What if variety is a distraction?

I felt really great in my black turtleneck + blue jeans yesterday and wanted to channel that this morning when I went to get dressed. Somehow though, I felt not great about today’s attempt at recreating yesterday’s outfit high.

L: yesterday’s outfit. R: today’s outfit.

L: yesterday’s outfit. R: today’s outfit.

It's weird because the outfits are ostensibly very similar - same boots, same belt, same jeans but different wash, black turtle/cowl top. OK and different socks.

But just the wash of the jeans and the fit of the sweater today felt somehow off and failed to capture yesterday's simplicity. Earlier, as I tugged self consciously at the floppy cowl neck of my sweater that refused to lay flat, I found myself wondering whether I should give up and succumb to true uniform dressing — a Doug Funnie closet full of fitted black turtlenecks and blue jeans. Then at least I wouldn’t be struggling with an outfit that is OK but not as good as the thing I was wearing before. I could just wear the thing I was wearing before!

Did Doug have it right?

Did Doug have it right?

Right now, when I find an outfit that  makes me feel great, I try to discern the formula and recreate it with other items in my closet. On the surface this is an excellent way to make your wardrobe work for you. In reality, just small details like color or fit can mean the difference between killer and meh, so why not stick with what worked?

Why do I need this black sweater that I feel sloppy in when I could just wear the black turtleneck (which, granted is technically just a tee) that made me feel super polished and cool? Why do I need washed black jeans when 9/10 times I like the blue ones better?

I’m glad, I suppose, that I went through this very minor first-world problem today because it’s helped me see just how little I really need. I prefer my blue Everlane jeans; maybe I should sell the black ones like I initially planned to when I got the blue ones. I don’t need this black sweater when I have other sweaters I actually like. Sure it’s got some good qualities, but those qualities are also present in the garments that DO work for me.

It belonged to my mom though, and I’ve been hanging on to it for five years now because it was hers and it felt like a basic piece that I could wear a lot. Should wear a lot. But I don’t wear it a lot in it’s current state. I’m considering whether taking it in in some places might help the fit, but honestly it’s just a size or so too big.

As the anniversary of her death approaches, I wonder whether she would be rolling her eyes at my hand-wringing over this. She was the queen of variety, see. Her closet was expansive and full of all sorts of garments. A garment for every mood. It’s exhausting to consider. But she knew what she liked and she’d not suffer a sub-par outfit out of obligation.

While I’m terrible at taking my own advice, here’s today’s wardrobe platitude: don’t suffer through clothes that don’t make you feel your best because you feel like you should.

I wasted time today ruminating about this dumb sweater when I could have been strutting like a boss bitch in my blue jeans. Perhaps variety (and quantity, really) is a distraction from the truths my wardrobe is trying to tell me.