Monthly Archives: September 2008

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September Switcheroo

It’s after Labor Day, which means it’s time for me to reorganize my wardrobe for early fall. This year, though, I’ll be doing things a little differently: since I just began my third trimester, I don’t want to buy a bunch of new clothes. I’ll need to take stock of my existing maternity wardrobe and see if it looks like enough to get me through the next three months. Other than that, my fall wardrobe switch-around routine is the same as always.

  1. Put away anything that looks too “summery.”
    I start with the obvious pieces: white sandals, white shorts, white shrunken cardigan. Next, anything that just seems out of place in the fall, like this dress and skirt:
    dress and skirt

    I know all these pieces will either feel brand-new when I take them back out next spring, or else I’ll wonder why I ever wore them and send them off to the thrift store.

  2. Bring out the jeans and long-sleeved tees.
    My closet is going to be a little crowded during this early fall time when I’m still wearing summer tops along with fall ones depending on the weather, but I know it’s only for a month or so. Then, the lightweight tops will go away to make room for sweaters.
  3. Review my shoes.
    Now is the time when I take a good, hard look at my sandals and flip-flops to determine whether they’ll make it through another summer. I hate getting rid of shoes I love, but I also know that I’m not doing myself any favors by going out in public wearing beat-up, falling apart shoes. This year, I decided that I can salvage the gladiator sandals but the brown flip-flops are too far gone. I ought to look for a replacement pair right now during summer clearance sales.
    old shoes
  4. Put away or give away anything that doesn’t fit.
    This year, that means all non-maternity clothes go into storage. Normally, this is also when I have to admit that the skirt I didn’t wear all summer (or all last fall/winter) because I just needed to lose a few pounds is probably never going to fit before it goes out of style, and it’s time for me to just let it go.

There are times I wish I had a bigger closet, but I think it’s probably better that I’m forced to pare down my wardrobe to just what I can wear right now. That makes it easier to get dressed in the morning and helps me curb my pack-rat tendencies.

My Closet

Seasonal Dressing

Growing up in Northern California, I pretty much wore the same clothes year-round. The only difference between the summer and the winter there is how much it rains. When I went to college in Tennessee, I got a crash course in seasonal dressing. Suddenly, those fashion “rules” I’d vaguely heard about started to make sense. “Don’t wear velvet in the summer” – because you will swelter. “Don’t wear linen in the winter” – because you will freeze.

The closets in my dorm rooms were small, so I got in the habit of switching out my wardrobe when the seasons changed, putting the warm-weather clothes into my trunk for storage and taking out the cold-weather clothes in the fall, then repeating the process in the spring. It felt so nice to suddenly have a whole new wardrobe twice a year, and to have less clutter in my closet, that I kept making the switch even after college.

The longer I’ve lived in the South, the more I’ve embraced the whole concept of dressing for the season. I don’t see it as a bunch of silly outdated rules. Rather, I think seasonal dressing is a worthy tradition dating back hundreds of years. For an example, look at traditional Japanese kimonos with their carefully crafted designs meant to express the essence of each season. Dressing for the season helps me feel more in tune with the natural world. Also, it’s a good way to give your wardrobe a periodic overhaul.

One difference between South Carolina and some of the other places I’ve lived is that we don’t really get winter here. At least, not temperature-wise. Also, the weather doesn’t really get fall-like until mid- to late-October. In addition, we don’t have the cold spring weather that fashion merchandisers assume is the norm. So instead of two big closet-changing sessions a year, I’ve found that I need two big ones and two little ones.

I make one of my big changeovers around Easter. That holiday is a pretty good marker for the beginning of spring/summer. Then, sometime in May, I put away all the spring clothes that it’s too warm to wear anymore (e.g. long-sleeved sweaters and tees).

In early fall, around Labor Day, I make another small changeover, putting away clothes that feel too “summery.” (I’ll get into this more in my next post.) Finally, when the weather really cools off sometime in October, I put away the shorts and capris and bring out the jeans and sweaters.

I like keeping my closet filled with only the clothes I can actually wear at the moment, and I like the feeling of getting a whole bunch of “new” clothes a few times a year, when I take things out of storage. Do you dress seasonally? Why or why not?

Local Shopping Events

There are two big shopping events coming up here in Aiken. First, Aiken’s Makin (warning: site makes noise), a big annual craft festival, is happening downtown Friday and Saturday this weekend. Then on September 19 and 20 the semi-annual Pass it On Kidsignment Sale is taking place at First Baptist.

Aiken’s Makin is a good place to shop for unique Christmas gifts, and also just a fun venue to wander around and look at things. I’m especially looking forward to the Kidsignment sale so I can get any baby stuff we might need as well as find some good deals on books and puzzles for my son and maternity clothes for myself.

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