Casual Friday | ‘For Best’

casual friday outfit

pink stripe bow shoes

OK, so apparently I’m incapable of doing one of these Casual Friday posts without the help of my loyal sidekick, ‘That Pink Bag’. Or without standing in this exact position, come to think of it. Or wearing heels, which, you know, aren’t actually all that “casual”. Never mind: I may look almost exactly the same as in my first Casual Friday post, but thing is,  I’ve been continuing with my mission to clear out my closet, and improve the casual (or “casual-ish”) section of it over the past few weeks, and, well, I wanted to talk about it, so here we are!

As I said over at Shoeperwoman this week, my mission here isn’t to totally pare down my closet, and get rid of everything but a few timeless classics, as we’re told those chic French women like to do. Nuh-uh. I have a lot of clothes, and I LIKE having a lot of clothes, so I’ve long since accepted that I will never be a chic French woman. And not JUST because I’m British.

So, while I’m not trying to create a capsule wardrobe here, what I HAVE been doing is trying to get to a point where my closet is filled only with things I love and wear. Ideally I want every single item to be things that I feel good in. Working from home is the enemy of this idea. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working from home, and I wouldn’t change it for all the 50s-style dresses in the world. I’m also not the kind of person who can work from home in her pyjamas, or a pair of sweatpants, or whatever ( I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, obviously, just that I personally can’t feel productive unless I’m wearing “real” clothes of some description). so my issue isn’t the typical “always in my pyjamas” one, that people always seem to associate with home-based workers, either. No, MY problem is the old “saving things for best” one.

Now, I HATE the idea of saving things “for best”, because, without wanting to get too morbid, you never really know what’s around the corner, do you? I’ve always said that I will never lie on my death bed saying, “Thank goodness I didn’t ever wear all those lovely clothes I bought!” so my aim is to wear them, and to wear them often. It’s a good aim, but I have to admit, it’s one I’ve been slipping up on lately. I constantly battle the idea that a nice outfit is “wasted” on a day when I’m just going to be sitting at my desk, in my house, and probably won’t see another person other than Terry, the postman, and the ASOS delivery driver, bringing me yet MORE clothes I won’t want to “waste” on an ordinary day.

Because of that, most days I settle for wearing the PAST its best stuff. The older jeans, The saggier sweaters. The old busted ballet flats that I tell myself are only fit to be worn around the house, but which really aren’t fit even for that, if I’m honest. I wear these clothes because it seems like a waste to wear something better. I mean, yeah, I could wear those new J Brand jeans, which fit perfectly, and have a bit of a retro feel to them, but, well, they’re a dark wash, and if I wear them too often around the house they might start to fade at the knees, and then if I DO want to wear them somewhere “nice”, I won’t be able to, because they’ll look old and worn out from over-use. So, I know! I’ll just wear those old jeans that are ALREADY all stretched out and white at the knees, and it won’t matter, because no one will see me!

But the thing is, I see me. And as I’ve said before, while I have no issue at all with dressing myself when I’m actually going somewhere, if someone knocks on my door unexpectedly, or I bump into a neighbour in the street, I normally feel horribly embarrassed by how frumpy and sloppy I invariably look, so over the past few weeks, I’ve been ruthlessly clearing out my closet. You know, like Eminem did? Gone are the saggy old sweaters. Gone are those tatty old ballet pumps: replaced, I might add, by shiny new ones, which I mean to buy months ago, but didn’t, because I’d rather have a new skirt I’ll wear a few times a year than a pair of shoes I’ll wear every damn day. Isn’t it crazy that I invest much more time and money in the clothes that rarely get worn, than I do on the ones in constant rotation? It makes no sense, and I’m on a mission to change it.  I’m not saying I want to start wearing 50s-style dresses and stiletto heels around the house, of course – or not ALL the time, anyway – but there has to be a middle ground between that and looking like a hopeless slob, and I’m determined to find it.

I’m also determined to stop keeping things “for best”… because every day should at least get the chance to be “the best”, shouldn’t it?

