Winter is getting the best of my wardrobe! I’m struggling a bit to put together winter outfits that keep me somewhat toasty and look good at the same time. All I really want to do is wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
Today’s post was one I almost trashed. But I decided that there’s value to reflecting on things that don’t work as much as things that do work.
Part of the challenge I’m having is that I am not shopping. After the holidays I did a quick inventory of what’s currently hanging in my closet, and it was glaringly evident that there were a lot of things in there that I wasn’t wearing very much. And for the most part, they were things that I really liked and weren’t very old. So it wasn’t like I could just make a trip to the thrift store. I decided it was time to take a shopping break and stop adding new items that would contribute to my having too many clothes to wear for the kind of life I have.
But I am realizing as we make our way through the cold months, that I if I was open to shopping, I’d be adding a few pieces that fill the gap of stylish and warm. In the meantime, I’m trying to be creative and put together pieces that might give me a fresh look.
Deconstructing This Winter Outfit
I built this outfit around the pink trench coat.
I actually love this coat. It was a total impulse purchase (Banana Republic) last spring. I’ve been in this pink phase for a couple of years now. It’s a color that for years I didn’t like, and suddenly it’s become one of my favorites. (You might notice that if you scroll through past posts!) I chose it a because I thought it would be a little surprise in my look – not a typical winter palette.
To keep the fun color palette going, I wore my burgundy AG Farrah skinny jeans (one of my faves). And then added a cozy scarf with the salmon-y pink accent color but also the gray and white that kind of grounded the whole pink theme.
The challenge then was what to wear as a top. I actually don’t have a lot of sweaters, and I guess that’s mostly because I’m not really comfortable wearing bulky things. This sweater is one I bought two years ago during a specific sweater-shopping outing. I didn’t like it when I first tried it on, but then I looked back at photos I’d taken in the fitting room and regretted not buying it (here’s the post on that sweater shopping expedition). So I went back and made it mine.
I guess as a total look, this works. But I just didn’t feel good wearing it. All day. When I thought about why, I examined (in my head) each piece I was wearing.
We already know I love the pink trench. And the burgundy AG jeans are one of my favorites. The black boots are newish (Sam Edelman Walden booties), and I like those. The scarf is another piece that I enjoyed wearing.
We are left with the sweater.
The Sweater – Does It Spark Joy?
You are probably familiar with the “spark joy” test (from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – learn more in this post). This is a quick way to help decide if an item is one that should be kept or sent on its way.
In spite of all the reasons I am telling myself that I should keep this sweater (it was a bit expensive, it’s still in good condition, I haven’t worn it that much, etc.), when I give it the “does it spark joy when I wear it” test, it doesn’t pass. I don’t feel good wearing, and in the end, it doesn’t matter why.
What I Learned from This Outfit
So back to trashing this post idea. This outfit that felt and look a bit wrong turned out to be a valuable learning experience that I’m extending to other things I have. Like a pair of shoes that I wore yesterday after looking at them and not wearing them for at least two years. They are kind of cute, but by the end of the day, my right foot was hurting. They do not spark joy. I’m letting them go. I plan to go through my closet with a fresh eye and pick up the things I haven’t been wearing, hold them, and feel if they do or do not spark joy. If they don’t, it’s really a gift to myself to pass them along and let someone else enjoy them.
I am sharing this all with you because you might want give this a try with whatever is in your closet that you haven’t worn in a long time. There’s a reason for that.