Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Minimizing Plans: great and small.

I made some resolutions.

Do I look appropriately resolute?

I'd been waffling about sharing them here because, knowing how resolutions often go, I didn't want to make a whole lot of grand pronouncements about overhauling my life and then fail to do so. Last year I made the resolution to start this blog- and that was a success.  And I resolved to eliminate the excess junk from my wardrobe and my life. I blogged a bit about my reasons and my process for doing this, and I stuck to it all year so there is a precedent for successfully accomplished, blogged-about resolutions. The Great Minimizing Plan of 2011 was a vow to get rid of one item I'd been needlessly keeping for every day of the year and eliminating five additional items for every new thing I acquired. I got rid of a lot of stuff. Mostly from my closet, because that was the area of my greatest excess, but also things like huge stacks of statistics homework assignments that I was keeping because I might want to review them someday (Why?) and crusty old cosmetics I was keeping just in case their poorly chosen colors suddenly, magically became flattering (Again, why? Why?) 

The current state of my closet.

While I've yet to achieve the goal I'd hoped for when I began the process of editing my closet- owning only clothing that I love, that fits perfectly, and looks great- I now, at least, can actually wear everything in my closet and nothing hanging in there makes me feel bad about myself. That's pretty major. My closet used to make me feel like crap. Now it doesn't. I like my clothes. Sure, I wish I had other things, better quality things, more fun stuff, and more room for hats, but overall my closet and the wardrobe it contains are starting to work for me. I believe this is due to a combination of the minimizing process and  blogging.

Not perfect yet but much, much better than last year.

This year I'm scaling back the Minimizing Plan. I vow to get rid of one thing every week and one additional item to offset the acquisition of each new item. You could call it The Mini Minimizing Plan of 2012. I want to keep the editing process going but I don't want it to become a hardship. The get rid of five things for every new thing part of the rules got pretty difficult in December when I had already eliminated all the stuff I wouldn't miss, we were stocking up on cold weather gear for our postponed Colorado trip, and I hadn't factored the Christmas gifts I was to receive into the equation. It was only because I was so close to making good on a resolution for the first time in my life that I was able to steel my resolve and let stuff go. This year, I want to keep the general amount of stuff headed in the right direction (i.e. ultimately have less and make better choices) but I don't want, or need, to do as much culling as I did last year.

I have three quarters; Chris has one quarter. His space begins on the right.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't a Great Minimizing Plan: 2012 Edition. Chris and I are back on Weight Watchers. We have each decided we'd like to lose fifty pounds. I know it's a lot, and I went back and forth for a while before I settled on that number for myself. A loss of fifty pounds would put Chris at the top of the range for a 'healthy' BMI. It puts me at the lowish end of the healthy range. It would also return me to the weight I've been for most of my adult life, and the weight I was seven years ago, when I met Chris. A loss of about twenty pounds would put me at the high end of healthy. I'd probably be perfectly happy at that weight, and it would certainly be easier to maintain, but I really want to try for my 'perfect' weight. And I like that it means that Chris and I would both have the same amount to lose. Also, I feel that I should be allowed to aim high (or rather, low.)  When I decided that I wanted to go to get my master's degree, even though I was, historically, an abysmal student who barely graduated high school, no one would have suggested that it might be better if I just thought about getting a degree from a community college (which, actually, I also did), or intimated that perhaps I should get over my hangups and learn to love myself with just my high school diploma and dead end job. There are lots of things I love about my body and my life now, but I'd still like to weigh 130 pounds again.

I know that there's a lot to be said for self acceptance and embracing health over appearance. A lot of women I admire are saying things on their blogs this week about 'just wanting to be healthy' but I just can not, in good conscience, do that. It would be a bald faced lie. I don't just want to be healthy- I want to be skinny. I'm sorry, but it's true. And it has got to be easier than getting a master's degree. Which I am also going to do this year.

Do you remember this hat I was having trouble wearing? Thank you to those of you who offered me your styling suggestions. Unfortunately, I currently own neither a fur collared jacket, nor a maxi dress. However, I recognized that both Debbi and Adrienne were suggesting trying something more feminine with this hat. Today's outfit isn't super feminine but I tried to follow their advice by pairing the hat with a skirt and tossing on some jewelry to femme it up some more. I like it. Thanks again ladies.

Otherwise this is practically the same outfit I wore here. I tried it with brown tights today, to go with the hat, and experimented with the tan suede boots that I rejected last time. The verdict? I like the tan boots a lot better with the brown tights but it still looks a little leg-shortening-ly choppy to me. I think I am going to have to try the skirt and boot combo with some light, beige colored tights, in spite of my previous reservations. I'm imagining something with a bit of texture- a subtle herringbone perhaps? Or maybe a sophisticated lace pattern?

Oh, and now I'm also on the look out for a maxi dress and a fur trimmed jacket!


