes gave me a false sense of peace. With no time to waste, I took one dress back to the store and took one to my friend, a beautiful former model with legs that never quit, who looked absolutely stunning in my stunning dress and my ridiculous shoes. She wrote me a check for the dress. I kept my shoes. My only consolation was seeing that fancy frock go to a good home.

I looked for a couple of hours on two different days to no avail. Labor Day was approaching, and I was out of time. The first resurrection in my nine-month challenge would be a dress to replace the irreplaceable LA wedding (guest) dress. A good rule for any closet is to house a timeless, cocktail-appropriate little black dress at all times. My appropriate LBD, not as timeless as one would want, has a fun and flirty high-low hem. The high-low hem is not my favorite, but this high-low is not as dramatic as some. I love this dress because it fits amazing. I prefer shorter dresses (I'm 5'4"), it hides my arms (in the running for least favorite body part) with short sleeves and it drapes perfectly. Another good rule for any closet is a nice pair of close-toed, nude pumps. Yes, they really do go with everything, including my second-fiddle dress. I'll post a pic from the wedding after this weekend.

The sad looks and the sympathy, keep them coming. I'm storing them up for a day in mid-February when I've used it all up, and I have nothing to wear. If I don't make it to my normal weekly engagements, no need to wonder, I'm crying in my closet.



  1. Great ideas! I look forward to following your blog:)

  2. Nice post. How will you ever do it?!?! I guess that means you will have more time to shop for me.

  3. Maybe since you won't be buying anything, you can teach me how to shop, dress, etc! I'm SO impressed with you, and I love the blog already!

  4. You look gorgeous! I know you will do this challenge beautifully and creatively --all while inspiring us to look deeper into our closets before hitting the mall!