I’m having a closet problem lately: too much stuff in it. Problem is, the vast majority of it is stuff I actually wear. My sweaters may not fit well in their hanging shelf doohicky, but I love wearing sweaters and don’t want to give up any of them unless they’re entirely falling apart. Then there’s the stuff I don’t wear often, but need to have because when it’s needed, it’s really needed: suit, dress slacks, dressy dresses. I have been trying to be more realistic about getting rid of or at least sidelining clothing that doesn’t fit me any more, on the theory that even if the weight I gained during our expat years magically melts away someday, fashions have changed. (Not the year-to-year fads; I ignore those unless they’re something I like. I’m talking about the multi-year trends that are why you could walk around a mall ten years ago and see everyone in boot-cut jeans with shorter, tighter tops, whereas now jeans are tighter and tops are longer and looser.) Still, there are some things that are classics, like my two menswear-styled plaid vests. There are also things I think I should wear, like work-appropriate button-down shirts, but don’t because collared shirts are not that flattering on me. I’d put everything I don’t wear in a box under the bed, if only I could find a box low enough to fit, so I could keep it for a year and then throw it out if unworn in that time.

But I like my clothes and shoes. I love that an increasing proportion of my sweaters and socks were made by me. I love the decreasing proportion of my clothes that were purchased elsewhere – every time I wear them, they bring back memories and I’ll be sad when they’re mostly gone. I like that most of my jewelry has a story. I like thinking about what goes together, and planning what to wear the next day each night as I’m waiting to fall asleep. As much as I like choosing outfits, though, I’ve never wanted to do a fashion blog or even fashion posts here because of the photos. First, for the winter half of the year I’m rarely home during daylight hours, which cuts down on photos I can take. Second, I’m the least photogenic person I know. I don’t hate the way I look; I just hate the way I look in photos. My eyes cross, my chin sags, my teeth look anything but white (they came out multicolored, in one recent memorable photo!), my belly sticks out so that I look misshapen. Any photo you’ve seen here was culled from many more that looked much worse. I think I may have found a solution to that, though:

vestoutfit

From the top down, vest made by me (Boogie Vest pattern in Cascade 128 yarn), fine lawn collarless buttondown, jeans, Ariat cowboy boots. Other details include an emerald necklace and earrings Ted gave me years ago, though I realized in daylight that they don’t really go with the more olive green of the vest, and a low ponytail because the outfit seemed to call for it.

Or I could just learn to live with the way I look in normal photos. This was actually easier to take, though!