Recently, I mentioned that I am determined to get back that part of me that was lost when I became a mom. Somewhere amongst diapers, and homework, and time-outs I quit caring about my appearance. Outfits for me usually consist of some stretched out t-shirt, jeans I've probably worn a dozen times before washing, and six-year-old loafers or flip flops. It's not that I don't want to look cute- oh I do! But let's face it, I am not the thin twenty-something I was when this all started, and getting ready takes effort that I don't always feel up to exerting. Sad, but true.
Well, I don't believe in mentioning something on the blog and not sharing with you the journey. The first big step has been that I have started working out 45 minutes every day while the girls are in school. Honestly, that has been the biggest change, because I feel more relaxed and better about myself. Funny how nothing can change about your physical appearance, and yet, once I start exercising I immediately feel more confidant and self-assured.
The other thing I am doing is a total wardrobe overhaul. Easier said than done when you have absolutely NO money to spend on clothes. I decided to get a game plan. First, I tried to pinpoint the look I was trying to recreate for fall. I didn't want to just start buying separates and end up with a wardrobe that doesn't look cohesive. As you all know I have a deep love for everything J.Crew. I just think they do such a great job working with color and wardrobe choices that are practical for the average woman. I went through their catalog and picked out the outfits that I really loved. Then I figured out if I already owned some of the pieces. I then wrote down the components to the outfits that made them work so well. This gave me a shopping list to take in my bag.
Off I went to the thrift stores. As I said i have no clothing budget, so alas, this is my only source right now for clothes. When I call this post the work of thrifting I am not kidding. If you are trying to build a wardrobe, this thriftstore trip will not be a walk in the park. It takes hours of sorting through racks, finding the gems, deciding which pieces will work with my "look." I won't allow myself to buy something just because it is a great designer if it doesn't fit perfectly or isn't right for my wardrobe. Usually I wear a fairly tight fitting T-shirt with a jacket to go thrifting so I can easily pull on shirts and sweaters right there in the aisle. And I don't bring the kids with me. This is all business.
So far I have two entire outfits, down to the scarf and jewelry. I also now have components of the majority of the outfits including a wool blazer and cashmere sweater for $5. As a bonus I found the fabulous Vera scart you see in the photo along with that cream leather clutch and wool cloche. The hat band needs to be repaired, but for a wool hat made in Italy I think I can handle a bit of repair work.
I will keep you posted on how progress is going, along with other purchases. I want to mention this too- yes, if I had the money I would just walk right into J.Crew and buy their clothes. In fact, I probably will end up watching the sales for at least one great blouse. And no, I honestly can say that I hate thrifting for clothes. It is exhausting and often frustrating. But I wanted to post my progress for all of you who sit there thinking you can't get a nice wardrobe because of family expenses. If you go in with a plan, it is possible to dress in thrift store clothes and come out looking like a photo in a magazine. It just takes a bit more elbow grease.