Closet Case

Alas, my closet . . . I yearn for a magazine layout-type closet – have you seen those wonderful California Closet advertisements?  Pristinely folded piles and evenly spaced hanging items, sorted by color, on coordinated hangers, with darling little shoe and handbag cubbies. 

Divinely OCD - My Dream Closet

Divinely OCD - My Dream Closet

Currently my closet is a slapdashery of chaos and mayhem rivaling an accident scene (an accident where no one was harmed in any way, of course, an accident possibly involving an overturned dry-cleaning delivery vehicle, the processing facilities of a full-service Laundromat, several u-fill storage bins, and a small shoe store).  In short – a healthy happy wardrobe tonnage lives IN my closet, but I can’t find anything IN my closet, y’all . . . and it drives me wild. 

My aspiration to closet OCD-ism is one of the reasons why I am so hooked on the Polyvore.  Outfits seeded by Polyvore – my own sets or sets blatantly ripped off from sourced from others – at least help me approach the morning with a plan in hand for the daily recon mission in my closet.  Polyvore, with its orderly, sort-able ‘tags’ and sets’ is my ‘virtual California Closets’ solution. 

Polyvore also assists in ridding my closet of lackluster items before their statutes of retail return limitations expire.  Hence, bold flower shirt (see below) did not make the cut, and a recently purchased cami (also shown below) may soon be returned as well.  If I can’t rock it in Polyvore, I can’t rock in IRL . . .

Bold Floral Top

Bold Floral Top

 

Print Cami

Print Cami

Is there a downside to all this Polyvore-ing?  Well, fantastically stylish and creative Polyvore peers certainly do create sets with items, basic and fancy, which bear striking resemblance to those residing in my own closet, and continually fashion effortless remixes of these formerly humdrum items.  Their results are can be inspiring (“OMG – I have those shoes AND a dress like that and NEVER CONSIDERED putting them together with that and that and that . . . ”  – i.e. an ability to ‘shop your closet’, as the phenomenon is known in Recession-ese . . . ).  However, amid the din of fall season retail rollouts, it is becoming apparent that observation of others’ advanced Polyvore mixer-y may result in wanton clothing lust when shiny tempting new items are worked into the existing Polyvore vernacular. Which brings me to my J. Crew wish list for fall, along with a few things from my closet for proposed mixing and matching: 

 XO

Debtonaire

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‘Fession

Well, the gig is up.  Here we are nearing the end of July, and I still have consumer credit outstanding.  The Number is flat-lining at $11k.  (To my eye, the ‘k’ looks so much more pleasant than horrid $000s.)  Past attempts at retail restraint have been well meaning but doomed from the get-go  – due to prior bouts of clothing and accessory starvation (resulting in bingeing) coupled with plain old lack of willpower.  My last plan was to limit purchases to ‘just what I really LOVE’, which didn’t work because, clearly, my ability to love inanimate objects (clothes, shoes, handbags) knows NO BOUNDS. 

So, I ‘fessed up to my husband about my personal debt load.  Rather, my husband inquired about my outstanding credit card balances, and I told him.  He was less than pleased, but not particularly surprised.  Kind of anticlimactic – he appreciates that I make an effort to not schlump around, and has at least a basic understanding of the concept that a certain level of non-schlumpiness comes with a price tag.  Who knew?  I feel a little silly about trying to be so subversive about shopping.  Also in my favor is that I have more job stability than previously anticipated – a surprising change from earlier in the year – so he is more relaxed and I feel less guilty about impacting the family in a negative way in a down economy and weak job market for finance professionals.  

My husband and I differ in our approaches to money.  I am better at picking stocks and investments, but am missing the saving gene.  My husband alternates between crushing conservatism and day trading, but is a fantastic saver.  I suspect his saving ability relies largely on gender – he is not female, hence is immune to the siren song of the Jimmy Choo.  In most economic climates, I am comfortable carrying a certain amount of debt, a small percentage of my personal GDP so to speak.  My husband is not at ease with any debt, as the plaintive cry of the Chloe bag does not keep him awake at night. 

The long and short of it is that I am shifting down to second gear in my quest for financial health (and wardrobe improvement) – the slow track.  And this is what I am wearing today:

XO

Debtonaire

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Polyvore-ing 7/21/09

Signed up with Polyvorerecently – was probably sole hold-out in certain demographics. I could argue that it is a practical matter – pre-assembled ensembles coupled with others’ inspired combos results in hours a week saved.  (This time is usually spent rooting frantically through my closet).  However, mostly Polyvore is just FUN and I am flat-out addicted.   The Polyvore set shown below is what I am wearing today:

 

The caption ‘Citron Dress Take 4″ refers to previous attempts (some successful, some not) at styling the yellow-green J. Crew dress. I love the color, but it is a tricky one.  Here are a few prior attempts:

 

More later . . .

