Birth of a project

I was getting dressed for a friend's birthday party and I didn't know what I was going to put on my body. I looked in my closet and it seemed empty, unpromising. I've had these moments before; everything was old, ill-fitting, or blah. I thought to myself, "Ugh! I have NOTHING to wear!" Then I began rifling through my closet and saw a forgotten shirt I loved and many more, and I realized I was crazy. I had plenty to wear, and plenty to choose from. My closet was FULL of treasures! At that moment I decided I would take a year to explore my closet and to add NOTHING new to my wardrobe.

I would create a NEW outfit for each day in order to maximize my wardrobe and shake up my style.

Basically, I would try to "snap out" of my fashion rut, and appreciate what I have.

It was my New Years' project:
One Closet, One Year.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The First Month!




One month in and I am having a ball. My closet is my friend again, and I am seeing my clothes with a fresh eye. I have worn things in the past month that I haven't worn in years. I wore high heels in the day, for goodness sake! This is something I wouldn't ordinarily do. It is nice to make experimentation a mandate. I have no idea how this will progress, and by summer, I could be wearing absolutely crazy outfits.

Today, I went outside to see Charlie and Richard off and when the car backed out there was a dead rodent in the driveway! I screamed three times and the neighbors came out to see what was wrong. I was disgusted by the long tail attached to an unidentifiable body. Possum... Rat... Mouse?... Sickening. Hollis wanted to visit the neighbors across the street and I actually went to their house in these clothes! Last night, I did not change for dinner. Today, I am staying in my p.j.'s to mark month one of One Closet, One Year. I am celebrating by not getting dressed, but I made sure this is different than my airport angst outfit! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any suggestions! xoxoxo-S!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Skating Time!




Greetings! We are off to the park to skate. I am going to bring my brown suede roller skates with pink wheels circa 1990, and push Hollis in the stroller. These bad boys were my primary source of transportation in high school (granted I wasn't going that far) and they brought me much joy. They are yet another item in my closet that I am glad I've kept all these years. Tonight, Richard and I are going to our friend's new house for the first time, for dinner. I decided to wear something to the park that I could wear into evening with a few changes. Taking pictures today was frustrating and once again I renewed my respect for models. Speaking of which, I was delighted when my best friend told me that Giselle Bundchen is a home birther like me!!!! Rock on Gizzy!!!!

Outfit:

Navy Shirt: This was a hand me down from my cousin. I think it's Forever 21.

Sweater: From same cousin. Merona.

Jeans: From Goodwill. Gap. I call these my "mom jeans".

Knit Scarf: I pulled this out of my cedar chest last night when I was looking for old baby clothes to pass along to a friend who is having a girl. I actually got this scarf at her first baby shower. A friend of hers, who is an incredible designer, had a bunch of these very special scarves that she was giving away. Some of the yarn is handmade and the colors and textures are gorgeous!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gathering!




This morning Charlie's class is having a Gathering. At the school he attends, Gathering is a Friday tradition where the entire school "gathers" to share music, a class project, or any kind of information. I am looking forward to seeing my firstborn express himself in front of an audience and I know he is thrilled to have the chance! He is, I have found, also a ham. I guess it runs in the family!

Outfit: I decided to ditch the jeans for the first time this week (besides Pee Wee). Staying with a pink theme...

Shirt: I got this at Goodwill. Forever 21. I took the string out of the bottom (it was one of those paper-bag type shirts that looks like you're storing nuts) and tied it around the waist.

Skirt: Given to me by a friend. At first I thought it was too long and too pink, but it grew on me.

Sweater: Salvation Army. Express.

Shoes: Mossimo

After Gathering I am heading to the park. I will ditch the heels for my FitFlops, I think. Sorry that the pictures are so awful. I am in a rush and I couldn't get the lighting right. I also might have some typos, but I'll check them later I guess. Happy Friday!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hey Thursday!






Hey! So, I am not subbing today, which allowed me some time to catch up on things around the house (primarily showering) . My mom's twin sister is here keeping an eye on HaHa while I putter about. She is a life-line for our family and I do not know what we would do without Aunt Janine. The boys adore her, we adore her, she is very sweet to us, and a lot of fun to have around. She is a Grandma-Double. Richard and I would probably never go out if it weren't for her. When we win the lottery, she is on our list for a BIG payoff!

I'm keeping it brief after such a long post yesterday.

Outfit:

Sweater: From cousin. Mossimo.

