Tuesday, 4 February 2014

If I made you feel second best, I'm so sorry, I was blind

If something doesn't make you feel fabulous when you wear it, get rid of it.

Most of you will probably recognise Vix's Law!

Patti has also written in a recent post about the clothes that make her smile.
And I agree. Why would you wear things you don't like?
I love this 1970s dress, and always feel great when I wear it.
Bold and bright, what's not to love?
 But I do have more difficulty with the it's OK elements of my wardrobe. While I don't wear anything I dislike, I do have absolute always-a-joy favourite pieces, and others which are... OK. 

Is it acceptable to have a second tier? I feel I am betraying them, those poor lower-ranked clothes, which are perfectly decent, and I do like them, I just don't... adore them.
Are clothes like children (or cats); must they all be your favourites?

Case in point; this 1960s dress.

I like it. I like the print, the colours, and the integral collar/ pussy bow.

the fabric is a bit scratchy, it irritates me, it's see-through, and I don't have a short enough slip to wear underneath. I don't wear the dress very often, and when I do, I am reminded why it languishes in that so-so second rank.

1960s dress - community fair
1960s knit coat - vintage fair
Cardigan, beret, bangles and 1970s bag - charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale, ancient)

But when I look at it objectively as an outfit with the 1960s coat, I think it looks good.

Does anyone else have trouble with the also-rans, the it's-fine-even-if-it's-not-perfect brigade? Or are you all ruthlessly clear about what stays and what goes, moving on any item which prompts the merest hint of discontent?
I feel rather irritated by my own indecision.
1970s Shubette dress, cardigan, 1960s petticoat, beret, bangles and necklace - charity shopped
Boots - Ebay
Flower - retail (sale)

This one's a keeper. 
Eldest has her beady eyes on it, she asked if she can have it when I die.
Just for that, I might insist on being cremated in it.
The girls have shown some interest in these lovely pieces from Val too. The earrings were a prize in her recent giveaway, and she kindly included the necklace and little tin. Mine; all mine. Thanks, Val!

So what do you think? 
Does every single item in your wardrobe make you feel joyful and fabulous; or do you have some work-a-day pieces which are pleasant acquaintances, but not treasured best friends? 
And is it always easy to tell the difference? 

 Feeling fabulous and smiling; oh the power of a red dress!



Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

That red dress would be a favourite for me too!

To answer your question, not every single item in my wardrobe makes me feel joyful and fabulous. But! I think that every single item should make you feel joyful and fabulous. Because really, don't we want to feel joyful and fabulous always? Will I step away from the computer and go and trash my closet? No! Why? Curtise, I don't really know why. I can tell pretty much immediately if I don't feel in love with something I've put on, but I find myself thinking perhaps if I the right piece to go with it, or if the season was different, or if I had the right shoes...blah, blah, blah. But Vix is absolutely right...we should only house the clothing that really, really makes us happy.

Thrilling to see those bulbs in your garden!

Connie said...

It seems crazy to me that you don't absolutely adore all of your clothes because you always make them look so pretty, so special, so loved. I can't tell which are your favorites. And that makes you a very good mother...of clothes and of children. My closet is just full of hanger oners. Wanna-bes just hanging around waiting for a day out which they will probably never get. But I can't part with them. This is a problem since I have a very teeny closet in my new house. You have inspired me to BE STRONG and take a big bag of rarely worns to the resale store. Wish me luck!

Patti said...

Good topic - I too have second-tier clothes (hope they are not listening!) that function perfectly well but don't give me a fashion-gasm. I mean, *all* my black tee shirts can't be my favorites. You look so swell in both your 70's midi and your 60's dress; you can leave no dress feeling left out. xoxo

Angels have Red Hair said...

But how can we have a "special" outfit if we love everything equally? I like knowing that if I'm going somewhere really special I can wear something extra special. It would lose all meaning if I wore "special" things every day.
That having been said I don't think anyone should wear anything that makes them feel bad ... life is way too short for that ... which is why I avoid swimsuits when at all possible ;0)

silvergirl said...

