Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ladies, I Need Your Help

Before I get into what I need help with (and I really do), let me tell you what inspired my current dilemma.

I was in a grumpy mood this entire weekend (side note: car related) so, knowing that I had to distract myself when I'm a grump, I threw myself into a new project: Emmy's Wardrobe Overhaul. This is where I've entered new territory because I've never been particularly into clothes. Gentlemen, I'm not sure this post will interest you but feel free to read if you're curious.

Basically, last year I decided that I needed an overhaul of my wardrobe because a) my clothes are getting worn out from the years of use, c) I've lost a lot of weight in recent months and I'm having a hard time regaining it (read: pants keep falling down), and c) my style has changed over the years. Some of the blouses I have I've had (and still use) a decade later. I take good care of my clothes (I am my mother's daughter; she's worked in laundry for 40+ years) so they last a long time. Sadly, because it's been years since I've purchased clothes, I need to replace almost everything. Last time I bought pants? Um... 2-3 years ago at the most recent. Shirts? About the time length of time. Sweaters? Um... I want to say more than 5 years ago. Dress? Graduation, 2012. Yeah, seriously. The skinny jeans debate continues internally but I think I've figured out my current style... and it's expensive.

What my wardrobe used to be made up of: a lot of pieces from Forever 21 (prior to my finding out their shady dealings with their workers), Target, some Ann Taylor Loft, and a bunch of random stuff from random stores. Before that it was a lot of Wet Seal, Forever 21, Anchor Blue, Abercrombie, Pacsun, etc.

My style over the decades: I was a full on tomboy in my teens so there was a lots of sporty attire. My early 20s were a mix of sporty and casual. Mid 20s brought on girlier with casual. Late 20s were girly but clean and at 30 I'm a mix of "romantic and soft" but "classic and clean cut." Yes, I might've taken a quiz or five to figure it out. lol.

What I wish my wardrobe would consist of (a.k.a. what my current style is): Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Modcloth, J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc. If the Duchess of Cambridge wears it, I'll most likely want it, too. lol. Luckily H&M is within my sad budget but still... siiiiigh. A lot of what I like is in the Ralph Lauren price range. One dress that I really liked? $230. Ouch.

There is one big question that came up: is pricey clothing worth it? I'm Miss Frugal. I'll occasionally splurge if something is worth the $ but will more often look for a bargain or talk myself out of buying it all together. Since my clothes do last so long, I've been toying with the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe with higher end clothing. Part of me is like "yes! That Ralph Lauren top / dress / skirt would go well with so many things over the years" and the other part of me is in the "but it's so expensive!" It kind of feels almost sinful to spend so much money on clothes.

Ladies, help me out here: what do you think about splurging for a wardrobe that you plan on using over the years? I'm not into trends. I know what works for me. I don't care about not being "in season." I know what clothes I like, what colors work best with my weird light olive tone (it's considered "cool" which means a lot of jewel tones), and what my body shape (more pear shaped normally, a bit lanky right now) is. I know my body will most likely change whenever I have children but since that seems so far away (no fella anywhere near being a candidate), I don't have to worry about that anytime soon.

The other issue is the weight gain. My goal is around 125 because that's been my average from my teens to my mid-late 20s, not counting the last couple of years of health issues. I'm about 112-113 right now which is too small for my nearly 5'8" frame. Yeah, the stress from late last year really affected me. Should I buy a size up for the anticipated weight gain, wait a couple of months to see the progress, or stop making excuses to buy what I need now? I think I may buy a couple of inexpensive pants and skirts while I wait to see where my weight ends up but what about the rest? I need you ladies to talk me through this because I'm still fairly new to the caring about my wardrobe thing. lol.

