Friday, May 8, 2009

Frugal Fashion for Spring

It is finally officially spring here in Michigan, and you know what that means - spring clothes.

I hate spring clothes.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons, but I hate the clothes. I'm just not a lightweight flow-y fabric, pastel kind of gal. I don't like open toed shoes. I don't like baby doll dresses, or most sundresses in general. This is on myself, you understand, not on other people. Other gals look cute in this stuff, but me, I'm just not comfortable in it. I like dark blazers, heavy sweaters and tailored pants. I like boots. I like wool, velvet and cable knit cotton. What can I say? I love fall and winter clothes... and my closet reflects that.

But spring has come around, like it does every year. And while there is no law from on high that one must wear open toed shoes beginning May 1, I still have to dress in clothing comfortable for the weather. My office, in particular, tends to get pretty warm this time of year because the afternoon sun beats down on my windows. I also love to walk on my lunch hours, and if I am going to be walking outside in 70 degree weather, I can't be wearing wool! Now here's the thing, I know that each year I get through this season. I know I must have something I can wear, but this morning when I was looking through my closet, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what I wore! Since new clothing isn't in the Fighting Foreclosure budget, there is only one thing I can do...

I need to plan better. Once and awhile I get ambitious and pull everything out of my closet and start putting together as many work outfits as I can. (Outside the office isn't as much as problem, thanks to the ubiquitous use of jeans, but office apparel always takes more thought.) I did this one day last winter and was able to put together a whole bunch of outfits that I could just grab and go. In turn, it makes my weekday mornings go so much smoother - no standing in the closet wondering what to wear. The only reason I don't have these marathon outfit creations more often is that the whole thing takes a lot of time. I literally pull out of the closet and throw on the bed anything I might want to wear and then start putting them together in different combinations. Once an outfit is made, I hang them in the closet together. That way I can just grab a skirt/blouse/blazer combo and go.

The advantage to doing this isn't just that it gives me extra time in the morning to linger over my cup of herbal tea. The other reason is that it gets me to shop from my own closet. If I am in a rush, I tend to wear the same things over and over. I go for the easy, non-wrinkled, favorite things. If I put together outfits, I am more likely to wear some of the less chosen items. I also pair things together differently. For example, I might always pair the black top with the mustard slacks and the black and mustard shoes because I know I like it, it looks good, and it's easy, but if I am in the midst of one of my outfit creation days, I might put the black top with that olive skirt I haven't worn in awhile and the mustard slacks with the brown linen shirt. In other words, it gives me more options for new outfits with the same pieces.

That is what I have to do for spring. I need to spend some time this weekend putting together as many spring outfits as I can. It will keep me from being frustrated and running out and buying a whole bunch of new clothes. Although frankly, since I don't like spring clothing, I don't know what I'd buy anyway! However, I know I have things I can wear - after all, I didn't go to work in wool sweaters last June! Appropriate clothing is just hiding... lurking in the back of the closet and I need to find it!

...and iron it.

What strategies do you have for making the best use of your closet?

Fabulous photo by: seq


Arual said...

I like this idea of having a wardrobe creation day. Thanks for inspiration! :)

Dawn said...

Arual - happy to help! I love the results, and I usually manage to find a few things that need to go in the donation bag as well. It's a great "use it or lose it" day.

RTC said...

Great idea to get organized for spring--especially the ironing part! I don't have that many spring clothes, so I think I could do this in an hour or so--very doable for a week-end. Thanks for the idea.

Dawn said...

RTC - Yeah, that is one of the things I know I have to do. Some of my spring/summer clothes were packed away when the weather turned cold and now the fold marks need to be ironed out. Same thing with skirts - they got shoved to the back of the closet and have those unladylike sideways wrinkles. A bit of time with ye olde iron would add to my options considerably.

FB @ said...

I guess I consider myself lucky to love all the seasons.

I like cuddly warm, wrap sweaters, and I also like the flowy wrap dresses of summer

I have a good amount of both, and the best part about flowy, lighter fabrics is that you can layer it to make it winter-appropriate

Adding you to my reader!

Dawn said...

Thanks Fabulously Broke! I like items that are "all season" too. I just don't seem to have very many!

Frugalchick said...

Also, try taking photos of the outfits you create and make a folder for them on your computer. That way you don't have to keep the items together in your closet if you don't want to--you can simply pull up a photo for inspiration.

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - that is a great idea for someone with a laptop or used their computer a lot! It wouldn't work as well for me, since my closet and computer are on separate floors and I keep my computer powered down when I am not using it. It's a great thought though!

Frugalchick said...

Ah yes, I am a computer junkie, so it works great for me. :)