What to do When You Hate Everything in Your Closet

…and you write about wardrobes.

What to do when you hate everything in your closet...and you write about wardrobes. Whisper & Howl

(Did someone say TEACHABLE MOMENT?!)

After a year of capsule wardrobe bliss, I have come to a place I hoped never to be in again. I hate everything in my closet.

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. I hate most things.

The whole point of a capsule is to make me feel great all the time in all of my clothes. It’s to have a (small) wardrobe with nothing but favorites, in which everything goes together and flatters my figure and feels wonderful on my body. Last spring was pretty good. Summer was great (with the exception of the humid heat; there’s no way to dress for that). Fall was beautiful and I felt lovely in winter. But this spring, year 2 of my experiment, is blah. Blech. Ugh.

I didn’t get anything new this season, and I didn’t throw anything out. I thought I’d keep the random stuff from years past in there and see what I ended up wanting to keep v. discard. I guess in that sense, it has been a successful season. (Remember, since it gets hot in May in N.C.–it was 85 degrees last week–spring is a mini-season for capsules and summer is extra-long.) It has been unsuccessful, though, in actually being a cohesive, dreamy capsule wardrobe.

Here are some issues:

  1. A lot of the pieces I kept in are several years old and since they weren’t great quality to begin with, are falling apart. Stretching, fading, sagging and grease spots are abundant. This simply will not do.
  2. The silhouettes are wrong. They seemed right last year, but this year they are wrong. It’s not that I’m so fickle. My tastes have actually taken a step back. Last year I was really into swing cuts and those baggy shirts that look fantastic on models but make me look dumpy and shapeless. I think this is because I worked in an office that had no ventilation and I refused to wear anything that actually touched my skin. Now, I do have a couple of loose, drapey items that I love but it’s a matter of fabric weight and cut. Most of what I have simply isn’t flattering, and I’m no longer comfortable in those pieces. Instead, I’m drawn more to classic feminine cuts that flatter my curves.
  3. The quality is low. I already mentioned that, I know, but it bears repeating. My cheap shirts are stretched and pilled. The cutoffs I made last year from cheap jeans are now cheap, ill-fitting shorts. I’m coming to the realization that tshirts, like flats, just get worn out and need replacing once a year.
  4. I’m missing some staples, such as basic skirts, dresses and shorts. I have been wearing the same pair of jeans over and over again because they’re the only thing that will go with the tops I do like.

So, I’m at the point where I look at my closet and whine “I have everything” and “I have nothing to wear!”–the very thing I strive against! The only thing to do is to take my own advice and…

Cut out the shit! This is pretty easy and enjoyable for me (and something I help other people do–check out my Wardrobe Consulting Service!)  but it can be challenging, especially when money is tight. It’s hard to get rid of things when you don’t feel able to replace them. It’s hard to let go of items you see as resources, wealth, or really, things. Yes, it is hard to let go of our things.

However, I truly believe in cutting out things (or beliefs, relationships, habits) that no longer serve me in order to make way for the new. You have to weed a garden so that beautiful flowers and tomatoes can grow! To apply this to clothing, getting rid of pieces that no longer make you feel and look fantastic gives you space to only wear the things that do–whether that means buying new clothes or simply stripping it down to a uniform with simple variations, or discovering new outfit combinations. Yes, you literally make space for new clothes, but it’s not about replacing and storing up more. It’s about the quality of feeling that you get when you have fewer, better things. You deserve better than that ribbed cotton tank that was, at one point, black. You can have tights without holes in them! I do not need that favorite sailor-striped top with the breast pocket that has sagged to the point that it is basically cupping my boob! No one needs to know that I can’t eat anything greasy without getting stains! I have a waist, damn it, and I want to show it!

You get the point. I will be doing a big discard soon. I will be left with fewer things, but they will be good. And yes, I’ll buy some new (linen) tshirts to replace the gross, pilled, saggy ones. I will make sundresses fit for a foxy lady in 1960s Cambridge (I’ve been watching a lot of Grantchester). But it will be better. It will be fantastic. If not, you’ll be reading about it.

Do you have trouble deciding which clothes to discard? Do you get nervous getting rid of things even though you haven’t worn them in years or they have holes or weird saggy pockets? Tell me about it in the comments! Or, better yet, let me help!

Spring (Capsule) is Here!

