Wednesday, 4 September 2013

New broom

I thoroughly enjoyed my morning of coffee, chat and charity shopping yesterday. Joanne and I talked non-stop, and although there was nothing amazing in the chazzas, I did find this dress.

I love a denim jacket - although this summer has been so good I haven't worn mine as often as usual - but since I don't wear jeans, I have no other denim clothing. 

This denim shirtwaister was only a quid (Oxfam were having a sale, all clothes £1) so I thought it was worth a try.

I like the 1970s vibe, and it will be good for autumn/winter with boots and layers.

September always feels like a fresh start, it's the new academic year thing.

I want a new notepad with clean pages, a sharpened pencil with an unchewed rubber on the top, pens that haven't yet had the opportunity to go missing. I want to make a good impression, get my work done. I want to go to the top of the class.

I've made lists of jobs, and actually got on with them.

(I predict this won't last.)

I have been through the kids' wardrobes with a ruthlessness I am unable to apply to my own.

What can be passed on to friends for their children has already gone, the rest is destined for charity shops tomorrow.

70s-style denim shirt dress, tan leather belt, bangles and necklace - charity shopped
1960s shopper - vintage fair
Sandals - Ebay 
Cream bangle - gift from dearest Tania
Sunglasses - retail (sale)

I am feeling the need to try and be a little more circumspect about my acquisition of clothing. 

I was shocked at how many clothes the kids had, and since they always seem to end up wearing the same things, a load of them have hardly been used. Now they are mainly hand-me-downs, or from charity shops and jumble sales, so they don't represent huge amounts of money wasted, but there's no point having stuff we don't use.

I have lots of clothes which I wear infrequently, or which don't quite work for me (the lint magnet black dress featured in my last post is a case in point; it is in the donation bag now). I am a terrible one for saying you never know when that will come in handy and hanging on to things. 

(I can hear my mother's voice as I type that phrase.)

As for this dress - well, it's made the cut for now, but I'm not making a lifelong commitment.

Eldest has taken a shine to it, and asked can I have it when you're dead?

She'll doubtless pinch the pennies off my poor dead eyes too.

These are some recent outfits which didn't make the blog, for one reason or another.

Actually, the reason is the same - I didn't like them much. It's completely coincidental that they all feature orange. I love orange. 

The giant pants (bottom right) have already gone (they made me look enormous). 
The grey waistcoat is too small (and grey); the orange maxi skirt just has waaaay too much fabric and I trip over it; the 1980s-does-50s skirt (top right) is pretty but isn't so flattering on my hips; the orange top and print shirt may be safe...

All accessories are staying!

I don't find this easy, so don't be surprised if you see all these items again on the blog, being given one last chance.

Are you ruthless? If you cull, how do you decide what stays, what goes?
Fit, condition, frequency of wear? Or is your reasoning more emotional (if that's not too oxymoronic)?
Advice, thoughts, opinions, experiences, all welcomed. 

Linking up with Jane's Shiny T Tuesday - her theme this week is Inspired, and I have certainly been inspired to take charge of the overflowing wardrobes in this house!



Carina Rosenholm said...

Im really bad at throwing out stuff.... trying . But find that new retail clothes is easyer to throw out .

Miss Piggy Bank said...

Love the denim dress but I rarely find anything £1 in charity shops. They all seem to be at least £3.99 !! I got my daughter a denim jacket last year from the church sale 50p , she didn't like it last summer but this year she has worn it loads :-)

Vix said...

I can see that denim dress getting loads of wear, it fits you fabulously and you're right, it would look tremendous with knee high leather boots until, of course, you're dead & Eldest can inherit it.
I'm brilliant at clearing out other people's wardrobes, not so my own - they go downstairs to the stock room and back upstairs again only to be cast aside for the same reason I fell out with them in the first place, 'cos, if it doesn't me me feel fabulous then out it must go!
I bet you won't come out of those chazzas empty-handed, donations create good charity shop karma.
Love ya! xxxxxxxxxxx

freckleface said...

Oh yes, I love this Lady About Town vibe you've got going on here. You look on it, breezy, with hair that would swish in a fascinating way as you stride by in a confident about town fashion. All for a squid. Imagine!

