- Sources of Inspiration
- The Fine Print
- And Whatnot
- Necklace: Swapped
- Black Tights: HUE
- Tweed Sweater (again!): Ralph Lauren, mommed
- Black Jersey Dress (again!): Ann Taylor
- Boots (again!): Born “Mallory,” gift from husband D.
- Black Nursing Tank: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity.com
I’m breaking several style-blogger rules at once here, using such oft-remixed elements, but I’m hoping it ends up being more “positive testament to unexpected wardrobe versatility” than “wow, could you wear a different sweater?” In my defense, these photos were not taken on consecutive days (sorry: performativity alert! Where’d that pesky fourth wall go?). On the other hand, it’s hard to blame yourself for wearing things you love in different ways: this dress is a constant standby, this boxier-than-usual sweater has been an unexpected postpartum superhero, and the necklace is precisely the right shape to keep baby m. intrigued without a huge risk of her accidentally choking me whilst expressing her enthusiasm for it. (Who said getting dressed with a small child wasn’t exciting?)
But there’s a broader point, lurking behind this meta-remix of an outfit, and it’s one worth reminding myself of: even my old-favorite-ist of old favorites still offers new possibilities. And in a way, that’s both challenging and comforting.
And well-timed. Although I’m not doing anything as organized as a 30-for-30, I am taking a little break from shopping this month. Time and budget are part of the reason, but not all of it. I’m hoping a little time consciously resisting the desire to acquire will give me a little mental clarity and re-energize my creative muscles a bit.
When you’re surrounded by fashion inspiration (thanks, bloggy friends!), and when your body is in a state of flux (not such robust thanks, pregnancy), it’s easy to convince yourself that things that are really “wants” are needs. More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve looked at something and thought, “if I just had…” I’d never need to shop again! My wardrobe would be complete! But it’s like the myth of the last big score (okay, okay, we’ve been watching to much White Collar): the house always wins. And that’s fine! It’s the great thing about fashion, the idea that there are interesting things out there waiting to be discovered and to be used as raw materials for creative styling. But it does mean that the idea of wardrobe completionism (or its more insidious cousin, wardrobe-completionism-as-sense-of-self-completionism) is pretty unhelpful.
The much-ballyhooed piece in this weekend’s WSJ about the superiority of French parenting referenced the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, where young children were offered two marshmallows if they would wait, in the presence of a single marshmallow, for fifteen minutes. While I’m not a small child with a desperate urge for a sugar high of painful proportions, I have been feeling my own sense of fragmented distractability lately, a strange desire to be constantly adding new things and doing new things. Not shopping isn’t really the solution to this broader problem of needing to be able to sit still and focus on just. one. thing. in a more effective manner, it’s a piece of the puzzle, somehow. I’m hoping that the discipline of the exercise will give me a little breath of fresh air, though, a sense that for a few weeks, nothing new will be jammed into the sometimes-hopelessly-overfull of my days, that I’ll learn to say “that can wait,” or “I don’t need to.” Or at least, I’m crossing my fingers that that will be the case.
Have you ever taken a hiatus from shopping? Just for clothes or for other things? Did you find it clarifying?
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