The last weeks of winter were unseasonably warm, with temperatures climbing into the 80s. This had me nervous about what spring would be like this year. Should I put all my mid-temp clothes away or keep the lightweight sweaters and jeans out? Do I just skip straight to my summer clothes?

In the end, I decided to take my own advice and make my Spring Capsule basically a long transition into Summer Capsule. I pulled a lot of summer clothes in addition to lighter shirts and sweaters (lighter in weight and color). I’ve kept in all my jeans and added the very pale blue ones, which will only be worn if I can squeeze into them! I stored my heavy and dark-colored sweaters, flannel-lined leggings, thicker dresses and shirts, and put away my knee-high boots. I’m left with more clothes than I’d like (48 pieces shown below!), including some I haven’t worn in over a year but haven’t gotten rid of yet; this is their last chance at getting worn before I ditch them. My plan is to continue to store clothes as the weather gets hotter, and add in the few summer pieces I’ve kept out. Here’s what I’ve got:
Spring Capsule 2016, Tops | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Tops | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Tops | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Light Sweaters | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Light Sweaters | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Outfits | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Dresses | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Bottoms | Whisper & Howl

Spring Capsule 2016, Handmade | Whisper & Howl

These 2 are handmade by me!

There are a few pieces I’d like to add. However, I’m dedicated to making my clothes this year rather than purchasing them, with the exception of magical thrift store finds. On my sewing/thrifting list:

  • Palazzo pants
  • Shorts (sewn or cut off from thrifted jeans)
  • T shirts (Grainline’s Lark pattern is my jam, and I also love their Scout and Hemlock shirts)
  • 2 sundresses
  • 2+ Inari Tee Shirt Dresses (a Named Clothing pattern)
  • A light-weight Laurel dress

I know, I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s most likely that I will have 2-3 of these things done before the Summer Solstice, but I have plenty of things to wear (too much, really) and can be patient.

Stay tuned for how I incorporate sewing into my capsule planning.

If you have a capsule, I’d love to know more about it!

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board Pt. 1

Curating Colors for a CApsule Wardrobe

I promised to document my process for creating a capsule wardrobe, so here goes! My process has evolved over the last year and I’ve collected elements from several different blogs that I incorporate as I plan what I will be wearing for 3 month chunks. Now, I like to start by creating a mood board for the upcoming season. I use Pinterest for this but if you prefer analog an actual bulletin board, sketchbook or journal would be a lovely way to collect images that illustrate your capsule’s mood.

I started by culling images from my Art and/or Craft board. I chose images that just felt right. It was an intuitive process and as you can see below, a particular color story and design elements naturally coalesced.

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Artwork by Tracie Cheng, Anne Siems, and Ann Moore

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Art by Sam Kalda, Gustav Klimt, and Mateja Kovac

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Collage by Geninne, Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl, Laila Duran photo

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Francoise Hardy, Greige Design, unknown print

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Moroccan ceramics, Beth Nicholas painting, unknown print

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Art by Babeth Lafon, Svabhu Kohli, Stella Hultburg

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Lorraine Lawson painting, photographs unknown

Spring Capsule Planning: Mood Board, on Whisper & Howl

Romy Northover ceramics, photograph unknown

I like creating a mood board because it helps me to figure out what I like by noticing what I am drawn to. You can see from the images that I am drawn to the colors of stormy seas and spring flowers, faded dreamy afternoons and ripe, juicy fruits. I love deep greens, blues and reds; washed out versions of those same colors; sweet peaches and yellows; black and white, pink and purple. These are the colors I am naturally drawn to at this moment in my life, when I think about spring. These are the colors I will use in my capsule wardrobe as I shop through my own closet and plan out my sewing projects.

Next time I’ll share the other elements of my mood board: silhouette and style.

What speaks of spring to you? Are there any quintessential spring images, colors or moods for you?

 

Capsule Wardrobe Tips

One Year later…

Capsule Wardrobe Tips

Looking busy and important at work in my Laurel Tunic (handmade by me!)

It’s been a year since I learned about capsule wardrobes. My first capsule wardrobe was Spring 2015, and I still love doing it. I enjoy the seasonal ritual of planning a wardrobe, switching out my clothes, and having a new look. In honor of my anniversary, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned that can help you in creating capsule wardrobes that you love.

