Dilemma: how to change a wardrobe that suited my working life to fit with retirement?
In 2014, I officially retired from my position as a school librarian. As I had been off work for some time with illness, this was the obvious next step. Over the subsequent weeks and months, I began to realise that I needed to make some changes in my clothing to fit with my new life.
In last week’s Wardrobe Planning post, I talked about how I began to streamline the colours that I wear. This week, I am looking at how my choices of the last two years have affected the balance of colours in my wardrobe, how I address gaps and, hopefully, make sensible purchases.
When I look in my wardrobe, I can see that I have a lot of clothes in Navy and a few items in other shades of blue. They are things like:
- T-shirts and vests which can be worn throughout the year.
- Light and heavier weight jumpers and cardigans in cashmere, wool mixes and cotton.
- Jeans, casual and smarter trousers, and jogging pants.
- Skirts in wool and also linen and other summer weight material.
- Dresses – plain or patterned in shades of blue.
- Shoes – most of these are on the smart side, plus my Hotters!
- Handbags – three stunningly gorgeous ones – more on these at a later date.
I have far fewer Brown clothes, although this is supposed to be one of my basics – maybe I don’t like brown shades enough and should change to grey instead. However, when I look more closely I can see:
- Many shades of brown – caramel, bronze, tan – look good with my hair.
- I really like the colours named above, especially for accessories.
- I have lovely tan shoes and boots and a gorgeous vintage handbag in tan lizard skin.
- Perhaps I simply need to keep looking for the perfect jumper, cardigan, skirt, trousers or dress in a brown shade – or all of these!
Turquoise – I have plenty of variety in my favourite colours of turquoise, aqua, sea green and teal: t-shirts and vests, twin-sets, cardigans, blouses, jumpers, casual yoga pants.
Purple – fewer items in this accent colour than in the turquoise shades. Perhaps there are gaps here – a twin-set, a skirt and more t-shirts or tops.
Coral – a twin-set and some t-shirts are all I have in coral, although, as I see this as a spring/summer colour, perhaps I don’t need a wide range.
Cream/white – lots of t-shirts and a skirt – maybe more are needed here.
As you can see, I am already beginning to work out where the gaps in my wardrobe might be. At the same time, I need to plan carefully as I don’t spend a lot of money and also I have limited space. So, I have to think about replacing an item in a different colour when something wears out or no longer fits. Keeping the balance of colours clear helps me to do this.
My librarian side comes out in how I organise my wardrobe – I have two rails. One long rail holds all my “short” clothes such as shirts, cardigans, light-weight sweaters, blouses. This is organised in colour order so that it is easy to see the balance. My other rail holds “long” clothes like dresses, skirts and trousers.
Heavy jumpers, lingerie, socks and so on are in drawers. I read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Saving Magic of Tidying” and watched some of her videos, and these helped me to put everything into drawers so tidily that I can see everything laid out.
Her books and videos are available on her website.
OK, I will admit that I also have space in another wardrobe for out of season clothes!
What I am trying to avoid are random impulse buys of clothes in colours that might catch my eye at the time, but, when they arrive, or I get them home, they don’t go with anything I already own. This also goes in term of the actual item – i.e. do I really need another shirt or pair of jeans? I will return to this in a later post.
Next week – some final thoughts on colour choices including Colour Analysis…