Eldest and youngest, I don't know which one makes me laugh more with their comic phrases. I keep remembering littlest saying 'I say it in my head'! :)

I have a rush of blood to the head when I sort out, get rid, chuck, chuck, chuck. Then months later I go back looking for something and think surely I didn't? But I did. But don't let that put you off, because here's the good news: then I can go shopping again to replace it! :) xxx

Anonymous said...

Lovely denim dress I can see it be layered with stripes. Glad to hear she's a keeper for now. Out of your "didn't make the cut" outfits I love that maxi skirt. Does it have hibiscus's printed on it? So up my alley, more fabric the better I say. Perhaps you can love her enough to stay.

I sometimes do a cull I don't find it hard I just need to be careful as I don't have an extensive wardrobe. So when do cull it really has to be about an item not making feel my best.

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

I'm hopeless. If you looked at my wardrobe you'd think I was out on the razzle every night. Truth is more like once a year. I seem to find things I love but that I have no occasion to wear. Stupid! I need a serious cull. And I need to stop looking in the chazzers! If you don't actually spot that little Monsoon cocktail dress BNWT for £5 you can't buy it!

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

Wow, what a lot of sorting out! Other peoples' sorting is much easier indeed. I love that awesome denim dress (great fit!), and the '80s does '50s skirt is FABULOUS. Glad that linty thing is gone, whew!

I only cull when I absolutely have to for space, but I find it difficult, in large part due to my size fluctuation. It's always a challenge to more thoroughly enjoy what I have rather than just wearing the stuff that's on top, hence the blog. I am not ruthless, everything's my favourite! xoxoxo

Fiona said...

I want that dress! I love it and if you are not going to make a lifelong commitment, you may well tire of it long before you die. In such a case you could pass it on to me first, see... I have it all worked out! I'm sure Eldest will soon change her mind, you know how fickle youngsters can be. ha ha.
I ought to have a cull more often, usually it's when I haven't worn something for years but sometimes I find myself wishing I'd held onto it. Glad you gave the giant pants the bum's rush, they just aren't you. xxxxxxxx

Jane George said...

i store everything in the loft and then when the ceiling sags i cull then! Love that long orange maxi skirt on you glad the fluffy skirt from the last post is gone. you look divine in the denim, it looks a bit like the skirt i have on this week xxxx

Sheila said...

That denim dress is what I've been looking for for years to replace my current (kinda tight) one. Open it up at the bottom and wear a floofy skirt or crinoline under it!

I will arm-wrestle Eldest for this dress - love it!

I am ruthless about getting rid of clothes, since I did a "one in, one out" rule a few years back. I love to shop, so it quickly became obvious that I needed to get rid of things I didn't really love.

Helga! said...

Yes, that denim frock is a keeper! It's similar to the one I wear as a coat! I only like denim as a jacket or frock for myself, much as jeans look awesome on others, they simply don't on me.
Culling...hmm, I'm not too bad at it. Like you, I'll give something awkward a chance, but if it doesn't learn the error of its ways, out it goes! I get bored with things, too, have temporary fancies! Luckily, not spendidng a lot menas one can have a revolving wardrobe!

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

I can see that denim dress taking you effortlessly through autumn. So many's well tailored, if such can be said about denim.

I cull regularly...hubby used to get a bit nervous, but I have learned to not so much as whisper that he may want to let go of the Santa sweater his great aunt knit him in '72 {kidding, but you get my drift}. I don't have a lot of closet space for one thing, and I just feel so much lighter when I do let go of things that I haven't worn, or used. And there's the good karma thing too, I guess. I don't have any particular rules, like not worn in one season etc., just go with how I feel when I look at them. Sometimes I do have to try them on, and yeah, I keep some things for another round of maybe next season, but honestly, they are always at the top of the good bye heap the next go-around.

Good luck with it all...


silvergirl said...

What a great find in that dress
Love the stitching and you can wear this so many different ways and for pretty much every season
Love that bag you paired with it as well.

thorne garnet said...

back to school time always has me thinking of one thing: a new box of crayons. I have a couple of those giant sized one, but I couldn't pass up a box of 24 for 50cents.

As for culling clothes, it's about every 2 years. I have few closets and unless it's something really special, it has to go.

