Use What You Have, Part II

Use What You Have, Part II

 
I’ve noticed a lot of resolutions — here and elsewhere on the Internet — to manage wardrobes by implementing strict “one in-one out” policies.
 

 
 
 
EEEP!
 
I don’t think I can do that. Indeed, doing so would eviscerate one of the things I most admire about my closet: the longevity of so many pieces.
 
But perhaps my pride is misplaced. Perhaps bragging about wearing old clothes is like bragging about the age of your mattresses: CrAZy.
Oh no; have I missed the point of life?

Imagine looking all of your precious dresses in the eye and telling one of them it’s been voted off the island
 
 
 
HOld tHe phONe.
 
Maybe this method isn’t so much about getting rid as it is about deterring acquisition. One will not buy if buying means discarding.
 
It is a dire threat. I would think long and hard before buying anything under those conditions. Question for the Adherents: Do you have to get rid of a garment on the same type? Could you discard an old bathing suit for a new dress? A stained blouse? Or is the system, a dress for a dress — which makes more sense for closet management purposes.

 
 
 
I may, however, have to consider implementing a policy like this because my closets are very full right now. Very full.
 
If only I could suck all of the oxygen out the closets and gain a little space that way.
I can’t take any more space from The Photographer; to do so would be wrong, even though he derives little pleasure from getting dressed and none from looking at his clothes neatly organized in the closet

 
 
 
Imagine if I had given away this tres femme cardigan when I grew tired of the open cardigan trend? We would never have seen it artfully belted, like so.
 
I think this combination is kind of brilliant. Black corduroys and a black silk blouse — sheer enough to show (and warrant) a black camisole underneath — a light grey cardigan and a pale gold belt. This was my casual Christmas outfit: silver and gold.
Silver and Gold!

 
 
 
We’ve discussed this cardigan before, so no need to go through the specifics point-by-point.  
It is enough to say that it would have been a terrible mistake to discard it.
“Terrible mistake” here falls within a limited range of closet misadventures; it would not rate in the context of, say, the world events of last week

I must introduce The Trash Bag to The Oil Slick — even though they are unlikely to ever go out together
 
 
 
Finishing things off, behold The Trash Bag.
 
I bought this little bag second-hand from The RealReal and it is delighting me.
 
Somehow it’s absurd and intellectual and chic at the same time.

 
Sweater: Nanette Lepore; Blouse: Anthropologie; Belt: JCrew; Cords: Talbots; Shoes: Coach; Bag: Marni from The RealReal

10 thoughts on “Use What You Have, Part II”

  1. Aww! You can have some of my closet space, dear. I’ve been meaning to prune some of my clothes. Seriously, my entire necessary wardrobe consists of this: three or four pants each for cold/warm weather; two shorts; about ten T-shirts; underwear and socks, the more the better; four button-down shirts; sneakers; gym shorts; dress shoes; a suit; a few ties of varying degrees of tastefulness. I can free up some space for you. No need to give up oxygen.

  2. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I use the mattress I bought in grad school 17 years ago. It was in the spare room for years until I realized it’s more comfortable than newer models. I don’t feel crazy. And while I’m slowing down my clothes purchasing, my purchases of that last X-many years have been well-considered, so there is little to get rid of. Today’s outfit is charming—the way the cardigan daintily moves aside to reveal the delicate blouse charms the eyes.

  3. I would love to be able to wear things that I acquired 10-15-20 years ago, but alas, one of the reasons that I frequently purge is the unavoidable widening that comes with advancing age.

  4. Once, I gave away a sweater I was tired of. The next winter, I wanted it back. Thus, I made myself a rule: never give away a sweater. Now this sweater that started the rule was mine in 6th grade. It was a boatneck thing with crocheted squares all over the front. I am not sure I should have liked at all, much less wished for it back. Also, I do not in fact still wish I had that sweater. Nevertheless, the rule stands. Exceptions being sweaters with holes, or sweaters with uncombable pilling. Even then, sometimes I just relegate those to wear cleaning the house. So I cannot help you with the one in/one out strategy.

  5. I use one-in-one-out. It’s more about keeping my closet from exploding than from any more sensible motive (for a brief time I was one-in-two-out). Thus, it’s fine to get buy a sweater and get rid of a dress. Instituting this rule coincided with a major closet purge in which I unearthed many items I had forgotten I owned.

  6. Philo and you are definitely color coordinated in the first picture. If he had been strategically draped over you, perhaps we wouldn’t have even seem him! Did you see Michelle Obama’s blue and white pieced dress today? She must be following you.

  7. I agree with Mary – when the closet is close to maximum density, it’s time to purge. That way you can find all your treasures and not overlook any. If you keep acquiring, how can you possibly wear everything you own? And then really, what’s the point? Clothing is to be worn and enjoyed. And you do a great job of that.

  8. It’s not very ecological to get rid of something every time one buys something! Much better to take care of things and wear them for years and years, as you (& I) do.
    (of course, wearable clothes can be given to charity shops, but still, one cannot be sure what their path will be from there).
    (my cupboards are absolutely stuffed, I admit)

  9. It’s good to spend time with your closet.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shopping and seen something I think I might be interested in, only to remember that I have something like that at home.
    I keep track of what I’m getting rid of, when, where, why I acquired it in the first place. It has helped me to avoid making the same mistakes again.

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