Wardrobe boredom

For me, it manifests in the form of a vicious cycle – browsing online shops and style websites. Becoming dissatisfied with what I have. Thinking I should dress in a more exciting way, more thoughtful, more colorful, different, better! Followed by browsing more and feeling even more bored and unhappy with my wardrobe. Envy creeps in, slowly but surely. Why does everyone have so many great clothes? How can they afford it? Why can’t I have what they have? I catch myself in the tenth or fifteenth round in the cycle, reprimand myself. The next day it starts again.

I’m in the middle of the vicious cycle right now so I told myself to brainstorm. What can I do to step out of the cycle?

  • I can browse my own wardrobe and figure out what I’m still excited about or at least satisfied with.
  • I can figure out if there are any gaps in my wardrobe that hold me back from enjoying what I have.
  • I can think of outfits I recently wore and felt good in – what was different about them? Why did they feel fresh and exciting? (Surprisingly the objectively quite boring outfit in the picture – I’m still in love with these Closed jeans and they felt nice with my trusty white high tops)
  • I can step out of my head: did someone else comment positively on an outfit recently? What did they see that I didn’t?
  • I can buy one or two accessories that let me have the rush of something shiny and new without being a huge commitment.
  • I can opt out of browsing online shops.
  • I can do a reality check: didn’t I buy something new just recently? Have I worn it in different ways already?
  • I can remind myself of the times I already stepped out of the cycle. How did I do it?
  • I can think of ways that give me a similar experience/emotion as buying clothes, like trying out a new recipe or taking pictures of nature or doing something new in my city.
  • I can focus on the aspects of my current outfit that I feel good about right now. There is usually something, even if it’s something small like the color of my socks or the buttons on a shirt.

Does wardrobe boredom happen to you sometimes? What does it feel like for you? What do you do to step out?

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April 2018 Shopping Reflections

I was inspired by Xin to write my own Shopping Reflections for April.

First, I bought an olive summer coat in a small boutique in Cologne. I was there for a colleague’a birthday with some friends and I told E., one of my girlfriends, I had been looking for a linen coat for summer for forever. Five minutes into our shopping tour E. spots this coat, holds it up and declares „This seems to be the right coat for you“. She was right. I had never heard of the brand (Art Love Paris) before, but it’s quite well made and the color is just right. I’ve worn this 18 times already! This coat closes a gap in my wardrobe that has bothered me for quite some time.

I also bought a short-sleeved blouse second hand. It’s a red Levi’s blouse with polka dots and I got it for 6.50€. A great deal in my opinion! It’s quite lovely and I can see myself wearing it a lot. It has just arrived and its firs time out in the real world was a success. It’s very comfortable and flattering. I can’t wait to share some outfits with this blouse!

My boyfriend and I started running more regularly a couple of months ago. I wanted some more sun protection and didn’t want to squint all the time – I don’t feel ready for deep wrinkles yet (ever?). This Under Armour Cap I found on Zalando seems to be a good solution. I paid 15.95€ for it. I wouldn’t have bought the black cap with the white logo as no, thank you, I don’t want to be a running advertisement for your brand. The logo is less obnoxious on the white version as it sort of blends in.

I also ordered a set of cotton pajamas from Zalando. I don’t know the brand (Next), but these were very reasonably priced (20.50€), cute, and 100% cotton. It’s crazy to me how many pajamas are at least partly polyester. I feel sweaty and uncomfortable just thinking about sleeping in polyester pajamas. Still, these pajamas are strictly sleeping pajamas and I would never welcome guests into our home wearing these.

Finally, Zalando’s sneaky advertising worked on me this time. They recommended this cute Massimo Dutti bracelet to me and I spontaneously added it to my order. For only 6.00€ it was a small investment and has since added a touch of cuteness to some of my outfits.

Beauty

I re-purchased my Clarins serum for the fourth time. I had a 10€ voucher for taking part in a customer survey on douglas.de, so I paid only 59.99€ for 50ml. It’s definitely not the cheapest serum, but lasts me very long and really works for my constantly dehydrated skin.

Ditched

I also had to throw two things away in April. Unfortunately, one is the dress you can see in the picture with my new coat. It was my only long sleeved dress and while the quality was less than decent I loved the pattern and cut and got complimented on it all the time. I took it to a tailor in March as the seams on both arms were ripping open. I should have seen this as a sign that the lifespan of the dress was coming to an end, but really wanted to keep it so I got it fixed. Only a couple of weeks later the seams on its back were also ripping and I decided that further repairs would be a waste of time and money. I wore it 26 times in 2 years.

The other thing was an old top I bought for yoga 6 years ago. Mandala is known as a good brand for yoga wear and this top has earned its retirement. One of the straps half-ripped and I feared exposing myself should I have continued wearing it.

Total Spent: 147.95€ + 59.99€ 

How Do I Feel About It: Great. All necessary things (except for the bracelet) that I know I will wear and use a ton. Overall a good month.

Teaching Outfit One

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This is me in my office, trying to get into more frequent blogging! Hello!

