The Fashion Confessional Is Open

My standards for an acceptable level of cat hair on a black garment are slipping. Steadily.

Whenever I buy something new, I put it aside until I can take the time to create at least three outfits around it and jot them down. I am always in a rush when getting dressed and if I don’t do this, I’ll either never wear the new thing or wear it nine times in a row because it’s shiny and new.

I’ve priced out real drawer dividers and they’re wicked expensive, so I’m using a torn up cardboard shipping box. Works just fine. Though someday I hope to upgrade.

I miss shopping at H&M and Gap. I’ll never do it again, but dang. Loved the designs. (At least I can thrift ’em.)

I have plans for another tattoo but can’t think of where to put it. This annoys the crap out of me.

Due to the level of cat hair in my home (see above), it’s impossible to sit on the couch without becoming entirely encrusted. I don’t want too much cat hair on my clothes OR in my bed/on my PJs, so some of my loungewear has been relegated to a class of clothing HM has dubbed “pre-Js.”

I’m gradually culling out my jewelry, but can’t quite bear to donate the castoffs. No idea why. Most of it is sitting in a hopelessly tangled mass in a bag in my closet.

If I feel someone has been costumed poorly on a TV show or in a movie, I yell at the screen. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY IT’S GOING TO HELP FOR ME TO DO THAT.

Got anything you’d like to confess?

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35 Responses to “The Fashion Confessional Is Open”

  1. QuahogHedgehog

    How about an auction for that culled jewelry to benefit some charity? You have great taste, i’m sure I’d buy something, especially if it was for a good cause.

    I would like to confess that I have two skirts I am not wearing because I do not have anything that goes with them. This is something I’d like to stop doing…no more pieces without partners.

    • Sally McGraw

      Great idea! I am currently buried under a towering mountain of freelance work, but will see if I can’t cook something up.

      • Elizabeth Shoemaker

        We have a non-profit here that helps economically challenged women dress professionally in order to be competitive in the job market or on the job. They are amazing! Is there someplace like that in MN where you could donate good jewelry?

  2. oohlookasquirrel

    I like to think of myself as the sort of person who hand washes all of her delicates, but I moved last July with several bags of dirty clothes, some of which was from last winter, and some of which I still have not washed. Things I thrifted a year ago have still not been washed. Hand washing delicates means that you actually have to get around to washing them.

    • Connie Turner

      Use a lingerie bag and wash them in the delicate cycle, line dry.

    • Jeffiner Cox

      I do the same thing. I can see the dirty pile in the corner of my closet every day, but I still ignore it.

  3. Ruth Slavid

    I wear my socks until they are bald underneath.
    I am really bad at sewing on buttons.
    I buy too many clothes that suit the person I would like to be rather than the person I am.
    I feel that I have been unfair to my clothes, and wear something I don’t really love because it is its turn, and it means I haven’t wasted my money.

  4. Kerry

    I’m having trouble getting rid of jewelry too. I gave a few pieces to my SIL over the holidays, but I have quite a few ‘good’ silver things that I’m too lazy to sell and seem too good to donate.

  5. JB

    I am much more likely to buy an item of clothing or jewelry if another shopper (not a salesperson) says it looks good on me. Compliments are good for the economy!

  6. Jeffiner Cox

    H&M? I thought they were ok – the Free2Work organization gives them an A- for elimination of child and forced labor, and they promote textile recycling.

    • contrary kiwi

      My fiance has been looking this up and told me that about H&M as well. I can’t look into it because my depression just takes over (I go all or nothing like Sally but think “hey, killing myself would be the best solution to this problem”), but he told me H&M do have lots of good practices!