Capsule Tip #1: Know your climate

It’s all well and good to plan a wardrobe to last a whole 3-month season, but what if that season has drastically varying temperatures? I was about halfway through spring last year when I realized that it was getting HOT. I actually kept at it until the Summer Solstice, but I was very uncomfortable for several weeks. This year, I will have to put more thought into planning a wardrobe with pieces that can carry me from chilly March through scorching June. I’m thinking of versatile pieces that can be layered and worn with or without tights, leggings, jackets, and sweatshirts, as well as including some items like shorts that I won’t wear for the first half of the season, but will need later on.

Capsule Tip #2: transition slowly

Along the same lines, in December I learned that a slow transition in the Winter Capsule was more comfortable than switching everything out immediately. December is mild in North Carolina, much more like fall than winter. I spent a few weeks switching lighter items out for warmer ones as the weather cooled off. We have actually had a pretty mild winter here and I could probably have gotten away with my Fall Capsule plus warm socks and layers, but I was ready for an aesthetic change, too.

Capsule Tip #3: Utilize versatile pieces and accessories

I don’t at all mind wearing the same dress once a week now that I have a more cohesive wardrobe. I can mix it up by wearing different tights/leggings/shoes/jewelry and layering pieces and make a whole new outfit. Having layering pieces, basics and accessories really extends a wardrobe. For instance, I sewed up a cropped sweatshirt to go over my dresses and suddenly it’s like I have 4 new skirts! I can also wear a cardigan or blazer over the same dresses, which creates new looks that have different vibes (work or weekend, for example). Of course, I mostly just wear jeans and sweaters but the options are there!

I’m starting to think about my Spring 2016 capsule now and will be sharing more about my process in the next few weeks. Have you started a capsule? Does it seem daunting, or wonderful? What would you like help with?

Give Your Leather Some Love

How to Clean and Polish leather shoes

As an aspiring minimalist, poor-ish person and collector of boots, I have learned to take care of my leather shoes. Otherwise, they will fall apart. Think about it: leather is skin, too. It needs to be cleaned, moisturized and protected in order to stay supple and flexible and to retain its luster. Without regular care, shoes will dry out and crack. I’ve brought dusty, dull shooties back to life with a flannel cloth and some Kiwi soap. I’ve rescued Frye boots from eBay and made them shine with clear polish, and extended their life with a trip to the cobbler. I intend to extend the life of my favorite ankle boots until I can afford an upgrade, and I’d love to show you how.

Before

Before – The clogs wanted some nurturing and the booties were in dire shape.

YOu will need:

  • A soft cloth
  • Kiwi saddle soap
  • A shoe brush (optional)
  • Clear shoe polish (optional)
  • Weatherproofing spray (optional)

instructions:

  1. Clean shoes with a damp cloth.
  2. Pop open the Kiwi soap. Rub the surface of the soap with a wet cloth to create a lather.
  3. Rub this delightful rich later all over your shoes with the cloth. The leather will get darker since it’s wet. Don’t worry, it will lighten back up as it dries. Of course, if the leather is dried out then it will take on a deeper, richer color due to the moisturizing agents in the soap.
  4. Let shoes dry. Repeat the above if you’d like.
  5. Buff dry shoes with a dry, soft cloth. They will start to look buttery and have a delightful sheen.
  6. Optional: protect shoes with weatherproofing spray and/or polish them up. I like to use a clear polish.
  7. Enjoy your beautiful “new” shoes!
Give Your Leather Some Love! How to take care of your shoes to extend their life and make them glow | Whisper & Howl #leather #kiwisoap #saddle #whisperandhowl #whisper&howl #cleaning #shoes

After – Can you tell how much better the clogs look? The booties didn’t really change but the oiled nubuck of the clogs is so much richer! I also scraped off the labels, which had shifted and left sticky residue under my heels.

This process can be done on any of your leather goods. My favorite bag desperately needs some attention.

Do you have any tips for taking care of clothing? 

 

Winter Capsule Wardrobe!

I’m back! I took an unintentionally long break from writing and I have returned to my desk with lots of ideas, my new Bullet Journal, some photos and a cup of Emergen-C (grown-up Koolaid). I intend on posting regularly from now on, starting with my WINTER CAPSULE!

