Posted in Blogmas, craft, Lifestyle, Project 333, Seasonal, Tag

December 9th -Ugly Jumpers

I am a bit fussy about clothes – I have a minimalist capsule wardrobe to prove it- and, as such, am not a fan of the whole ‘Ugly Christmas Jumper’ craze.  Why invest in a piece of clothes you can only wear for one month?  At least gloves and hats are useful and can be worn all winter …and spring in England…and much of summer to be honest!

While Hannah has a comprehensive Christmas couture Collection – one of the many benefits of volunteering in a charity shop – my seasonal sartorial selection is very limited.  But if I ever find the Navy/Grey/Pink , slightly Nordic, jumper I have in my head, I will buy it.  Until then we have today’s advent present: Gingerbread Ugly Jumpers.

9th Dec

 We are not Bakers

Last year we attempted building a gingerbread house.  It was an unmitigated disaster.  In the end we declared it an art piece that represented modern society, in that it was broken; it had fallen down, and the once white icing looked yellow and as if someone had peed against the crumbling walls of the sorry looking biscuit based hovel.  We actually own special cookie cutters that would enable us to bake and build our own house, which we laughingly decided against.  Aldi sells a pre-made house, complete with the icing to decorate it, but even that seemed beyond our skill set, so to compromise, we used this box.

Christmas Biscuit Decorating
Ignore the ‘dead inside’ eyes – he is actually very happy to be making biscuits… well, he is happy to be eating biscuits…

 

I am not being uncharitable when I state that icing is probably not my family’s medium.  Ethan chose to use ALL of the sugar stars, while Toby went for a more minimalist look  AKA ‘couldn’t really be bothered and just wanted to eat it’

 

 

I am now waiting for Hannah to return from work to redeem the family’s artistic honour… I will hopefully have an improvement on the above to add to this post later this evening.

edit: Han came home and made her biscuit, as her jumper picture was WHOLLY unsuitable for the internet, I made her add a few sprinkles.  Suffice to say, my  assertion that we are indeed NOT bakers has been wholeheartedly confirmed.

Are you a seasonal baker? What are your best makes? Should ugly Christmas jumpers be thrown in a fire and burned to keep us warm this season? Let me know in the comments!

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Posted in Declutter, Lifestyle, minimalism, Project 333, Regarding polly, Uncategorized

Capsule Wardrobe – Take 2

A few years ago, after reading up on the wonders of Kon Mari and discovering Courtney Carver, I started dabbling with reducing my clothes – in fact there is a very old vlog kicking about on YouTube if you fancy a laugh. As someone attempting to declutter both my house and life, I have read a few books on the whole ‘less is more’ concept and have realised a few things: If you are trying to declutter a family home it is difficult as it is full of things that aren’t necessarily yours – this is why clothes are one of the easiest things to start your declutter with as they one thing that is all yours. I have never been a particularly ‘clothesy’ person, so being overburdened with shoes and tops has never been a problem. Having said that, let me tell you about my latest wardrobe.

(I am currently on a weekend away in sunny Somerset, and as such cannot access my full wardrobe, or indeed add pictures to this post – but I will update it as soon as I get back to my PC!)

So what is the plan?

While there have been a number of changes to my original wardrobe I am confident I have found my style and colour palette. For anyone new to the capsule wardrobe concept, I explain it all here, and I then review my first attempt at it here, if you are still not sure if it is for you I discuss the pros & cons in this post (Yes, I have written three whole articles on capsule wardrobes despite claiming to not be a ‘clothesy’ person!)

If you haven’t got time to look at those posts – the basic premise is that for the next 3 months I will be using just 33 pieces for my wardrobe, and the idea is they should all work together to create sartorial harmony…fingers crossed. Let me introduce you to the wardrobe (this will easier after my Monday vlog goes live and I can just add a video of me telling what all the pieces are here!)

Tops

This is the only part of the wardrobe where I have been able to add a few patterned pieces. I have gone for relatively plain short sleeve tops (my stripey peach bow top notwithstanding!) in shades of grey, navy and peach. I have also chosen two long sleeve bretons, and three blouses: a peach Laura Ashley one, a spotty Bowden one and a blue and white striped one from M&S.

I do actually wear a lot of vests, but generally they are under clothes, so made an executive decision that these technically counted as underwear and that I was totally not cheating by deciding to do that.

 

Knitwear and Sweaters

While my blazer doesn’t really count as either knitwear or a sweater it has been added to this section anyway. It is literally one of my best ever charity shop finds and goes so well with smart dresses and jeans.DSC_0413

I feel I may have ‘over egged the warm warm wear cake’ – it is still unseasonably warm, though I imagine my saying that out loud will jinx it and there will now be rain until next March (and as if by magic, it is now pouring down!)

