Back to Basics.

I’ve been quiet because I’m not shopping much anymore. I’ve ditched 99% of the fashion and beauty blogs that I used to read. I’m no longer “lusting after” a piece of clothing or handbag, “cultivating a capsule,” or researching the latest “must-have” boots. I don’t know if I have all my wardrobe staples and I don’t have a plan of attack for spring shopping.

I’ve shed that skin.

I’m back to tees and cardigans. I shop when I need something. I haven’t shopped just for fun in months. Last week, I decided I wanted another pair of leggings, so I shopped for leggings. Last month, I was fed up with my ridiculous stash of trendy 3/4-lengh sleeved tops, so I shopped for proper winter attire. As I tried things on, I wasn’t wondering how I can jazz them up to look more put-together. I wasn’t thinking of blazers, jackets, and scarves. I just wanted comfort and a flattering fit, and I found it. Getting dressed is so much less complicated now. I’m no longer trying to style myself based on an impossible, photoshopped ideal.

Though I do still have fun when I shop! I really enjoy it, and easily spend a few hours without noticing the time pass (many apologies to my husband!). I’m just glad that it’s no longer my favorite pastime. Though I haven’t figured out how to use all my newfound time well.

Oh, and did I mention I adopted a cat?? She’s the best cat I can possibly imagine ever knowing. My boys adore her. We’re all doing very well.

The Aftermath.

There have been some tangible changes as a result of my realizations this summer. The biggest one is, I’m back to wearing jeans and t-shirts! I’m no longer taking hours thinking about possible combinations that I can wear the next day. I’m not thinking about juxtaposition and proportions. I’m not “styling” myself in the morning, I’m getting dressed. SO much simpler. Basically, what I did for 30 or so years of my life.

I also went back to my old standby: traditional cardigans. I lived in them for years until the blogs told me they were old and stuffy. Yet all the cardigan alternatives I’ve picked up the past two years leave me stumped in the morning! I mean, I can eventually figure out what to wear…but I look in the mirror and feel so uncomfortable. Who am I trying to be? Last weekend, I wore plain, everyday cardigans and felt free. (They’re from Talbot’s, by the way. I was and will not be compensated for stating that. I just really, really like them, and they wash fabulously. Unlike a thinner cardigan I bought from another mall store, which wrinkled all down the button area. Boo.)

This is related to my second change. I’m no longer trying to be someone else! I’ve ditched the “style persona” idea that has been haunting me. I was stressing over not being able to find a few words that described me, not being able to find Pinterest pins that exactly represented the look I wanted, not being able to dress in a way that everyone would say, “oh yes, that’s so you!“.

It is silly to write out, but here goes. If I am cold, I put on a regular ol’ cardigan. THERE. Warm and toasty.

Here’s what I would’ve said a few months ago. If I am cold, I go into my closet and pull out my drapey genuine leather jacket to see if I can finally make it work after a year of non-wearing. I like it, but… I look like a b!tch in it. Take it off, toss it on the bed. I pull out my faux-leather drapey jacket. It’s better, but… the waist just kind of ends in the back and looks a little too short for what I’m going for. (I do not know what “going for” even means right now.) Toss it on the bed. I shake my head at my two extra-long itchy merino wool cardigans (why do I even still have these? I know I can’t wear wool!). I wonder if I should try a sweater instead. Oh wait, they all have three-quarter sleeves (insert expletive here at how dumb that is, but they are stylish!). My blazers are all too formal. My modern denim jacket is too stiff and I can’t type in it. Ugh! WHAT can I wear so that I’m not so cold?? I have nothing; I’ll need to go buy something!

Lovely.

I cannot put into words how happy these “boring” cardigans, jeans, and t-shirts have made me over the past week. I am now so calm in the morning. And I still look fine.