Winter Capsule Wardrobe! on Whisper & Howl #whisper& howl #winter #capsule #wardrobe #fashion

I did the process a little differently this time. I did not fill out the Un-Fancy Wardrobe Planner. I did a little bit of Colette’s Wardrobe Architect, mostly pinning inspirational photos. Actually, I did sort of a hybrid of these 2 tools, which I will develop into a helpful guide for future use. Mostly, though, I just went through my closet and sorted out my cold-weather clothes and pushed the warmer-weather clothes to the back of the closet. There were several dresses in there that I had forgotten about and have worked into my wardrobe. I also have extensive sewing plans, which will add several very wearable pieces. Here’s a list of what I’ve got:

Finally, my Winter Capsule Wardrobe! on Whisper & Howl #whisper&howl #capsule #wardrobe #winter #fashion

This wardrobe developed organically from what I already own. I added 6 sweaters: a long dark green cardigan, a cozy red sweater, a yellow one (my favorite accent color), all new; 2 oversized men’s sweaters from the local thrift store, and a fisherman’s sweater than I bought for my Dad in Ireland years ago and have claimed as my own. I also bought 2 pairs of flannel-lined leggings which I am counting as tights/underwear rather than wardrobe items, but which are really wonderful and snuggly, and some new socks. The socks are Kirkland Signature from Costco, which the internet tells me are made by Wigwam and are an amazing deal.

For silhouettes, I am into skinny jeans with big sweaters, ankle boots and warm socks; shift dresses or fitted skirts with over-sized sweaters, leggings or tights, socks and ankle boots; and circle skirts or fit-and-flare dresses with cropped sweaters or jackets, tights/leggings, socks and ankle boots. I’ve been wearing the same GAP ankle boots every day and they are definitely going to fall apart this year. I will be replacing them with a nicer model in the Fall. I have 2 cropped sweatshirts on my sewing list, which I will talk more about in another post.

Obsessed with my ankle boots | Winter Capsule Wardrobe on Whisper & Howl #winter #capsule #wardrobe #fashion #ankle #boots

I’ll collect some outfit photos as the Winter wears on. I may have to deviate from capsule wardrobe “rules” of only buying items once a season, in order to snag some Bean or duck boots if I can find a good pair on eBay. It’s going to be a wet winter and if I’m going to keep up my ankle boot streak, I will need something sturdier.

So, that’s it! For Spring, I’ll share more of my process. I’m pretty sure I won’t be buying anything, since I got so much new stuff last Spring and since sewing is way more fun than shopping.

Have you started a capsule yet? What are your Winter go-to pieces? 

Autumn Capsule Wardrobe: Making Ethical Choices

Considering the true cost of fashion in planning my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe at Whisper & Howl #capsule #wardrobearchitect #fashion #project333 #whisperandhowl #wardrobe #truecost

Friends, it has been a very long and trying month. The intensity of the past weeks has kept me from updating this little blog, but I did manage to pull together an Autumn Capsule Wardrobe, which I switched to on the first day of Fall. I don’t have any photos but I’d like to describe the process I used, because this time things were a little different.

Before I developed my Autumn capsule, I watched The True Cost, a documentary about Fast Fashion and the deeply negative impacts that our culture of consumer-capitalist culture has on the environment and our collective and individual psyches. Needless to say, I loved it. I thought the film was very informative and provocative, illuminating the unethical practices of fast fashion brands without disparaging the idea of fashion.  Fashion is beautiful, a form of wearable art that lets us express our individuality, culture, and creativity. Fast fashion takes clothing and turns it into a cheap commodity, something to be purchased without consideration and discarded when something new catches our fancy.  I won’t give facts and figures here, but if this is interesting to you then I encourage you to watch the film (you can stream it on Netflix).

Watching this movie reminded me of my morals and that I have a choice to make when I purchase clothing. I can choose to research brands and manufacturers and select fair-trade, organic, ethical…or I can go for cheap, disposable, trendy.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I want to make the right choices. I decided to really limit my purchases this season and to make as many pieces as possible. There are only 4 brand-new pieces in my wardrobe: a pair of Lotta from Stockholm clogs, a giant blanket-sweater and 2 pairs of high-waisted leggings. I admit that I do not know much about the brands I chose; the price for these items was higher than what I usually pay, which makes me think they are more ethically produced, but that absolutely may not be true.  I also obtained a shirt from my mom.