      • Sally McGraw

        I’ve seen mixed reviews when it comes to H&M’s practices. They DO have a clothing recycling program for their own goods, and the Conscious line is made with some recycled materials … but they churn out SUCH a huge volume of stuff and encourage fast fashion/thoughtless consumption just by pricing stuff so low and making it so shabbily. http://qz.com/380055/hms-sustainability-report-hides-the-unsustainable-reality-of-fast-fashion/

        http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/aug/25/hms-1m-recycling-prize-clever-overproduction-fast-fashion

        • Jeffiner Cox

          I agree that following the fast fashion practice of consumption/waste
          isn’t sustainable, regardless of how the clothes are produced. Taking
          care to maximize the use of the clothes – washing gently, mending seams,
          etc, as well as wearing them in creative outfits for several seasons
          are how to combat fast fashion. Granted, higher quality clothes last
          longer, but not all of us have the money to spend on high quality, or
          the time to hunt for treasures in thrift stores. Sometimes you need
          inexpensive, readily available clothes, and I would rather get those
          from a place with practices like H&M than Forever 21.

      • Dust. Wind. Bun.

        (I don’t know if this helps, but I have the exact same problem/reaction. I always say I’m glad I have ADHD because it means I get bored before I can actually do anything about my suicidal impulses.)

        • contrary kiwi

          It does help, thanks. It can get really lonely being the only one who reacts so strongly to negative things like this and then having people unable to understand what’s wrong. As much as I wouldn’t wish the feelings on anyone, it is comforting to know that it’s not a struggle I go through alone.

  7. Naomi

    I haven’t been able to break the habit of impulse buying “almost good enough” clothing off ebay or in thrift stores and then donating it a few weeks/months later when it becomes clear that it just won’t work.
    I don’t think lightly used bras are off limits, and in fact I browse the undergarments section of the Goodwill (underPANTS are off limits tho!). I’ve found a few great hardly-worn items for my hard to find size, and for like, 2.99.
    I have some custom made clothing from my three years in Asia that isn’t practical, isn’t my style, and in some cases, is too well used to really wear and it is SO hard to let that go.
    I will never not love tie dye (not the rainbow spiral, but other kinds). Tie dyed items, as well as anything printed with numbers or letters is catnip to me.

  8. Connie Turner

    I will confess to buying/wanting clothes that were suitable for my figure 20lbs ago or 20 yrs ago. I confess that I love skirts and buy them and then don’t want to wear them and they are lonely in my closet.

  9. Anne

    I would love if you did a jewelry auction or sale on IG or something. I love your style.

    This post was so relatable. I am with you on lots of these. I’m grateful my dog doesn’t shed. I’ve always wanted a golden retriever but my allergic husband can’t do it. It’s good ours doesn’t shed though because I’m an all black all the time dresser.

    I read overdressed and I want to make changes but it’s so overwhelming. I have little babies and student loans and less mental fortitude than I did when I was not sleep deprived. I really admire you doing this. I’m trying to do my part by buying used and buying less, only what I need or to replace what I’ve worn out (like my black v neck tees). It’s so hard to care. I get fired up about food and how people treat each other and feminism and unfairness and at the same time sometimes I just want to let it all go and stop caring so much. I do believe that little actions add up even though it’s hard to see it. Keep on being awesome Sally. It’s not unnoticed.

  10. greendoc

    I am addicted to Anthropologie. I check the Anthro website every morning with my first sips of coffee. I work 2 blocks from an Anthro store, and I stop by on my lunch hour at least once/week. And I redid my fall and winter wardrobe with Anthro clothes this year. At least all were discounted in some way…and I really love my redone wardrobe.

  11. JW

    I love that term ‘pre-j’s! I have to say that’s what I wear until bedtime, dog hair and all.

  12. juliana

    I currently have a cat draped over my lap – it happens whenever I sit on the couch. I’ve learned the last thing I do before leaving the house is get dressed in “outside the house clothes” and the first thing I do upon entering is take those same clothes off again. its the defense against wearing cat hairs in public.

  13. contrary kiwi

    I machine wash my $100 bras (i.e. all of my bras). I see the elastic starting to fray and I still do it because I’m too lazy to handwash anything. But now I just wear them for a fortnight before washing them.

    I’m more attracted to current trends than to any “vintage” era. I’m not into following the rise and fall of trends and not wearing something just because it’s not cool any more, I’m just super modern in my tastes I guess.

