operation revamp :: the closet, part IV

SONY DSCI’m struggled with writing these posts a little. They’ve been a great way to keep myself organized and motivated in this quest to finally feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, and that alone should be reason enough to feel confident in writing these posts. But I don’t generally write a style blog. And I can’t help but wonder if anyone – especially the people who know me who also read me blog – is just lumping me into the category of “stay-at-home wife who has nothing better to do than spend her husband’s money.” I can’t help but wonder if all this is shallow.

I feel like I should explain a little about why I started this series and why it’s kind of important to me. I’ve always enjoyed getting dressed and studying fashion. That’s half the fun of people watching when traveling — to see what others are wearing in different parts of the world, for different occasions than I’m accustomed to. There’s a certain aspect of a stranger’s personality that is revealed through their clothes, whether consciously or unconsciously so, and it is the inquisitive, creative side that I feed when I pay attention to and try to understand that revelation. Growing up, I was awkward and nerdy, and although I tried to dress nicely I had kind of strange style that grew out of having big dreams with difficult adolescent proportions to dress, all within a small town environment that didn’t encourage much more than jeans and boots and AERO t-shirts. You could say I’ve always been on a quest to find my style, as I believe it to be an integral part of my personal and professional expression. This series on the blog is just a continuation of that search.

Additionally, with all of the changes in my life in the last year, I’ve been struggling to understand my place in the world as an adult – maybe? – or as a professional – kind of? – or as a woman – instead of a girl? – and how to look the part. Now that Andrew is beginning a career within the U.S. Military, I am essentially an extension of him when I do business on base or interact with other wives and high-ranking officials. My image reflects his home life, in a way, and I take pride in my duty to represent him well, just as I strive to represent myself well.

On a practical, more tangible note, I’ve embarked upon this mission to streamline and modernize my wardrobe as a defense mechanism of sorts. Having a smaller but more workable wardrobe will help me as we move over and over again, to different climates and perhaps even different countries. Not only will I maintain my sanity with a smaller amount of stuff to haul around, but I hope that by creating a group of things that help me to feel truly myself, I will better maintain my sense of confidence in the face of many challenges. It will be one less thing to worry about if we move to, say, Korea or California. It will be one less thing to worry about if we take a month-long trip to Germany or Chile. It will be one less thing to worry about when Andrew deploys. With a small, totally usable wardrobe, I can maintain some semblance of order in my own little world, some visage of control. That peace of mind is a valuable thing.

Can you see how this is more than just “shopping” to me? Can you see that this is not about spending money? (Although I am very conscious of my budget.) Can you see how my situation might be different than yours? Let me know your thoughts – if you admit to prejudice about this endeavor, or if you’re experiencing a similarly existential crisis, one that may look vapid on the  outside but is deeply important to you. Thanks for your support, encouragement, and wise tips along the way — and keep ’em coming!

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9 thoughts on “operation revamp :: the closet, part IV

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:6 “a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to throw away;”.
    Don’t think you could operate under any better authority-keep up the fight. Form and order will rule the day.

  2. You shouldn’t worry so much, my dear. You have a beautiful life, and you are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to do. ❤

  3. I just started reading your closet revamp, so I am not sure how far you’ve gotten, but if you’re still looking for great, easy, classic pieces you should look at Victoria’s Secret website. I know it sounds lame, but their essential tee shop has the most comfy, quality tees I have ever worn. I only have one, but it really is the best! They have skirts and dresses in all shapes and lengths and they have sales all the time. I am going to go home today and get rid of all my crappy clothes. And I know exactly how you feel. Since I graduated from field training I have Sincerely like I don’t remember how to look good and keep myself in my style.

    • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one in this predicament, Erin, but I’m also sad you’re feeling the same way! Good for you for taking charge of your situation. It feels nice to do something tangible to start moving in the right direction — whether that means cleaning out the closet or anything else. And thanks for your recommendation! I really like VS clothes, I only wish I could try their stuff on in-store. And also that I looked like a VS model 🙂

  4. yes yes yes. i think this is wonderful and absolutely necessary, as someone who has had to pack and unpack my life over and over.

    and, do come to korea. please do!

  5. A wardrobe is a reflection of who you are and that may change from time to time. Be confident in your choices and remember that when you feel good in the clothes you wear your confidence is more what is noticed than the actual clothes. It is so not just shopping!

  6. You should not be embarrassed by this quest. I think every woman goes through an evolution of personal style many times in life (hello 80’s hair and 90’s socks!)
    Women, more so than men, are judged on outward appearance. It’s not right but it is a fact of life. And being military adds a whole new heap of anxiety! It was daunting to realize that I was a reflection of my husband. Initially, part of me wanted to rebel against, what I thought was, the loss of my autonomy. But now I take great pride in my appearance and am working to improve it, both size and style-wise.
    There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you’re doing. But this isn’t about the naysayers, it’s about you! Having a trustworthy and organized wardrobe makes life a little easier. Knowing something fits properly, looks nice and isn’t going to malfunction means that you can be more confident, more outgoing and carpe diem!
    You are inspiring me to do the same! 🙂
    Bravo, my dear!!

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