This section has 3 cardigans: my maroon oversized fluffy one AKA craft cardi, and two similar versions of a round neck card in light grey and blue.

There are two jumpers, a deep blue v-neck and a peach batwing style one. Not really sure how I feel about the blue one, so may potentially swap it out if I spot one I prefer.

For sweaters I have my Pusheen top and a floral offering from Monki.

Bottoms

My original capsule didn’t contain any trousers, as I didn’t own any. I always put off getting a pair of jeans because I knew what was going to happen… I would just chuck them on and not even think about it. To an extent that is true now that I own jeans; I try not to over rely them but they are now a mainstay of my wardrobe. They are also – if you want to be a pedant about it- the only actual pair of trousers in the capsule, as I have put two pairs of culottes that I bought in Japan. More and more people seem to be sporting similar pairs lately, so I like to think I was ahead of the game there!

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I have also whittled down my skirts to just two: a heavy cotton navy number from M&S, and a shiny pleated silver one. Both can be dressed up for nights out, or worn casually with the sweaters.

 

Dresses

Reducing my my dress collection down to five was a bit painful, but I decided to go for a combination of pinafores that I could layer with the tops, smart ones that I could ‘dress up’, as it were, and one totally impractical netty peach one!

They are all navy – I just can’t wear black- and they all have pockets, as that is just something any good dress should possess.

Footwear

I don’t own loads of shoes, and as it is the season for it, my brown boots were an obvious first choice.

My trainers were also going to have to go on the list, and now we have a permanent ‘casual wear’ policy at work, I don’t need to include any smart shoes.

Last of all I will add my jade-green totally-don’t-go-with-anything-but-so-comfy baseball boots. They are somewhat wrecked, so once the inevitably fall apart, I will swap them for my peach baseball boots. At least they will coordinate with my wardrobe colourwise!

Outerwear

I have added my warm scarf, that served me so well in Berlin and two coats to the list.

My pink coat is more waterproof, while my navy wool coat is a lot warmer. So I will need to decide between getting wet and staying warm in any given weather situation!

Allowable Extras

I am allowed – as per the rules – my undies, pyjamas, laze about clothes and stuff for working out.

I am not including bags, as I only have a few, and depending on whether I have to walk miles or I can get a lift, I take a backpack or a handbag. They aren’t so much part of my wardrobe, but a practical means to carry my important stuff about.

The PJs, my house culottes, and my onesie AKA my ‘not tonightsie’ are all staying. Also, my Guide uniform is included as an extra.

Naughty Cheats

I bought a beautiful dress a few months ago, and some shoes. Never had the chance to wear them…

So I have them for my weekend away to Butlin’s and will wear them again for Christmas… Bit of a cheat, but it wasn’t worth making them part of the wardrobe for one wear – also there are no photos so, technically, it never happened!

So here we are… I will upload photos to this post once I get home, and I am sure it will make a difference. As it is, check out the 10.30am vlog on the YouTube channel on Monday to see all the clothes.

I plan on doing a weekly round up on Instagram of my outfits of the week, so you could pop and see me there too.

How does your wardrobe grow? Too much? Too little? Just right?

Any favourite pieces you couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Declutter, minimalism, Project 333, Uncategorized

#Project333 Update – What I will change

Sticking to the capsule has been easy – It’s not like I had lot of choice; the rest of my clothes are packed away! What I have had trouble with is remembering to note down what I am wearing on the nerd sheet and taking photos of the outfits.  There are, however enough notes for me to have worked out a few changes I plan on making to next months capsule (which is totally in the rules I have just made up).  So here is what I have been getting up to this month, what I have learned and what changes I plan on making.

Artmuseums

 

How has it been going?

In both my previous post about #Project333 / #PPTKOMins  and in my article “Clothes? To Capsule, or to Kon Mari?” I mention something quite important; Limiting your clothes choices is not ideal for everyone.  Just because you want to be a minimalist it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of clothes you like and wear just to fit an arbitrary model.

That said, I have jumped into the whole “Less is More” idea with gusto.  It has certainly made getting ready in the morning quicker.  There are, of course, a few issues that have come up in my first month of trying out the project, and my nerd sheet – even when I have failed to complete it- has pointed out some glaring mistakes I have made with my choices.

 

My Choices: 

Let me introduce you to the items that made it into the experiment – First up, I have finally built my Ikea rail so I have now been able to hang all of the clothes together and look at them in an oddly satisfying way…

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Building myself an Ikea rail…
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They work together! Honestly!

And this is my nerd sheet: (A blank copy, obviously!)

