Monday, 14 January 2013

I know but I don't know



I own a lot of clothes.

I know. 
A shocking revelation.

And while I am not, I repeat not, setting myself up for failure by announcing a massive declutter, life/wardrobe laundry, or stringent culling process, I do recognise that I have many items which I rarely wear, and could usefully move on to new owners.
 
 




Hmmm...

Here I am pondering the process of choosing what should stay and what should go.
 
It's hard!
 



I think this one's staying.

I like a long-sleeved frock for winter, and this one fits well, I like the scoop neckline and the pleated skirtiness of it. 

So that's one decision made.


Patti has published a series of posts recently aimed at building a wardrobe that works for you by establishing your signature style, cutting down on mistakes, and filling in the gaps.
 
 



I don't have a signature style.
I own and love vintage clothing from the 1950s through each subsequent decade. 
Skirts and dresses mostly.
Any lengths, though rarely very short. 
 

I even have a gorgeous 1930s frock - remember Dorothy Devore?
 
 
 
 

(I'm slightly scared to wear her, in case I spill something on her. But I can't get rid of her - she's too gorgeous!)


Sorry - what was I saying?
 

Mistakes - sure, I've made a few.
I sell them or give them away.
Since I never pay much for them, I don't mind taking a risk or experimenting.
 
Gaps? 
Many people might consider the fact I don't like jeans or own a sweater to be unbelievable wardrobe omissions.
Me, not so much.




1970s dress and boots - Ebay
Faux fur coat, sequin beret, 1960s scarf and bangles - charity shopped
Flower and belt - retail (sale)
Necklace - gift


I don't seem to have got very far.
 
You see why I find it so difficult to sort the wheat-y goodness from the chaff-y crap?
 
I want it ALL!
 
Unless it's beige.



I'm tired now.
I need a little light relief from the analysis.
 
Ahh, tabbies!

 
 
 
 

I suspect my progress may look a little like this...

Three steps forward.
Three steps back.


Linking to the always thoughtful, sensible and disciplined Patti, and the other lovelies at Visible Monday!


   xxx

51 comments:

Rose&Bird said...

Curtise, I can't believe you own anything in beige! Like you, I love vintage clothes full stop, though I tend to buy mainly 60s and 70s. Mistakes? Yes, I've made plenty. I'll be moving some things on this year. Maybe it's an opportunity for an online swap party?

Fiona said...

Have we seen this frock before Curtise? It's a beaut, but what is the print? I've been squinting at the screen and have decided it's either handbags or teacups!
I don't think you need stress about your wardrobe or style, your outfits are a talking point for the lollipop lady and the boring school mums and for us, a delight to see. Never mind the jeans and jumper, I see enough of them every day. You provide us with colour, style and laughter and long may it continue.
xx

Krista Gassib said...

I'm right there with ya sister! I have been thinking a lot about only keeping things I love and actually wear. I don't ever want to feel like I have too much and to weed out some of the less loved is A OK. I find I have some favorites on heavy rotation~ that is just how it goes for me. I bet if I had less I would wear my favorites even more :) I'm happy this polka dot dress is staying. It's a pretty fun dress and looks so SWEET on you. This coat is a killer addition to your winter wardrobe~ I love it!

I don't know if you have a signature style but I do know you have STYLE, loads of it!!!!
Much love to ya!!
XXOOO

Secret Squirrel said...

You have snow! I am jealous, none down in the SW... Even my friend in London said it was snowing there (pout)...

Ah, you do have a signature style, I call it 'knockout'...

Miss Magpie said...

Mistakes? I've had more than a few! I noticed the other day when I was going through old posts that I had sold or charity shopped quite a few items that I had blogged about buying. Sad sack that I am I went back over my blog and counted, 55 items since I started it have been moved on!?! That's a hellish lot of mistakes *cough*

Patti said...

Yes, I agree you do have a style, or rather, a ton of style, Curtise! E.g., this fabulous dress,and wow, the swoony 30's dress. Thanks for the mention, and for linking up the goods to Visible Monday : >

Joni said...

Hilarious ending! I would have taken that coat off your hands ya know, thing of all the inches you'd be free of. Inches in your closet of course.
I think if we're not sure we shouldn't get rid of something. I only get rid of stuff if I look in the mirror and think "HideousnessGotstaGoShit!" Other than that, push it to the back and grab the next thing to wear. ;)
Love your long sleeved dress, the fabric is gorgeous!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I was soooooo good today and got rid of a bunch of clothes. You do have a signature style but I can't describe it. It's something like sexy 70s meets 30s Lady Detective. But so much more. I love that dress. I'm glad you're keeping it. It's going to be a tough job xxx

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Both of these dresses should stay...you look great in them! I know it is hard...I have such a difficult time letting go of items! I hope your attempt goes easier than mine have!