P.S. In related news, today I’ve been summoned to the consignment store, where the items I gave them have apparently reached the end of their time there. According to the message, I should pop in, and they will “have it ready for me”. Unfortunately there was no clue in the message as to what “it” actually is: logic would dictate that “it” be either a) the clothes themselves, unsold and therefore being returned to me or b) a giant wad of cash from their sale. Ever the optimist, though, I’m hoping “it” is a pony. I will never give up that dream…

[Wearing: Zara sweater, Zara trousers, Menbur shoes (c/o Sarenza), RED Valentino shoulder bag*]

Hi, I'm Amber. I'm a full-time fashion/shoe blogger from the UK, and this is the story of my life, my clothes, and the International Man of Mystery Next Door. You can read more from me at my other blogs, The Fashion Police and Shoeperwoman, and you can follow me on Bloglovin' here.

11 Comments

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    iasmin

    I really hope it is a pony also! Please post pictures if it is! =D

    For me, casual clothes are the hardest to assemble into something that won’t look shaggy. Especially when it is always so hot, all I can wear are a pair of jeans (still hot) and a top. Warm/hot weather isn’t always a good thing either!

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    Claire

    I can’t agree more. I do that with my clothes even though I work outside of my house – to save for the best. Until I realise that either they no longer fit or look a bit too dated after a while.

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    Erika

    I also agree with this post completely. I am tired of wearing the stuff that I always do. It’s time to clean my closet out as well – as it has been for a while now, I’ve just been finding other things that I would rather do – and wear the items that I’m saving for ‘another’ day, today. I’m about to get a lot of ‘new’, faded black exercise shirts. :-)

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    Janean

    Well, I mean, if you’re really looking to get rid of stuff I’m sure there might be some readers willing to help you out and take the old stuff off your hands *awkwardly raises hand*

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    Mana

    I love that purple sweater, it looks so cozy. I’ve never been one to save anything for anything. If I buy something new I must wear it as soon as possible. It drives me crazy when I buy something and have to save it for an occasion like if I buy a dress for my anniversary and then have to wait a month or even a week to wear it.

    Mana
    Fashion and Happy Things

  • Reply June 13, 2014

    Scarlett

    My closet is filled with items that ” I am planning to take to the tailor” arghh… :-( I am very petite and lots of clothes needs altering here or there, which at the time of purchase I will for sure do the very next day. HA! or when I have the extra money and I’ll be in that specific area where the tailor is located, and maybe a specific occasion to wear it to. I could go on and on. And at this point 70% of my clothes does not fit me properly.:-( And my casual clothes??? ahhh.. agree with everything you said.

  • Reply June 14, 2014

    What Lou Wore 365

    I used to save stuff for best but no longer. I like to rotate everything around so it all gets a fair wear. Once this baby is born I’m going to clear out all my maternity stuff & have a good tidy up. Well… Probably in a couple of months time when I get a minute to myself!

  • Reply June 14, 2014

    LDK

    These are probably my favorite shoes!

  • Reply June 16, 2014

    char

    I used to do this a lot worse than I do now. I went through college being a jeans and trainers girl (shock, horror) even thoguh I have always preferred dresses. Nonetheless I’d leave the nice dresses and shoes in my wardrobe and wear the scruffy clothes instead, because it seemed as though I should have saved nice things for best.
    Then one day I decide it was silly to HAVE those things if they were just going to sit around and never be worn. I started to wear them, because that was what I liked.
    My problem now is that there is no distinction between “nice occasion” stuff and “wear everyday” stuff. I’m always overdressed for everything and close to drowning in clothes!

  • Reply June 16, 2014

    maria

    I have very few ‘elegant’ dresses, versus TONS of casual wear… But actually in that category I put jeans and flats as much as circle skirts and sandals… My definition of casual is very broad, but the new mantra for me is ‘No matter how simple the garment, it must fit and be in good shape’, so as to look presentable even if I’m just wearing trousers and a simple knit, hopefully averting looking shabby.

  • Reply June 20, 2014

    Selina

    I’ve only just discovered this a couple of years ago but then I never had anything nice until then. Someone I knew at uni had this wardrobe at home full of beautiful clothes and she with the wonderful figure felt too dressed up so she never wore them to uni. I was bugging her to do so but she just didn’t see the point, like she was wasting it if it wasn’t to go out in. So annoying. I used to do that but not any more. Not saving anything, they will all get worn dammit

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