I think I might write a smilier post on on this theme each year at the same time, but I think with a New Year I tend to do a stocktake of my wardrobe purchases and my existing wardrobe from the past year and think about how I'm going to proceed in the coming year. I'm nothing if not a planner.

Dressing room inspiration via


I don't subscribe to any particular theory (such as Project 333 or the Ten Item Wardrobe etc), although I do enjoy reading about how others approach their wardrobes as you can see from my blogroll - a few of the blogs relate to wardrobe purchase/ organisation, and I probably favour the quality over quantity theory in general. While I am not a minimalist, some of the images I see pinned on Pinterest of closets stuffed to the brim with the gaspy comments of awe beneath them leave me a little cold - all the waste! The vast majority of the contents would never be worn, or worn only a handful of times. Somewhere in-between is a healthy medium - a wardrobe where things are worn often, give options, suit  your lifestyle, are comfortable, and you look reasonably polished. I have been trying to adhere to quality over quantity, ethical production (not sweatshop), and purchasing for my actual life (rather than my fantasy one of constant cocktail parties). I also don't like having things hanging around too long in my wardrobe that I don't wear for whatever reason. I quite like a clear out.

 
the now famous three storey closet in Houston with its own built in bar via 

This time last year I identified that I was purchasing far too many party clothes. It was likely due to an element of escapism from our rather unpleasant renovating and living circumstances at the time, and probably the additional emotional stress of the death of my Mother and Grandmother in fairly close succession that year. It's very easy to find pretty evening dresses heavily discounted online, rather than the wardrobe basics (which tend to look fairly dull by contrast, and will often sell out at full price). And as my Grandmother was fond of saying "There's nothing like a new frock to cheer a girl up".

So this past year I tried to buy clothes suited for my actual life (which I'd say would be more like 70% casual everyday, 5% special occasion, 15% dinner/ evening out, 10% dressy day ware) and replace some of the basic foundation items/ classics that were wearing out and looking tired (like a black pencil skirt that was 16 years old, knit ware developing those annoying holes at centre hip height where jean buttons rub etc).

corner of my dressing room (shared with Mr AV)

If you were reading the blog this past year you would have seen that I did a few nip and tucks of existing things also - I had my lovely classic 12 year old Max Mara coat shortened (I had stopped wearing it as it was so long it swamped me), dresses altered to fit my frame better, shoes reheeled and resoled and other general wardrobe maintenance. The things that were good quality to start with I've been able to wear for years - as long as it's maintained properly.

revived 12 year old charcoal coat with half a metre cut off the bottom of it.

I wrote a list of everything that I purchased in 2014 at the end of December. From scarfs and jewellery to bags, shoes, jackets, dresses and everything in between. And I was quite pleased with what I had on the list. It wasn't excessively long, and it definitely emphasised quality over quantity. 1/4 of my purchases directly replaced something that had worn out and needed replacement and updating (example: nude coloured heels, a black pencil skirt, a black cardigan). Half my purchases involved some form of discount - I had a mental list of what I needed to replace or was looking to fill a gap in my wardrobe with so searched during the half yearly sales for those things (thus avoiding impulse buys).

New shoes this past year that replaced another pair of now tatty black patent heels with an old clutch bag

In analysing what were the more expensive buys - well, of course I put money into shoes (I really do think they make a difference to your outfit) there were three pairs purchased that directly replaced other pairs that went to the shoe graveyard in the sky (or my daughters dress up box). Some of my most worn every day purchases included items such as a black faux fur and merino wool Gilet from New Zealand brand Sabatini - toasty warm and worn constantly through winter over my existing knits. An oversized grey cashmere Sweater from Brora was also an expensive purchase, even at a very reduced price, but I wore it constantly through Winter with skinny jeans or stretchy leggings and knee high boots, having taken inspiration from this image I found on Pinterest below. Mr AV started referring to it as my Uniform. I'm not sure he liked it as much as I did…Oh well, he'll no doubt be very excited to see me pulling that outfit out again this Winter.