Melanie said...

You do have a style - temptress governess, resistance spy, '70s love child, torch singer, Harper Valley PTA...and others. They are all so you. If you have ROOM to keep your clothes, why not just keep them? Unless removing them makes you feel better of course...
I love your polar bear coat with sequin beret!! Your footprints remind me of ballroom steps in an old book I used to practice from with not a lot of success...

silvergirl said...

you have such fabulous vintage pieces in your wardrobe it would be very hard to get rid of things
i think it is easier for those of us who have just accumulated too many clothes that are just "common" for lack of a better word
Brett

Megan said...

Both frocks are fabulous but the 1930s dress shows off your incredible sass! You rock it!

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

The snowy footprints are ever so dear! Both totally fabulous dresses, Curtise - and our closet-culling processes sound eerily similar. :) It IS hard! I think the oldest item I still wear I got when I was 14. Stoopid space issues! Good luck, my friend, xoxo

The Style Crone said...

I have been in the middle of the confusing downsizing that you speak of for way too long. Sounds like I'm in good company. How could you possibly release the stunning pieces that you wear in this post!

Lynne DeVenny said...

Totes keep this dress.

I think of your signature style as "Curtise". No one else does it like you do, sweetie. You're vintage-y, yet edgy, lady-like yet oh-so-fierce. You're Curtise. If you like wearing it, it's probably part of your signature style.

Ugh, I'm trying to edit my closet down, and I don't have a signature style at all. But I think dressing for a conservative office definitely impacts having a completely fearless signature style. Oh well, I'll just keep buying those bondage-tastic, kickass ballerina Miz Mooz shoes in all different colors, and fly into the office under the radar :o

Marla Robinson said...

I love all your wonderful pictures and all your wonderful clothes. It's sometimes very hard to decide which items should stay and which should go. I try to declutter my closet on a semi-yearly basis. Anything that hasn't been worn for at least a year is usually fair game.

Sheila said...

Oh, that 30s dress is divine! Wonderful dresses, all 'round.

I abhor beige. I also have a lot of clothes, and haven't feel any real burning need to define my style. I like many styles - why do I have to choose?

Trudie said...

It's a tricky one isn't parting with our vintage finds sometimes. My wardrobe of vintage is small in comparison to yourself and other lovelies. I'm still rebuilding it all back up. But in saying that I still occasionally go through my small collection and cull. I figure if something not working for me even if it's a gorgeous vintage frock, it should find its forever home. So often gift personal pieces from my wardrobe if I feel that way about them.

I'm sure you'll find your way with this process whilst looking fabolous. X

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I love both dresses!! And they fit you-- keep!! My problem is aggravated because of my tendency to lose and gain weight... And so I have clothes in sizes that don't fit. Plus, lack of space. Honestly, if I had tons of space I would keep everything. But we have downsized so that has made it a necessity for me now. I packed up another batch of stuff out the door today and it felt good :)
Jealous of the snow!! So hot here my daughter actually jumped in the pool today-- it's supposed to be winter for crying out loud!

joyatri said...

My dear, I feel your pain. A closet cull has been on my mind a lot, too. I have certain pieces for years that I love but neglect them in favor of some new thing. That being said, I've gotten MUCH more discriminating at the charity shop.
Everyone who reads your blog can say, "Oh, that looks like something Curtise would wear" even if they can't put their finger on why.
Obviously that dress is a keeper. And the 30s frock. And the tabbies.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I thought Patti's series was very interesting. I love your style. I especially love the tiny red handcrafted poppy.

BellaBean Vintage said...

I love that dress on you it looks fabulous. To cull or not to cull .... cull all beige, keep all else seems the most sensible approach....unless beige items are 70's platforms or has other redeemable qualities....then keep all.

freckleface said...

I think you definitely have your own look, but it's as much to do with the way you wear things as it is the individual garments.

You look a bit Parisian today with your little bob and beret. xxx

two squirrels said...

Will you stay or will I let you go????? When we had the shops I was forever singing these words to myself. Now it's about setting them free to be loved by someone else......
Vintage likes to have many owners I think, that's were it collects it's fabulous energy, from beautiful people.
I have to say rats that you don't want to free Miss polka dot, I do love her. You look fabulous in her, so she should stay in your wardrobe.
Style is who you are sweet, I just love seeing what the beautiful Miss Curtise is wearing next!!! I think you have that wonderful Bonnie look, aka Bonnie and clyde. Love V

bonsaimum said...

Thank goodness you are keeping those wonderful dresses. You can never have too much loveliness. If they were mine I would keep them until they would have to pry them from my dead fingers!! Maybe you could buy those vacuum bags that let you stuff oodles of clothes into them, but they collapse flat. That way you have lots more space without the pain of losing items.

edie pop said...