Sandra said...

dang! what an amazing dress! it fits you perfectly and is perfect, it will be Charlies Angels fab with boots and layers - I culled this year - everything I didn't like/fit/was shit, I have kept dresses the youngest loves (these kids! she will be wearing them when they are still warm!)
I am so impressed by your super list skills, that have been followed up, woman I salute you x

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Fabulous dress - I wish my daughter would wait until I'm dead before nicking my clothes.

Krista Gassib said...

Guilty am I for the same thing, holding onto stuff that I just can't part with because its cute...just not on me. I need to do this too. I really do like this dress mainly because all the denim ones I see look like the ones the Mormon girls wear, no offense Mormons, but they are usually floor length. I like this one very much, it's different.

What I have started doing is let's say I find a square dance dress that I like I'll buy it and get rid of one I already have that I didn't like as much. Baby steps but it's working.

I am not ruthless by any means and if the truth be known I have a holding cell of sorts that they go into before I really decide if I have to get rid of them.

God we are weird about our frocks aren't we:)

Jean at said...

It must be in the air. I guess it is that Autumn thing; always the best time of year to reinvent oneself!! I've been plotting the great purge, but started off by examining why I haven't worn some things that I profess to love, then tweaking them with little alterations. We'll see if that helps. The other thing I do is give my stuff to my sisters and daughter-in-law with the caveat that I can have it back. That's never happened, although I've been known to borrow stuff while visiting.

I love the '70's feel to your dress, especially with the tan leather accessories!! I can see you bundling up as the weather cools down, especially with boots as you mention!! I enjoyed the outfits that ended up on the cutting room floor, but I understand if you just weren't feeling them. I love seeing the day by day, though.

Sending you much love as the year begins anew, at least according to my calendar. My grandson just had his first day of kindergarten. :-)

Patti said...

Great denim dress - it fits you perfectly and you look so sharp. I am a big thrower-outer and have to be kept from regularly scourging the closet. That's one of the reasons I love to buy at thrifts - I don't have to cry big salty tears later : >
Hooray for September, I share your feelings about clean slates and fresh starts. xox

Angels have Red Hair said...

I am totally useless at culling my wardrobe. I suffer severely from the "what ifs" and end up keeping everything for the "just in cases".

Connie said...

That dress is perfectly wonderful on you. No wonder eldest wants it. Though I hope you give it up willingly. Either that or request to be buried in it. Ha! That's why we have kids. Right? Reciprocal tormenting. I always buy fresh pencils in the Fall.

Anonymous said...

What a great fit the denim dress is. Culling is a constant process for me, especially as seasons change. The clothing that has currently been getting the most wear have been my long-sleeved tees.

Harrie Hattie said...

Your showing your children style!! Fabulous and what a bloody bargain, gotta love our chazza's Xx

Anonymous said...

Firstly that denim dress looks amazing on you Curtise. Denim suits you and will be fab in winter with thick tights and boots.

I quite regularly cull my wardrobe and I am quite ruthless. If it doesn't fit properly then it goes and then if I don't feel right in it its gone. There are a couple of dresses that I've kept that I hardly wear but these are date nights dresses. I own one pair of jeans and I've only kept them because they're customised but I hate wearing jeans.

Lets face it when you have to share a wardrobe with your hubby you are quite limited to space x

Anonymous said...

That denim dress is gorgeous and really suits you - wonderful bargain for only £1.00 (and in Oxfam too - that's amazing. All Oxfam shops round my way are hideously expensive!!)

I'm pretty ruthless with my wardrobe - if I don't like it any more or it doesn't flatter, it's gone either to a chazza or on ebay. As 90 per cent of my wardrobe is thrifted in one way or another I never mind moving things on as I know I'll always find something else I like better fairly quickly.

Forest City Fashionista said...

The denim dress is a keeper - the fit is incredibly flattering,it will look great with boots and a jacket or sweater, and it's a good shade of blue. I'm glad to hear the lint magnet is gone - good decision!

I feel like my closet is constantly in a state of flux - items coming in, items going out. I tend to wear the same 10 items most of the time, so a lot of things languish unworn, but like you, I think that there will be a time where I will wish I had this or that and I'll regret it if I give it away. I wouldn't use the word "ruthless" to describe me, but I am getting better at letting go of things that don't make me feel fabulous (my new criteria).

Tamera Wolfe said...