Pinterest inspiration via

Bargain buys included a floral Zara shirt that I wear quite a bit with skinny jeans and ballet flats and my J Brand jeans (purchased from Gilt online for $70 compared to $250 locally and replacing another pair that have been reclassified to gardening jeans after they developed holes). Due to the fact that having now worn nicer designer clothes (and not wanting to go back to relatively expensive yet poorly cut and finished synthetic fabric mixes in garments at full price), I instead made a few purchases of second hand designer dresses via eBay. Things that cost $2000-3,500 new and have been worn maybe a handful of times (if that - one dress appears to have never been sat in according to my alterations lady) are instead sold very inexpensively on eBay, and I picked up a few things this way from Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta.

second hand Oscar de la Renta heavy wool tweed dress

The dresses were to add to my existing dinner or lunch out dress category. I attend a reasonable quantity of these sort of events with Mr AV for his work, and need to dress in a slightly conservative and dressy way. Definitely no jeans, no skinny leggings, nothing too obviously trendy...I am generally the youngest female at these events by quite some years. I also have difficulty outfit repeating too much - there tends to be a cross over with some of the same guests at different events, so I try to rotate things a little so that they don't end up seeing the same thing constantly. It ends up being a reasonably specific category of clothes that I like to have a few options for.

The category that received the least attention from me was that of scarfs, accessories and bags. I tend to rotate wear through the same jewellery (real and costume), same belts etc, and I haven't purchased a day bag for 4 years.

What writing it all down does is to make me aware of wastage - I can see exactly what I spent my money this past year, and what has worked out to be the things I've worn constantly and what I haven't. The other thing it does is to show up gaps in my wardrobe, and when I get those inevitable sale notices in the inbox (or if I do happen to be in a shop) I will instead hone into what it is that I require, rather than be distracted by all the other things that are 70% off and that I really didn't realise I needed until that very moment.

So I suppose in a nutshell my approach has been to replace the tired, maintain the existing, and identify the gaps so that I have more options from what I already have. And I think it's worked for me this past year. I've never subscribed fully to any one of the wardrobe theories that float around (no matter how interesting I find them). I lived with a true minimalist capsule wardrobe for a year in London 16 years ago, and was sick to death of it by the end (one suitcase full of clothes for both Summer and Winter when I moved there, and student life and then work induced poverty as an Interior Design Slave meant I didn't buy much additional clothing or shoes for that year).

Do you have a wardrobe theory you subscribe to? I'm always interested to hear how other people approach it… or even if you have a plan at all? Do you purchase at the start of each season, or only on sale, or buy lots of things on impulse then return most of them? I think the thing this has shown me is that we're all a work in progress, and I most certainly am!

64 comments:

  1. None here. My life has changed so much and when I purged on November I was pleased with the final result - for now. I did realize I need a smart dress or two, but since I have no Imminent need for these, will wait. I have shoes I love but that my current life - writing in my home office - doesn't require me to wear them. So actually, no big purchases planned anytime soon, though I love seeing my wee closet organized. Somewhere around a year ago I got fatigued buying clothes and watching others buy clothes, but that may change in the future! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've done well to cut off the urge Wendy. Perhaps a life change with the career switch and doing something you love so much has been the difference. I think we can tend to use clothes purchase as a quick fix to make ourselves feel better about other things going on in our life. Otherwise we'd probably all have the most minuscule of wardrobes.

      Delete
  2. I am the last person to write about this. I have a semi walk in, one and a half closet in my room, plus suitcases of stuff. I need professional help bc I wear the same two jeans all the time. I bought two bc I need a pair for when the other is in the wash. I mean I looked at my wardrobe trying to do a new year clean and I hung up a shirt got overwhelmed and left. I am the most simple person you have ever come across truly. Must be my split personality. I will try and do some organizing this month and maybe I will post. But might be a 3 parter...would love to know which items you wear the most or repeat most often though. Your lists Musnt go to waste! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, Naomi, I'm a bit like this too! I get stuck on the same things and ignore half my stuff. I am also unable to organise or throw out anything at the moment.... No idea why, but I'm sure one day I will be able to. I think it's a reaction to death and uncertainty with house.

      Delete
    2. You should call in one of those people that come in and go through your wardrobe and put together look books of your own clothes and tell you the key missing pieces and all that. There are people like that in London, I'm sure you could find someone good (and it would make a great blog post, as we don't really have a service like that here in little old adelaide!). Laughing about feeling overwhelmed with a shirt!
      Not sure about posting all the "Uniforms" I have - they'd make me quite identifiable in public here as I wear them so much! No anonymity!

      Delete
    3. Ruth, I think it probably is the fact that you're having to make so many Big emotional decisions on the house and with your Dad's death so recent that making small decisions can end up being overwhelming. Hang in there and let the dust settle a bit and I'm sure you'll find a time when it all seems a bit easier.