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The idea being: I add a date into the squares to indicate what I have worn on any given day.  What has been highlighted by the sheet is that I over rely on certain clothes, have not even worn others, and that I am now totally unprepared for a special event that will mean I may need to borrow an outfit from someone else!*

So let’s go over my choices:

 

Clothes Rail #333
Note the expertly made rail…

Tops and Layers:
1) My navy vest (disclaimer: I actually have two of the same vest, mainly because I wear it under literally everything. Have made  ‘November Decision’ based around that fact.
2) Pinky/Peach chiffon blouse – which needs to be worn over things. (Namely navy vests!)
3) Peach stripe blouse – which I haven’t worn much, but is fact one of my favorites.
4) Blue bunnie blouse – love this one! A newish addition, and rather large, but the most patterned thing in my wardrobe.
5) V neck navy/white striped top- not worn this much either, maybe because it is folded and away in my clothes box rather than hung up?
6) Peach slouch jumper- it’s got a Japanese vibe, so a bit casual, but goes great with all of my bottom choices.
7) Light blue/white slash neck long sleeve top – again another favourite that goes with everything.
8) Brown/White stripe top – worn once, in the wash currently and not missing it, don’t think it will make its way into the November list.
9) Red (ish?) /White striped jumper – Love, love love! But possibly over wearing…
10) Peach Fitted V Neck – it has been unseasonably warm this October, but I have worn this, and will wear it more in November.
11) Blue V neck – thought I would wear this more, but haven’t…still debating…
12) Blue cardi – yep, def keeping, wear with EVERYTHING!
13) Paris Cardi- one ‘wear’ in and I knew this was going, gets dirty far too easily.
14) Blue chunky (oh-er) – wearing as I type, fantastic buy!
Bottoms and Dresses
15) Denim Culottes – Staple casual wear – keeping forever.
16) Beige Culottes – Slightly posher, again keeping.
17) Navy Leggings – only wear under things, see below!
18) Denim Shorts – under stuff, again, see below.
19) Jeans – getting the hang of this ‘jean’ thing.  Will be keeping.
20) Shiny pleated skirt – one of my best charity shop buys ever.
21) Peach net – only worn under dresses
22) Mustard Cord – worn, but a bit short and casual.
23)Grad blue – possibly not suitable for winter, but will be back for next year
24) Boden brown – worn lots
25) Navy prom – love this dress, and it has pockets.
26) Navy Benetton – only worn once.
27) Peach/Blue – only worn once.

Shoes
28) Brown boots
29) Baseball boots
30) Posh shoes
Misc
31) Scarf
32)Maroon duffle coat
33) Grey cap/shawl thing.

 

So, what have I learned?

First of all, I have learned that I am guilty of over wearing some of my wardrobe items. This isn’t necessarily a problem, this is a capsule wardrobe after all, with the aim being to manage with less. However, I don’t want to only be wearing 3 items all week -people will talk! The main culprits are my jeans and red top, but my over reliance on my blue cardi and vests are also posing a problem.  It is actually quite an unusual turn of events – as this time last year I did not even own jeans- it still freaks my Mum out when I have them on, it is such a novelty to see me in any kind of trousers.  It is easy to see why people practically live in their jeans; they’re very easy to wear.  Almost TOO easy… to the extent that, as I discussed with a fellow minimalist on Instagram, my wardrobe was veering towards the too casual, possibly frumpy and definitely over stripey.

While ‘overwearing’ has been an issue for some items, ‘barely wearing at all’ has been the case for some of the other pieces. These fall into two camps:  items that should have been listed as underwear, and items that will not be making it to the November edition of #Project333 / #PPTKOMins.  My denim shorts, navy leggings and peach net skirt will remain as underwear, as they are never worn separately.  Meanwhile, my peach dress, my blue v neck jumper and Paris cardi will have to go – they are just not pulling their weight in the capsule!  This means I will be taking 8 pieces out the wardrobe as it is (I’m also counting the vests as underwear, they are too revealing to be worn apart from under things and the brown short sleeve top is going too)

So I get new pieces!
Choices have already been made…

I have a new stripey dress (I know! More stripes!)
A pink blouse (I’m thinking smart for work? Hopefully!)
Swapping in my denim skirt (casual, I know, I know…)

That leaves five more:  I’ll need a short sleeve top, another cardi, maybe more trousers and then… two more tops? Will have a look and see what I need.

 

TL:DR – Capsule conclusions after the first month…

What so you mean you haven’t read it! How rude! 😉
After one month of trying a limited wardrobe, I am finding very few problems.  Are there extra items I would like to add? Possibly, but conversely there are ones I could have easily lived without.  Possibly 33 items will not be the number of items I end up with, but for now –  all is well in the sartorial world of Polly … now to go find my new pieces for this month.

 

 

 

* Crisis averted – just wore my navy prom dress – is there nothing that dress cannot do! It even has pockets!