This past Sunday, back before power-outages and interrupted football games (gosh that seems like SO LONG AGO), I cleaned out my closet. I tried on every single item of clothing I own and got rid of… well, almost everything.

I somehow managed to make it through this summer with just the few shirts I had that fit. When I say ‘few’, I mean it. I’d estimate off the top of my head, maybe 5 or 6? That doesn’t count t-shirts, of course. I’m talking nicer, ‘I wouldn’t be embarrassed to run into an old boyfriend in this shirt‘ kind of shirt. And as for shorts, I had 3 pairs that got me through the summer: two denim and 1 khaki. I know. That’s not a lot of clothes. But keep in mind I spent 90% of my time at home chasing a toddler. She doesn’t mind if I’m in my sweats or gym shorts all day. Motherhood: Where putting on jeans and a t-shirt to go to the grocery store is considered ‘fancy‘!

Now that colder weather is right around the corner, I started looking through my long-sleeved shirts and pants and realized in a panic that I SERIOUSLY DIDN’T FIT IN ANYTHING. Nearly everything I own is either too big or too small. For the last 2 falls, I was sporting maternity clothes- during pregnancy and post-partum. And the fall previous to all that, I was a lot thinner than I am now- like 10 pounds or more. Which when it comes to clothing can mean 1, 2, sometimes 3 sizes difference. So I’m stuck here in this weird middle-ground that doesn’t leave me with much to choose from in my closet.

For so long, I held on to those things I wanted to wear again. Oh, I’ll lose some weight and be back in that shirt/skirt/pair of pants someday soon! But, I need to be realistic. And I need to realize that hey, I’m going to be driving Maggie to daycare in January either naked or in shorts unless I do something– I need to PURGE and SHOP.

So I spent about an hour and a half trying everything on, and this is the pile I loaded into a garbage bag for GoodWill. There are some great clothes in this pile, and I will miss some of them. But I also know that I will probably never be the right size for them again, so it’s time to move on. (Also, a few of them are from college. That was *gulp* SEVEN years ago. Definitely time to move on.)

bye bye, clothes.

You may be curious what my closet looks like after purging all of this. Kind of a barren wasteland.

my poor, empty closet.

Now, there were a few things downstairs in the laundry when I took this picture: 3 pairs of jeans, a few shirts. But pretty much… this is it.

Guess who’s going to the mall on Saturday, armed with a list of staple-type items for her wardrobe? ME! Here’s what I have so far:

– long-sleeved white button-down shirt
– miscellaneous shirts, any kind really
– black dressy pants
– jeans (2-3 pairs, because one pair of mine is getting worn pretty badly, and another: HELLO MUFFIN TOP.)
– black dressy shirt
– black skirt
– khakis (a casual-type pair- I have a nice dressy pair that fit pretty well)
– sweaters (I have 1. It’s red.)
– gym shorts (3-4. Just keepin’ it real here, because like I said: 90% of my time is at home with Maggie. I like to be comfy.)
– socks (Most of mine look like swiss cheese.)
– spring/fall jacket (a hoodie DOES NOT COUNT.)
– gloves for winter
– brown boots with a SQUARE toe (mine that I have LOVED for 4 years are finally on their last leg. or foot. HA!)
– bras (I am going to Victoria’s Secret to get measured. I’m interested to find out just how WRONG my current bra size is.)

I’m totally open to ideas for this list. Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated! I’m going for nice, classic items that I can wear to dinner (ChickFilA! or someplace where they actually wait on us and we have to leave a tip), family and social gatherings, even meetings with clients. Also, and this is the part that hurts: I’m almost 30 years old, and I think my days of shopping the clearance rack of the junior department at Target are over. Dang you Target and your cute, cheap clothes that don’t really fit me quite right but I buy them anyway! I need to force myself to buy NICE, QUALITY clothes this time around. If I have to pay regular price for something that fits me well and is exactly what I need, then I’m just going to have to do that (however, you can BET I’ll be looking at the sale racks of those ‘fancy’ stores first!!)