Wrap blouse: I got this at a warehouse sale although I can't remember the name of the company that puts it on. I think the front of the shirt is made from old scarf material. It is now dubbed my "Tiger Woods" shirt. I have to support a fellow mulatto, even if he is "troubled".

Jacket: Goodwill. Allegory.

Jeans: Cousin. Gap.

Shoes: Payless! 5 bucks! They are the red platforms. They don't show up so well in this photo!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pee-Wee Part II




I got to be the bohemian music teacher today and I had a lot of fun. We read and sang "This Little Light of Mine" which led into a discussion of what the song meant, when it originated, and spirituals. I asked where in the world people might be singing spirituals right now and the children instantly said "Haiti". We talked about Haiti and what the children thought they might do to support recovery. One little boy really surprised me when he said, "Instead of getting presents for your birthday, you could get money and give it to Haiti". It was very sweet.

Outfit:

I decided to carry over some of the pink from last night. I like to wear jeans when I know I'm going to be moving around a lot with the children.

Shirt: I got this at Salvation Army when I was in high school. It was very eighties with ginormous puffy sleaves, but I took them off. It is a very pretty silk fabric.

Sweater: This is from a Salvation Army in Massachusetts. It is Express.

Jeans: From Cousin. Gap.

Shoes: Airwalk

Post Pee-Wee!





We had a great time at Pee-Wee's playhouse and got to stay afterward for a meet and greet! It was offered to people who bought tickets before the show changed venues. I was a wee bit annoyed at Mr. Reubens because he came out about half an hour after curtain in the suit he wore in the show. At least a wardrobe change would have merited such a long wait. To his credit, Paul told us he was a little annoyed too. He said that backstage he dreads going out to "meet" people , but that once he gets out to the audience he is happy. There were a couple of kids in the audience and he went up to them and asked them how they liked it. He was charming and witty and a very sympathetic guy. We learned about how he got Tim Burton to direct Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and about where/how he grew up. He also told us that he is doing this show in order to get the next Pee Wee movie made!

When we were waiting for Paul to come out I told Richard that we should leave because these Q&A things are usually a great disappointment. People either try to ask "interesting" questions that aren't, or they ask especially lame questions such as "Where do you keep your suit, Pee Wee?" This question was asked by a woman after Paul said he would take one more "good" question. We at least got a "good" chuckle. I also had a strange moment when I looked around the theater and realized that of about 200 people in the audience, Richard and I were the only brown people. There were, of course, security guards and other staff members of color. It's always weird when that happens in a place like L.A. As for my homage to Ms. Yvonne, there were 2 other women with the same idea. One woman was really dressed exactly like her. She was with a woman dressed as Pterri the Pterodactyl and another woman dressed as Captain Carl. They were from San Fransisco, of course. The other woman had a short little pink crinoline on with a biker jacket and boots. Very cute. The rest of the audience was dressed in black and boots. I swear there were only about a dozen people wearing any color with their black. Maybe it was the rain, or maybe it was Pee Wee, but I was very surprised by the homogeneity. I really was surprised. I did get a few compliments on my outfit and I wished it photographed better. It was really fluffly, delicate layers of subtle pink and greys, and I was happy with it!

Outfit:

Jacket: Same as yesterday morning.

White Blouse: Vintage. Goodwill.

Pink Tie Blouse: Forever 21. I got this when I worked in admissions.It was a great find.

Skirt: This is actually the bottom of a nightgown that was probably from the 50's. I love vintage nightgowns and I bought this pink confection only to realize I would never sleep in it. When Richard and I had our surprise wedding, I needed something to go under my very short dress. I cut the top of the night gown off. This is the bottom wrapped around and tied at the waist.

Stockings: Hue

Shoes: Old Navy. Of course I bought them because I had a gift card and they were 10 bucks. I do like them, but this is only the second time I've worn them!

P.S. I took these pictures after we got home and I was exhausted. I'm sure my peevishness shines through! I'll post today's outfit later!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Out of the Closet...


Into the drawers! I finally went through my dresser after putting it off for a long time. I feared the backlash from folks who already think I have a lot of clothes. I guess I do have a lot of clothes, and I've been collecting them a long time. I also have gotten rid of a ton of clothes through the years, which means that in my lifetime I have cycled through more fabric than I care to imagine. I am pretty good about getting rid of things, but there are some items I've been holding on to forever. Or at least for 20 years.