Dear Curtise, your posts always give me a lot to think about, I haven't read before Patti's blog, it's very useful and well written, but my own rules are that there aren't rules!
I feel relieved to find out that you wrote the same things I was thinking about me, I think I don't have a signature style, but as you do,I take the risk of wearing whatever I like and maybe that's our own personal attempt to fashion's rules!I always wanted to have a sequin beret and I can't stop buying any kind of vintage dress, yours is stunning and perfect with the belt!
I'm sorry to read in your previous post what happened to you and your kids, we had flu here and I couldn't comment, I hope everyone is fine now!!
A big hug!!!
xxxxxxx

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

A wise decision to keep the dress. The good thing with saving is that you can shop "in your own store" now and then. I give away clothes too quickly sometimes, but I pretend that I don't care ...

Frocktasia said...

Too much clobber, yup, I can totally relate to that. I started my life laundry a year and a half ago and am still going...three steps forward and three steps back, that is how it usually goes. I've made a promise to make an almighty push these coming months cause we want to be able to move within this year. I do have a handful of beige clothes in my wardrobe but they are only fabulous things like a faux-fur trimmed camel coat, a classic Burberry trench and a vintage 50s broderie angaise embellished day dress. If you have a load of chaff that you just want rid of and can't ba arsed listing it individually on eBay, selling bundles can work a treat. Anyway there is no harm in having too many clothes, having fun with clothes is obviously a great love of yours and it's always nice to know that a dive into the murky backwaters of ones wardrobe has an element of surprise attached to it. As much as I turn the air blue every morning not being able find something to wear cause there's too much to choose from, quite frankly it would bore me to tears if I knew every single item that was in there and as for rules...rules are for sheep too scared to step out of their pen, leave the suckers to it I say!...xXx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I must admit that I also own a LOT of clothes. I don't subscribe to the one thing in, one thing out policy. That would be far too stressful for me! I love the polkadot frock, I think long sleeve frocks are lovely for Winter too. I only own one sweater, I much prefer cardigans, especially when I'm trying to de-emphasize my middle. And yes I avoid beige & white like the plague too. I'm sure I make many fashion mistakes, but heck, it's kind of fun! Xx

Sacramento Amate said...

I get rid of thigs too easily, and regrets later. Think that your little girl will love them too in a few year.
Just put the good stuff in a box and get rid of the ones that you know in your heart wont survive the pass of time.
Much love, Curtise
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sacramento Amate said...

I do not own anything beige either, agggggggggggggggggg. hehheheheheheh

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Firstly, I would like to say that I somehow missed your previous post and omg, you really were burgled. Poor you and your poor handbag (and no, it wasn't Mr J and P). Bastards.

Beautiful dresses - both of them - glad you're keeping those. I know, I know. Culling clothes, well culling anything is a difficult business and a very long process. I'm doing a massive (for me) declutter at the moment and doing quite well (for me) but it's clothes, records (vinyl and non) and books which I find very difficult to part with.

As for signature styles, mine is jeans and more jeans (I told you before that I was boring). As for you, I agree with some of the commenters above, you have your own unique Curtise style and fabulous you are too. xx

Bohemian vanity said...

You look fab (as always) and its a good decision to keep the dress its wonderful ! xx

Ivy Black said...

You ooze style whatever your style is. Coming from a place of respect, I really think you should get yerself in head to toe beige as soon as possible...it would set your eyes off a treat. I know it would because I read it in a book that said puce was my signature shade.

Too much shmutter...hell yes. I've recently got rid of the chazza shop stuff that was on the bottom of the wardrobe, but I've soon replaced it with more vintage.
xxxxxxxx

grunge-queen said...

I'd love to have a signature style, but like you, I think I'm too busy experimenting and continually changing my look (there is something about charity/thrift shopping that makes it so easy to experiment and low cost is def a factor!). I'd hang onto that 70s dress too as it's a stunner. And hello, that dress is something else - is it velvet? Absolutely gorg. I like Liz's idea of a swap. Xoxo

grunge-queen said...

Oops, meant to say the 30s dress is something else! Love the colors and if it's velvet, I love it even more! :)

rosyragpatch said...

Glad you're keeping the dresses. They both look fab on you.
And you're wearing that lovely coat again...
Good luck with your sort out. I've no advice to offer - I'm hopeless at getting rid of things.

Helga! said...

O,I hear you,darling!!!
I have a SHITLOAD of clothes, and every now and then I have a panic about it, but then I soothe myself by repeating 3 times FECK IT! FECK IT! FECK IT! and then I don't worry about it until the next time!
I do need to go through some cases, though, and see what the hell is tucked away.
I do adore that first frock, certainly a keeper! AND Dorothy, for sure. I dunno, I don't think I have a signature style either, and I like to have variety. It's not a question of having too much, it's a question of NOT HAVING ENOUGH SPACE!
There you have it, words of wisdom from Helga! Hahaha, maybe I CAN give advice, of sorts!!!
Love your luciousness!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Misfits Vintage said...

