Change in Style (aka I went shopping)


See that t-shirt I’m wearing? And those shoes? And that bomber? Alllll new! And I blame my shopping on the seasons. Namely, spring and summer.

Who would have thought seasons could be so complicated?! I mean, I grew up in D.C. and we had four solid seasons. 8 years in Atlanta – there were also four seasons with a blink-and-you-miss-it winter. But after just four measly years in a place with 1.5 seasons (yup, I’m talking about you, Scotland) you wouldn’t think I would have forgotten so quickly about the wardrobe changes that shifts in seasons necessitate.

Scottish seasonal weather could be summed up by Billy Connelly’s apt quote, “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and winter.” And even June isn’t guaranteed to stay too warm.

So, whilst living in the wet isles of the UK, I never needed to switch out my wardrobe. It stayed the same year-round except when I would swap out my coat out for a less heavy coat. Yes, even in a Scottish summer, you’ll want those cozy layers.

Well, I tried to do the same thing here in Seattle. I thought how different can one wet place be to another? It turns out, plenty! For one, Scotland makes Seattle look like a desert in comparison. I’ve had more sunny days here in 9 months than I had in all four years in Edinburgh combined. Also, on a blazing hot summer’s day in Scotland, you might hit 68°F if you are very lucky. We surpassed that the beginning of April here in the Pacific Northwest. And my wardrobe doesn’t know what to do with itself.

Neither does my attempt to live a more minimal lifestyle.

I’ve had to shop. I mean, I improvised for a while but eventually I got tired of being muggy and feeling over-dressed. And even though I do feel a twinge of guilt that my closet has grown instead of stayed minimal these past few months, I’ve gotten more excited about clothes again.

But I still feel in flux, if that makes sense. I feel a little startled at warmth and the ease of being outside without battling the elements. So it’s taking me a long minute to figure out how to keep my closet stream-lined when my giddy summer brain keeps bubbling up.

Now that I’ve bought a some new things, I’m going to take a hard look at some of the things that I loved to bits and pieces in Scotland, but don’t really serve me as well in the land of gentle breezes and rays of sunshine. (I’m sorry, tweed dress, but I just don’t see us working out any more!)

Have you guys ever had this experience being in a new place or making a change in your life that dictates a shift in how you dress (for instance, graduating college and taking a job in a conservatively-dressed office environment). I’d love to know how you adjusted and how long it took you to adjust.

6 thoughts on “Change in Style (aka I went shopping)”

  1. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself – you are going to need something new from time to time. And moving from a country with a colder climate to one with a warmer one is a good reason to need different clothes. You are not skirting your minimalist lifestyle by buying something you need, IMO, you’d only be skirting it if you continue to buy beyond what you need or continuously replace stuff that don’t need replacing.
    And I personally wouldn’t start weeding stuff out yet till you’ve been in Seattle a full year. Don’t go throwing stuff out because you feel the need to get rid of stuff because you have had to buy new stuff. Give it time. Although admitedly, the tweed dress van probably go 🙂

    1. I forgot about your question, but here’s my answer: I only KonMari-ed late last year, so I feel like I don’t have that much experience, but I lost a lot of weight this past year so have had to weed out my closet every couple of months and feel that my style has changed as well so while I initially kept things that brought me joy, I have often changed my mind a month or two later as I’ve started experimenting with styles.
      To be honest though, I have deliberately not given it much thought as I feel pretty in flux right now. I figure that I’d focus on narrowing my style and closet down when I my weight stays stable for a full year.

  2. I agree with michelle – don’t be so hard on yourself! Plus, it sounds like it’s time for us to do some summer style mood boards – am I right?! I did my KonMari-ing last August and was so sick of my summer clothes that I gave away most of my summer stuff. So I just bought some flat sandals and a pair of shorts at madewell – and I know I’ll use them a lot.

    I find that keeping up with my inventory on our blog helps a lot. Don’t feel guilty if you have more clothes now than you’ve had over the past few years – Scotland didn’t have seasons!

    xoxo, Cath

  3. I echo what others said: Don’t feel guilty! Honestly, the Pacific Northwest can be a fickle place weather-wise. I’ve sometimes experienced sun, rain, hail, and snow in the same day and wild temperature fluctuations to boot. This place demands layers and sometimes even similar layers of different fabrications. I sweated it out in too-warm cashmere and wool sweaters during spring for a while until I realized I needed cotton cardigans and now they’re among my most worn items.

    Hmm that’s an interesting question about change in lifestyle. I’d say in the past 3 years, I’ve slowly weeded out anything in my wardrobe that’s very formal or that requires special care (i.e. drycleaning) because I’ve realized 1) my lifestyle is casual 90% of the time and 2) I don’t ever wear dryclean-only items because I’m too lazy and cheap to get them cleaned regularly. At the same time, now that I’m more active via Bar Method and I spend a lot of time in my apartment, my active and lounge wear collection has grown.

  4. I recently moved in with my boyfriend, in doing so I lost almost all of my closet space. So I followed the two of you and KonMaried my closets (yes closets, I had two large ones). Moving meant I was going to have half of a tiny closet in the loveliest 102 year old house. The boyfriend has come up with some genius storage ideas but it still meant I had to massively reduce all of my things. This meant shoes, purses, jewelry, and of course shoes. I think I did a great job but I realized some of the stuff I brought over wasn’t doing anything for me. I have since gotten rid of a few pairs of shoes that brought me joy but the sole was loose and wasn’t worth fixing, or that purse that had a hole in the lining and when I looked a little closer was just too loved and not fixable. I have gone back through and made a purchase here and there but only as I took something from the closet OR decided that I was missing a key piece of clothing and needed that item to make my wardrobe whole (a black tank, a pair of dark skinny leg jeans).

  5. I haven’t kon-marie’ed so take this with a grain of salt, but inherently it makes no sense to me (which is probably why I haven’t done it ;)). The idea behind it is great, but come on. In the real world, everything you own cannot spark joy. I have clothes that don’t thrill me, but I have to keep and wear them because they’re appropriate for a semi-conservative semi-business casual work place. Also, I’m a big believer that clothes grow with you and your needs, know what I mean? Of course you’ll need new stuff when you move to a new climate! Don’t feel guilty — embrace it and enjoy it 🙂

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