So the drawers. I have 12 t-shirts, three of which have NOT been altered, 11 tank tops, 6 wife beaters that were my pregnancy staple, 3 nearly identical black racer back exercise tanks, 5 camisoles, and 4 tube tops?! Why I still have them, I don't know, but I do wear them under things sometimes. I have 10 knit shirts, and 17 shirts of a various nature. I also have 2 vintage night gowns and 6 pair of jeans. I would say at least half of these things in my dresser were given to me. I have often pondered, what my wardrobe would be like if I did not have such stylish friends. I was also amused that none of the jeans fit quite right. I haven't bought a new pair of jeans off the rack in about 9 years. Having had 3 pregnancies in 5 years, my weight has been all over the place, and I have been hesitant to invest in a stellar pair of jeans until I have maintained one weight for at least a year. We'll see what happens after Hollis stops nursing. I guess I have to wait until next year anyway! Oh, I also found Richard's dreadlocks in my dresser. I keep them there as a reminder of how he did the old bait and switch to get me!

Outfit:

Shirt: I got this at Goodwill to wear when I was "hiding" my pregnancy with Hollis. It is from Lux. I love the crazy print.

Sweater: This was given to me by my cousin.

Jacket: Goodwill. This was a great find. I love the tailoring and neckline. Phillip Courtney. I threw the jacket on because I plan to wear it tonight when I go to see Pee Wee's Playhouse! Come back later if you want to see my homage to Ms. Yvonne!

Jeans: From cousin. Gap.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manic Monday!




I got called extremely last minute to sub in Science. Of course, I had to get Hollis and myself ready in a flash. It is 8:18 as I write this and I need to be at school at 9! I had some technical problems with the computer (of course it always happens when one has to get out). Anyway, I am so grateful to have the work, that I have nothing to say but "Thank you!" and "Happy Monday to you all!"

I will write about my drawers later. I'm sure everyone is dying to hear about them!

Outfit:

Shirt: I Heart Guts. I'm going to be in Science class after all.

Pants: Cousin hand me down from GAP.

Shoes: You've seen 'em before. Wanted. Holes emerging in the soles, but I love 'em!

By the way, when Hollis hears the timer from the camera, she grabs my hand! She's a ham!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunny Sunday




Today, I will fight my urge to blab on and on about my pitzicaca life, and I will post a bunch of pictures. The pants I am wearing today, I believe I wore last weekend as well. I mentioned that they were previously a jumpsuit that I cut. Here is a picture of said jumpsuit:


I'm kind of sad I cut it. It had little anchors on the straps. I think I was about eight months pregnant here.

Outfit:

Sweater: This sweater was a hand me down from my cousin. It is Mossimo.

Shirt: I found this shirt at Salvation Army years ago when I was a fan of showing off my midriff. I think it was a shirt that was turned into a onesie and it cracked me up. If it was made for a baby originally, the person who designed it had no idea how big babies are...












Pants: See above

One more Photo for the road:
These are the hand made stuffed animals I mentioned my best friend created for each of the children before they were born. I told you she is talented! Her Etsy site is:

www.etsy.com/shop/BabyHaHa

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday. I thank you very much for looking at my BLAHG!!!! Oh! I inventoried my drawers. I'll have to write about that tomorrow!!!
xoxoxo-S!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Guilty



I felt a little guilty about my post yesterday, but all is fair in love and blogging. Last night we walked to the library and after an "incident" I sent Leo to his room until his father was home. I was done. He fell asleep 20 minutes later. He slept from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. I was fairly certain he would wake up to eat dinner, but he slept right through. This prompted me to hypothesize that Leo's main problem may be that he's sleep deprived. I've thought this before, and this was a big reminder.

Outfit:

Sweater: Under layer from cousin. Mossimo.

Sweater: Outer layer given to me by friend. No label.

Jeans: From Big Sunday fundraiser.

Shoes: Fit Flops

Friday, January 22, 2010

Riddle of the Jinx

I suppose I jinxed myself by stating that "26 kids"... blah, blah, blah. When I picked Leo up he was determined to prove me right. Everything he could do to irritate me and harm the environment, he did.

This included:
  • skateboarding in my aunt's house,
  • slamming gates,
  • playing with the record player,
  • stealing Hollis' apple,
  • running away from me as I was trying to leave my aunt's house (causing me to get poured on).
  • Kicking the back of my seat in the car.

Once we were in the car en route to pick up Charlie, Leo promptly took the book Hollis was reading and again shifted our space into chaos.

