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Quality Over Quantity

19 Feb

First of all, allow me to introduce myself: My name is Jenny and I live in Houston, Texas.  I’m totally thrilled to be a new contributor for Style All Over. I really like the premise of this blog and am hopeful that I can add a little something interesting to it, from the point of view of a Southern gal, living in a city known for it’s heat, humidity, hurricanes and pollution (don’t go plagiarizing me, City of Houston Department of Tourism, ya hear?). 

I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s Resolution, but it is an idea that I got shortly after the new year–quality over quantity. I know, I know…not a revolutionary,  rabble-rouser-type of idea. But, I began to see a pattern in my shopping and this pattern involved way too many ill-fitting articles of clothing from Old Navy and Target that were just “good enough.”  I realized that, for roughly the same cost as 3 tops from Target that are marginally cute, maybe could fit just a wee bit better; oops, just splatted tomato sauce on this one, oh well…I could buy 1 top at Anthropologie that I truly adore, relish in wearing often and lovingly and vow to take better care of it (as an aside {and, my apologies in advance, but I’m an aside-aholic–you’ll come to learn this about me} I saw this idea on Pinterest and have been using it regularly. Complete laundry game-changer!)

http://www.mommysavers.com/c/t/204934/tip-use-a-dry-erase-marker-on-your-washer-top)

Make notes to yourself on your washing machine, to remind you what’s currently in the washer so that you don’t accidentally fry something delicate to a crisp in the dryer. (Photo and idea courtesy of http://www.mommysavers.com)

So, one of the items in my closet that gets the most play is the almighty tank top. Living in Houston, my tank tops get a lot of wear–by themselves in the Summer or–every other season of the year–under a cardigan for overly-air conditioned places, evenings and chilly weather. For the past few years, I’ve stocked up on this tank from Old Navy:

Perfectly mediocre

Perfectly mediocre

Meh. It’s pretty good, I guess…nothing to write home about, but fine, layered under a cardigan. Sure, I’m in between sizes in this particular style, so one size is a little too loose and the next size down would be too snug, but whatever.  I’ve amassed a collection of probably 10 of these tanks (2 white ones, of course {see tomato sauce reference above}) in all different colors. I’ve worn them for a few years and they’re stained, pilling in places and unraveling in others. Also, they do this very indelicate maneuver wherein a few hours into wearing them, they tend to shift and slide about 45 degrees across my chest, thereby revealing almost one whole cup of my bra. This particular occurence has made for some very interesting grocery store trips and teacher conferences. But, I digress (again)…

So, when I sat down and thought about what an integral part of my wardrobe these tanks had become and, given the fact that they really just don’t fit as well as I’d like, I decided to research alternatives–namely, higher-quality alternatives. This led me to J. Crew where I found this tank:

VIntage Cotton Tank

Vintage Cotton Tank, $19.50-$24.50

Love! Oh, my lands, how I love this tank! Now, I’m no Pollyanna, and I realize that J.Crew has chinks in their armour of quality from time to time. However, the fact that I’m so comfortable in this tank and that it’s spot-on, on so many of my bullet-point criteria, I’m hopeful that I can take good care of it and wear the snot out of it. I bought it in white, navy and neon persimmon and have my sights set on a couple of the other colors. Sure, it costs about 4 times what my Old Navy tanks cost, but I’m willing to accept quality over quantity on this one and keep my collection to a perfectly conservative minimum.

Me, in my J.Crew tank sans cardigan

With a cardigan over it

Do you LOVE your clothes?

31 Jan

I’m working on cleaning out my closet…and dresser…and random tub full of more clothes. If I ask for advice on what to get rid of, I get a lot of “only keep things you love!” A good idea, especially if you have so many clothes you should probably only keep a quarter of them, but my whims change pretty often and I don’t really have clothes I consistently love. I can think of several outfits I love right now, but I don’t know that I still will at this time next year. Also, as much as I’d love to wear them every day, I think a rotation of three outfits would get old pretty fast.

I don’t want to go shopping and building an entire wardrobe of only things I love sounds really expensive. I’m perfectly happy with my wardrobe of things I “like some days” instead of L.O.V.E. But…that’s almost everything. How do you clean out your closet? What do you keep?

gone.crop

Here’s the stuff that was easy to get rid of on the first pass. 35 items and it barely made a dent!