The denim dress looks fantastic on you and has so much potential for cooler weather.
I am RUTHLESS--we used to live in a tiny house with 2 tiny closets and no room for storage so I've learned to cull the "hoard" regularly.
I think of Vix's mantra--if ya don't LOVE it...don't keep it!!

jaymar said...

The denim dress works for you, you wear it so well, it hangs, it drapes. I can't think of many people it would look good on so well done, you saved it from destruction.

Miss Simmonds Says said...

my god that's a lovely dress, it's the perfect fit, type of denim, everything. I'm rather jealous, but it looks so beautiful on you, I'm happy to just admire yours. I'm not that ruthless, only occasionally. Recently made Mike be ruthless with his clothes, but must admit to stealing a jumper and pair of wool socks. Keep that dress please!

joyatri said...

The denim dress is definitely a keeper and I won't miss seeing any of the items you decided to chuck.
I recently read a psychology book about hoarding and recognized some of those tendencies in myself. That has helped me slow down the amount of acquisitions. Now, when I pick something up in the charity shop, I think long and hard about whether I should buy it. And I'm also inspired by Jennie (Frocktasia) and her clear out for her upcoming move.
The past few years of visiting London for 2 months at a time and just wearing what I bring (and even then, due to weather or circumstance I only wear a percentage of what I bring) has helped me figure out which clothes I really love and which never get packed (and can probably be culled).

Emalina said...

I'm not surprised Eldest has got her eye on that denim dress, it's a beauty! Fits you like a glove, you really must keep it, at least for this autumn....

BellaBean Vintage said...

Love that denim dress, perfect on you! Very sensible of eldest to ensure first dibs.
I am not a culler, I do not cull...more of an orifice stuffer doesn't look like I have lots of things but try opening a cupboard without getting hit in the head...xx

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

I never wear jeans either, but you look really good in that dress! Are you sure you don't like the orange outfits much enough? The skirt is great!

Ariane Lasalle said...

I like your dress, i never wear jeans either but always on the look out for a jean dress and so far no luck!
Yours is the perfect cut and color!

I clean my walkin every 6 months, and i'm ruthless! If i don't wear it goes unless it's vintage piece, that is hard to make reason and say will i wear this? I usually keep it -

Have a great weekend

Ariane xo

Ivy Black said...

Yup...a keeper for sure. It's a great cut. I do like a denim dress. I never used to wear jeans ever. I went through my teenage years without owning a pair.I do wear them now but I'm a bit picky...can't do hipsters and I've just got a pair from Freddies' of Pinewood and they are a revelation in denim!
It's the time of year when I have a huge clear out. I've done the wardrobe and I've even started on the attic. I've kept so much it's shameful.
See you very soon!!

CityScape Skybaby said...

The denim dress is definitely a keeper Curtise, it's one of those items of clothing that will go with everything, it fits you perfectly, and nice as the black dress is, I can see why it's gone. I have too many black clothes that are pet hair magnets, hated it when my oldest two were at high school and had a black uniform, every morning I spent ages picking all the hairs, fluff etc. off.
At least Eldest is going to wait until you're dead before she starts stealing your stuff, my daughter went away for a couple of days with her friends and I had to make her hand over half my make up before she left, I've only got one of everything and I need it much more than she does. She's totally claimed my denim jacket and loads of my bags too. Like you, most of my two youngest's clothes are hand me downs from their big brother, cousins and friends, so I end up with far too much stuff, but am loath to clear it out 'just in case', and my daughter and me just have way too much stuff. Pat and my oldest son have just what they need and no more, thank goodness or the house would be in even more of a state than it already is. xx

Trees said...

I really love that denim frock - I have to be pretty ruthless with my wardrobe as we live in such a small space. I take the nicer stuff to a consignment store though, to see if I can get a few pennies back (unfortunately I often end up spending any money made on new to me stuff from the consignment store)

Misfits Vintage said...

I'm a spectacular chucker-outer! I love culling and making space for MORE CRAP!!!

Love that denim dress - it's perfect on you and I agree, it will be trans-seasonal. Is that a word?

Also agree with the pants and the skirt - they are okaaaay, but not amazing. And Vix's Law says:


Best bit of style advice I have ever heard!

Love yer gorgeous wicked red head,

Sarah xxx

bonsaimum said...

Nice dress. I must admit I try to cull my wardrobe, but I feel the minute I get rid of something, I'll need it!