Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dress has always been my strongest suit
Recently, while thinking about the impending Steam Expo, I was struck by a bolt of clothing related terror. All my outfits seemed shabby, most certainly unfit for an aristocrat intending to make her obligatory splash at a big Steampunk con. I frantically began searching the internet for some new outfits but - Quelle horreur! - all were so expensive and I needed that cash to purchase a mask for the masked ball! I was in a state of full blown hysterics when I actually bothered to start digging through my closet. That's when I realized that there was nothing wrong with my wardrobe - only with my perception of it. I had plenty of outfits, but lack of reason to get dressy had stunted my memory. So I began a delighted reunion with my varied bustles, corsets, and bloomers, and came to an understanding. Simply put: A wardrobe renovation need not require breaking the bank.
Step 1: If you feel your clothing habits have stagnated, it's best to ask yourself why. In my case, being shut up in Misktonic without any real reason to get dressed up had driven a couple nails into the coffin of my struggling fashion sense, aided by the fact that the bitterly cold winter precluded anything less than the sturdiest outfits. Jeans were the only reasonable leg-wear, coats were mandatory, and the threat of frostbite was certainly enough to keep me out of my silks and lace in favor of down and canvas (the winter did, however, provide a good reason to wear fur).
Step 2: Begin any potential renovating by getting reacquainted with your various clothes. Go through drawers. Dig through closets. As soon as I began to do this I discovered I had plenty of perfectly wonderful outfits just waiting to happen. Remember that both closets and drawers (as well as hat boxes, bureaus, chifforobes, laundry bags, wardrobes, attics, and what have you) are sneaky bastards who tend to skew your opinion of the state of your clothing affairs. Act accordingly.
Step 3: If you feel the need, remove any worn out clothes/clothes you just have absolutely no use for whatsoever. It may occur that your drawers are packed full of perfectly awesome day and night wear, but all that has been buried under ugly but well intentioned sweaters from Aunt Millie or t-shirts your co-workers/fellow students/WHOEVER keep giving you. Get rid of these. Give them away, re-gift them, turn them into quilts, use them as cat beds, stuff them under the door to prevent drafts, just get them the hell out of your wardrobe.
Step 4: Assess what is left behind. Is your selection of clothing satisfying? Do you feel you have too much of one thing and too little of another? Here is where you begin planning - if you find the need - to go shopping for fresh clothes. Be strategic. Don't just go out any buy a whole bunch of stuff because 'you need something new'. Instead, decide that, for example, you could use more leg wear and carefully select three pairs of new trousers that you can match to almost anything. Hell, if you can afford it go out and get three pairs of all purpose trousers tailor made for you. Using forethought in wardrobe renovation means you should have fewer things to buy and, as consequence, allows you to spend more money on them to make sure they last.