Hello, November

EVERLANE sweater and blouse, CÉLINE belt, RAG & BONE jeans

October was kind of a terrible month (except for the couple of pretty things I bought to cope with life, but now my budget* is yelling at me, so that’s a wash). In the spirit of having November be better, I wrote a short list of things to do to save my sanity:

  • Actually exercise. This instead of watching other people exercise on TV and in Pinterest workouts.
  • Practice self care. No, really. Stop talking about it and do it. Make a list of things to do and do them.
  • Control what’s incoming. Log off the internet, turn off the ambient TV, start tackling the “to read” pile and listening to these podcasts that are actually interesting and helpful and uplifting. I recently started listening to The Friend Zone and I’m hooked.
  • Appreciate what is here. Stop thinking in the wrong direction (thanks Fran), worrying about the past and future, and really take in the moment and world around you right now; make an effort to deal with what it is instead of what it isn’t or what  you wish it were.



*I evangelize about the greatness that is You Need A Budget. There’s a 34 day free trial and a $6 discount if you purchase it using the links here. Prosper.



Whatever happened to that Project 333?

everything but the sweaters

You know, it was all good for two seasons. I was feeling all streamlined and minimalistic and creative and zen-like (not really). Then I decided that I don’t really have enough clothing to warrant making a big deal about seasonal capsule wardrobes. And then I realized the responsible and ethical thing to do would be to stop shopping entirely and use up what I have…or at least make everything I decide to buy worth the expense by using the hell out of it. 

There are a lot of articles on the subject of capsule wardrobes and wardrobe refinement and dressing like the idyllic French woman, and the more I read, the more wasteful all of the culling and minimizing seems. 

Toss everything you haven’t worn in six months! Throw out whatever doesn’t spark joy! Pare down until you only have this number of things! 

I don’t want to be part of that any more than I do wantonly buying things for the sake of buying / impressing / fashion / feeling better. They are two sides of the same coin: on both, clothing is viewed as disposable when it is not. 

I admit the cycle of buying and selling made me comfortable. I felt that offloading an item somehow absolved me of guilt from not using it and the stain of buying a new thing. All good on first look, but unless that sold item is worn to shreds, it is probably worn a bit, resold or donated. If not sold at a charity shop, it’s sent to a country where it has the chance to fuck up the local economy for clothiers or sit in a huge pile of refuse clothing for time immemorial. This makes me a lot less comfortable. Not choosing well in the first place can have ill effects down the line and because we don’t live with them, it’s dangerously easy to disregard them. It’s even easier when clothing is so accessible (cheap and plentiful) and we are kept ignorant of the conditions under which most of it is made. 

I won’t get started on how the people at the very bottom of the production chain suffer no matter what (The True Cost does it well enough). 

I have no solutions to offer since industry-wide changes need to happen, but me, myself, personally? I’m going to have a good, long, and hard think before I exchange money for the privilege of wearing something. I’m going to give myself space to choose well. And then I’m going to do my best to wear everything I have until it falls apart because that’s what was intended. 

And yes, I’m aware of the irony given the last post. Journey, journey, journey. 

Notes on a Post-It 003


Karly Loyce by Alasdair McLellan for i-D Magazine

Karly Loyce here perfectly illustrates my life’s essence at this particular moment in time. 

Fall is here and Portland decided that the sun was no longer welcome. In “celebration,” I completed my first seasonal turnover of clothes.  I have questions.  Mainly one question: HOW do people, who live in places with seasons, continuously shop for things when they have to switch them out every 3-6 months?  I have half a rack and two and a half drawers of wearable items and this turnover took me damn near the entire day.

I finally bought the Helmut Lang blazer that I’ve always wanted but could never find for a decent price. I found it for a decent price; a mad decent price, even. I’m still meditating on whether or not I’m a label whore (since I had a perfectly serviceable, albeit inferior, dupe), and I think I’m going to decide that I don’t really care either way. Narcissistic nihilism, man.

Yoga is amazing. I haven’t leveled up to naked yoga, but that’s because I don’t have my shit all the way together. Once I do? NAKED YOGA. Ok, probably not, but I need to aim for something.

I realized a while back that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get as many pieces as possible and practical from Shopbop‘s Ultimate Closet from Pre-Spring of 2011. The key to affording designer clothing on a budget? Wait two to four years for everything – eBay will provide.

And while we’re here, I feel like I can safely say that capsule wardrobes are not the key to happiness. Nothing external is the key to happiness. But I’m sure we all knew that.



*clicks refresh*

EVERLANE sweatshirt / ACNE jeans / CÉLINE sandals

Sometimes I forget what the actual goal is.

I had a moment today where I was jolted back into reality by a blog post over at 12:04.  And as much time as I’ve spent trying to figure out my modes and motives and reasons behind seasons of shopping vs. seasons of fashion asceticism, I still forget what the actual goal is.

When I find myself in the throes of a shopping season, it’s difficult to step back and remind myself of the larger point of the pursuit. Why do I want this? Is this thing going to help or hinder me in some way? Why does it matter so much that I get this? These are simple questions and should be easy to remember, but the prospect of getting “that ___ I’ve been looking for/waiting for/longing for” can be very distracting.

I’m trying to not be so rough on myself about it (it’s all part of the journey that everyone talks about being on, right?!?), but I still find it hard to blur that line between knowing better and doing better.  And ultimately, that is the goal; to know what I should be doing and have my actions measure up.

And this goes well beyond the context of clothing. The same applies in all other areas of my life, I’d say. I want to have only what I love and use so I don’t feel encumbered by the maintenance and storage of the excess.  I want to have things that fit my lifestyle and self-concept (indeed), and I want to be unbothered by the constant deluge of new things that are begging to be bought. I want to appreciate enough because I have enough.

But that’s easy to forget when I need a hat because I hear winter gets cold and rainy here and this whole no-hair thing is probably going to get very uncomfortable…and also a bomber jacket because it’s fall and transitional jackets are a thing…and the Célines happened because it had to happen (HOLY GRAIL)….

It’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of the journey.