      Delete
  3. Really enjoyed reading this on a Saturday morn, Heidi.
    I am loving the look of your wardrobe, very envious, mine is poorly lit and the Ikea shelves are not quite right though generally it's okay.
    The colour of that wood is just beautiful. (Also love that yellow handbag!). The dress is so elegant and great snipping on the coat.
    Like you, I have realised I need good quality everyday clothing. I get very little use out of dresses and putting money into properly fitted jeans is the best thing I can do. We've just found a dry cleaner who alters jeans so I might try them to see if they can be taken in the waist as I get that booty drop look in most jeans. I've generally found AG jeans to be pretty good though Habitual are the ultimate for making the bum look better but they are impossible to find.
    I find my one rule - on online shopping - ensures I don't buy things that don't fit so well. Also I know if I did online shopping, stuff would never get sent back and it would sit in the mudroom until the return period has been and gone. I also don't go to big box stores like Target as I feel as though I overbuy stuff that ends up being donated.
    I get the most wear out of cardigans and stretch cotton tops too so always on the lookout for those.
    Compared to most Americans around these parts, I don't have that many clothes, people are always surprised when they see my wardrobe, though sometimes I think I'm probably fooling myself as I have no issue culling all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wardrobe isn't wood! It's just plain old cheap laminate. But I like the way it looks, and the colour means it never looks dusty which is always a plus!!
      I would love to have jeans tailored. I might look into having that done. My waist measurement is generally far smaller than my hip, so I always have an annoying gape at the top of my jeans. I've also not heard of Habitual jeans (but then again we have limited options of overseas denim here). I like the J Brand as the fit is pretty good on me, and they have no branding on them or back pockets with sparkly things on them (my bottom is not my best feature, and I don't need to draw extra attention to it!!). Probably not being American and having limited access to expensive clothes (being from NZ and also the English are similar so that would have continued when you lived there I'd guess) you'd definitely have far less than the average in your area. Actually, Faux Fuchsia told me she thought I didn't have a lot of clothes when I was showing her around my house. Possibly though she's not the most normal of base points!!
      Agree with you re cotton tops and cardigans. Knitwear is one of my bigger areas as I feel the cold and wear them all the time.

      Delete
  4. I love your blog, Heidi! Always interesting and inspiring!
    I have a chaotically disciplined approach to my wardrobe and shopping in general.
    As we're in the thick of renovating and are in a house with very little space, things have gone quite out of control, really. In addition, we're moving back in to our (unfinished) house next weekend, so I expect to be in a state of extreme stress for a while, with even more Chaos!
    I've bought less than usual this year, but seem to have some compulsion to buy skirts. And more skirts. In fact I bought 8 last year, which is excessive in retrospect.
    I also bought a couple of summer tops and 4 pairs of sandals.
    Anyway, must stop rambling. I really, really need to cull my clothes and get rid of stuff in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I nearly didn't post this as wardrobe posts are always so polarising! A lot of editing went on…
      Your outfits are always great Ruth - both casual, work and dressy. And I always think you don't get stuck on a Uniform in quite the same way as me.
      That feeling of living in chaos and mess is awful, and you definitely have my sympathies. I really found the clothes buying an escape from the reality last year. This year I've been a lot more disciplined about it, and I've also let go of a lot of stuff that I didn't need.
      Hang in there with the house! It'll be chaos for probably another 6- 8 weeks, and then you'll get your sanity back :) x

