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By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category5Style.com
“Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind…” As soon as I see a temperature drop I am immediately delighted by the thought of the winter ahead. Cold winds and gray skies, it really can be quite pleasing. But I will tell you that no matter how much time passes, I don’t know what’s worse, the sting of the winter air on my face, or the freezing of my ear drums as I listen to women tell me it’s time to pull out their winter wardrobe. I’m always left baffled. This idea of owning two separate wardrobes based on the season is as Shakespeare once put it, “mere folly.” Let’s break down this rational of owning two wardrobes, and then focus on ways to avoid being anything other than one woman with one wardrobe.
Living your life with two different wardrobes based on the season always circles back to the material and weight of the pieces. Heavy sweaters and tweed pants, these are pieces one could never pull off in the summertime without looking like you were on your way to a sanitarium. While I can understand potentially owning one pair of tweed pants because they were so beautiful and perfectly fitted you simply couldn’t leave them at the store…do you really need five pairs? I think not. Owning one super heavy sweater on that super cold winter day when you know the purpose of that sweater is based on nothing other than comfort is totally acceptable. I said one! More than one begins steering you to a clear path of multiple wardrobes. Multiple wardrobes are such a responsibility. It’s enough for most to ensure that the wardrobe they have is a true reflection of who they are visually in addition to keeping it up to date. Adding a second wardrobe doubles both the responsibility and the risk of failure. That type of pressure, whether a woman acknowledges it or not, is enough to lead to discouragement, and an inevitable decline in her style. Keeping your mind on one wardrobe and remembering the notions of layering and building, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division…well these are all strategies any woman with an elementary education can get behind!
“Divergence to Streamline”
My hope is that at this point I’ve intrigued you enough to consider the possibility that the divergent, multiple wardrobe path you’re on is worth leaving behind, and a streamlined solution is up ahead. In order to switch tracks you must change your mentality of shopping. No longer is the focus on heavy wool pants and herringbone skirts, but instead lightweight wool pants (think Theory) and cotton stretch pencil skirts (think J.Crew). In the warmer months no “wear” modifications are required. In the colder months, you would add hosiery under those lightweight wool pants and printed ribbed knit tights (think StyleMint’s Oxblood Tulip Tights) under that cotton pencil skirt. When focusing on the types of tops you purchase, again we come back to strategy. Collared shirts should have the ability to be rolled up to the elbow in the warmer months, while used as an under layer to a three-quarter sleeve lightweight merino wool polka dot sweater in the colder months. Pair that “cold” ensemble with a star print scarf in the same color family and you’re golden. As scarves are truly a year-round accessory (remember to keep your buying focus to cotton and or lightweight wool-silk blends), you are no longer hampered by your accessories either! The underbelly of “one woman-one wardrobe” is truly based on the notion that every purchase you make should be grounded in math. Can you add to that dress to make it plausible in winter (think Free People’s Rugby Stripe Dress pictured above), and subtract to make it workable in spring? Can you layer and build that cardigan (with removable fur trim at the neck) with your moto jacket and not only be completely warm for winter, but totally chic in the process? This type of thinking will not only remove the division that exists in your wardrobe, but multiply those much needed dollars in the bank to put towards other efforts.
As I watch the ten day weather forecast and see nothing but low temps ahead, it is truly calming to know that no matter what the temperature reads my wardrobe is always fully prepared and the walk to my closet remains consistent and grounded. No rummaging through what I own worrying over what still “works” this season. I know it all works because I just wore those pants last week! I can finish out the song “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind” in my head from Shakespeare’s As You Like It peacefully…”Then heigh-ho, to the holly. This life is most jolly.”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.