‘Clothing’ Category

Out With the Old in With the Old

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Tonia 7 Comments

Mike and I went through our closet this spring, tossing anything we don’t wear into boxes to donate. I had already done this last winter, as part of the 30 for 30 Challenge, so I didn’t have very many pieces to donate this time around. I decided to be really strict with myself and even get rid of things I really like, but never wear.

For example, I had a beautiful gray wool dress from J Crew that I had never worn because it was a tad too big on me. I’d been saying I’ll get it tailored for the past two years. But there it sat, untailored and unworn in my closet. It was time to face the fact that I was never going to bother with it, so I may as well give it to someone who will use it.

That same week, a friend of mine decided to host a clothing swap at her house, ladies only. Perfect timing! I brought my small box of clothes and a six-pack of beer.

There were eight or nine of us total and, thankfully, a few my size! We chatted, drank beer, stripped down to our skivvies and played dress up. Our host had thoughtfully propped every mirror in her house along her livingroom wall. I was reminded of all the hours spent in the basement as a kid, digging through our enormous wooden chest of dress-up clothes {thrift-store prom dresses from the 1980′s} and putting on fashion shows. I convinced my poor little brother that “all the cool boys wear dresses” so that he would allow me to dress him up as well {I’m so, so sorry about that Danny…}

It was fun to see my friends enjoying my clothes- they looked damn good in them! And I found a couple things for myself:

This sheer blue top is so breezy and easy to wear on a hot day. It’s long enough to be worn as a tunic, with leggings or skinny jeans, or over my bathing-suit for going from the beach to town.

These Carhart overalls were a major score. They’re a little big on me, which makes them perfect for layering long-johns or pants underneath for working around the farm in the fall. There’s nothing better than a pair of already-broken-in Carharts. I snatched them up the second I saw them!

Next time I’m having trouble donating clothes because they’re “too nice” to dump on the curb in front of Goodwill, I will definitely host a clothing swap. In related news, I have been doing a great job at shopping for clothes a LOT LESS. And when I do, it’s for things like flannel shirts, a new bathing-suit because the old one was stretched out, and horseback riding breeches; things that will get used heavily and last a long time. I still love fashion, though. But I’m content to window shop for the most part.

Grow Your Own Clothes

Posted on August 18th, 2011 by Tonia 1 Comment

I came across this great article on Etsy today, and had to share it because it is about the exact topic that my mind has been on for a while now: making your own clothes from natural fibers you grew yourself.

We all know how I love clothes. I would love love love to be able to make my own- not only by getting better at sewing and knitting, but also by creating the fabric/materials I need.

Photos courtesy Paige Green

This intrigue about fiber arts started when I randomly decided to dye cotton with turmeric to make a skirt. Since then, my mind has been going going going about what else (berries, plants, nuts, etc.) I could use to dye fabric.

The ultimate would be to own sheep, harvest their wool, spin it into yarn, dye it with natural sources, and then make stuff out of it. Our neighbors a couple miles away do this, and she has offered to show me the whole process next spring when they shear their sheep. SO EXCITED!

With that said, go enjoy the article! I’m supposed to be cleaning the house, stop distracting me. ;)

30 for 30: Conclusion

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Tonia 16 Comments

You guys have probably been wondering what happened to the 30 for 30 Challenge, huh? Sorry about that. I didn’t get through all 30 outfits like I was supposed to. The thing is, it turns out it’s difficult to get dressed up all cute when you have heaps of chores/gardening/dirty farmy work to get done. As soon as spring hit, we were up to our eyeballs in multiple To-Do Lists with really big items on them like “clear area for all the fruit trees to go.”

BUT! I learned a lot from doing this challenge, even though I wasn’t able to see it through to the very end. If you have been struggling with wardrobe-related-woes {boredom with the clothes you have, the urge to shop-shop-shop, etc.} I would definitely recommend trying this challenge!!

The most important thing I learned is that fashion, for me, is mostly about being able to express myself in a creative way. I find pleasure in fabrics, colors, and patterns. But shopping all the time in order to satisfy this creative-fashion-appetite is neither green nor economical. Remixing the clothes I already own is.

When I get the urge to buy new clothes, which happens often, I go up to my closet and lay out a new combination/outfit. This process puts the shopping-demons to bed for a while. It’s challenging to come up with new outfits from the same 30 pieces of clothing, and it’s rewarding when you hit on one that really works. I have several that are favorites now, and I never would have thought of them if I hadn’t done this challenge.

Also, I shop better now. I look for pieces that can be remixed with a bunch of different outfits. I don’t indulge my every urge to shop, but when I do shop I spend more money for high quality items instead of shopping more often but buying a lot of cheap crap.

Lastly, I used to see my closet in terms of seasons. Summer clothes, winter clothes, etc. and I stashed away the clothes that weren’t in season. I still do this with things like heavy sweaters or shorts, but for the most part now I use pieces interchangeably whenever possible and as a result I feel like my wardrobe has grown in size and I’m able to be more creative with my outfits because I have more to work with.

However, the upside of stashing away seasonal clothes is that you feel like you just went shopping when you pull them back out after not seeing them for months. A combination of the two ways is working well for me.

I feel kinda proud of myself for learning to live within my means when it comes to clothes. This was not easy for me, and although I still have shopping urges when I see things I like, I now have a method in place that helps me control myself. Shopping is not very fun when you feel guilty about it. It’s a big relief to be able to feel good about getting new things when it happens.

And speaking of that, these pictures are of a new outfit that I got for summer. It’s perfect for me because it’s comfy, interesting, and a nice balance between laid-back and feminine. The pants go with everything and are so light that I almost feel like I’m not wearing anything at all. Best part, I got everything on major sale.

Bodysuit: Shabd / Pants: JCrew / Watch and sandals: Target / Sunnies: UO

Gardening Attire

Posted on June 14th, 2011 by Tonia 2 Comments

My mom is visiting, and in typical mom-style she can’t just come and relax- she needs to feel useful. So, we’re letting her weed our flower beds {a project I have been chipping away at for a couple weeks now, but with plenty more left to do.}

Isn’t she cute? I loved her wide-brimmed hat and yellow garden clogs. And her worn-in carpenter jeans had a nifty loop for a hammer or a garden trowel to hang from {she’s been wearing this pair since she was my age!}

In case you’re searching for good-quality, nice-looking gardening attire for the summer:

Cap-sleeved tee with sweet embroidery / Last-forever-jeans / A few different clog options: if you have tiny feet like me, if you’re a lover of vintage shoes {and happen to be a size 7}, or if you want something water-proof and long-lasting / wide-brimmed gardening hat / Tweed gardening gloves / Handmade claw cultivator {a must-have for tough weed-pulling!}