I have warned Dan about this mall trip. Not just the length of time I’ll be gone (like, ALL DAY. He’s on Monster duty!!) but also the amount of money I’ll be spending. He has no clue what nice woman’s clothing can cost, seeing as he can visit the sale rack at Kohl’s and leave with 3 shirts and a new pair of pants for less than $30 total. WITHOUT TRYING THEM ON. (So not fair! How do guys DO THAT??)



  1. Laura

    September 17, 2008 10:19 pm

    I don’t think I can help you, because I shop a lot. It’s my one indulgence… (and I can justify because I wear to work, hee).

    I gave away twice that many clothes to the charity truck today. I have given away almost everything I wore pre-pg. Most of the tops were too short anyway (I am loooong-torsoed) and my upper hips have not gone back down since being pg. So most of the pants had to go, too.
    Plus, I will admit, my preferences change over time. Some things I love and will wear forever, and some things I get annoyed with. ;)

    Hey pretty soon within the next few weeks I am going to have a “fall fashion showcase” on my blog, where I “document” what I wear every day for a week. Maybe you can play along and show us some of your new stuff!

    Lauras last blog post: hallowhere?

  2. Melissa

    September 17, 2008 10:33 pm

    Yay, a shopping spree for Jen!! You work hard (both with the business AND as a mom) and you deserve it. Plus, I’m sure Dan will forget the dollar signs when he has a fabulously dressed wife to take out! Right? Right. ;)

    It’s definitely worth it to splurge on some nice basics that will look/fit great. Your list is great: all those things can be dressed down or up as needed. And don’t forget to get a couple fun things too, like earrings, or ooh!, a new purse! :)

    Certain items tend to drastically drop in price in a few months, if you’re willing to wait. I waited to get a new pair of boots after the holidays last year – ended up finding a nice (real leather) pair that were originally $175… for $60!

    The only part that doesn’t sound fun? Bra shopping. HATE.

  3. Nichole

    September 17, 2008 11:39 pm

    Sounds like so much fun!!! I finially gave away my post pregnancy clothes that were in my basement in bins waiting for someday!!! I still wear maternity pants :@! eek!!

  4. ♥ Sarah ♥

    September 17, 2008 11:55 pm

    Before you go shopping, make sure that you know what the fall trends are!

    Check out:

    ♥ Sarah ♥s last blog post: You Are So LUCKY If You Live In New York!

  5. Leslie

    September 18, 2008 12:48 am

    I need to go shopping too but I restarted Weight Watchers today and I wanna wait to see if I lose more weight before buying stuff LOL Speaking of which, I started a weight loss blog for myself and used one of your templates. Yay :) I love it – thanks mucho! And have fun shopping!

  6. Stefanie

    September 18, 2008 4:24 am

    We did the same thing this week. I also cleaned out my closet and found clothes from seven or more years ago. It is kind of interesting to see how people hold onto things even though we know we will never where them again. But who knows… maybe one day… no, not really.

    Good luck and have fun with getting a new wardrobe!!!!! It makes me want to go shopping as well.

    Stefanies last blog post: Any ideas?

  7. Jen

    September 18, 2008 7:43 am

    @Leslie: yay! Good luck with the WW- I did it last year to lose the rest of the baby weight and it totally worked. This time around, I’m trying to mentally do it in my head (not working quite as well or quickly, but I only have a few pounds to lose, as opposed to 20+!) And I’m glad you like the template :) :)

  8. Maura

    September 18, 2008 7:55 am

    I have this book, it’s called The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece:

    Anyway, it tells you about good pieces to buy to build a classic and sustainable wardrobe… I recommend it.

  9. Sunshine

    September 18, 2008 8:04 am

    The only other thing I would add are yoga-type pants (but maybe you already own those…) Anyway they’re great for lounging but are also a step up from wearing pjs. They also don’t look ridiculous on a 30 year old in the grocery store.

  10. Kris

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am

    Only thing from your list I would recommend is a cardigan. I know you have sweaters down, but you might forget that particular item when you are buying generic sweaters.

