Talk about a lack of blogging lately. But it’s for good reason, well, several reasons actually. First off, the weather. It has been raining nearly every day since we got back from California, including all of last week, which was a busy one too, including two send-offs to some very good friends who are off on adventures. I really don’t like photographing inside, as we must rely on natural light for decent lighting, and our place is small, offering few decent areas to shoot. Meanwhile I’m facing some wardrobe woes. First our closet is packed. And I mean packed. Before today, I had just under two inches of wiggle room in which to shift my clothing in our main closet when I want to get dressed. My “good vintage” closet, the one which houses my fancier duds, is brutally packed, as is our coat closet and I’m just becoming frustrated. Secondly, there is certainly a shift in what I’m wearing. More often than not, I am pulling out my western and Mexican inspired pieces before contemplating another look when I get dressed each day. These pieces make me happy. And I think clothing should make you happy. So, over the last few days I have pulled out every single piece of clothing I own, as well as hats and purses and sifting through them, selecting items to get rid of.
Unlike many vintage loving girls, who will put up a standing rack or decorate their walls with their hats and purses, I want all of my clothing in a closet. Now, if I had a dedicated dressing room, that would be a different thing, but when it’s a bedroom, it all has to go in the closet. Our apartment is small, and we like books and art, and these things take up room, and I’ll be honest, I like my books and art and prefer them, as they make for a more beautiful setting in which to live. All of this plays into how much clothing I can have.
My large amount of clothing means I rotate my wardrobe for spring/summer and the fall/winter, shoving out-of-season items in tubs under the bed and in our suitcases, though items must be removed and placed into neat piles when we do go on a trip. The seasonal change over is a grueling process, as Oregon is known of have erratic weather during spring, and often I will do a partial change out.
Today I completed going through all of my clothing and have hauled bags to Buffalo Exchange, created piles of items to go into my space at Antique Alley, and filled bags to be taken to some of the nicer vintage shops around town. While our coat closet is still rather full, my purses are much better organized (coats and purses share the same closet), my “good vintage” closet is slightly less full, and our regular closet is significantly less full with hats much more organized, and many of the dresser drawers are better off.
Over the last few years I have enjoyed creating period perfect ensembles, but that has really begun to take a toll on me. Not only am I feeling some of the things Solanah of Vixen Vintage was feeling not so long ago, with creepers and their creepy comments (I walk and take transit everywhere so, trust me, I get a lot of creepers talking to me) but I am beginning to dislike the stress and slight lack of creativity that recreating period accurate outfits comes with. Furthermore, the blogesphere and Instagram are full of vintage girls, as is Portland, and it has begun to feel like a competition for who can have the best novelty print, who can have the best tilt topper, etc. and it makes me depressed. Right now I feel a need to focus on myself and my personal style, what makes me happy and learn to live with what I have, what I want for myself and my style, and not let what others have alter my feelings.
All of this, combined with reading Overdressed (review to come soon!) has lead me to really decide to seek out a unique wardrobe that is filled with quality pieces. I stopped shopping at fast fashion stores in college, opting for second-hand and vintage shops instead, but even then items that had issues have worked their way into my closet. Vintage comes with its own set of problems, including a constant repairs pile, and I’m getting better at inspecting items before taking them up to the register. I also need to look at clothing in the long term. Some of the items I was getting rid of I’ve had for a year or less, and for me that is too quick of a turnaround. So from now on I really need to aim at buying pieces that I think will last me at least two years. Western themed clothing has certainly stood the test of item for me, as I have western wear that I’ve had for seven years! But I also want to seek out the truly unique and higher end vintage items that will be nothing short of amazing.
I’m looking forward to exchanging all of the items I no longer wish to own for items that are really me, and I’ve already done that a bit. I traded several items already at Simply Vintage and took home a 50s two-piece cowgirl set as well as a stunning, Viva worthy, black lurex dress by Estevez. These are the types of items I want to fill my closet. I hope I made it clear that I am not saying goodbye to vintage. Not one bit. I can’t imagine buying new all the time! In fact, buying new is kind of difficult for me. I just felt a need to share with you where I’m coming from lately. Why you’re seeing so much western, why you’re bound to see some late 60s/70s rocker stuff in the future, and why you’ll see a few items a little more frequently.