Of course, I blame myself for Leo's antics. I swear that Leo is my Karmic Retribution child. For every time I scoffed at, or judged a parent, including my own, I get Leo. My beautiful, charming, complicated whirlwind, Leo. I also think that there is a mom out there who's temperament would better suit him. I do my best, but Leo is at his worst in my company. I should confess also that my best is often sub-par.

Of course, Leo is also my most sensitive, empathetic, and affectionate boy. If he sees that he has upset me, he says "Sorry" and really means it. He ALWAYS shares with his brother and he often makes extra effort to look out for Hollis (when he's not stealing her stuff). He buses his dishes without being asked. He is helpful. He gives me hugs when I don't know I need them. He is silly and melancholy and sweet and defiant and adorable and infuriating, and... a lot like me. We push each others buttons and I have much to learn from him. What I've learned so far is that this whole parenting gig comes with a GINORMOUS slice of humble pie. I eat it every day. It's good for me!

Got called at 6 a.m. to work, so post and outfit is a wee bit rushed!

Outfit:

Black Shirt: From Goodwill. I love the print. It's Moschino.

Red Skirt: Also from Goodwill. Made by Old Navy. It is a dress, really, and it is the only thing red in my closet. I realize I am not a fan of red on me.
Sweater: Salvation Army in MA, near my mom's. Its made by Express.
Boots: Friend. Very useful this week!
Belt: belongs to dress.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kindergarten, Here I Come!



Yesterday I subbed in 2nd grade. It was great to see some of my students from last year and observe what their brains are up to now! I had a lot of fun until I got poured on and frozen while escorting children to their cars at carpool. I am subbing today in Kindergarten. It is great to get a break from my routine and surprising that 26 kids that are not related to you can be easier than 4 that are! Go figure!

Outfit:

Sweater Coat: Goodwill. Made by Forever 21. I find that Goodwill is like a Forever 21 outlet. I guess the fact that their clothes tend toward trends, makes them get discarded regularly.

Black Shirt: Old Navy. It says "Witchy" on it, for Halloween adventure, but I'm wearing it inside out.

Pants: I got these from the Big Sunday fundraiser my school hosted a couple of years ago. If you go to the link you can find out how to get involved for 2010.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Passive Hairgressive



On Sunday my mom called to tell me she got a Gmail account so that she could post comments on my blog. She also said that she "really likes it" and I'm "doing a great job". Of course, she has to like it. She's my mom. Not liking it is tantamount to being an nonsupportive parent or to admitting that you've raised less than stellar progeny. She also said "Don't take this the wrong way, but, why don't you get Paula to do your hair?" (Paula is Richard's sister. She is a hairdresser). For those of you who don't speak passive aggressive, I'll translate: "Your hair looks like crap." I would have to say that I agree. My hair often looks like angry gremlins spent the night rolling around in it and pulling it up by the roots. I've grown accustomed to it. I did have the thought that it was slightly moronic to have a style-related blog and have crazy hair. That said, I justified it by telling myself that I have 365 days to wear 365 outfits. My hair is not going to look good everyday. Nor are my outfits. Some days, many days, I'm just going be less than stellar.

Outfit:

Brown Tweed Jacket: I got this at Walmart when I was visiting my mom in Hanson, MA. Walmart is the ONLY retail store for miles. I kid not. When I visit my mom, we go there a lot. I got it when I was working in admissions because it looked the part. It was 5 bucks!

Sweater: Goodwill. I just loved the little details and it is super soft!

Pants: Goodwill

Shoes: Airwalk. If it rains, I'll be in my boots!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Review




I have been avoiding my "review", so I guess at this point it's pointless. I wanted to talk a little bit more about how I decided to do this or at least to address the comment I received that declared: "My friend didn't buy any clothes last year either, she was unemployed." This project is not about saving money or not being able to afford clothes, although I, too, am unemployed. It is about desire. Wants versus needs, and, it is also about using what I already have. Perhaps I have read too many fashion magazines, but I can always think of something new I would love to see in my closet. I look in the window of Anthropologie and I am filled with longing. Any given day, if I had to, I'm sure I could find something, in any store, to covet.

I also wanted to address the fact that I almost backed out of this little experiment a few days before I was to start. First, because I felt like such a hypocrite. I have been complaining about blogging for a long time, echoing the sentiment of a high school acting teacher who declared, "No one wants to hear about your pitzi-caca life." And yet, as I have begun participating in this phenomena, I see that it is a useful tool, especially for procrastinators and "should"-ers. Having this blog has made me more committed. It has also been a lot of fun! Who would have thunk it? I now see first hand why this blogging thing has caught like wildfire!

