Kate says: We do wear quite a bit of pink — but I’ll admit that I pull it out more later in winter, when I really just want it to be spring! I like the juxtaposition here of a summery striped top with a more wintery leather-trimmed skirt. This is the kind of outfit that will help me reach spring with my sanity intact!
Jeanne says: You must think by now that Kate and I wear a lot of pink; it is true that we are still waiting for fuchsia as the color of the year! Here I am wearing a top as a light sweater and mixing three different patterns. Kate is wearing her pink stripes with a great little leather trimmed skirt. I wish I could wear skirts that short!
It is probably hard to believe but we have plenty of clothes in our respective closets. And we really enjoy shopping and having new stuff. But, for different reasons, we have both decided to go on shopping diets.
Jeanne says: My current commitment is a clothing shopping ban for one solid month. It is only March 3 and my fingers are already itching to hit “buy now”. But enough is enough. I can only wear one outfit at a time. I don’t want to become a victim of every “30% off sale” and therefore I need to start down the path to “recovery”. While clothes are fun and I love to get a UPS box as much as the next person, they cannot make me truly happy.
Kate says: I’ve actually been scaling back drastically since before the holidays. Due to a combination of pretty ambitious financial goals (so much saving to do, so little time!) and the aforementioned bursting closet full of clothes, it seemed like the right time. I haven’t put an entire ban in place, but I have limited myself to one “purchase” a month. In January, that purchase was a Golden Tote Mystery Tote, last month I bought a pair of knock-off Uggs (I know, I know, but my commutes are really cold!), and this month my purchase will be to finally take a bunch of items to be altered. This forces me to make that one purchase really count, thereby cutting down on retail therapy-type purchases.
We’re both focusing our attention on “shopping our closets” for the near term. Here are some other “shopping diet” tips:
Organize your clothing by color and by item in your closet, bureau, and shelves. This is good for two reasons: organizing will keep your mind off your diet and give you new ideas about how to combine the clothes you already have.
Go ahead and keep a wish list of the clothing items you WANT to buy. This is also good for two reasons: First, as the weeks go by, test whether you still really want the items you have listed. More than likely, you’ll lose interest or another item will catch your eye. If you DO still want it and it is still around, it’ll probably be on sale and you can pounce.
Do something more interesting than shopping — either online or in stores. Read a book (or many books), take a hike, go to a museum, call a friend (preferably some one in “recovery” like you!) You can still browse occasionally but break the habit of shopping as a main recreational activity.
Have you tried a “shopping diet”? How did you survive?!
Jeanne says: So much hot pink, so little time! I DO love this color especially in the winter months. I feel like the peplum trend is ending, but I still love mine because they dress up any outfit. Kate’s little dress is adorbs — another of her 12-month dresses. Perfect with tights and a jacket, so also light and airy in the summer.
Kate says: I was getting tired of my winter dresses, so it was time to bust out a summery one! Leggings and a blazer are the perfect way to warm up a dress like this, and of course the bright colors help ease my winter blues. Mom has also shown us how versatile hot pink is — we’ve seen her wear this top so many ways (like here and here).
Jeanne says: Dark skinny jeans are practically a wardrobe basic these days, right? Mine were originally black and coated but the coating has worn off. I’m scouting a new pair, but I may go to more of a boyfriend-style this round — we’ll see. Kate’s dark jean ensemble seems dressier than mine — and that is the absolute magic of dark skinnies: dress them up, dress them down — they go anywhere!
Kate says: I love dressing dark jeans up with a blouse and a blazer — it’s the easiest way to make jeans work for the office. Here, a lace peplum top, navy blazer and statement necklace take a really basic outfit to the next level. Mom likewise sasses her jeans up with a graphic print tee, long cardigan and silver oxfords. So many possibilities!
Jeanne says: First of all, this Golden Tote dress is beautifully made — the fabric is great and the color sublime. But it is too short for someone my age to wear as a dress; hence the legging solution and another reason to wear knee high boots!
Kate says: It was so nice to be in California and wear this dress without tights! But I do love the color of this dress and the cut, which is why I let it shine on it’s own here with a simple pendant necklace and metallic flats. This isn’t a shape I feel 100% comfortable in, but the fitted sleeves help — and I always have the option to belt it!
Jeanne says: This was my New Year’s Eve outfit! I love these pants but I’m saving them for spring. They are a light synthetic crepe and perfect for California’s summer months. I am such a green/olive fan and I am always seeking out this color — often to no avail. Kate’s green pants are fabulous — the PERFECT green in my opinion. As usual, she sorta funks them up with a tee over her trusty chambray shirt. I really admire her style.
Kate says: These green pants really ARE the perfect green — bright and grassy! I have a few items in this color, but it is certainly hard to find. Green is the quintessential spring color, so I like to whip it out during winter to cheer myself up. And as Mom and I both show, different shades of green go perfectly together.
Jeanne says: I’ve actually bought new brown boots since I took this picture – and it was because I saw how worn my old pair was in these pics. Brown boots are universal and can be work with almost everything. I like brown with khaki and olives and other colors in this vein. But Kate shows us that she can make brown boots look good with almost everything. Her turquoise skirt almost makes us forget she is wearing brown boots, as does her elephant blouse.
Kate says: These boots have been serious workhorses for me — you guys should know, since you’ve seen me wear the same ones for the last 2 years! Would you believe they were also a hand-me-down from Mom?? Brown boots are my go-to with everything, even black. I have a pair of black over-the-knee boots that I wear sometimes, but much less frequently.
Jeanne says: Well, there are plenty in mine! This is a scary question to ask ourselves. If we answer honestly that those “mistakes” are in our closets, then we have to admit that we wasted money or, worse, there was a momentary blip in our personal fashion and style record.
I’ve made plenty of these mistakes mostly when I am in search of the perfect (fill in the blank) and I purchase less expensive versions of several of those (fill in the blanks) before I find the PERFECT solution. I won’t tell you how many less than perfect black sweaters and jackets are lurking in my closet.
But how do we avoid making these mistakes and cluttering up our closets with junk? Here are a few ideas:
WAIT until you find the perfect item. If you find a less than perfect version of something you want, buy it if you want but don’t wear it and save the receipt. You’ll regret your purchase very soon.
Use Shopstyle to find the right version at the beginning. Shopstyle will show you a gazillion (fill in the blanks) and you can compare and contrast with care before you buy.
Employ a critical eye if you find a cheap version of what you want. Is the fabric cheap? Is it poorly made? Does it really fit that well? Yes, it might be available for $29.99 at Forever 21, but it won’t last. The cheap details will bug you forever and it’ll become one of your mistakes.
Go through your closet today. Weed out the known mistakes (i.e. you haven’t worn the item for six months) and think back on what you were after when you bought each one. Now — use this experience to keep you from making more mistakes in the future!
Kate says: You guys have seen this dress many times, and that’s because it’s super versatile. It works nicely as a jumper over a collared shirt or a turtleneck, like here. And, of course, black and white goes with everything — including my maroon tights!
Jeanne says: I adore these cut-out “Not My Problem” culottes. These are the perfect accompaniment for my black turtleneck and tights. I think black turtles and tights should always highlight a colorful dress, skirt or jumper; it creates a simple but striking ensemble. Kate has paired her turtleneck and dress with maroon (marsala?) tights for an interesting look. She looks quite chic, right?