    When I’m watching tv shows set in a time period I know anything about (i.e. the Regency) I comment on the accuracy of the costumes and whether or not [she] would be wearing such a low-cut gown for a morning dress.

    I hate shopping: mall shopping, boutique shopping, online shopping and opshopping. Ugh, how I hate opshopping. Yet I love to express myself through my clothes. The only extravagance I think I would find irresistible were I to suddenly become rich is the idea of getting my own personal shopper so I never need to do it again but could still look fabulous and edgy all the time.

  14. frances kirk

    I have a spreadsheet to track the cost per wear of my clothes and shoes. I started it in October 2013 with everything I owned that I knew the cost of and I’ve added in what I’ve bought since. I update it almost every day and I’m always disappointed when I wear older things which aren’t on the list.

    I wash my bras really rarely and I wear the same two pretty much all the time. I also tend not to wash my cardigans and jumpers unless I’ve spilled something on them.

    I never get out of bed in the morning until I’ve decided what I’m going to wear so I can stay under the duvet as long as possible and not stand in the cold looking at clothes.

  15. Tabie

    Thrift shopping is my greatest weakness, I’m in the thrift store at least once a week. Now, I do also have an eBay store that I sale on, however, I’m always looking for myself while I’m there. Thrifting is so much a part of me I could win the lottery overnight and still end up in Goodwill. (Maybe it’s because I’m broke and it’s a shopping avenue I can afford and even as I do better for myself I can’t wrap my head around paying more). With this said, I buy way too much off season and therefore never have what I need for the current season because my body is ever changing.

    I just turned 26, I’ve hit the point where I’m becoming pickier about my clothing by the day. At work I have a uniform and still wear bows in my hair to give it some sort of pop. However, I’m trying to slowly build a more professional wardrobe so I can do better for my life. I’m struggling with office appropriate versus loving my style, versus how did my body change so much on it’s own over this past year?! I have trouble getting rid of stuff I don’t wear any more, or that I’ve worn to death because replacing the item is so hard for me. “Oh, I still get tons of compliments on that bright blue dress I’ve had for nearly 4 years. Hm…it’s really starting to look frayed and stringy….Keep it! I don’t have another one like it.” I like having too many options I think. I want to buy nicer items, but then don’t wear them because they don’t fit into my life. Yes, that beautiful pink, Talbots skirt I thrifted is amazing…..I’m horrible at ironing and have a four year old though. Stuck in the middle right now.

    Oh and I like a few different styles and I’m not ready to narrow it down to one. I read your blog and admire how your style has shifted. I like edge clothes, but then…there’s that pretty pink skirt, and the other three girly skirts I just bought.

  16. Samsdeb

    “Pre-J’s”, I like that! I spend a lot of time putting together nice outfits to wear to the office, at home I am usually wearing an ensemble from my ‘staying in’ wardrobe. Which consists of clothes that basically just serve to keep me covered and comfortable, mostly oversized shirts and jeans.
    I confess that while I do a pretty good closet purge once or twice a year, I cannot get rid of a certain sweater that was handed down by an older relative. It has cats on it; embroidered, beaded, sequined cats. I would never wear it in public. But for some weird reason I like it, it looks like art.

    • Dust. Wind. Bun.

      Hey, turn it into art! Frame it and hang it on the wall, or use it to cover a throw pillow. That way it’s not taking up space in your wardrobe, but you don’t have to give it up.

