French Dressing (updated)

Since I found the Lessons from Madam Chic book I’ve been thinking about my wardrobe and doing research. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about what the author said about how French women dress. I’ve looked up “French women clothes” or some such online a few times since too. I was encouraged to find that I didn’t have to completely start over. There are some things I’ve done for years:

Lots of solid colors, specifically black, brown, & white. I already do this. I read, years ago now, a book or article that said that colors go out of fashion much slower than patterns, and decided that wearing solids was a more frugal alternative.

My dad had a bias, that only women with olive skin, or non-whites, looked good in black, so I NEVER wore black, or didn’t for a long time. Until I had a funeral to go to for a dear friend who passed. I really liked the way I looked – and I’ve been wearing black as a base color since.

Large sunglasses, well I do this too. Found a pair almost 14 years ago, huge Anne Klein’s. and they looked GREAT on me. When I finally faced the fact that the Anne Kleins were, er, shabby, it took me a while to find another pair I liked. (Mark Jacobs) Don’t like them as much as the original pair, but much better than most of what I found. So  I  do the large sunglasses thing too.

Large bag, in a neutral color. I own one, never use it. I usually just carry a wallet. I’ll have to dig out! I have a minibag too. Both are black, and the large one I’ve had since high school — believe it or not!

But I don’t do some of the other points. Some I haven’t EVER done:

Good leather shoes. Hmm, I wear walking shoes because I have bad feet. They’re expensive, but look like hell with anything but jeans. Ballet flats or other expensive shoes are not likely to be a hit because of my feet. I don’t know what to do about this, for the moment this isn’t going to happen.

Matching foundations. I don’t think I’ve EVER done this? (If I did, it was lonnnng time ago!)

Make up all the time. Minimalist during the day. I don’t do this, I can.

Been doing this, it’s not too hard or onerous time-wise!

Hair always neat & tidy. ( See makeup. ) I need a hair cut. I tend to wash/condition my hair, comb it out and that’s it. I need a good cut, but since I started the change, I’ve also got “frizz” which drives me nutz, so I tend to ignore my hair and just go out anyway, I may comb the front or just pull the whole mass back into a pony tail. I’ve stopped loving my hair, it used to be my pride & joy. It isn’t going gray that’s making me dislike it, it’s the fact that I can’t make it look neat any more, no matter what I do, it frizzes out. I always wanted my natural wavy hair back. I got it; and then some. (Be careful what you ask for!)

I don’t like myself in a pony tail mostly, what I’ve been doing is pulling the sides back into a small tail. Tidier than my previous ignoring it or stuffing it into a pony tail. Not where I want to be, but a step in the right direction!

Their clothes fit. Mine rarely do. I’m too wide for many of the clothes sized for my height. Or, I’m too old, since anyone my size is a kid, right? Or… What I’ve done for the past several years is mostly buy whatever was cheap/sort of fit from thrift shops. I have a lot of not very good clothes that don’t fit me very well.

So, what I’ll keep: Sunglasses, Bag, Scarves (I have a few good ones.), Blue Jeans, black “plastic” pants* , white blouses, vintage long velvet jacket/vest, and a few other pieces.

Most of it will go to Salvation Army or Savers or a church thrift shop. I’ve stopped giving stuff to Goodwill since I found out how little money they actually give to charities. Believe it or not, it’s a FOR PROFIT business I was told! I’d love to be wrong about that.

First batch of 10 pieces put in the Salvation Army bin at the dump. Second batch is started.

And I’ll look into Clarks or other well-made, shoes with a lot of support.

Not much to keep, ‘eh? Should make a lot of room in the closet. We’ll see!

Right now, what’s in the stack to go away is a pair of peasoup green sweat pants or a pair of mint green velour workout pants (haven’t decided which is the keep yet), 2 turtlenecks, and I pitched a few things last week.

Kept the mint green, also tossed a pair of navy sweats.

I’d like to be excited about this, but all I feel is dread. I don’t HAVE good looking clothes. If I get rid of the not-so good looking clothes, yes, I’ll have 10 pieces, most of which will be the best of the not-so good looking clothes. I only have about 5 pieces, max, where the clothes are 1)in good shape 2)look good on me and 3)still fit.

I suppose I can view this instead of throwing away almost everything I own as a opportunity to get new ones, but that idea doesn’t sound interesting either.


*I found a write up that said you should get rid of these, I’m too out of shape to go out and buy a new wardrobe all at once. Also, I really LIKE the way that leggings that fit look and I wear them as longjohns & PJs too! So I guess I’ll keep the pairs that don’t fit quite right and either get them hemmed (the usual reason they don’t fit) or decide they’re Pjs. The 1 or 2 pairs of leggings I have that fit I’d keep.

4 responses to “French Dressing (updated)

  1. I am needing to go thru my wardrobe. I like your French guidelines.

    I have black, I have been actually adding a bit of color. I branched out to khaki for Summer, and some blue jeans & blue tops. It had reached the point I couldn’t go anywhere but to a funeral. 😛 I do have some random out fits – like a green velour fancy sweat suit for Christmas…. a few colored tees… but basically everything must look okay with black.

    My hair needs cutting – but I am trying to decide on whether I need a new style. I have an symmetrical cut that I make my hair dresser give me. I planned it out using the weird curls my hair gets. I am considering a more cropped look – so my hair just keeps getting longer and yuckier.

    I need to start wearing makeup again. I had to quit with the shingles & eye stroke. Now I am able to wear it again, but lost the habit. It goes wit the crappy hair I guess.

    We always are on the same thoughts – because I was thinking I needed to update & cull…. I am liking your French plans a lot. Hoping it’s a great birthday,! Love you Cuz!

    • Thanks! I think I’ll buy YOU a copy of the book, as a combined holiday/unbirthday gift. Haven’t sent you anything for a while now! Yeah, aint’ it weird how close we are, esp. since we’ve never met in person! :O

  2. Donated 8 pieces of clothing yesterday of mine, 2 of DH’s. (He’d decided on his own that there were clothes he just needed to get rid of.) I’ve got 2 stacks of clothes to decide about still. One stack is keep/donate? the other keep/sell? (I have a good friend who has a vintage shop).

    So, the effort continues! The tally will show how many pieces I purge as I go.

  3. Pingback: More Culling | teacupofwater

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