Coats: I love leather coats. I think that a leather coat is my signature item, as I have worn them every winter since I was able to purchase my first one with saved up Christmas money in…2001? So that’s over a decade of leather coats! I am trying to decide if I should part with my black leather coat during “the purge”, as I never wear it – and I have a medium brown leather coat and a red leather coat hanging in the closet. My leather coat style preference has always been more “moto”, as I like where the coat hits right at my hip, plus the tailoring always flatters me (I think), and I am a big fan of mandarin type collars on myself.
Last year, I was beginning to try to cultivate the “perfect wardrobe” and looked at a lot of “must have” lists. I went out and bought the proverbial trench coat. I love how they look on other women – so classy but versatile (and practical in Seattle!). However, I have no defined waist – my dad called me a 2×4 for years – and I feel like my trench coat must me look boxy and frumpy. It has hung in the closet for over a year and never been worn. I believe it will go during “the purge”. I do have another trench that I like the cut and fabric, but its black and pewter plaid, so it will probably not make the cut either. I just can’t mix a black coat with brown shoes…call me neurotic. I have a olive green Anorak, that I ordered right before the shopping hiatus and should be waiting for me when I get home. My plan is to waterproof it and use it for a three season light jacket. Speaking of waterproof – I have a greyish brown soft-shell wind/rain jacket and my “parka” is an ivory and the same greyish brown (I think it is called weimaraner – like the dog). Oh, I also have a denim jacket that I have had for years, but refuse to part with!
Let’s talk shoes. I have pared down my shoes since beginning this project as well. Since I am working really hard to purge black from my closet – I realize that I no longer need black footwear to match the black outfits! I am donating my black heels, black tall boots, and black flats.
My “true” shoe collection includes: nude pumps, camel pumps, dark brown pumps, medium brown moto boots, metallic gold flats, and orangey brown sandals. I also wear a couple pair of minimal tennis shoes for casual wear (one is teal and light grey and the other is pink and dark grey). Additionally, I have a pair of hiking sandals that aren’t the prettiest, but they are very practical!
Mistakes learned from following those every popular “10 Items Every Woman Must Own” type lists. Those lists do not work for everyone – you have to consider your lifestyle and your personal preferences. Every list I see suggests a black suit. I spent a lot of money on black suits and suiting separates. I have worn NONE of them, as I always reach for my brown suiting separates when the need arises. Same with a black sheath dress – if you don’t like black or don’t feel your best in black, don’t spend the money on a black sheath dress. Mine was worn once – to a funeral, and I felt like dear grandma (who was a Color Me Beautiful consultant during the early 1990’s) was shaking her head at the fact that I was wearing black to her funeral, when it is clearly not a good color for me. I did try to brighten it up with a teal pashmina – and could feel her approval for that. I decided that my “little black dress” would be the “little brown dress” and pride myself on the fact that I stand out in a room when everyone else is wearing black. (Same with the brown suit and interviews…I remember interviewing for my current position and I was the only person not wearing a black suit – and one of only two people that were offered the position. Coincidence?) The trench coat has already been touched on – but I am not totally ready to abandon that idea, as it would be nice to have a coat that would go with more formal wear. I am just going to be more selective about which coat I buy and hold out for the perfectly cut trench for my figure. Maybe something shorter would be more flattering? The crisp white shirt, again – same as the black article, if you don’t feel your best in crisp white, try to find something softer, like ivory. However, be warned that it’s difficult to find and I am still searching for a crisp, ivory, button up.