If anyone else has any other stores or brands that you can recommend that are more budget conscience (read: good quality but under the triple digits), please let me know! I would splurge on a coat but paying over $200 for a dress seems like way too much to me. Tips? Advice? Offer to take me shopping (I do live in L.A. so the options aren't limited)? Talk me to me. ;)

Anyway, it's 1:44 a.m. right now so I'm going to finish this post and then try to get some sleep. I say "try" because I've slept almost all day for the past 3 days (yay stomach bug and stress combo) so I'm not exactly tired. My sleeping schedule is out of whack again. Oh well. Still planning on getting 5 hours of sleep to get it back on track. ;)

I hope y'all had/continue having a great weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Anonymous said...

I recommend thrifting for brand name clothes. You can actually find nice, barely worn things for very little. While I do also think that spending a lot can be worth it in the long run if you wanted new, quality items, I've never been able to do that due to financial constraint. So, it's really up to you if you can afford it! :-)

Emmy Cecilia said...

The problem with that is that there is no such thing as inexpensive thrifting in L.A. A lot of the clothes are more expensive than new clothes.

AnneMarie said...

So I don't know much about clothes at all, and only started caring about my wardrobe over the past couple years, so I'm not sure how much help I'll be. Also, since I rarely (and I mean very, very rarely) buy clothes brand new, I have no idea what that experience is like. But, a couple of my thoughts anyway:

If you're planning to make a capsule to use over the years, I think it makes sense to spend a little more on good quality stuff. That being said, I think it's also really important to buy and wear what fits now, not what you want to fit when you gain weight. You deserve to wear good, cute clothes no matter what your weight is! :) So maybe your idea of buying some inexpensive stuff that fits now would be a good one to go with, so that you don't spend bunches of money on a wardrobe that doesn't fit in however many months when you achieve your weight goals.

Also, if L.A. is expensive for thrifting (which is horrible and so sad!) have you thought of looking online? Right before Christmas, my mom discovered and used it to buy my sister and I new clothes as presents. Name brands (you can even organize your clothing search by brand on the website), good condition, SUPER inexpensive for the quality, at least in my experience. According to my mom, they had a fairly good return policy for what didn't fit, too. So you may want to look into that-it couldn't hurt!

Emmy Cecilia said...

I can't do online unless I've already tried the clothes on in person. I've had many of "ooh, I like that", tried it on, and then end up not liking it on me.

Yeah, thirfting here is expensive. A used shirt at the Buffalo Exchange can cost more than a new dress at H&M.

Amanda Marie said...

I am terrible with clothes shopping so I'm probably not the best person to ask. I tend to only buy things when they are on sale. In the past few years, I have only purchased a few dresses, some skirts, and a sweater. I am pretty much still wearing all the clothes I wore in high school (minus the polos that were the dress code).
I have a hard time justifying buying the expensive clothes but I am getting better at it. I will buy something more expensive, provided it is on sale and is of good quality, if I think I will wear it more than once a month. Otherwise, I have a hard time spending my money on clothes.
I wish you the best of luck with this. I have been toying with the idea of a capsule wardrobe as well but mine would have to include a bunch of stuff since I live farther north than LA (aka Montana) and have a greater range of temperatures to deal with. :-)

MCH said...

I'm much like you, my taste as I've matured has become more and more expensive--I was actually going to recommend H&M before you mentioned it. I like that they take fabric to recycle and have the "conscious" line now. I would definitely say that more expensive for a good long time is more worthwhile and kinder to the environment. I've scored some budget wins at J Crew factory sales with classics. ThredUp is sometimes good for designer jeans if you find them new with tags and know your size in the brand. I know you mentioned that thrifting isn't your favorite idea but $40-50 vs. $100 plus retail is as much a bargain as many of the sales I've found.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Amanda - You're very much like me. I like to hit the sales rack when I'm looking for something and most of what I own has been there for years. I just got rid of a skirt from junior high. It still fit but still... nooo. lol.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Megan - H&M is great. I was looking at their website last night and I went "okay, this works better for my budget than Ralph Lauren." lol. I didn't hear about their conscious line until now. I'll have to look it up. I wonder if we have any J Crew factory sales around here. I know we have a Gap and Old Navy outlet nearby but that's about it.