As I was developing my list of pieces that I have and that I want, I also thought about what I could sew in these few months. I have already made a lion-print wrap skirt and am working on a scuba knit, emerald green simple shift dress. I have a white sweatshirt and a plaid flannel shirt on my list. I average one new garment per month.

I hope to have some pictures for you soon.  I’d like to continue to explain my capsule wardrobe process as I hone it myself. I’m developing it into a service I can use with clients, so that I can help others achieve the ease, comfort and contentedness that I find in having a simple, curated wardrobe.

What role, if any, do ethics play in your clothing choices?  

A Week in Clothes 8.13-8.20

Oh my gods, you guys.  What a long, long week it has been.  Rather, a long month.  I haven’t been posting much (quality over quantity, I hope) due to an intense family situation and consequently being super busy and exhausted.  So here we are, over a week since my last post, and I have decided to check in re: my Summer capsule wardrobe.

Here’s something I didn’t expect:

Having less makes me want less.  It’s a drive not unlike having/wanting more, but cheaper.  Having given myself permission via the capsule wardrobe to wear my favorite things more often and repeat outfits freely, I find myself doing just that–repeating the same 5 things over and over.  I feel great about this except that I still have too much stuff!  A few of the things I bought at the beginning of summer are favorites that I rotate frequently (chambray swing dress, jeans, teal maxi skirt) but I wear the other things only sometimes.  I could definitely have done without them.  We think we need more than we do.

The past week has been pretty typical of what I wear, although I don’t usually wear shorts and a tshirt to work.  I hadn’t been sleeping and that was about all I could handle.  It is one of my favorite weekend/evening outfits, though!  Anyway, here is a look at what I’ve been wearing…in cartoon form.

8-14 So Tired | Whisper & Howl

Friday 8-14: Beck concert t shirt, cutoffs, Crocs flats

 

Saturday 8-15 | Whisper & Howl

Saturday 8-15: WUNC t shirt, Champion bike shorts

 

GAP t shirt, cutoffs, Crown Vintage sandals | Whisper & Howl

Sunday 8-16: GAP t shirt, cutoffs, Crown Vintage sandals

 

LOFT dress, Crown Vintage sandals | Whisper & Howl

Monday 8-17: LOFT dress, Crown Vintage sandals

 

GAP jeans, LOFT trapeze t, Crocs flats | Whisper & Howl

Tuesday 8-16: GAP jeans, LOFT trapeze t, Crocs flats

 

Bass dress, Franco Sarto sandals | Whisper & Howl

Wednesday 8-19: Bass dress, Franco Sarto sandals

 

Target dress, Crocs flats | Whisper & Howl

Thursday 8-20: Target dress, Crocs flats

 

Yep.  That’s it.  See you next week.

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer Capsule Wardrobe | Whisper & Howl

Fancy background, eh?

Shopping and returns have been completed.  (Actually, they were completed 2 weeks ago but it took me this long to get photos together and have a strong enough internet connection to post them!)  I started transitioning into my Summer Capsule Wardrobe in early June because it was just so damn hot, and I culled and incorporated and curated up until July 7th. I am now fully committed to wearing the same 35 items every day for the next 3 months!

Well, kind of. Since I started this one early, I am also ending it early, transitioning back into what I’m calling my Early Spring/Late Summer capsule wardrobe. I won’t be buying anything new until September  when I will start working on my Fall Capsule, but I may switch out some pieces as the air starts to cool down toward the end of summer. At least, I hope it will cool down!

These photos aren’t ideal, but I have figured out a pretty brilliant scheme to set up a photography “studio” in my room, so hopefully I’ll have some better images in the future, as well as outfit photos.  I used BeFunky‘s online collage maker to create these images (and somehow managed to leave the “add ” and “delete” icons on some of them! Please ignore!).

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Newly acquired pieces are indicated by an asterisk.

