This is kind of an odd topic for a skin care blog but I had to write about it. After all, clothing can make you look great, just like good skin care. The package of good skin care, clothes, and good mental and physical health will invariably make you look stunning.
Several months ago, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and my I underwent a pretty significant change in how I thought about clothes. When I was a teenager, shopping for clothes overwhelmed me. I had no sense of personal style nor did I feel motivated to cultivate one. So when I went shopping for clothes, I was always stumped by the choices, and as a result ended up with a significant amount of clothes I didn't really love.
Things improved only slightly when I moved to the USA and I had my own income and personal space to develop a fashion sense. Deep down I didn't care much for clothes - after all I was a chemistry grad student and if I didn't look downright dowdy, that was a good enough deviation from the stereotype. .
I continued to own a somewhat mishmash wardrobe with a good percentage of clothes I hardly ever wore until I read Kondo's book. Then it was as if I finally saw the light - it was a perfect storm of my daughters' clothes becoming completely unmanageable and my gradual shift towards getting rid of stuff - I think the book found me at the right time! One weekend, we went through our entire wardrobes, did the spark joy thing and I learned to roll clothes the Marie Kondo way. And I fell in love with how our closets looked - it the clothes looked so beautiful now that they were rolled and visible.
And that was when I started to really see what I was wearing everyday.
I did have pieces of clothing I loved. But I saw that my wardrobe did not fully meet my needs. For the first time, I deliberated on what I needed and picked out stores to go look for pieces rather than randomly going to a store that was close to where I happened to be doing something else and had a half hour to to get some random item of clothing. I realized that huge department stores like Macy's overwhelm me. So I found smaller department stores that carried clothing that suited my taste. Once I had bought a couple of tops I really loved, I read about capsule wardrobes. Our closets are tiny by American standards. When we moved in, I felt like I was going to be greatly deprived because I did not have s giant walk in closet. But I guess that has been a blessing in disguise.
The concept of capsule wardrobes completely appealed to me. I've been working on a seasonal capsule. My spring ensemble has about 45 items - a bit on the higher side considering that there are at least 5 pieces in here I do not LOVE.
My spring capsule consists of
- 6 cardigans - I think that's two too many
- 3 blazers - I love all of them!
- 4 jeans - two dark ones that I wear for work a lot (I'm in the Bay Area after all!) and two skinny jeans
- 3 work pants - one of them is a classic black pair of trousers that I got from the Gap twelve years ago! It's still in great shape - a real quality buy. (And please note - I still fit in them!!!)
- About 4 shirt dresses - I like wearing these with jeans or leggings as tunics. One of my quirks.
- 7 dresses - for warmer weather and of these, one is the "little black dress". I love this one. Another is a long flowing one for dressier wear. Not sure I LOVE this one though.
- 7 work tops - mostly solids that I pair with cardigans or blazers depending on the circumstances. I think I love every single one of them.
- 3 casual every day tops - I have about 5-6 more in a drawer.
- Two adult party tops 😜. I don't party too often so that's good for now. And as these parties tend to be with different sets of people, I can switch between them without causing too much boredom.
That's it! I love how my closet looks now and dressing is a breeze. No decision fatigue in the mornings. And I now totally enjoy the process of getting dressed because I truly like my clothes finally!!!
Now of course, I have a bunch of Indian clothes as well. Indian clothes are a bit more tricky to control as there's not as much freedom to mix and match. I also need to figure out my personal style when it comes to sarees and other Indian outfits.
One last story on clothes. Almost eighteen years ago, I bought a Jessica McClintock gown for a dinner on a cruise during our honeymoon. I am one size bigger now and yet can't bring myself to part with it. My oldest daughter has asked me keep it for her - I think it's a great idea.
Now this is a skincare blog after all so I can leave without a skincare tidbit. This is particularly for Indian women. We Indians, by the nature of our DNA, don't reveal our age through wrinkles, but rather through the sagging of the eyes, the dark circles, and age spots. We are very prone to pigmentation. So what can you do? The best thing is prevention - work on hydrating your face really well, definitely when you hit forty. Pigmentation issues like melasma etc. are exacerbated by hormone changes, stress etc. So my recommendation is hydrate your face with a humectant rich serum (like Rejuvenate for example) and use an oil based serum (like The Antioxidant serum) right after. Do it every single day. I also strongly recommend using a good vitamin C serum (I plan to start selling one shortly). The effect of this routine, coupled with good physical activity, is amazing. I will describe my holistic regimen for looking great in my next post. It has been eye opening and I'm excited to share. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your wardrobe stories 🙂.