XO Debtonaire

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Flower Top Untamed

flower shirt near larger

I am struggling with my recently purchased See by Chloe floral print top.  I have tried Flower Top on three mornings this week, but it still has tags and has not ventured out of the closet.  Flower Top is quite stridently floral, as is apparent from the photo above.  I am only barely getting used to wearing tiny snippets of color (a silk shell here, a cardigan there, but never the twain shall meet) after self imposed banishment to The Land of Neutrals for an undisclosed period.  Love the colors:  greige-y and the slightly muted primaries and secondaries. . . typically my problem with florals is that they are too “precious” in palette.  Will try Flower Top with some little yellow or baby blue shorts and clunky sandals.  Is it possible that Flower Top could work under a cardigan with a belt, pencil skirt, slingbacks and my black Chloe Saskia tote?  

XO Debtonaire

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Recently Purchased . . . (Clearance Season Abounds)

My favorite semi-annual ‘holiday’ is upon us.  Clearance Season, when the FedEx man is never far from the doorstep! Corrugated boxes filled with clearance merchandise rain from the skies!  Ccollage and listing of purchased items listed below:

 

  • Saks.com:  See by Chloe flowered sundress, flowered top, bibb top, blue cut-out cardi, emerald oversized cardi, slouchy cross body bag; Tory Burch dark wash trouser jean (question though, are trouser jeans still ‘in’ or have we moved to just skinny-skinny and boyfriend-y?)
  • net-a-porter:  Malene Birger grape cotton cardi with giant white beaded buttons; Pedro Garcia nude knotted leather sandals
  • Bluefly:  Jimmy Choo platinum peep-toe platform slingback
  • JCrew: lemonade ruffle front cardi, bright citron slub silk cocktail dress,  black and lemonade t-shirts, various silky little shells for layering
  • eLuxury:  Robert Rodriguez emerald lace dress
  • Nordstrom: Marc Jacobs safey pin clutch (was NOT on sale, but IS abs adorables . . .)
  • GAP: light grey capris (formerly the capri was category banned from the Debtonaire closet, but apparently can be worn with very high heels to avoid leg stumpiness!)

Few missteps were made along the way and will be returned: army green cargo harem pants (look so cute on freeze-framed 15-year-old, 5’11”,  size 2 model, bad idea for me); and voluminous blousy top 3.1 Philip Lim (looks like too short beige old-timey nightgown – very Little House on the Prairie). 

 Sidebar:  after several years of banker black and sensible beige/grey/navy, the purchase of such colorful printed items have the unintended side effect of making me want to stick my head in the bleach bucket . . . More later on integration of said items into closet.

XO

Debtonaire

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Back from Hiatus! (and Progress Report . . .)

It has been an unforgivably long time since my last post. My absence has been due to partially to torrentially horrid conditions at work (20%), and partially because . . . I just D-E-S-P-I-S-E all the barbaric self-inflicted personal maintenance and wardrobe deprivation seemingly necessary to reach my goal of “debt free by June 30th 2009” (80%+). It’s embarrassing as I was so gung-ho.  In the end, I just couldn’t stick with the plan – couldn’t do it a minute longer and was ashamed to own up. I am weak weak weak, and clearly apocalyptic cost cutting is not in my nature.

New plan– get what I need and no more. It has to be perfect: fit, color, fabric all flawless. If not, back to the store it goes. (This sounds basic but for me is a huge obstacle – I don’t like returning things to the store or even repacking returns to send back, so in the past tended to keep or give away substandard purchases. Yup. Seriously. Another bad, embarrassing habit now out in the open. Another confession:  I reeealllly can’t bear going to the gas station and am trying to train my husband to do it for me, automatically, like an upgraded full-service option – but that’s another story.)

On my Spring purchase list: versatile dresses – the sort that can be worn at a wedding, work or out to dinner with carefully shifted accessories; nice (aka leather or fabric not rubber) flip flops to supplement and enhance my Havaiana stockpile; short sleeve cotton/linen/silk cardigan to go with everything 24/7.  Not purchased this Spring – a new handbag.   However I did send one of the Chloes to refurb for freshening with very snappy results. 

During hiatus I have resumed salon waxing (thank goodness) and lash tinting – but at a less posh salon. Instead of Keratin Complex straightening I have been using Living Proof NoFrizz and am hopeful this will get me through the humid months and into Fall. I had a little laser to correct some sun damage, and a little Botox to correct the crevices the market turbulence left on my forehead. However, apart from the odd mani-pedi – I AM doing my own toes and fingers.

So, although I am more sane and better groomed, what has this fiscal detour done to my debt repayment plan? As of today, “The Number” is roughly $11,000.00, down from the $14k-$15k range at last writing. All my department store accounts have been paid off – all that is left are balances are on two Visa cards. By the end of June, one of those cards will be paid off in its entirety, and the other will have a $7,000.00 balance. And counting.
Back soon. Really.

XO

Debtonaire

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Taps

Been away for a while – up to my eyeballs in distressed assets.  My firm’s third (and final) hedge fund is on the rocks – two funds either went into liquidation earlier this year.  I keep looking for updside, and maybe the only upside is that I know to expect a maelstrom of bottom cycle activity, none all of which will be endured without anesthetic.  (Retail therapy anyone?)  Hope you are weathering the recessionary winds a bit better than I . . .

XO Debtonaire

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