      Delete
  5. So admire your self-discipline and organisational skills and understanding of psychology. Don't seem to have the qualities required - as I still get tempted to shop, particularly now that I'm retired and have more time - though less money!
    Thank goodness for Op Shops! One of my problems (apart from using shopping as an anti-depressant when I need a pick-me-up) is that I love colour - absolutely adore it. My wardrobe is perhaps obsessively colour blocked in the ranges of colours I like that work for me: there's the aqua/teal/turquoise range; the navy/royal blue/denim selection; the oranges (salmon, coral, tangerine); the pinks (pales through to fuchsia) and reds; the greens (apple through to olive and avocado); and of course, the neutrals from whites, creams, blacks and greys. I see something in the perfect shade of aqua and think how wonderful it will be with something else in my wardrobe. Everything from clothing through to accessories. I especially buy things that will work on our overseas trips. Of course there's a fairly useful crossover between colour ranges, eg royal blue with orange or lime, pink with orange, etc. Luckily many of these (including the odd Hermes or vintage Jean Patou scarf) come from Op Shops. My DIL googled the $5.00 Hermes Egyptian pattern scarf and we discovered it was one of the original 1976 issue. Still in excellent condition. But it does mean I have far too many things and need to do some pruning. I do give lots to our local Op Shop but still find it hard to part with certain things. Before Christmas finally gave away almost all of the last of my mother's beautiful clothes that I'd been holding on to because I'd been with her when she bought them and could still see how lovely she looked in them. Also have quite a pile of old clothes that I wear just for work in the garden and around the house. You and FF and Janet would be appalled at all the clutter in the wardrobes! Will have to do something about it before it's my turn to do a Canberra Garden tour! So afraid of the horror - but I keep procrastinating!
    So glad about the rain!
    Pammie xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I think you're kind to call me self-disciplined Pammie! Probably more in fits and starts really, rather than showing a will of iron on that front. I did find that by writing it all down at the end of the year I noticed I'd go a few months between purchases then have a binge for a week.
      I love your wardrobe Pammie - so idiosyncratic, and so much fun with your beautiful and flamboyant accessories.
      Can't believe that $5 Hermes find though, so lucky! But people do send the nicest things to the Op shop. I think particularly when you're clearing out an estate it can get a little overwhelming to take the time to list things on eBay or whatever… so you can certainly find some gems in there. Although I will say I noticed an awful lot of Zara et al when I last popped in to drop some things off. High turnover probably on the fast fashion… Has not stopped raining here for 2 days! Fires out and all is well, and my garden while fried is looking a bit fresher xx

      Delete
  6. Wardrobes and outfitting oneself is a journey to say the least. I look back at some of my choices early on in my teens, twenties and even thirties and thought what was I thinking. I found when i moved back to Melbourne 17 years ago to educate the children, i needed more than just farm clothes!!!!! I marvel at how women wear colour (FF) for one and do it so well, but i never felt so together. Some how i realised that i felt the most comfortable with a black and white wardrobe and have since put together pieces over the years, for all occasions only breaking out in colour for my two sons weddings. My only exception would be jeans and in the summer i have just started with a few pieces of clothing in sky blue (the colour of my eyes)- nothing too exciting at all but in the end I have finally found what i am comfortable in. I must add though i do use colour-albeit a little retrained in the use of scarves-something i couldn't live without.
    With this philosophy i must admit i now have a goal and purpose when purchasing clothes and very rarely buy a piece now that I regret and thus reduce waste!!! Enjoyed your post.
    Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think with big changes in life circumstances or periods of your life you definitely have a period of flux where you have to transition into other clothes more suited to your new situation. I remember finishing school and starting Uni and having no clothes! I'd lived in a Uniform with a few casual things for so long that suddenly going to wearing normal clothes full time required a big change. Then again from student to work, work to pregnant, pregnant to at home with kids etc etc… and then you have changes in fashion - which I'm sure is a lot of what you look back at Marilyn and think "what was I wearing"!
      I think colour is tricky. For a long time I wore a lot of black and white, and all separates so that I could maximise my wardrobe options. So I try to wear more colour now, although it's still my default in Winter! Old habits die hard.
      You're certainly doing well if you don't often buy pieces that you regret though Marilyn! Sometimes it can just take a while to work out what works I guess!

      Delete
  7. I need to write purchases down. Otherwise it gets ridiculous. I have much less storage space in the new house, hence I think harder about purchases now than I used to. Too much stuff is bad for the soul, I say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not done it before Cilla, but it was pretty interesting to do it and think about how and why I've bought things. Good storage is good to have, but it often ends up stuffed to the brim with all sorts of junk.

      Delete
  8. My wardrobe is a disaster, several wool coats I hardly wear , suits I can't fit into and that's the part I can talk publicly about.

    Like your black and gold bag

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need a good purge smr! That bag gets a lot of use. Patent is very versatile I find.

      Delete
  9. What an opportune post for my husband to read. He is a hoarder of epic proportions (well I probably exaggerate, but for a man anyway, he has too much stuff he never wears that he has from at least 20 years ago (because it WILL come back into fashion Engracia & why spend money on something I would have had, but for throwing it out!!!!) We actually started sorting & it has been quite an interesting exercise for him I think. I'm just glad to be making space for some new things I intend to buy for me, lol.
    I tend to organise my wardrobe around classic pieces with a few fun things thrown in (sparkle tshirt to wear with a tweed skirt for example). Last year my son started at a new prep school & I found myself attending more dressy day functions for fundraising & lunches & had to buy two dresses to cover those situations & so I plan on adding more dressy day wear (not suits) to my wardrobe & always a few new pairs of shoes, they are my weakness.
    Really interesting post Heidi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so funny your husband is convinced it's all coming back! It does, but never quite the same, so unless he likes dressing in a "vintage" style, I think he's probably unlikely to use a lot of it.
      Dressy day wear that is not a suit is a newer category for me too - but some of it can cross over for dinners out at night, so I've tried to find things that can do double duty.
      I have to say a significant proportion of my purchases were shoes! I can't help myself (although they were all practical buys this year, no shoes of shame type purchases!) x

      Delete
  10. Luff this post! I always cull/declutter and wander about the shops and I have a running list of what I need- at this stage it is black trousers.

