Monday, November 30, 2015

two problems with a minimalist wardrobe

I have this bad habit of starting some topic, writing a post or two on it....and then never getting back to it.  Last year I blogged a bit about starting a minimalist wardrobe.  I went through my entire wardrobe and got rid of nearly everything, as most of it was either stained or didn't fit.  I bought some nice replacements that felt like all I needed.  My wardrobe consisted of three jeans, two black slacks, one navy slacks, seven long sleeve knit shirts, two sweaters and a fleece. This brings me to problem number one with the minimalist wardrobe: I seem to gain and lose weight frequently.

Problem Number One: Weight gain and loss
If you are a serial weight gainer/loser, you are probably going to have difficulty with a minimalist wardrobe.  All minimalist websites say invest in one beautiful piece you love instead of multiple cheap pieces you don't.  Except if you spend a large sum of money on a piece that you love, and next winter it doesn't fit, this method may not work for you.

I'm done with the up/down pregnancy weight, praise be, but I still go up and down about 7-10 lbs in weight every few years.  Last year I had some serious allergies that gave me a tuberculosis type cough and sore throat, so I wasn't eating much.  I was also walking six miles a day, nearly every day.  I lost seven lbs.

I walked 25,000 steps per day and ate nearly nothing and lost seven lbs.  Not seventy.  Just seven.

This year I got a concussion, sprained my neck again, went on some fabulous drugs that had weight gain as a side effect, lowered my walking to a mere three miles a day, and started eating again.  Voila, seven lbs (more, actually) back on.

All the clothes I bought last year when I was less plump don't fit any more.  I mean, I can get into my pants, as long as I don't need to sit down.  I can also get into my long sleeve shirts, as long as I don't need to pull my shirt over my hips, or bend my arms.  Arigato, Mr. Roboto.

I packed up all those nice clothes, and put them in a bin in the garage in the event I get another hacking disease that makes me lose weight.

I am currently wearing an extremely minimalist wardrobe--I bought three pairs of pants in a larger size, and I have three old long sleeve shirts that I had consigned to the workout clothes drawer but have been reinstated as everyday wear, two sweaters, and a ten year old fleece.


I....well...I am not excited about this wardrobe.  The problem is not that I don't have enough to wear. I have enough sweaters. The pants are comfortable and I don't look homeless. The problem is that I am at the upper end of my weight range and nothing looks flattering.

I think I could get by with limiting myself to 9 items of clothing if they only looked good on my behind.

(Here I will preemptively thank Anonymous Commenter for the suggestion that I just lose ten lbs and solve all my problems.)


Problem Number Two: klutzy people and stains
I am a klutz.  I have The Fumblefingers.  I drop everything.  Because I drop everything, all of my clothes are stained.

Some minimalists protect their wardrobes by changing out of their clothes into a "house outfit" as soon as they get home.  If I worked outside the home I would probably do this.  However, today I dropped off kids at school, walked a few miles, showered, went to the post office, came home for a while, went to Target, came home, picked up a kid from a playdate, came home, picked up other kids from school, came home to get everyone changed into their sports uniforms, left again for sports, came home for the day. If I changed into a house outfit every time I came home I'd be changing every twenty minutes.

I have a large selection of aprons.  I wear them whenever I am eating or cooking or cleaning.  And yet....everything I own has a stain on it somewhere.

This is such a problem for me that I actually have a wardrobe of fancy clothes that I reserve for nice occasions like meeting the Mister's work colleagues, and I never ever wear them for nice occasions like me and the Mister going to dinner.

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So. I'm perfectly happy to have a minimalist wardrobe.  I just end up replacing it on a yearly basis because I either grow or shrink out of it, or I spill stuff all over it.

Do you have a capsule/minimalist wardrobe?  Do you suffer from Fumblefingers or repetitive weight gain?

20 comments:

  1. Gah, yes. I love having a uniform, but am at the top end of things fitting. So... now I have an even more minimalist wardrobe. It's like a micro capsule. Same thing with the not flattering bit. Please keep us posted on solutions.

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  2. Oh, and with the stains... My solution has been to just accept that I wear my clothes hard and that they are due for a replacement every couple of years (some things every year). Two pairs of jeans, baby!

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    1. Yes, that seems pretty much the road I am taking.

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  3. I thought I was a minimalist--but I actually have two separate wardrobes--1 for work and 1 for home. Of course, for the last six weeks whatever I wore, I changed into my painting T-shirt and painting sweatpant capris (sweatpants so old they've shrunk up to my calves) the minute I got tomy Mom's.

    I've joined the gaggle that is GYPO. (Get Your Pretty On. Honestly, it is the most ironic acronym!) I paid Alison Lumbatis some money and she sent me shopping list and 21 coordinated outfits and now I am spending waaaaaay too much money on clothes that may or may not fit me ever again.

