I’ve never been a clothes horse. On any given day, I really couldn’t remember when the last time was that I went clothes shopping. For months, I have sat on the edge of my bed when it comes to the time in the morning where I have to get dressed, and I have grumped at Stephen. Spring, summer and fall, I have had the same complaint.
“I hate my wardrobe. My clothes suck.”
Most of my wardrobe has been fairly casual up until recently. Four years ago, when I was looking for work and most of my stuff was in storage, I went out and bought an interview suit. It was a dark gray pinstriped jacket plus pants, with a coordinating black knee length skirt. The three pieces cost me about five hundred dollars, and that was the most I had ever spent on clothes before. I went to dozens of stores and tried on everything they had that was even remotely close to my size, but I was fortunate enough to have a friend with me who assessed every single thing I walked out of a change room wearing with an honest and helpful eye, and what I ended up was well made, fit perfectly and looked great. Worth every penny.
Since then, I have added to my wardrobe in dribs and drabs. As I’ve said before, I do a lot of thrifting. I love jewellery and accessories, especially scarves, and if I’m going to spend real money, it tends to be more on shoes, because let’s face it, if I spend a lot of time running around for my job, my feet need to be comfortable. I tend to be a little parsimonious on actual clothing, though.
Near the end of the summer, the decision was made at the firm that if we were stepping up our game, going for a wide break in terms of advertising, with an eye to expansion, that we also had to step up the game in terms of our dress code. When I started, dressy jeans were cool with my boss. Not anymore. I had to dig out clothes I hadn’t worn in years and try to put together at least a week’s worth of outfits that would pass muster. Early fall, not really so hard. Once it got cold, I started to feel the gaps in my wardrobe. Sometimes literally...it gets windy in Toronto in November!
As a result of last weekend’s thrifting expedition, I expanded my wardrobe by a total of eighteen items of clothing, which did not include accessories (scarves, jewellery, etc - add another eleven) or purchased for my kids, or Stephen (hello, beautiful dress shirt with interesting details, Guess, for five bucks). Every day this week, I’ve worn an outfit entirely thrifted, or thrifted plus one item (not including shoes), and felt well-dressed, maybe even thought other people could be fooled into thinking expensively dressed, which is a novelty for me.
I took a break from writing this and tried to take a couple of pictures to give you an idea of how thrifting has enriched my wardrobe recently, but to style an outfit, you need to wear it, and to be honest, right now I’m in my pyjama pants and braless, and I can’t be bothered. Instead, I leave you with a photo of one of the brooches I scored - I collect vintage floral brooches, and this one just sang out for attention.
You can see in the photo that it is missing one small blue stone centering a flower, but it is vintage Coro, stamped on the pinback with the mark they were using in the 1940s. It was marked at $7.99., and I got it on the quarterly half-price sale day.
I already know that I’m wearing blue tomorrow!