Every so often, I think “WHY DO I HAVE ALL THESE CLOTHES?” It’s usually in the summer, because wearing clothes isn’t as fun in the summer. Too hot. The WHY CLOTHES WHY stage is a good time to do some closet evaluation, but I usually advise taking it slow. Some clothes are obvious donation material – the clothes that don’t fit you and that you didn’t like even when they did fit. But I tend to like all the clothes I buy, so sometimes it’s hard to let them go. This week for Ashley Tries, I evaluated some pieces that I haven’t worn for a while. Should I keep it? Should I give it away? Should I rip it into pieces and make it into rags? (There are a few t-shirts from high school that should probably be made into rags soon….)
Like I said, I tend to like all my clothes. This shirt is no exception to that. I love the floral print and I like the drape and movement it has. The problem is the length – it’s shorter in the front and longer in the back. That’s not automatically a problem, but the shirt did shrink when I washed it, so the front has inched up into an awkwardly short length.
I can always wear it over high-waisted jeans, but that puts everything from my waist down on display and my tummy is not my favorite part of my body. If I’m going to do a short top or a tucked-in top, I want a skirt fits at my waist and then floats away from the body. All is Illusion.
To style this little challenge, I chose a simple black skirt that has a pretty high waist and doesn’t add too much extra volume. Not a pencil skirt, but not an a-line. Even with the higher waist, I still had to be careful if I reached up for anything (and that included adjusting my ponytail). I wanted my hair up and out of my face, and I decided to wear my glasses. Pretty simple.
I added the pink shoes to give the outfit some color, and since I was in an evaluation mode, I decided it is time for the pink shoes to go. I bought them from Payless a few years ago and they have served me well, but they weren’t built to last and the heels are all the way worn through. They have been truly great, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for a pair of brightly colored heels. Since I know how versatile this inexpensive pair has been, I might invest more money into a replacement pair. Sometimes clothes surprise you – it’s delightful when something bright or eccentric or funky turns out to be really versatile and adds a lot to your wardrobe.
I bought this dress at Ross five or six years ago. When I first had it, I wore it all the time, but I hadn’t worn it recently. I decided to check and see if it still fit and if I still liked it. Good news: it still fits and I still like it.
One of the tricky parts about the dress is the major ruffle business on the top. There’s already plenty going on on my top half, so adding volume up there isn’t usually the best plan. But the deep v-neck makes the ruffle less overwhelming and the waist hits at a great place. Good posture is a must in this dress. To draw even more attention to the waist, I might replace the attached belt with a contrasting belt in a bright color.
This dress is coming back into rotation! (My happiness in this dress was helped by getting to hold my baby nephew. Happiness is holding a tiny sleeping baby.)
This purple draped shirt is another one that I used to wear all the time, but haven’t worn recently. This one feels old to me, even if it doesn’t look like it.
Pros: A great color – rich, regal purple without too much blue, so it contrasts well with jeans. The asymmetric drape and the length are nice as well.
Cons: Because of the drape, I have hold the neckline when I lean over. The material isn’t the nicest, so it is wearing thin in some places. Ruffle sleeves aren’t my favorite anymore. (They used to be, though.) It feels old and worn out to me, just because I know how often I’ve worn it.
It comes down to this: if I had to choose between one of my other shirts and this shirt, I wouldn’t pick this shirt. Time for purple top to retire.
I enjoyed the outfit overall – skinny jeans, heels to make the jeans look good, and a lace cardigan. The cardigan is great because it doesn’t hide the shirt underneath it and it gives great texture to the outfit. The purple shirt added all the color and I loved having that brightness, so I should probably look for tees that aren’t black or navy…
Day 4: Striped Shirt
Shirt length has changed since I bought this little striped number. It is short, but not cropped. I don’t like the accidental flash of back or midriff, so I have to careful about what jeans I wear with it.
I don’t like having to be careful. The more I have to fuss with my clothes, the less I like them. Pulling down and tugging up and adjusting… let’s not. That’s why I have abandoned strapless dresses (unless they fit really well). I call the constant tugging up of strapless dresses The Bridesmaid Dance. We’ve all been there.
The outfit worked because I tucked the shirt into some blousy linen shorts (which almost have a skirt look to them), so the length wasn’t as much of an issue. It still looked a little plain, so I added a huge necklace I found at the Salvation Army. Gold sandals helped me hit the balance of nice casual that was aiming for.
It is time for this shirt to retire as well. I have gotten a ton of use out of it (I think I got it during college) and enjoyed it, so I am happy to let go.
Bonus: Sara Style!
Sara’s outfit was so cute that I just had to share. One cool aspect of this outfit is that the top isn’t a blouse – it’s a sundress. Just goes to prove you can work with whatever you’ve got!
A big shout out to Sara, who takes my outfit pictures in random two-minute photo shoots most days. Thank you!
Day 5: Linen Wide-Leg Trousers
Okay. These trousers are epic. They are just SO epic that they intimidate me and they are hard to pair with stuff. I love them, but I don’t end up wearing them very often.
I decided to wear them how linen trousers are meant to be worn – very casually and simply. It all comes down to the proportions, because the legs are so wide. The t-shirt is slim fit and has a print that stands up to the bold color of the trousers. I also wore wedges to give the appearance of a longer leg line.
The important thing for wide-leg trousers is balance – keep the top more streamlined and embrace the breeze around your ankles. I love these pants. I am definitely wearing them more this summer.
My advice for closet evaluation is this – don’t purge. You have all the time in the world. Try on a couple things a week and think through pros and cons. Keep it doable and you might just do it!