Thursday, December 6, 2012

National Gazpacho Day

I have been asked to describe how I come up with my outfits. It’s a good question. When I first reached my 70-pound weight loss goal in May of 2011, the whole world was my oyster (or at least my whole closet was). I had serendipitously discovered several boxes of clothing in my cellar that spring which I had inadvertently hauled with me from house to house and state to state for almost 40 years. All my favorite pieces from the 1970s, miraculously well-preserved, were in those crumbling cardboard containers, and they formed the basis of a brand "new" wardrobe, since I was now way too slender for my old clothes and I couldn’t afford to buy all new apparel.

Newly slim in those heady early days last year, I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to see what exciting outfit I could put together from all the vintage treasures I’d just rediscovered. It was, in fact, the reason I launched this blog a year ago – to celebrate my new, slim self and to show off an extensive collection of retro 1970s gear that I’d forgotten I still owned.

But now it’s 2012, and I’ve worn just about everything in my closet. The closet itself, I might add, was inspired by the vintage threads. If you’d like to see how I designed a fabulous new walk-in wardrobe out of a spare bedroom in my ancient farmhouse, click on (Bedroom To Closet Conversion). Although I still adore my closet and the clothes in it, I’m no longer waking up in the middle of the night bursting with ideas about pieces to put together from my collection to create some fabulous new look.

So the way I decide what I’m going to wear, now that almost everything in my closet has been blogged about at least once, is to do what most women probably do. It’s what I did today. As I sat at my dressing table applying my makeup this morning, I pondered what I "felt" like wearing. I considered the forecast, which called for clear, crisp skies and chilly, below-average temperatures not exceeding the mid-40s, with a slight breeze for an additional chill-factor. Pants, I decided. Definitely pants.

But that’s as far as I got before my maquillage was complete. So I walked into my dressing room and just stared, blankly, waiting for inspiration to strike, hoping some perfect ensemble would intuit itself into my consciousness as I canvassed the choices before me. And, eventually, it did. I looked at my slacks. Hmmm. I hadn’t worn the green ones in awhile. In fact, I hadn’t put a sage-hued ensemble together in what seemed like ages. Oh, and there was a perfect long-sleeved top I could wear with the pants. And just like that, my outfit came together.

I paired the trousers, a beloved relic with tapered legs by Inclinations that I’d purchased at JCPenney when I worked there in the 1970s, with an olive pullover by Fashion Force that my mother bought for me at K-Mart when I was a teenager. I pulled a new Laurel Burch equestrian scarf, picked up at a tiny boutique in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport over a year ago but never worn, through a mixed metal scarf slide and added some avocado and amber glass bead earrings by Mixit for JCPenney. I chose comfortable black, high-heeled loafers by Studio Paolo for my feet, and finished with a fabulous velvet cape with a lime silk chiffon lining by JJCollection to ward off the chill, the latter a gift from my dear friends Robert and Jan many Christmases ago.

With my clothing chosen, the only thing left to decide was whether to wear my hair up or down. I chose "up", fastened into a tousled bun, and I then I was out the door and into the sunshine, making my way to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. for research on behalf of my employer. That today happens to be National Gazpacho Day, National Mitten Tree Day, and the day in 1492 that Christopher Columbus landed his vessels on Hispaniola, an island off Cuba’s eastern shore, did not factor into my wardrobe choice. In fact, I can’t imagine why a summer soup would have its day in frosty December. But that's what appeared on my screen when I googled "December 6" tonight after work. As good a reason as any to wear green, I suppose.

So there you have it, dear readers: my ever-so-scientific methodology for selecting what I will wear on any given day.

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