Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Club and what I need to improve (O Casual Corner...where are you when I need you?)

For June, the bloggy book club decided we would read a self-help book of our own choosing.  (You can read Cassie's thoughts on being a mom who puts down the phone if you click here.)

I read a book (actually two books) that my sister bought for me one Christmas.  She knows how much I love Tim Gunn and how much I used to love fashion, and so she bought me his guide to style and Gunn's Golden Rules a few years ago.  I read them both cover-to-cover, but after my latest identity crisis, I figured it was time to revisit ol' Tim.

Lately, I have found myself in a funk when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.  I've always enjoyed finding interesting and fun things to wear, and I've never settled for just "blending into the background."  Then after menopause, I felt like I had no control over my body anymore--I got lumpy and dumpy and zitty and gross, and I just wanted to camouflage my entire self.  So I began buying a uniform and I wore it every day.  The uniform consisted of khaki or black slacks  (maybe gray, if I was feeling interesting) and a loose solid colored top with long sleeves. Nothing fun or form-fitting or patterned; I just wasn't "feeling it."

So I was feeling like I needed a pep talk from Tim.  I needed him to tell me to quit dressing like my mother (my 82 year old mother, who was quite fashionable back in the day, but now definitely dresses for comfort) and start dressing with a little style.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the "capsule" wardrobe that's all the rage now. Well, Mr. Gunn also suggests a capsule wardrobe, of a sort.  He suggests choosing a few quality staples and building a wardrobe around those few pieces.  Now I can agree with some of his choices (like a crisp white button-down, which I love), but others?  (Black leather pants?  Oh HECK no!) So reading and digesting his words of wisdom, I realized: I used to have a few quality staples upon which I built my wardrobe.  And they came from Casual Corner.

For those of you who are young-ish...Casual Corner was a mainstay at most of the malls where I did my shopping.  They offered great sportswear for younger women, and most of the pieces were well-made and could be worn with a variety of other pieces.  It was a little pricey for someone just out of college, but I *hearted* Casual Corner.

So with Tim's guidance, I am going to be working on my wardrobe over the next year. (Yes, you read that right: year.) When I begin my back-to-school inventory, the wardrobe purging will commence.  I will figure out which of the basic pieces I will keep, and build my wardrobe around those pieces. I will make sure I don't return to my fuddy-duddy ways.  I will pretend I am still "Casual Corner" and not "Old Lady Store." I will get rid of all the size sixes I have been hopelessly clinging to like Rose on that piece of wood in the northern Atlantic.

Keep your fingers crossed,'s going to be a bumpy ride!

For our next book club selection, we are reading First Impressions by Charlie Lovett. Charlie is my neighbor.  If I don't like the book, I can give it back to him and maybe TP his house. (Just kidding, Charlie!!)


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh i am really excited for you- i think you will feel like a new woman when all is said and done! no more camouflaging your fabulous self!!

Anna of the Mutton Years said...

Funny you should write this. I'm doing the same and logging my efforts on instagram. I've started this week doing style challenges. I even wore a maxi dress last Friday. Yes, a maxi, in the daytime. The thing about style challenges is it challenges you to put your existing clothes together in a new way. So don't be too eager to throw out. Just wear them differently.

Cheryl Thornton said...

I hear you on the lumpy and bumpy...lots of changes here since menapause...I'm anxious to see your style transformation. I live my days in jeans and t-shirts and would love some style inspiration!

Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I've been feeling -- and dressing -- pretty frumpy over the year too. Or more like 2 years. Or 3 years. Yikes! And all my old size 2 and 4 clothes (that I will never, ever fit into every again) have been making their way into my daughter's closet ....


Carla said...

I loved Casual Corner and still have a great red winter coat I got there. It's still stylish too.

Art and Sand said...

Steve and I dress the exact same way every single day - sort of people looking like their dogs, but Lulu is adorable so we aren't there yet.

We both don Patagonia shorts, tees and flip flops. Those work for bike rides, kayaking, walking on the beach, etc.

Our son's wedding is just one week away and we had to step out of our uniforms for the event. Everyone assured us that Steve could not wear his shorts and flip flops.

I actually have a lovely beaded dress and sparkly high heeled sandals. I am a little, no VERY nervous about the mother son dance in heels and a long dress.

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