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    1. Interesting! Has the shopping list worked? Are the outfits attractive?

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  4. I love the concept of a minimalist wardrobe, but so far I haven't been able to do it. My definition of such a wardrobe would be all of my clothes in one closet and one dresser - currently I have them in five closets, an armoire, two blanket chests, and two dressers. I have gotten better and have started going through some of the clothes that do not fit me properly. Recently have been going through some more things when I heard a family in need was looking for clothes - somehow this makes it easier for me to get rid of things.
    I recently started working out on a daily basis, and I think (I hope!) as I feel better about my body, then it will be easier to make decisions about what to get rid of.

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    1. I have half a walk-in closet, a tall dresser and a short dresser. (But I don't pack away seasonal clothing, so that's everything for year round.) It is so hard to get rid of clothes....I haven't missed most of what I got rid of, but a few item s that I purged last year I have regretted :-(

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  5. Ah, the weight issue. I completely feel you. It's so frustrating. I have pre-pregnancy clothes, pre-second-pregnancy clothes, maternity clothes, and post-three-pregnancies clothes in my closet and drawers right now. *sigh*

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    1. Yes! I did that for nearly a decade. All the clothes I got rid of last year were my post-third-pregnancy clothes. My youngest is six. Despite the fact that I'm only about five lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight ten years ago, I have given up on all those clothes. Gave them alllll away. Everything on my body has....shifted.

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  6. Have you tried Goodwill? I've purchased fabulous clothes for cheap. If you end up not fitting in it or not liking it, you didn't put out much money.

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    1. I used to shop at Goodwill, but recently I have preferred just buying 3-5 of the same items, as a uniform of sorts, which is difficult to do at Goodwill.

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  7. Don't know if this might be part of your dissatisfaction, but every time I've met you in person, you've been in a dress or skirt. Don't see those here? Or did I miss them? Anyway. I've never done a minimalist anything, but I'm trying to be better about buying random crap just because it's on sale or I just *sorta* like it. Hope you are well! :)

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    1. I like dresses and skirts in the summer (and most of the year), but in the winter (such as it is in socal) I prefer pants. Even out here I get cold :-)

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  8. http://www.amazon.com/Soilove-Laundry-Soil-stain-Remover-Special/dp/B00FZPL4KA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449538320&sr=8-1&keywords=soillove A wonderful product for removing stains. I tried it after reading about it on Facebook on the Debt Proof Living page. It's on Amazon.com. I've also used peroxide on stains. I use it to keep my white towels white--bleach turns them yellow over time. I 've gained and lost enough weight to be a twin, and I weigh over 200 pounds today.

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    1. interesting--I wonder if it would take out set stains?

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  9. Somehow I missed this post earlier. Just wanted to say: Been there, done that. My body has been shifting nearly constantly for the past 8 years. Divorce and my 40s did a number on me. Got skinny. Got heavier. And oh heck ya everything is shifting. I tend to slim down/firm up in the summers when I can get to the gym regularly. By late spring I've expanded again. It's not enough that anyone else probably really notices, but my clothes don't fit right. And I HATE it when my clothes don't fit right. On top of that I no longer know how to dress my body (shifting, and shifting into another demographic). Feels awkward as being a teenager. So, I've gone fairly minimalist because I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe every year. And I refuse to wear stuff that doesn't feel good (too old for that crap) or to hang onto stuff that no longer fits. (Well, for more than a year, anyway.) My only useful tip here is to think about skirts/dresses. I find them to generally be 1) more comfortable; 2) more forgiving of weight/body changes (both is feel and look). They also make getting dressed easier--put on a dress and all you have to figure out is shoes and maybe a scarf/sweater.

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    1. I have a pretty expansive summer wardrobe, with lots of dresses. But, even here in socal, I get cold in the winter months, and want to wear pants and heavy sweaters. I do agree that the dresses are more forgiving and attractive, though.

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    2. Oh, me too. I have a longer tunic/dress that I can wear with leggings or heavy tights. Which can pretty much kill the comfort factor (tights). But yeah: Some days I do just want the warmth of pants.

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  10. Patterned shirts hide stains well (dealing with babies and toddlers patterns are very forgiving of greasy fingers grabbing my blouses). Also rubbing dishwashing liquid aka fairy liquid (UK name for it), the stuff you use to wash your dishes in the sink - rub it into a dry, stained spot, a thick squirt so it properly penetrates the fabric, I've even used a childrens nail scrubbing brush and poked (not scrubbed) a stain so the soap really gets in there. Then just throw in the wash like usual. Works a treat with most food and grease stains.

    A stretchy knit shirt is really forgiving of weight fluctuations too. Here's one (sorry NZ/Aus site but you get the idea) that is both stretchy and patterned.

    https://www.ezibuy.com/shop/nz/sara-the-knit-shirt/p/130698

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