  1. Oh've put me to shame on so many levels. haha Your closet is a sanctuary of meticulously streamlined fashion heaven. I, on the other hand (I'm counting) currently have 16 items hanging off the treadmill(which has been used maybe twice in the last year) along with a large pile of donations/refashion projects, a stack of sexy lingerie that is never worn (what was I thinking??? - comfort rules) and is to be taken to the attic, 3 scarves to remind me I want to wear them, and a gigantic purse. And all that is in the midst of storage units on each wall gorged with clothes. Pray for me. haha had a great plan last year and are carrying through with phase 2 for this year. I admire you and am going to take inspiration from your organization and weight loss resolutions. But, in reality, I may need you to show up at my door in drill sergeant attire and kick my butt into gear.
    Oh, and I really love how you've styled your hat with the more feminine elements! A great look.

  2. Wunderbar I love the hat with that skirt. You are lucky because you are two inches taller than I. I wish I were two more inches taller because I also am going back to weight watchers. I am the same weight as you but shorter UGH... I used to kid my mother that I had a twin sister but because she felt she couldn't handle two girls gave my sister up at birth.(Weird kid, I know, my poor mom!) Anyways I think you are her because we think so much alike. When you see the pictures of my closet make over from last year to present you will know what I mean. I am looking at your outfit and I don't see the choppiness. I think it works really well. Go for your Master's degree. You were a different person in high school, there are cognitive development theories that females don't get some of the higher level thinking skills until after age 17. I found this to be true for myself. Although I still can't spell!

  3. Hi Margaret, sorry for the test but it was not allowing me to publish.

    What an amazing accomplishment - congratulations. You should be ueber proud of yourself.

    If you apply the same determination to your weight loss goal I have no doubt you'll ace it in no time at all.

    Looking forward to following your progress this year.


  4. Lisa,
    Honestly, it doesn't look like that all the time. I had to pick about a lot of shoes up off the floor and put them back in those boxes and vacuum the floor before I took those pictures. And I do also still have an other storage closet full of clothes that don't fit (but, hopefully, might soon) and all my summer stuff is in storage too.
    And the Weight Watchers is already starting to suck. Last night I was loudly complaining that there should be a restriction on the number of chocolate and peanut butter candies advertised on TV. Seemed like every commercial was for something sugary and delicious. Damn.

    I used to tell my mother that I thought I was actually a princess who had been sent to live with a regular family to learn humility and once I had my royal family would claim me and return me to my rightful place on the throne (obviously, I wasn't a quick study in the humility department.) So you, my twin, must be a princess too. Also, spelling is, I believe, about to become a skill for a bygone era, like darning socks.

    Thanks. I am rather pleased with myself. But, surprisingly, getting rid of stuff was pretty easy. I'm already having a tough time with the Weight Watchers and I'm only four days in. Argh.

  5. Oh wow! I wish my closet was that organized. I have something shoved in every possible space. I somehow keep finding more room to shove more stuff!

  6. D'Andra,
    Thanks. I'm hoping I can keep it up. We live in a big house with big closets so I'm very lucky with regards to space. I felt like I had no excuse not to get organized. Since I started reading fashion blogs and blogging myself I've become really fascinated with the idea that imposing restrictions on clothing consumption might lead to improving one's style and creativity. I'm trying to restrict myself to using just the shoe storage boxes and hangers I currently have in this closet. That did not stop me from bringing home four of my (matching) hangers that had somehow ended up at my mom's house when I noticed them over the holidays. I had her stuff off of those bad boys so fast it was almost criminal. I was thinking, "Well, these are MY hangers so now I get to have four more things in MY closet!" as I was transferring her stuff back to plastic hangers. Nice daughter.

  7. Your closet is awesome! I wish mine was that big! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Lindsey Turner

    P.S. You have gorgeous skin! Do tell us your secrets!

  8. I am reading your blog. Ten bucks a week is definitely going to make you buy pieces that you can't live without. One of my resolutions was to buy less, while trying to buy more of what I really love. Great sparkly hat! Dawn Suitcase Vignettes p.s. nice to meet you!

  9. Lindsey A. Turner,
    Thank you. I realize I am very lucky to have so much space. Talk about gorgeous skin- yours is amazing. But I'd be happy to talk products if you like.

    Thank you. I'm delighted to meet you too. I think the buying less but more of you love thing can actually be much harder than it seems it should. It is so hard sometimes to know what you really will love in the long run. Some things I have been sure were winners almost never get worn and other pieces that seemed like frivolous, even risky, purchases get worn all the time. So much of this style stuff is trial and error. But it's so much fun to keep trying- don't you agree?

  10. First, I love that skirt. Second, I'm so envious of your amazingly organized (and big) closet. Third, I lovvve that you only have clothing you love. I've read that you should only buy things you absolutely love and that you feel great in, but somehow I end up not liking things as much when I get them home. My closet needs some major editing.

  11. Wow, that closet looks so great! I'm seriously envious now. You did a great job. Thanks for visiting my blog -- I'm so glad to have found yours. I think we are definitely on the same wavelength (similar mixed feelings about collecting vs. streamlining; similar hat!) Love the outfit, too.