2nd tier clothing, I love that concept
Actually wore a sweater today that I kept thinking all day...I don't love this thing.
As soon as I took it off, I knew I would probably never wear it again.

Suzanne said...

I am so impressed by both of these outfits. I LOVE the colours in the purple. Really adore that outfit. I too have a difficult time justifying pieces that aren't perfect fit wise or fabric wise that I still love for everything else.

I think it is when style and comfort come together in perfect harmony that we are most satisfied with our clothing. Sadly that often isn't the case. Like everything in life it is about trying to find balance.

I am very much like Sue. I feel that I can turn around any piece of clothing depending on what I wear it with or how I style it.

That said, I've been feeling a very strong urge lately to do some serious editing of my closet.


Helga said...

FECK I love that first outfit!!!
Ha, yes indeedy, I am guilty of quite a lot of "ok's"-these are what I wear to work. As I am in and out of a warehouse all day, I don't want to wear my favourites anyways, except on Fridays,so having "ok's" in my wardrobe actually works for me!
But there are also garments that just make me feel uncomfortable for various reasons-they just have to go. If they make me itch, or pull at myself, they are not allowed to stay!
But I do have an AWFUL lot of frocks/garments that I love, adore and worship....this week! I change my mind a lot........

Melanie said...

Red, red, rrrred!! This looks incredible on you. Top tier.
I'm weak about my 2nd tiers. I often think I can cut them up and make a great new Frankenpiece with them. My ideal self would donate them to make more room for more things I looove.

thorne garnet said...

Firstly, I love the purple outfit.

I have some pieces that I don't wear very often, mostly because I keep then for when I have to look like a grown up. When we have to go to some function and I want to not stick out like a sore thumb. Or the times when it's to hot and I just want to be comfortable and staying in the house. I don't think anybody needs to look fab 24/7. But it sure does cheer me up when I'm feeling down.

Olga Rani said...

I have absolute favourites in my wardrobe and I have "just ok" kind of clothes. I keep them all. I get rid of only those pieces that I look at and wonder why on earth I bought them. They remind me of my occasional stupidity and that's annoying and so, I get rid of those clothes.
You look fabulous in the red dress. No wonder it is one of your favourite pieces. The necklace and earrings are so sweet.

Sue said...

The red dress is bloody gorgeous!!! I have firm favorites in my wardrobe and I am guilty of having things I have kept just because I like them. So each season I go through the have I worn it, does it fit, why should I keep it routine. Oh and defo take the red one to the grave!!

Unknown said...

You look faboulous in red !

Indigo Violet said...

There's definitely something about a red dress. I bought one today for $2 and I hope I have the guts to wear it as it is quite form-fitting.
I try and wear all my clothes at least once a year, otherwise they get adopted out.
I don't want to wear my most fabulous things to work, as they might get damaged. Also a lot of people in my workplace have a less than fabulous wardrobe, so I try to blend in (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

Kezzie said...

Yes, I think second tier is a good idea. Like you might have a gorgeous dress that is summery but to make it Winter appropriate, you might need an ok cardie because none of the fab ones go wity it and you don't want towaste money. X

Peaches McGinty said...

You look gorgeous and fabulous in both! and red! oh the power of red! isn't it a wonderful feeling! I have just culled, I was ruthless and efficient, and what I have left is perfect for me. I understand the 2nd tier though, I like to have a more comfortable outfit for work as I'm sat down for so long, but I still like to be as sparkly as possible! quite right! and well done on your lovelies from Val, they are gorgeous! x x x

Melancholy and Menace said...

All your clothes look lovely and you wear them well.

I especially like your purple coat.

Gorgeous giveaway prizes, congrats. on your win :)

I don't think a peek inside my wardrobe would make anyone particularly happy, almost everything in there is black.