    I kind of love my wardrobe as it is right now. It's freaking divine really. But why wouldn't it be, I've nurtured it like a garden.

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're much better at shopping in real life than me - It's really all online for me. Then when I do go to the shops I get overwhelmed by the choice!
      Love your last sentence. Made me laugh a lot! xx

      Delete
    2. Heidi, I loathe real life shopping now, online is so much easier, when I walk into a shop I feel as if i'm in a jumble sale, I am not a rooter.

      Delete
    3. I feel the same! Without those online filters of size, type etc I feel a bit overwhelmed and wander slightly aimlessly

      Delete
    4. I do most of my shopping online too- sometimes I think I have forgotten how to shop in real life!!!

      Delete
  11. I've been writing down my purchases for years, I like looking back to see what I've bought and how much wear I've gotten from it, I used to only buy feathery dresses, chiffon kaftans, you know, general Shirley Bassey wear until I woke up and saw the reality of my everyday life, I also bored myself senseless by saying "I have nothing to wear" but I didn't, now, it's leggings, two pairs of black jeans and big jumpers/boots in winter and a variation of that with a few dresses thrown in for spring summer, its taken me 20 years to appreciate that I do not need dresses in winter as my legs only make an appearance in late May. I've also just written half a post about this this! I love uncluttered organised drawers and cupboards, it make me happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh exciting! I love your clothes posts. Love that you've kept lists for so long... I might start doing that as I found it quite fun to do it this year. So funny about your life as Shirley Bassey! I can just see you swanning around Scotland in your Caftans with a cocktail in hand!!

      Delete
    2. Hello Tabitha, can you please tell me how you write down your purchases. Is it just done in an exercise book, or excel spreadsheet or whatever. I would like to do the same thing. And, do you also add things like worn where and how often and with what. I love your style!
      thank you. Linda C.

      Delete
  12. My goodness you sound organised. That Oscar de la Renta dress looks absolutely divine. I spent a day with a personal stylist a few years ago and she identified that I was in need of more shoes - can you believe it! I buck the trend in that I'm not a shoe girl at all, but I do love a new handbag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I think this year was my organization year- past years have been a bit ad hoc, which was why I was trying to get a grip on it all. That would have been great getting a personal stylist in, especially if they identified a need for shoes!!!

      Delete
  13. am generally for quality over quantity, but whilst pregnant/ post baby am going with whatever fits!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sensible choice. I made the mistake of thinking I was back to normal size and have had to have a lot taken in as a result!

      Delete
  14. I so enjoyed reading this post Heidi and all of the comments too. I can definitely relate to buying party clothes as a form of escapism, I've done that plenty and I started doing that again before Christmas this past year, ended up having to return things of course when I realized I was down the silly path again... I was looking at what I did wear through the holidays and it was two outfits, a long sleeve velvet dress from Brora which was a replacement for one I shrunk in the laundry (so comfy) and a pair of wool and silk pants in black with a neat black wool sweater that I wore with different costume necklaces. Same shoes, black Ferragamo's. I use my black Smythson bag for most occasions nearly all year, and with my other good bag (a dark brown LV) I can understand how satisfying it is to have a good thing and just use it over and over. But to realize what that is and to get to that point is another matter!
    My fall/winter wardrobe is actually quite minimal but my spring/summer is another story, lots of colour, straw bags, fun shoes, party dresses, it's very strange considering that I can only wear those things 3 months of the year here. That's where I have the most fun with shopping and dressing I guess.
    I definitely get into a rut with wearing the same things over and over, last week I put together five different outfits and forced myself to wear them, brought me out of my black skinny pants/jumper look. Which is a look I like but I have a couple of Brora skirts (wool and lined in silk as they used to do) which are much warmer (-20 here these days), and I do have a rule that if I don't wear something I donate or sell it.
    Your gray jumper sounds like the perfect winter staple, I was considering buying a longer cable jumper from the Brora sale but our exchange is ridiculous now, it's just too costly. I do have a couple of Brora cashmere sweater dresses in my winter rotation which were purchased in better times for our dollar, very warm worn with high boots and a parka.
    I really enjoy making lists of wardrobe purchases too. I've even done an inventory in the past. Now that I have my spring/summer in one closet and my fall/winter in another (to be switched out in May and back again in September) I don't need to do that as I can see everything, storing clothes away doesn't work for me, I need to see everything or I buy the same things again/forget about things, it's not good!
    Thanks Heidi for the great post xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An inventory is a whole other scary thing entirely! I'm not sure if want to confront what's down the bottom of drawers! Even though I do a good throw out every 4 months or so there's still likely a few things there I should get rid of.
      You are SO organised Dani I can totally see you doing your lists and planning outfits. I do get into a rut too from time to time as you find something that works and is comfortable and easy... And wear it to death! Naomi was lobbying for me to show some of those outfits, but they're not that exciting (or maybe I'm do sick of them?).
      Our exchange rate isn't great either at the moment... Brora is looking very expensive!

