Yesterday, a reader commented on my thoughts about yellow shoes to go with the vintage dress I altered. They suggested a philosophy where you have one great summer wedding outfit and then one great winter wedding outfit, and you'd wear that one thing for each of those occasions. Get a nice outfit! It's ok if you wear it just twice a year.
That way you might have the one nice pair of shoes (the yellow sandals!) that goes with that one outfit and maybe you only wear them occasionally, but damn if you don't enjoy the heck out of them when you do!
My problem of course is I think I lack that devotion. While I've made a concerted effort to pare down my closet to the best and most loved things be part year, I still have more than I need, and thus plenty of options to pick from. The desire to wear something new and novel is too much for me to commit to ONE "wedding outfit."
In theory I love the philosophy though, and I think it can apply to other scenarios that require specific clothes. One that pops to mind might be the go-to interview outfit where you always wear the same suit jacket and slacks. No problem repeating verbatim there. (Sidenote, men get to do this all the fucking time and no one blinks an eye).
But in that case, the interviewers aren't all the same. They've probably never seen you before. And (barring super casual work environments where they say don't dress up) a classic suit is going to work just fine at almost any place you'd interview at.
With weddings, it isn't even about whether there are guests who may have seen me in that same dress at the LAST wedding you all attended. For me, it's more about tailoring my look to the exact occasion.
So with a summer wedding... is it in a church? Or is it outside? Is it more rustic or more glam? In a city or in the country? I guess it's less one-size-fits all.
With weddings of friends especially, I think about what makes sense for their personalities because then I am more confident that I will wear something that makes sense within the context of the event they've invited me to. Kind of like, knowing what I know about Person X, I can infer the event will be like Y, so I should wear Z.
There's more tailoring to the specific event that goes on, rather than just a "This is a wedding so I wear my wedding outfit." That's just part of my personality and how I express and perfect myself in the world.
If my closet were smaller than it is, perhaps I'd really only have one "nice" outfit and one "nice" pair of shoes that I could save for these occasions. But that's not even the closet I want.
I'm a moderationist.
I like having a few options. The options I have should all be options I love, but there's nuances that make one more suitable for one thing but maybe not another. I'll repeat my options for sure, but I want to at least have the ability to CHOOSE which to repeat and when.
So to bring it back to those yellow shoes I talked about yesterday...
I heard a lot of encouragement that they could maybe work in my closet! Not just with this one dress. Maybe not with everything, but that would be ok.
However, it's a big investment to add such a wild item to my wardrobe when so much of it is neutral or limited in color palette, and I don't feel comfortable jumping on it RIGHT NOW. The great thing is I don't have to! Maybe I can revisit yellow shoes next summer, or two years from now, or whatever.
That's ultimately what I need to remind myself of every time I feel like OMG I need to decide something NOW!
A wardrobe is a living thing that grows or shrinks and changes over time. My wardrobe goals include keeping a highly edited selection of items I love that I can love wearing, but also keeping a smaller number of items in general. So I have to be picky about what I add to the wardrobe or else it will just kind of explode and ruin that "less" goal.
So with a riskier choice like yellow shoes, it can't hurt to wait, to mull it over. Spend a year mentally noting where and when I'd wear those yellow shoes. I'll have the dress next year! I won't lose any gold stars for pairing it with a "normal" pair of shoes this July, shoes that are far more likely to fit seamlessly in my wardrobe.
There will be other yellow shoes. Hell, the ones I linked are sold out in my size anyway.