Another reason I almost backed out was this: A couple days before I was about to start my friend told me about The Uniform Project. I was almost derailed by this woman's much more fashion- centered, radical, and altruistic endeavor that also had some similar ideas. When I saw it, I thought it was a much better, cooler, and thoughtful project. And it is. That said, I decided to stick with my One Closet, One Year because the idea came to me in a whisper, and I heard Oprah say, which she got from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, that "inspiration comes in a whisper". Oprah usually gives good advice, though Richard might disagree with me. Just ask him about the procedure he had done thanks to Oprah and Dr. Oz.

Outfit:

Shirt: Cloudy day. Cloudy shirt. Teeth frolic in the clouds. Given to me by friend.

Sweater: Under shirt. Given by cousin. Mossimo.

Skirt: High school purchase from Salvation Army.

Boots: Friend.

Jacket: Mossimo. My cousin gave it to me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK



Today is one of those days. We stayed in our pajamas for a long time, lit a fire, and finally agreed that it was time to get dressed. Charlie and Leo woke up before Richard and I, and now that Charlie has figured out how to use our complicated remote, he put on two TV shows while we were sleeping. I asked him what made him think that it was okay to watch a show and he replied "Well, I was standing in your room and you didn't say anything." The fact that I was sleeping seemed to be of no importance to him. I realized that we are going to have to start hiding the remote.

The boys and I talked about Martin Luther King and it seems that we have a lot more talking to do. It amazes me just how much has changed, and yet, there is still so much work to be done. I think about my background and the fact that marriage between different races only became legal a few years before I was born. Even with the Loving vs. Virginia decision, there were still several states where anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books until 2000.

For me, being mixed has been an incredible blessing and I can not imagine any different life. It has allowed me the opportunity to truly see all people as people, with no color-based hierarchy. When you are a child, and you see two parents, with two different skin tones, it does not occur to you that there is anything unusual about it. You carry that with you, into the world, and are able to communicate with everyone. I was always friends with everyone. I did not know I was "different" until a woman told my mom to "Get that half-breed out of the street". We were playing baseball. My mom slapped her. The woman in question was an alcoholic who beat her kids, by the way. I asked my mom what a half breed was, and she explained it as best she could.

The past two years at school I have read a book to the children called Martin's Big Words. Each time I cried while I was reading it, much to their surprise. Their innocence, along with the power of Martin's dream, is heady and powerful stuff.

Outfit:

Two dresses. Both given to me. The purple peasant dress I would guess is from the 70's. The green dress on top is from designer Ella Moss.

Boots: From friend.

I had a tough time taking pictures this morning with all the kids at home and Richard working. The boys just left to go to the Clippers Game! Time to blahg!

I know all of your thoughts and prayers are with Haiti. In addition to the many organizations that are raising money a friend of mine is involved with a Vegan Bake Sale that will be taking place in several cities around the country. You can bake or you can buy! Check it out at : http://theppk.com/blog/2010/01/13/vegan-bake-sales-for-haiti/

Dream.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Day of Rest




I stayed in bed as long as I could this morning, luxuriating in the cozy warmth. Hollis and I had a stand-off last night and she won. I am stubborn, but she has both her mom and her dad's obstinate nature. Lucky her.

Today my plan is to putter about the house. Clean up the piles that are accumulating in every room. Put food in the refrigerator. We have three pomegranates, a pomelo, carrots, and butter. I have been making an effort to use all the food we have and not throw things away. I don't know how it happens, but by the weekend the house looks as though a hurricane has passed through. Oh wait, could it be Hurricanes Charlie, Leo, and Hollis? I suppose that in a few years this will not be the case. I guess time will tell.

I still have to go through my dresser drawers also. After hearing someone say I have "a lot" of clothes, I was afraid to add more to my list. I was going to just stick to the things in my closet, but the year is long, and I only said I wasn't ADDING anything new, not that I wasn't going to use everything in my possession. On that note, a friend came over with a bag of gorgeous, vintage, pieces. I had to turn them all away. However, I did save three shirts for next year, one I plan to wear on New Year's Eve! They were just too good to pass up!!!!

Outfit:

Sweater: Clothing Swap. J.Crew.

Shirt: Friend pass along. It is from Forever 21.

Pants: This was a jumpsuit that had nautical hardware on the straps. I got it at a thrift shop when I was pregnant and I wore it with a big belly. I'll try to find a picture. I'm not sure why I cut it, but I wish now that I hadn't.

Shoes: Fit Flops