I donate things that make me feel frumpy or itchy, but I tend to hold on to items that don't fit, in the hope that they will one day.


Fiona said...

I have more OK's than things I love but maybe that's OK? The top tier wouldn't be just that without the also rans and wouldn't be quite so fab....errr I think. Anyways, love this red number on you and quite right Eldest for bagsying it when you're gone. Anything colourful makes me feel happy at th moment.

at my dressingtable said...

Love the red dress it is lovely, I always find that red is an uplifting colour I always feel great ,when I wear red.
Yes i do agree with what you were saying on your post.
I find some clothes i put on just don't make me feel good , so the clothes go back to the charity shop.
LOVE your blog , with best wishes Les.

Veshoevius said...

Love the red dress! Especially with the white petti peeking out and lace up boots!
I know what you mean about indecision - I have plenty of ok clothes I'm undecided about too.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Buy yourself a short slip and wear it more! It's a gorgeous dress. I'm sure I have some of that fabric somewhere...
I'm very guilty of having a wardrobe, er, well clothes rail of never worn mediocre clothes. But it's all covered up with dust sheets so I can't see any of it anyway.
Love the last pic. That is one happy dress. I hope you twirl as you walk down the street! xxxx

sonia said...

I wear everything in my closet. If I haven't worn it for a year it goes. This has left me with few clothes but I don't mind as I like them all. ; }
Also, even if I don't LOVE it it's useful for work for is comfy for the home or something like that. Actually, the pieces I ended up selling were probably the most beautiful but I no longer felt they were "me" so off they went. It's a great freedom to find oneself not attached to things and to keep evolving one's style...
also, love the purple coat!

Beth Waltz said...

Can't one consider the second-tier clothes as costumes for those second-tier roles we all must play from time to time?

The fabulous ensembles are for the star turns -- and for some of us that means little wear.

And then there are the character parts... Here in the Midwest one stashes away a Republican Hat Lady hat, for the odd (very), unavoidable church basement appearance.

Miss Magpie said...

As you know I am working through the wardrobe and I most definitely have outfits that are perfectly fine but I don't love them heart and soul. I also have ones that are there purely to clean the house or garden in, I like to commune with the soil when I garden so I definitely wouldn't wear a much loved frock!

I might have to sneak round and pinch that red frock off you for Friday!

Val said...

I think the difficulty is that we want variety (in our clothes, anyway - three kids is probably enough). So if I wore my favorites all the time I worry that I'd get bored. And that they'd wear out too soon, and then where would I be?

You look gorgeous in both outfits, but the red one is spectacular! I think like Suzanne said, style and comfort together are what make us happiest, and itchy fabric is never a good thing.

Glad you like your prize!

Krista said...

It's all about perspective because I actually like the second outfit better on you, but they are both really cute:). I think we owe it to ourselves and our closets to constantly be getting rid and making room for the favorites. I think it's totally ok to have seconds what I think we should all get rid of are those sections of our closet filled with sentimental attachments but never get worn. I understand saving a few things but that's about it.

Since moving to Oregon in 2005 I really only have about 10 items of clothing left that I brought with me. I've changed so much since then why before all I wore were tight jeans and tiny tees, mid drift hanging out and all that. I wanna move through my style not get stuck in it.
You made me think and it's still so early here, thanks for that. I also love that the girls ask for stuff. You'll be giving them these things before you know it and that's ok.
The last photo your smile I remember it fondly!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Love the dress - so bright, perfect for this time of year!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Goody said...

You look terrific in red, I can see why it is a favourite.

Due to medical issues, I need clothing that can accommodate a body that swells and shifts at times by the hour. What fits one day, may not the next. Knowing this, I keep a variety of reliable, if not first tier clothing available and eventually, in combination something will look reasonably decent. It does however, make it difficult to get rid of things as I figure, "I may be able to use that."

