After much soul searching and thought, I've realized that--after five months and two days of the Wardrobe by Sam project--I'm done.
This was definitely not an easy decision to make. I don't like to give up on goals I've set for myself. If I did I wouldn't have published my first full-length novel almost twenty years after I began writing fiction. In the end, it's not so much that I've given up, but that I finished early.
When I started the project, I had every intention of doing it for the full year I'd planned. In fact, that intention was solid right up until last week. What happened? I realized that I've reached a point of diminishing returns. I've learned everything I hoped to, and more, in the five months since I started.
Here's some of what I learned:
1. I am not my clothes.
2. Yes, I can get away with wearing discount store clothes pretty much anywhere--and no one will really care or even notice.
3. Inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean something is cheap, and it can look damn good.
4. Pleather is not evil, and if it's done well, no one can tell the difference anyway.
5. I may be vain, but only a true narcissist could take a fashion-type shot of herself every day and not go a little bit crazy.
6.Wow. People have a lot of energy about WalMart.
7. Costume jewelry is a good thing. Not only can it make an outfit--you can also travel with it and leave it lying out in a hotel room without hesitation.
8. I'm way more picky about handbags than I thought I was. I may even have handbag issues.
9.With the exception of a few too-young, bored cashiers with a tendency to share too much, the real people of WalMart are unerringly friendly, helpful, and patient.
10. I really am way too old to shop in the junior's department, but it's okay to buy a tee shirt there every so often.
11. Acrylic IS evil and shouldn't be allowed. Ever.
12. It's kind of fun to have polished fingernails again.
13. Without a doubt, I've had the loveliest, funniest, most supportive group of readers and commenters that a blogger girl could have. You all have shared yourselves and your stories with astounding generosity. I'm humbled by your kindness and more grateful than you'll ever know.
A part of me is busy lining up a long list of explanations of why it's okay that I'm ending the project now. But that's a personal discussion between me and the voices in my head that everyone else would find completely unintelligible.
There has been one strange but huge advantage in my having to shop at one category/brand of store. It's been very helpful when it comes to my ADHD. I always have a difficult time prioritizing and making choices. Here lately, my fashion choices have been very limited, and so I've had discrete, manageable boundaries within which to operate. Norma Kamali's mostly-black line makes everyday dressing Garanimal easy. If one-piece Barbaloot suits ever come into fashion, I'm just going to buy one in every color and throw all my other clothes away.
Well, my DH says that I should learn to sew and wear only clothes that I make for a year. I told him that I would if he would. This was a huge mistake because he would not hesitate to throw on a toga made from a bedsheet, hop in the car, and go teach his classes or give a reading. I, however, know my limitations. I took an adult ed sewing class when I was eighteen. I bought a pattern and fabric for a jumper, and even--with lots of help--got it cut out. At the end of the eight-week class, I came home with a pathetic excuse for a belt.
I expect that my fondness for life-changing projects won't disappear. There was my Flat Belly Diet blog and, now, this. I have much to think about, much to write. Much of what I learned doing WBS will no doubt end up in a book--but probably a different book than I'd begun to plan. Mostly I need to continue working on my novels. And of course I'll be blogging at Notes From the Handbasket--though with a lighter hand. I won't hesitate to include fashion in my posts. Fashion is the ultimate shiny object.
Here's my final ensemble. I was messing around with lighting for a beauty shot of my DH, and Bengal, who was home from school, got bored of being my test model and ran away to hide. "You do it," he said. "You take your own picture all the time!"
To the Max blouse: $3 (clearance); Grace Elements sweater: $15 (Sam's); Faded Glory Jeans: $15; Earrings: $7; Necklace: $10; Faded Glory boots: $23 Total: $73
Hugs and Hugs! xoxo