  17. Stephanie Ganger

    Since I live in the Pacific Northwest my wardrobe is very casual and I like it. I still have more clothes than I really wear though that is getting less every time I cull.
    I online shop all the time and fill my online cart full up with hundreds of dollars of things I am interested in. I abandon them all the time as well and seldom keep more than 1 or two items in the list and usually only buy every 4-6 months.
    I love shopping for clothes that do not actually fit my lifestyle. I tried and tried to justify the pale gold metallic puffer vest as it is casual and would go with everything but in the end could not buy it as it would show all the dirt, puffer vests look odd on me (I feel like a small child in a winter coat), and I wasn’t sure how it would react to the near daily rain/drizzle.
    My favorite jewelry pieces I own are either vintage or were chosen for me by my husband. I am often a bit scared to wear the pieces he bought me as they are very expensive and they interfere with the neckline of my work outfit. Of all the jewelry I own the ones he buys for me get the most complements as well since they are so unique and unusual. (For example a carved amber cameo pendant set in sterling silver, with coordinating butter amber earrings. A necklace with a fabergee style egg and coordinating earrings)
    All of my favorite purses that I carry regularly are not inexpensive. It took me a long time to accept that I preferred nicer feeling things. I carry a thick leather satchel daily and still adore it. I am almost as excited about the one I just got (my husband again) that is handmade leather and the details are exquisite.

  18. montroyal04

    I have a really basic wardrobe that I think I’m going to dress up with accessories, but then I never actually wear the accessories. I do not know how to accessorize. I’d like some ideas about sustainable fashion for people who shop the plus sized market. Also, at 48 I feel myself sliding into a Eileen Fisher/JJill wardrobe full of soft flowy clothes and I’m not sure I’m ready.

  19. Victoria Young

    I lost my 14 year old white and tan Chihuahua mix in November, and I can’t bear to lint brush my black winter wool coat, because it still has traces of him on it.

    At 35, I still haven’t figured out how to shop for my figure, so I stockpile fabric and patterns to sew, then never get to it (I have fabric that is HOPELESSLY outdated from 2002), but I can’t bear to sell or give it away.

    I hate handwashing, but can only buy expensive bras (see previous figure issue – 28DD and 5 feet tall is tough for clothes, but undergarments? HA!), so all of my $100+ bras are four years old and only get washed infrequently. Plus side? elastic is holding strong. Downside? I’m glad I work with cheese, as I fear they might be… pungent, even clean 🙁

    • Sam

      This 34J feels your pain. I’ve thrown caution to the wind and toss them in (in a delicates bag, natch) with my cold wash.

  20. nishaa

    @ Dust.wind.bun.
    OMG, me too. Hate socks. Just bought soft slip on boots with warm lining for home wear exclusively. Yet to purge those old horrible socks though.. Feel might use them in some sock-emergency. Hahaha..

  21. Anna Miller

    I hate hand washing and ironing. If I have clothes that require me to do this, I will get rid of them, even if they are loved items.

    I machine wash and dry all of my bras (see above)

    Over the past few years, I’ve been regularly cleaning out my closet. I get rid of clothes that don’t fit right or that haven’t been worn in years or that are worn out. However, I still keep this silky emerald green blouse that I got at Savers in high school that I’ve never worn. I love this shirt. It doesn’t fit into my lifestyle, but I can’t let it go.

    I’m addicted coats. I have two closets jam-packed with coats, half of which are fancy furs that only get worn once a year, if that.

    The above two statements reveal that what I’m drawn to when shopping does not reflect my personal style or lifestyle. I’m enamored with fancy dresses, coats, shoes, and jewelry, but they rarely get worn. This is something I’m trying to change.

    It took me a long time to realize that I enjoy quality over quantity, but now that I know this, my pocketbook doesn’t agree.

  22. Sam

    I’m late but I’m here!

    I only wear two kinds of shoes: Crocs flats and Payless Karen pumps. When my pumps eventually died (see: Payless), and it took me a year to get new ones, I wore Crocs to weddings. Mea culpa.

    I bought an EXPENSIVE steel-boned corset to attempt postpartum nighttime waist training. I lasted a week before I couldn’t be bothered. Now that the kid is weaned, I’m giving it another shot.

    My husband can never know how much I spend on Ebay and Amazon fast fashion. Most of it is black, partially so stains don’t show and partially so he won’t notice.

    Fast fashion. 🙁 I know it’s wrong but I can’t stop.

    I have 15+ items of clothing in my stain removal bag. Most have been there since pre-baby. I feel guilty donating stained clothing, so there they lie…