Most days I approach the wardrobe playing the game of, "What will fit today?"

Rachel said...

You look absolutely lovely in the red dress. It really suits you. I used to keep things I loved more for going out but I don't do that anymore. I wear clothes that make me feel good all the time which also gives me a boost if I'm having a bad day. The problem I have now is that I've added some inches to my waist!!! Time to go on a health kick! xxxx

mondoagogo said...

It's funny reading this because I've been doing some alterations/refashioning. My fabric stash is actually mostly old clothes that I often bought more for the fabric (pattern or texture) than anything else. One of the shirts recently made its way back into my wardrobe actually! And another one is totally fixable, in fact I literally worked out only half an hour ago how to fix it -- so I'm off to do that now :)

mondoagogo said...

Oh oops, I forgot to say I do like the purple ensemble -- and that you got some purple accessories that perfectly match!

Vix said...

Yes 'cos I've just had a bastard massive clearout and priced, labelled and packed all my "not quite rights" and stuck them in the bag for Saturday.
I'm always stuck if I need something warm or sensible or dry but what the hell, life's too bloody short for a fleece and trainers!
Love both your outfits especially the first one 'cos you look amazing in red.

Dawn Elliott said...

Wowee-Zowee! I'm lovin' that incredible red dress, no end! I can see why you want to keep it with you...forever!
I really like the look of the 1960's dress...but the scratchiness bothers me, even way over here in the states. I say either use it or love it...or it's out! Some pieces are just functional layers and such, but the others have to shine! (Easy for me to say...coming from someone with WAY TOO MANY CLOTHES in her closet!)

mispapelicos said...

I am sooooooooooooooo with Vix´s
I adore that red dress. t is definitelly my favourite on you. I bet you felt like you could fly.
Love and sunshine, dear Curtise.

Penny-Rose said...

Like Krista, the purple one is my favourite - I just love purple and this outfit looks lovely on you. There is something special about a red dress though. Because all my clothes are thrifted, if I decide that something does not make me feel fabulous after a couple of wearings, then its okay to pass on to another charity. I love maxis, they make me feel elegant and the swishing fabric sounds great, but they are not suitable for work. I would definitely buy a slip and wear the purple dress - I have several in different lengths to wear under dresses/skirts and usually just cut with scissors.

Kelly Jackson said...

Oh Curtise, you look so joyous in that red frock! I have some meh stuff, a few cheap sweaters I'm donating to the thrift shop. I have heaps of stuff I ONCE loved and looked great in, but things have changed. Hoping to sell them Vix-style but for now they're clogging my closet. Bad karma. Xo

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

I love your outfits. The purple one is my favorite because purple is my own favorite color. You look so fabulous and happy! Following you. =)


Frocktasia said...

I can relate to the "I feel rather irritated by my own indecision" cause that used to be me all over. I've hung onto things for decades that were never & will never be right but up until fairly recently there was always a little annoying voice squeaking away inside my head "you might want to wear that one day, you might regret getting rid of it, so best not just in case you do". That's why I single-handedly almost created a bleeding sinkhole in Finsbury Park. Our poor old flat was groaning under the strain of my mountains of amassed clobber. Our move to Glasgow was good in so many ways, I had to tackle my collecting addiction head on and learn to let go of stuff. Thankfully I now find it a whole lot easier to part with stuff. Vix is indeed right "If something doesn't make you feel fabulous when you wear it, get rid of it" and if you can re-sell it and buy something that you will want to keep for the rest of your days then all the better.
You look fab in both the outfits and I do love the look of the 60s dress...however I'm not loving the three words "scratchy, irritating and see-through" that sounds like a con too many to me, eBay it and buy a frock that you can't wait to wear, you deserve it!
Lots of love,

Unknown said...

