End of the year wardrobe assessment

Sweaters, from top: Old J.Crew, Acne, Hope, Rachel Comey, Saturdays Surf NYC

Back in March I posted about streamlining my belongings and it appears that this is still a work in progress. I've been working hard over the last few months at reassessing how my wardrobe fits with my current body and lifestyle. Apart from the realization that I can no longer squeeze into skinny jeans and that my shirts have started gaping at the bust, working from home has further made me conclude that I really do not need that many shirts or parkas or shoes.

A longtime reader recently commented that she didn't understand how I could say I was somewhat broke and yet manage to purchase as many items as I have recently. I addressed my finances about a year ago and since then, my circumstances have changed slightly (although not as dire as I sometimes make it sound) - I am now not funded and struggling to finish my dissertation by the next year. I also received a lot things (out of pity and love, I guess) for my birthday and anniversary, and from the wedding. However, I really do have to apologize for being extremely insensitive and sounding like an entitled brat in my last post. Sometimes, I think a sheltered life has led me to being overtly melodramatic.

In light of that, I thought it would be somewhat interesting to readers to go through a couple of things that have helped in covering the expenses of my recent purchases. I have been utilizing Ebay, my own blog shop, and consignment/used clothing stores like crazy. June and July of this year were somewhat bleak months for me, and in times of distress, I tend to clean and organize. It's strange how much a person can accumulate over the years even if you try to be somewhat conscientious about your purchases.

While re-selling things doesn't usually help with recouping losses, I make sure that I the items I sell are able to cover at least 50% of the cost of a new item. Instead of the one in-one out method, I try to get rid of many things in a particular clothing category before I add something new. For example, to purchase my Hope Guys' Shoes, I sold the Heschung for CdG oxfords, a pair of J.Crew boots and my No. 6 clog boots. This ensures that I have a longer time to think things over and helps to clear out the closet even more. I also dug through things in storage and thought long and hard about the many items I have that no longer fit with my current lifestyle or aesthetic. I'm not a very sentimental person, so being able to part with several very expensive items from ages ago was pretty easy, and that helped cover things like a new tote bag and several shirts.

Once I make a purchase, I wear the heck out of the item. Some people suggest that if you haven't worn the item in a year, you should get rid of it. I personally think that if you haven't worn an item in six months, it probably isn't worth your time or money, unless of course, it's special occasion wear like cocktail dresses and bunny suits (:P). I wear my sweaters all through fall and winter and even spring sometimes. I use summer clothing e.g shirts as layers underneath so that every item in my wardrobe (bar shorts) usually gets a full rotation all year round. I mean, if you don't use it, why own it?

I think that trying to achieve the ultimate "perfect" wardrobe is forever going to be a lost cause for me. My lifestyle and body will always change; a proper job, kids, too much chocolates, etc. are a few things that will keep my wardrobe evolving. Being able to consistently avoid the tragedy of an overstuffed closet with nothing I love in it is perhaps the best thing I can aim for when it comes to matters of the sartorial kind.

Another year


I celebrated my 30th birthday a few days ago. There's nothing quite as sobering as waking up one morning to find that a third of your life is gone and you're still not quite done with school, somewhat broke and getting rather chunky around the middle and bottom parts. While people who surround me have been extremely nice and supportive about it, I'm surprised that they haven't yet run away screaming due to my incessant whining and moping - I am working hard at undoing thirty odd years of cynicism.

The festivities for the birthday started a week before hand - Brian and I took a weekend trip to Vancouver to celebrate my arrested metabolism and his new job. I took no pictures of the event because it was too cold to hold a camera and I was too busy stuffing my face full of mussels at Chambar and having overpriced cocktails at the Bacchus lounge. I spent the rest of the week and my birthday sitting around the house, bottle of prosecco in hand and irritating the dog with baby talk. I also ate exactly three cupcakes in a 21 hour span, and watched Home Alone (how apt!) while the husband was off at some bigwig conference, leaving me at home to feel sorry for myself. A few days later, some friends took me out to watch 'Skyfall'. I avoided the heavy drinking/dancing/lavish dinner pitfall this year and made my transition into (genuine) adulthood.

So that's that. I received some really great and thoughtful gifts (all of which were much needed and pined after) - a hand-knitted scarf based on a BrooklynTweed pattern, a CdG wallet, some earrings from Mociun, the Blanca Monros Gomez seed ring, a beautifully illustrated special edition of Charles Dickens' 'Our Mutual Friend' and I bought myself a new camera lens. Speaking of which, Mociun's jewelry are so elegant and well-made, I understand now why she charges so much for them! And in the spirit of giving thanks, I just want to state for the record that I think know I have it pretty darn good considering the millions of terrible things happening in the world today, some of which are taking place right now where Hurricane Sandy hit. Please pardon my incessant whining and moping and please don't run away screaming.

In other news, I registered for a domain name (yay!) so please update your bookmarks to http://www.assembledhazardly.com. I also gave in to the call of networking heavily filtered camera phone pictures; if you're interested in a gazillion pictures of my dog, you can find them on Instagram.