Tops 1 Tops 2 Tops 3Tops 4

sleeveless white blouse with embroidery (GAP) / pink tank (LOFT)* / tulip-hem tee (Old Navy) / 2 easy, breezy rayon tops in white and black (LOFT)* / chambray button down (similar here) / boxy trapeze tee (GAP, similar here) / slouchy blouse (LOFT)* / graphic blouse / silky mint tank (The Limited) / coastal stripe dolman blouse (LOFT)* / trapeze tee (LOFT)* /  tulip-hem tee (Old Navy) / tank (Target) / tulip-hem tee (Old Navy) / tanks (GAP) /  shirred blouse -also in white  (LOFT)* / cardigan (Banana Republic) / triangle cardigan (LOFT)*

Dresses 2Dress 1Dresses 3

nautical stripe tshirt dress (Bass) / vintage romper / tie dye dress (Bass) / matchstick print wrap dress with flutter sleeves and tulip hem (made by me from the Victory Nicola pattern with this Cotton + Steel fabric by Rashida Coleman)* / pineapple dress (Banana Republic) / chambray trapeze dress (LOFT)* / print dress (River Island from ASOS) / maxi dress / striped jersey dress (Target) / tribal maxi dress ( (Target, similar here)*Bottoms 1Summer Capsule Wardrobe | Whisper & Howl

vintage polka dot skirts / mini skirt (Old Navy) / palazzo pants (Target) / tulip-hem maxi skirt (LOFT)* / cut offs / high waisted skinny jeans (GAP)*

Note: Not counted in the capsule are pieces of lounge wear and exercise gear including yoga pants, many t shirts, pajamas, and house dresses.  I might go through my t shirts one day, but I really love the ones I’ve got and I primarily wear them for working out and sleeping.

Honestly, I feel like I have too many pieces.  I’m interested to see how I feel by the time Fall rolls around.

Have you started a capsule wardrobe?  How’s that going?

Outfit Photos: Is This For Me?

LOFT tank, second-hand skirt | Whisper & Howl

LOFT tank, second-hand skirt

Well, taking outfit photos is exactly as tough as I thought it would be.  I did a mini-shoot up against the exterior wall of my apartment last night and got a couple of cute pictures out of it. There are a lot of blurry shots of me jumping and spinning, making faces, and laughing *with* the neighbors who thought I was nuts.  It was sort of fun? Mostly though, I’m dealing with a lot of feelings that always come up when my picture is taken.

I’ve given a lot of thought to whether I should even have outfit photos on the blog.  I like the way I dress but I don’t know that I’m uniquely fashionable.  I also want to share my capsule wardrobe journey, to show that you can be stylish, happy and content with less.  But there are plenty of selfie-taking bloggers out there and a lot of them have excellent photography skills, equipment, and experience.  Why should I dive into a pond that’s already full of beautiful, fashionable fish?

I’ve followed a lot of fashion bloggers over the past few years and I’ve noticed that they tend to fall into 2 camps: slim and plus-sized.  I absolutely adore the plus-sized fashion bloggers; they are bold, fierce, fun, gorgeous and inspiring.  I like the slim ladies, too.  My issue here is that I am basically an average-sized American woman, and I can only find a couple of fashion bloggers with my body-type.  Perhaps it’s that thinner women are more confident sharing their photos online, and that the plus-sized women are radical, stereotype-defying badasses?  This is not to say that thin women can’t be radical, stereotype-defying badasses in other areas, but that being a larger woman and deigning to take up space, wear loud prints, and demand to be a part of the world of fashion is pretty righteous.

Plus-sized models are closer to my size, starting at a size 8, but they are taller and I don’t actually fit into plus-sized clothing.  When I search for clothing in a size 12, I am shown how it would look on a size 2 model.  This gives me absolutely no idea how it would look on my curvy, 5’5″ frame.  I often feel like I’m in this zone where I’m not quite thin “enough,” where I could definitely lose 20 lbs., but where I’m also not plus-sized.  I’m just a gal who likes clothes and getting dressed and wants to see people of all shapes and sizes in fashion, not just extremes.

Basically, this is a personal project.  Taking these photos forces me to confront my own body and face, the way I stand when I’m not posing, the way I smile when I’m trying to act naturally.  I’ve struggled over the years with feeling “not pretty enough,” especially when photos are taken.  I can get dressed up, perfect my makeup and hair, go to a party and have a total blast–but if someone takes a picture and shows me, I will crumple.  I thought I looked great, but I was wrong!, my Inner Critics will say.  I will turn inward, become self-conscious.  This problem is unique to digital photography, that instant-replay feature that steals our memories and loads them on a hard drive.

Sharing these photos forces me to be okay with the way I look, to be unashamed of my body, to be cool with my scrunched-up laughing face.  It’s not radical, but it’s important to me.