As much as I would love to say that I adore all my clothes there is a definite hierarchy going on in my wardrobe. I have so many pieces that I try to love because I love an aspect of them (cute collar, awesome print etc) but something just doesn't work about them. I usually spend ages trying to sew them into shape so I am completely happy with them but giving up in despair. It drives me crazy! And then, despite having a full to bursting wardrobe, still have nothing to wear! Your Shubette dress is stunning I can see why you have a love affair with that one! XXX

Forest City Fashionista said...

I too can be paralyzed by indecision when deciding whether to toss something in my wardrobe that is just "ok". I don't love everything I have, and not all of it makes me feel fabulous. I keep telling myself to be more ruthless, but then I hum and haw over a jacket for 15 minutes and give up. I keep things that I think I will get shortened, or made into something else, but it never happens.

I like both of those outfits on you, but red is such a emotional boost, and can make you feel rather awesome.

Trees said...

I love the red dress - but I must say that the 1960s number is rather fab too! I do agree I have some clothes that I LOVE and wear them like once a week and others I wear much less, its often because they are "wardrobe orphans" (I haven't found the perfect thing to wear then with yet). Sometimes it can be hard to say goodbye to less that perfect items for some reason!

Unknown said...


Gorgeous and creative outfits. I love the colours!

Fanny x

Tamera Beardsley said...

I love this question Curtise! And I must say, it has inspired me to give my clothes a good edit!

I too, have so many clothes that make me happy for the day and occasion I get to wear them! I also have some good work clothes that are basics to do the days tasks in. But your post has me realizing I also have too much space taken up by pieces that make me cringe to think of wearing them … but the have remained because they are 'good pieces'.

But no more after reading this! Life is too short not to have everyday an upper tier day … or wear clothes that make one cringe After my studio time today … I will be found deep in my closet … finding pieces to weed out … so that everything in my closet is something that makes me smile … for one reason or another! Thank you dear Curtise for the inspiration!

freckleface said...

Ooh this is a big juicy one! Love it, love the title too. The king has been accompanying me in my broom broom this week.
I'm like helga, have a whole load of b- listers in my wardrobe. But they express so precisely how i feel about work, that they are perfect for those days. Mainly my a- listers are summer dresses, because it is colour i love best of all. That red dress is absolutely wonderful, no wonder you love it, you look amazing in it. I think red is great on you, full stop. Love the bit about eldest, that really made me chuckle! Xxxxx

Camelia Crinoline said...

I have quite a few clothes I like but don't love. I think they're important to have so you don't wear out all the clothes you love by wearing them constantly. That dress looks great with your 60s coat. The red dress is fabulous though.

Señora Allnut said...

fabulousness is a high valued quality for me, but it's not all around my wardrobe, sometimes things are just Right!. Anyway, I try to turn them into fabulous items, looking for a perfect match or a funny color combo!. Sometimes it works, and if it doesn't, I've had some fun anyway!
And a red dress is always Fabulous! and this one is a pretty red dress, I love it!

bohemian vanity said...

You look wonderful in that red dress Curtise! It's so pretty!
I have many 'it's ok' pieces in my wardrobe and when i get rid of it i swap or donate it. Guess my problem is that i never try something on before i buy it.
The pieces from Val are fab!
Have a nice weekend my dear! xx Tani

Vicky Hayes said...

Lady in reeeeeeed! I love a red dress and think every wardrobe should have one but I am bowled over by the fab purple coat and the whole outfit including the gorgeous mustard beret. I have very few stand-alone favourite things in my wardrobe but there are lots of ok things that suddenly turn fabulous when put with other things - well I think so anyway! Vicky x

Sheila said...

That red dress is so fabulous! Wow, put my name on the list for it too!

I think it's fine to have a few OK pieces - if I only had things I loved, I'd have all these orphans in my closet, all sparkles and leather, and nothing to tie them together. Boring tops are useful, layering pieces are necessary.

Mrs. D said...

The 60's dress is beautiful - particularly like the cravate detail thingy.It's a shame that there are some things wrong with it :(