I realize my long post about Sofia Coppola may have come off a bit obsessive or fangirly. But I was determined to crack the code. While I concede that some of her elegance may come from carriage and confidence, I felt a lot of her style might be approximated.
It's helped in my wardrobe-editing process because it's given me a touchstone, an end result to measure my progress. And I realized from studying her clothes that I don't have to get rid of every distinctive, non-neutral piece, but I should get rid of all my gimmicky clothes, the one-note pieces that can only be worn a single way.
I've tried to see if I could streamline my wardrobe from the other end--by acquiring more selectively--but I realized that my closet was too far gone. If I wanted to change my wardrobe and my entire approach to dressing, I had to clean it out. I had to cull the many lackluster pieces from my closet. So the last few weeks, that's what I've done. It was painful at first, but as I got rid of more and more, I felt a burden lifting and, as others have noted, it becomes addictive. I'm not nearly finished, but at least I've started.
Stuff that has made the edit pile & what I've learned:
- Winter scarves and hats. I realized that I have favorites that I wear again and again, and I don't need or like big accessories to change up my look. Rather, I like to wear signature accessories: my polka dot wool scarf, my tiffany diamond earrings, and my Birkenstocks.
- Different experiments with workout clothes. I have two brands that look good and hold up well: Patagonia and Lululemon. Everything else gets cut.
- Many, many clothes from a sad period in my life a few years ago, when I was married. I was beginning to experiment with how to upgrade my wardrobe, but I was also feeling angsty and unmoored. I tried to use shopping and clothes as a way to project a presence that I didn't feel.
- Lots of clothes that are visually appealing but somehow slightly wrong in cut, color, or material. Lots of clothes made with thin or itchy cheap-o fabrics. Stuff that gives no pleasure in the wearing.
- Clothes bought at the wrong price point. Items worn often should be acquired at the upper end of my price limit, and not on impulse or for a narrow range of ocassions. I'm not sure if this is pointless snobbery, though.
- Stuff appropriate to an earlier age. I find myself transitioning to more demure pieces. I could maybe still get away with them, but I feel less desire to be on display.
- Clothes that don't quite fit the way I like. I've gained 5 pounds, and I have no desire to diet back down to 95 lbs to fit into my old clothes. I also don't want to squeeze into my clothes and be reminded that I'm older and fatter. It's time to give up the ghost! No shame in growing older.