      Delete
  15. Hi Heidi,

    I've just discovered your blog, and am loving it.

    We have moved so much for my husband's work over the last few years, and it seems our wardrobe space decreases rather than increases when we hit a new town. We are currently in Adelaide, too. And in a rental with the world's smallest wardrobes. So my minimal wardrobe is MINI-mal indeed.

    Little black dresses are my friend, but I really should work on some better cocktail dress options. Other than cookie cutter mall stores, there doesn't seem to be much here, or am I missing something?

    And I am missing Luisa Warehouse in Melbourne, did you ever go there?

    xAlice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice, welcome to Adelaide! I did go to Louisa warehouse a couple of times in melb, but tend to find the internet took over with a far bigger selection and even bigger discounts. Locally shopping is pretty limited in terms of diversity. There are a few boutiques on Unley and king William road with good options, or burnside village has husk, sass and bide, willow, Karen Millen etc or there's DJs... But if you've been there I think you've seen the diversity! Adelaide is not renowned for shopping. Food and wine yes, shopping no! Renting can be hard with space options. We had a tiny wardrobe renting in melb for a year and it was difficult. You have my sympathies, also you'd no doubt find that it's hard as you have to slightly alter style for different cities.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the welcome!

      Yes on adapting and style changes with different cities, especially with the weather changes and cultural changes that have gone with it.

      Thank you so much for the shopping ideas, some I have been to, some I have flitted past.

      xAlice

      Delete
  16. Hello Heidi
    I think climate has a lot to do with wardrobe... I live in Canberra and have 3 quite distinct sets of clothes. The freezing cold winter ones, the stinking hot summer ones and the trans season set. Very few items can span all three seasons.
    And since I am always drawn to the winter clothes - think coats and jackets, leather gloves, wraps, hats, fur etc I seem to have too many of those items.
    All up I agree with everyone... quality v's quantity should always be our guiding principle... its just that sometimes we all go a little mad, fall in love with something and throw caution to the wind. You gotta live on the edge sometimes.
    Judith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely have to have some fun with your wardrobe Judith. All sensible basics that work well can end up getting a bit dull otherwise... A bit like my capsule wardrobe for a year.
      I have a similar climate problem to you although not quite as cold and found half the things I bought crossed seasons and then 1/4 winter only and 1/4 summer only. I think winter is my favourite season to buy and wear- layers and knitwear is easier than finding sundresses and nice sandals.

      Delete
  17. Oh that's so funny...I think I have the same MaxMara coat right here!

    I'm for quality over quantity, and style over fashion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really?? Did it come to your ankles too? It was bought around 2001 I think from memory. I really can't justify buying another full length cost as it's not cold enough here... But I definitely needed it for the freezing Melbourne winters.

      Delete
    2. Yes, about then, in Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge.
      How funny!

      Delete
  18. hello heidi,

    i'm over from FF's blog. how is it i have not known about you? i love this post and all the comments. i find wardrobes/dressing fascinating!

    i am a 333 person. well i should say that the 333 project turned my thinking upside down and it worked for me. i too always bought clothes for the life i wanted and so my closet was just full of impractical things and i was always moaning that i had nothing to wear. which was really true! so for me 333 helped me to first pare down and then slowly rebuild a closet that i now love. i can't wait to wear what's in it now. it's really been a big help to me.

    i adore your coat and that Oscar dress is stunning!