    Have fun buying clothes. I am in total envy here… I would loooooooove to go on a shopping spree!

  11. Julie

    September 18, 2008 11:24 am

    I can only recommend New York and Co. for most of your clothes shopping. It’s the only place I have found that I can find pants that fit me well. I’m a little hippy in my thighs and narrow @ the waist and I have short legs, so their petites fit me well. I’ve only bought their dressy clothes for work, so I don’t know about their jeans and stuff.

    I know that everytime I walk in the store I either walk out with $300 worth of clothes(after coupons) or nothing. I can always justify my purchases, because I wear them to work everyday.

    I might add a suit jacket to go with the black dressy pants and possibly another pair of dressy pants in another color (gray, navy or brown). To add to your list of staples.

    You’re going to have a long day shopping! Have fun!

    Julies last blog post: I’ve been meaning to upload this…

  12. Jen

    September 18, 2008 11:47 am

    @Julie: That’s going to be one of my first stops :) I love NY&Co- they have nice stuff, and it’s not ridiculously expensive (compared to other places!) In fact, most of the clothes I kept in my closet are from there!

  13. Priscilla

    September 18, 2008 4:57 pm

    Good idea to go to NY&Co for your first stop. Especially since it is only minutes from your house! I need to go shopping for clothes that actually fit me and look good on me. Slowly I’ve bought shirts that are nice but the bottoms…oh I need help!!

  14. Caitlin

    September 18, 2008 5:22 pm

    Have a great time shopping. I really need to purge my closet and get a few new items too.

  15. Meghan

    September 18, 2008 7:56 pm

    You need to be armed with printable coupons. Try, (go to the “Fashion” board and just type in any store + “code” or “coupon” into the search; i.e. “Gap Code”), or just use google and search for a store you are likely to walk into this weekend and “printable coupon.”

    Most retailers offer better discounts online. Ann Taylor Loft, for instance, often has $25 off of $50 + free shipping. Gap, Banana Republic, Old Nave, etc…also have frequent online codes. If you find things at these stores and can afford to wait a few days to actually receive the item, I’d make a note of the style name and # and just go home and buy it online.

    Finally, there are great deals for shoes online., for instance, just had 45% back on + free ship and free ship back to them + 20% off. These codes are fairly easy to find if you know where to look.

    I’ve never posted a comment before but have been reading for a long while. I had to chime in on the shopping though since I’m a attorney working in the fashion industry and have learned a few tricks of the trade over the years. Good luck shopping!

  16. Jane

    September 18, 2008 9:36 pm

    oh fun! I went through my closet last weekend too and probably got rid of more than I kept… but I’ve been buying all along, so now just purging!

    I recommend researching online coupons before you go out… like here and here

    Janes last blog post: Using Her Words

  17. Allison

    September 19, 2008 8:10 pm

    How fun!

    Good for you purging. And have fun shopping!

    I really, really, need to do the same thing. I’m in the exact same situation. All of my clothes are too big (i.e. maternity) or too small (pre-pregnancy). I have *nothing* that fits. I wear the same jeans every day. It’s sad.

    Good idea going to Victoria’s Secret, too! I think post-baby our bra sizes change!

    Allisons last blog post: A Testament To Our Awful Schools

  18. Kelly

    September 20, 2008 4:20 pm

    I am right there with you. I just started this process, though I didn’t do the one day thing. I found some great, though horrible pricey, things at The Limited… stuff that accentuated the positive and hid the very, very bad. I’m having a hard time with jeans. I want some that have a high waist, no muffin top, no tapered legs, and don’t bag at the thighs. Good luck! Don’t you wish we were rich and could have them custom made? I’ve recently purged, but have yet to touch the crate of brand new, pre-baby, ‘teacher’ clothes I got RIGHT BEFORE the two pregnancies. I’m going to have to let those go, most likely, and it makes me sad.

    I hope you’re having fun and come away with great stuff. Save it all for after the next baby ;)

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