I’m teaching a course on personnel selection and performance appraisal this semester. I’m not that much older than the students and I decided to „duz“* them instead of „siezing“* them. I want them to respect me as a teacher but we do a lot of group projects and engage with the material with a lot of methods, so I want them to feel comfortable with giving feedback, expressing controversial opinions, and engaging in discussions. So „Du“ it is. But it was clear to me that figuring out a dress code for teaching was necessary to differentiate myself from them by dressing more formal. Students in Germany are mostly dressed pretty casually, so thankfully I don’t need to go overboard with a full-on business outfit.

I wore this ensemble today and felt very comfortable. Jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, summer blazer, leather belt, watch and cute earrings. I think this will be a good formula for a teaching outfit. My only change would be more formal shoes.

Do you have outfit formulas for special work situations?

* In German we have two different words for „you“, we say „du“ when we know someone or when it’s an informal relationship, and „Sie“ when we don’t know the person or in a formal relationship. However, it’s not always clear what is appropriate, especially when you and the other person are around the same age, so it’s quite common that people are not sure if it’s okay tu say „du“/if addressing someone with „Sie“ would be weird. I think in Spanish the guidelines as to when to say „tu“ vs „usted“ are a bit clearer than in German, but I might be wrong.

Creating a spring slideshow

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White linnen blouse and Italian black suede pumps + red belt

I have been really busy with work projects lately (start of the semester in Germany). But one evening last week I had some time for myself and decided to put my winter wardrobe away to take out my spring clothes. I usually get really excited when I do this, since this means summer is almost there. Additionally, my spring clothes feel almost new from not having been worn for a couple of months. This time however, I felt overwhelmed and a little bored at the same time. Not exactly what I was hoping for. After some contemplation I decided to look at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. I would match each piece with everything that could potentially be worn with it and take a picture. This would give me an idea of outfits that work and maybe give me some new ideas for styling them.

Since this would be a massive undertaking I started with one pair of blue summer pants by Marc O’Polo. I thrifted them in basically new condition- they were still in stores when I bought them, but apparently the buyer realized very quickly that those pants would not work for her and brought them to the second hand shop (thank you!). I’ve bought them in 2016 but unfortunately only started tracking the cost-per-wear of everything I have shortly thereafter so I’m not sure how often I’ve actually worn them. I’d say around 35/40 times… The fabric is very lightweight (100% cotton) and the fit is quite flattering, high-waisted, slightly loose and slightly cropped. I started with these, because I thought that those pants are pretty easy to style and look nice with many of my tops and shoes. I think you might be mainly interested in what I learned from creating the slideshow. But first, some pictures!

 

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With G.H. Bass Weejuns loafers and red Marc O’Polo longsleeve
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With Tamaris sneakers
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With Marc O’Polo loafers
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Weejuns and Tommy Hilfiger polo shirt
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Tamaris sneakers
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Marc O’Polo loafers
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Weejuns and floral second hand blouse
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Tamaris sneakers
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Marc O’polo loafers
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Italian black suede pumps
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Gray Lanius shirt and gray Tamaris sneakers
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Lanius shirt tucked in
  1. Always take a photo! Taking pictures of outfits might give you a different perspective of an outfit or the fit of an item. Somehow things look different in a mirror. My best explanation is that in a photo you are observing yourself with more distance than when you look at yourself in a mirror. According to Construal Level Theory distance makes you switch into a more abstract mindset. A more abstract mindset could mean you are focusing more on the general asthetics of an outfit, how it looks overall. When you look at yourself in a mirror, the more concrete construal level means that smaller details might stick out to you, but the overall look gets a little lost. If it’s important to you that other people think you are well-dressed, considering the „look“ of an outfit in a photo that’s not a mirror selfie could help (as other people view you with more distance).
  2. You can’t make something work that doesn’t work. I really wanted the gray Lanius shirt to work. I was so excited when I got this. Lanius is a sustainable, fair-trade brand and a loose gray longsleeve should work for everybody, right? However, I have never felt quite right wearing it. Still, I had decided that this would work for me and even considered buying the same shirt in a different color. I now feel so stupid admitting this. Looking at the pictures it’s obvious to me that the shirt doesn’t look right. In fact, it makes me look quite dumpy, no matter if it’s untucked and tucked. I also don’t like the way the fabric looks when I tuck the shirt – too wrinkly. A nore fitted longsleeve (like the red Marc O’Polo one) look much better on my body.
  3. Red is my favourite color (for clothes). I kind of knew this, but this experiment manifested it. I love an outfit whenever there is a pop of red. 
  4. Shoes make the outfit. While the black Tamaris sneakers are not quite right with these pants they drove the point home that shoes really change the vibe of an outfit. When I look at the first three outfits I’m amazed at how different the same outfit looks with the dressier Weejuns and Marc O’Polo loafers vs the laid-back Tamaris sneakers. After tooking at the pictures I promised myself to consider shoes more carefully when getting dressed.
  5. Experimentation leads to versatility. Just trying out different things gave me so many ideas and made me realize that I haven’t been taking full advantage of my wardrobe. I tend to get into a rut where I wear the same outfits again and again. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I know that I get bored if I don’t switch it up. Having this photo library on my phone will be a great reminder to get out of my comfort zone.

 

Have you ever documented your wardrobe like this? If yes, do you consider it a good use of your time?