    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to pop over and see how the project 333 worked for you, I'm fascinated by the minimalist concept but know I can't do it after the capsule wardrobe year. Also I've found a lot if the others following it tend to use it as a way of buying an expensive minimalist designer aesthetic- all black white and grey etc. I too find the concept of how people create their wardrobes quite fascinating... Lots of psychology behind it!

      Delete
  19. Hi Heidi,
    I am feeling a little bit envious about your wardrobe.... It is stunning and magazine worthy!
    I totally agree with what you wrote. Me too, I am revising my buys and downsizing a lot.
    Have a great day
    laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura! It still after 4 years feels very grown up to have a proper dressing room, although when I look at images like the first one with the pretty wallpaper I think mine is a little drab by comparison!

      Delete
  20. Definitely need this practical guide to clothing.
    I love your winter uniform & have uniforms for summer, winter & events ie funerals but need to update my special events dress as it gets trotted out everywhere.
    In 2013 did the don't buy any new clothing except for essentials & opaque tights in winter. My hubby kept saying this is great, but just don't go a clothes buying bender on 1/1/2014. Well of course I have. All or nothing unfortunately
    Love your purchases on eBay. Den xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot imagine not buying a thing for a year, but would completely splurge the following if I had. I probably do this on a smaller scale- no purchases for a few months then a bunch in a short time.

      Delete
  21. Hi Heidi - I wrote a long comment on my commute yesterday but I think it has vanished somewhere in cyberspace!
    I love this post: thanks for sharing. I can't understand why it is controversial!
    In Jan 2014 I started tracking my fashion and accessory spend in an excel spreadsheet and found it to be a very helpful exercise. I added a column where I rate the purchase with hindsight - i.e. regret/buy again, etc. I might have mentioned this in previous comments. It really focused my mind on what I was buying (as you suggest) and helped me to avoid buying to cheer myself up/ duplicates in the wardrobe, etc. Looking back, my best purchases were isabel marant trainers, a giambattista valli day dress and a aigle country jacket. But if I had not known how much I was spending I probably would not have bought these things (or I would have got them and felt guilty about it) as I really didn't have any any of what my budget for clothes was. I found that, when I first starting working and earning, I was disciplined about budgeting and getting the best things that I could afford and, as a result, have some gems in my wardrobe which I wear again and again. However, more recently having acquired a few mortgages, children and associated expenses, I had fallen of the path. My experiment was really to give me knowledge so that I would never feel guilty about a purchase and I'm really happy I did it. I now know what I want/need and am happy to save for months to work up to a big purchase.
    I love your ebay idea - I will check that out. Amazing Oscar dress.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a lucky find Charlotte- I think because it was summer in the northern hemisphere and it being a heavy wool (although with short sleeves) it languished. But I've had some good finds on there. It seems on eBay the cheaper labels sell for less of a percentage discount than the expensive designer dresses, some of which are listed for 80% off the original retail and are not very worn. Love your idea of a spreadsheet- so organised! That would definitely make me even more aware if how I've done and I think you're right that expensive purchases worn for years can be much better value in the long run than cheaper items worn once or twice. The trick is trying to anticipate what that's going to be! Not easy sometimes... X

      Delete
  22. Heidi , you are amazing ! Fantastic posts I love your style, comments and philosophy! You will be picked up by a magazine very soon. When I come to adelaide I would like to take you to lunch to say thank you for your insightful posts...not sure when I will be in Adelaide but I would love to meet you...off to do wardrobe audit....I am friends with ff and Pammie from 2013 garden tour ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Very kind of you re magazine, but I fear I'm certainly no journalist! Would love to meet up and talk gardens if you ever come to Adelaide! X

      Delete
  23. I totally retooled my wardrobe this year and have been very happy. I donated about 95% of it, which meant I needed to do quite a lot of replacement. But I had a seismic shift in taste. I don't plan on purchasing much this year. I hate shopping in physical stores because--isn't this awful--I'm annoyed by the sales staff and the other shoppers! Luckily men's clothing is so easy to fit that I don't think I've ever had to try anything on before I bought it. Don't have patience for that! I noticed that at least 75% of my clothes were black and the other 25% were vivids. So I was apparently either depressed or exuberantly overjoyed! Most everything was also bought with the understanding that I would always have a beautiful, dark tan. Well those vivids didn't look so good on my bright white skin once I stopped tanning. I get into most trouble with coats because 1) I love them 2) our climate is so unpredictable one needs at least 4 types of coats. 3) I really love them :)
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW- 95% donation??!! That is incredible and truly starting afresh. My husband hates sakes assistants too... Lucky him he gets me to come along and fetch and carry for him in the change room while the sales person just stands around. So annoying! The only problem with internet purchases is that you can't judge fabric. I've had some surprises. Mostly things are better then I had expected, but there were some 'vintage wash' tee shirts from J Crew that were see through and fell apart after a couple of washes. I would've sent them back but couldn't be bothered as they were only tee shirts.
      So Agee with you about some colours only working with certain skin colours. All the neon around looks horrendous on me.

