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what to wear

I don't like shopping for clothes. As in, I hate it. It's just not fun for me. And I have no idea how to shop for a wardrobe. Which means most Sunday mornings leave me running around the house in a fury, unable to put an outfit together, frustrated that I'm so frustrated about getting dressed to go to church.

I typically shop event to event. Dad's retirement party was coming up so I had to go get a dress or something. Family reunion around the corner and I ran to target and get a bunch of new hoodie sweatshirts. True story.

I do ponder deep things about clothing thought. Like the part of the Bible that says that the lilies of the field don't worry about what they're going to wear...even Solomon in all his splendor can't compare to the beauty of the flowers. But flowers don't have to get dressed for fancy events, so it's hard to compare.

You're right. I'm missing the point. But it's hard to think about flowers and Solomon when I know I have to put something on that will look put together.

So imagine my complete gratitude when two dear friends, the girls that I get to work with on the Mother-Daughter Soul Sisterhood Retreats, took me under their wing. Melanie and Amanda always look nice. Not overdone, not trying too hard...just nice. And classy.

I told them my woes and they offered to help me build a wardrobe.

You heard me. A wardrobe.

And they meant business. My wardrobe overhaul had three phases, with a few phases still to come.

Phase 1: What Not To Wear
Melanie and Amanda came to my house on a lovely Saturday and I tried on every piece of clothing that I own for them. And just as Stacy and Clinton do in the tv show, I was shown the light and was taught a few important things.

Lessons Learned:
1. I am not allowed to shop in the juniors department anymore. Because I'm 32.
2. It is time to start doing my laundry. As in, not drying everything completely. I need to care for my clothes so they don't shrink up on me. I need to read tags and then follow the laundering instructions. Because I'm 32.
3. Target, Ragstock and Garage Sales are the three top places I shop for clothes. And that's okay. But it is also okay to get a few nicer pieces to build from. If I promise to wash them with care.

It was an awesome day and when they left I drove two overflowing clothes baskets to good will. The girls stripped me of my clothes and it felt awesome. Because I knew what was coming next.

(Unfortunately, we couldn't meet again for another month or so. Which meant I had like seven things to choose from in my closet for a month. That was tricky.)

Phase 2: Pinterest
The day of the clothing purge from my closet, Amanda and Melanie wrote up a list of items my closet was missing, pieces that might work with what I already had. And then I was given the assignment of making a pinterest board, pinning clothes that I like.

I made this board, and from looking at this board and knowing what was left in my closet, Amanda made up a shopping list, sort of in order of priority. The list included what colors I seemed drawn towards and what should be purchased in the future, but not on this first spree.

Phase 3: Shopping at the Mall of America
The day finally arrived. I was super excited to see these girls again, and super excited to get some items in my closet. And oh my word, to shop with two actual shoppers! To have two ladies picking things out for me to try on. To have them checking things off the list, keeping the colors coordinating, running for different sizes, hanging clothes back up on their hangers! It was a dream come true!

We went to four stores: Old Navy, Loft, Marshalls and DSW. And here's what I came home with:
A winter coat, scarf and hat
Ballerina flats
Boot cuffs, tights and boot insoles
black leggings and jeggings
three cardigans
two tank tops
one denim shirt (called something fancy now...I can't remember what)
two necklaces and one pair of earrings
two flowy shirts (also called something fancy)
two striped tops

All coordinating.

And Melanie brought a few items from her own closet, bless her heart! Like the cutest dress I've ever seen. And the girls even gifted me with some additional jewelry. Amazing, right?

We shopped on Veterans Day, which meant everything was absurdly priced. I'd list the grand total, but it would sound like I'm bragging. I had been saving up since August and that was enough.

And now I have a fall capsule wardrobe (capsule was their fancy word, not mine).

And I don't have to have a conniption every time I need to look nice for an event. Plus, I have nicer every day clothes that just make me feel better.

So. If you're in my boat, not loving to shop, not knowing how to put things together, ask a friend who loves to shop. And walk through these three phases. It's so fun. And empowering. This site also has some really helpful hints.

And a final thought: don't fight the jeggings. I wasted a lot of time thinking that jeggings were dumb. But oh my word. They are so comfy. You know, I didn't own a pair of non-legging pants until I was in 7th grade. I lived in leggings. And they're back people! How I thought jeggings were a dumb idea, I don't know. They are brilliant. Comfy, fitted and cute with boots.


Unknown said...

Love this post and loved our time together putting together your wardrobe! I am happy you are feeling great and enjoying your new things - you deserve it!

Amanda said...

I also love this post--and keep thinking about how much fun we had. I love that you now feel like you can just "go get dressed" and get on with your life.
Becca, you were a joy to work with (you didn't really fight us on anything, knowing that you really needed this.)
I'm glad that you now have a wardrobe that fits you, your life, and lets you shine. So glad you are still loving it all!

Paige Lathrop said...

This sounds like my dream day, as
I struggle with the exact same problems you face! I have 4 pair of yoga pants if that tells you anything about my "mommy wardrobe". May I please borrow your friends?! You'll have to post some fun pics of you modeling a few of your favorite outfits. It can be like a little virtual fashion show. :)

Emily said...

I struggle with clothes that work well together and on me too! I was looking for a couple of photo shoot pictures of you in your new outfits! :)

annika said...

Adding another request for a little fashion show/modeling of the new clothes!

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

What amazing friends! So fun.

And I echo the sentiments of those calling for a modeling/fashion show...

Yes please.