I've done lots of culling in recent months and - I NEED MORE FROCKS! So if you're getting rid of anything you think I might like, wink wink nudge nudge, never mind the exorbitant postage costs!

I agree with all above - your do have a style and it's fabularse. You always looks divine - whatever era, whatever length. You know what works for you and you always look fun and funky and gorgeous.

I love the polka dot frock (are they polka dots?) - it is rare to find a long sleeved dress here (there too?) and I am always on the look out for them. You and I have similar body shapes and I often take style influence from you - if it looks fab on you, it will prob look fab on me. You should write a book. or have a tv show. Or both. If you could find time between band practice.

Love your labia! Sarah xxx

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

I admire the virtuousness of all this paring down and streamlining. Not sure I want to play, though. I haven't thoroughly enjoyed all my many pieces yet. At almost 63, I'm too young to settle into a "signature" style, don't you think? Time for that when I get really, really very old. And you ... you have decades and decades yet before you have to settle on your signature look!

Val Sparkle said...

The polka dot dress is gorgeous - of course you'll keep it! Love your other pictures of the cats, flowers, snow.

Melanie said...

Oh I love that first dress, it really suits you! And Andy likes it too, he glanced over when I was reading this for the first time the other day and remarked upon it xxxx

delia hornbook said...

Loving both your dresses but OH BOY you suit the 1930's flapper look. GORGEOUS is what you look. dee xxx

menopauselsupermodel said...

You always look fabulous!!!! The dotty dress is definitely a keeper!!

I'm moving into what I believe is "my style"-such as it is. I've been squirreling away loads of maxi skirts-especially the more "bojo hippie type) I've alwys secretly LOVED them but was afraid to wear them as it breaks fat girl rules--which I have tossed in the dumper!! The artsy-fartsy hippie-dippy me will be appearing more as i lose weight. Since I'll need to buy clothes I'm going to buy WHAT I LOVE and to hell with conforming!

Vintage Coconut said...

I have the same problem really. I have real issues with getting rid of clothing. Yesterday I managed to fill a garbage bag of clothes that are headed off to the Salvation Army. BUT THAT IS ONLY BECAUSE.... they were found in the storage room and hadn't seen the light of day in a year and a half or so.... so I realized I could part with 80% of them. I am trying really hard as it's a new year and it would make my life a heck of alot easier is I didn't have SO MANY clothing items all over the place. Probably half are not being used as they should. If I coud just get rid of that half maybe I could buy 1/4 more new ones. *laugh*

Bella Q said...

One step forward, three steps back: cha cha cha. One thing I would say is signature about your style is that you always look like you are having fun. You flirt with fashion, you dance with passion. Love your choices because you illustrate the best way to dress: with play and pleasure!

Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell said...

You really do have a unique style and that is very cool. Unique can be a signature style too.
I love the addition of the flower and the jaunty scarf. Very pretty outfit.

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

OMG, you have a bit of snow!!! It really sets the stage for your lovely ensemble. I'm ready to cull as well, and I'm almost at the point where I'm not going to think about it. Yes or no, no waffling. I find it's easier when I give things to people I know as opposed to donating to anonymous charities. Although that's okay too.

I hope you and the children are well!! I've been off the grid for a variety of reasons, but I think of you often, and send love!!!!! Stay warm and pat the kitty for me. Love you.

Vicky Hayes said...

Hmm a cull often gives creativity a boot in the derriere! I like a long-sleeved frock in the winter too and your gorgeous 30s number made me swoon! But what's wrong with beige - it makes a great backdrop to other colours! Vicky x

Forest City Fashionista said...

It must be the new year because so many of us are attempting to purge our wardrobe of the stuff that is "meh". I have a lot of clothes too (surprise, surprise), and find I have to weed out my wardrobe regularly to have room for new things. That dress is definitely a keeper - gorgeously flattering! I think you suit the 30's style so wonderfully - no wonder Joni used you as a muse for her calligraphy art!

CityScape Skybaby said...

I was only going to leave a couple of comments but had to comment here too Curtise because I have the same problem too, I find it really hard to part with stuff in general, not just clothes. I really need to go and read Patti's blog and see if I can do it. I love both these dresses, I like scoop necks and that 30's dress is just beautiful, I'd definitely be keeping both of them. Also I'm so sorry to hear you were burgled, you seem so able to take everything in your stride and just move on from it which I really admire. I guess the main thing is that you are all alright, things can always be replaced, but I'd still be upset at people invading my space. xx