      Delete
  24. Hi Heidi,

    Great post, and your approach seems to be working, looks like you always have something appropriate and stylish to wear, and plenty of classic items that will stand the test of time. I was raised in a family where we had what we needed regarding clothes, but spending money on shoes and clothes etc was not really encouraged. Now as an adult, despite agreeing with the quality over quantity philosophy, and having a need and desire to have a great wardrobe that suits my lifestyle, I still find it difficult to spend significant amounts of money on these things, particularly when I'm not sure if I'm actually paying for quality or just a brand name of questionable quality. I would love to read a post on which designers/labels you've had success with and recommend, and the best places to shop online.

    At the moment I am rotating a handful of items that are cool and comfy because I'm very pregnant! Looking forward to building a great wardrobe when I'm back to my usual size.

    Take care,
    S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think everyone has a mental limit after which you can feel ill or unsure or full of regret with how much you've spent. I think anytime I write about clothes it's a fairly loaded topic as everyone has baggage associated with it- you're certainly not alone. You're also right that not all designer stuff is worth the money, identifying the quality from hype can be hard. Might write that post, thanks for the prompt!

      Delete
  25. Heidi,
    The scotch I'm drinking shares a birthday with your charcoal coat and we would also compliment those lovely gams and leopard pumps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the best things are aged G! Thanks for the compliments on the shoes and legs (now that you can see them from the coat guillotining!)

      Delete
  26. Great post. We are looking at upsizing our home significantly (5 kids once we blend) but I do not want to go back to huge closets. I like the discipline of thinking through my purchases due to space. It sounds like you made some excellent purchases last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was funny, as the wardrobe looked so empty once we put our clothes in when we moved here. I think the temptation is to fill something if you have the space, and you don't have to be disciplined by constantly editing… but I've tried to avoid that, so it's a bit of a one in, one out philosophy. I try to aim for a nice boutique with curated stock, rather than a bargain basement jumble with racks of crammed clothes to choose from.

      Delete
  27. Hello, I enjoy your blog. Especially the flowers.
    My wardrobe clean out - I took everything out to the clothesline, hung on their hangers.
    Gave them sunlight and fresh air while I decided.
    Sorted by putting the "keepers" to the right, and the "take to op shop" to the left.
    Having all my clothes out of the wardrobe was good, it helped me break the bond to old favourites or part with something that never really hit the spot.
    Then I only took back upstairs the "keepers". The rest went straight to the car boot and on to the op shop.

    Love my labeller and used it to label shelves for my tshirts, tank tops, shorts, leggings, etc.
    I have two nice boxes for my nighties, boxes also labelled. If I was run over by a bus (and survived!) my dear husband would know exactly where to get my nighties for hospital!

    Thank you for so many thoughtful posts. We are very different people - I don't think I am very good at style - but perhaps reading your posts will help! I have work clothes, and beach wear, but struggle with dressy casual.
    All the best. Libby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Libby, I think dressy casual is a hard area to work out what to do - I think either very dressy or very casual is an easy thing to get right. Trying to find the balance to make something smart but casual is definitely harder.
      Love your description of your wardrobe clear out - such a clever idea to get things out in the light of day and only put back what you loved.
      I love my labeller too! My husband thinks I'm a little crazy with my labeller!! Thanks for your comment and I do apologise it's taken me so long to reply xx

      Delete
  28. Hi,

    Can I please please kindly ask if you have any updates re the possum in your roof? I suspect our roof has two (!!) which I thought initially were rats.

    Cheers, A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi A, Well, the possum situation is complicated. Soon after I wrote the post he moved out (or to somewhere else in the roof that wasn't so noisy). But he came back two weeks ago, so I'm going to ring up the possum guy. I'm afraid they all charge $600 or so, so it's not cheap, but better to get the damn thing out than keep him in! My husband is terrified that he'll die of heat in there one day and then we'll just smell him…. yuck! Good luck with your possum situation… two is definitely worth getting rid of. They're awful! x

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Followers

Things to read....

.