Friday, April 21, 2017

Closet Case

In case you think I'm joking about everything in my wardrobe being some shade of blue or grey, behold my current closet:

This includes summer hangables on the left side, my only aim at colour. That weird pants hanger came with the place.
In addition to this, I have a chest of drawers (could we not come up with a less arcane way of describing this furniture? Is it 1682?) for yoga clothes, lingerie (a huge component of the wardrobe), jammies, sweaters and skin care components (what? that's totally normal). My current bras are no longer fitting, due to loss of inches, and my rainbow of other sizes is packed up in the house being renoed. Like, behind a boarded-up door. So I'm not being minimal on the bra front. I've already had to order 3 new sets. :-)

I've never been a true minimalist. I don't throw everything away if I haven't worn it in 5 years. Some things only get worn every 5 years. But y'all know I'm not a hoarder in the remotest sense. This recent move was an opportunity for me to pack up only the most relevant (as I saw it) clothing for 3 seasons.

Now, all of you (fortunately) living in California (and Italy and Australia etc.) likely do not understand what 3 seasons really means - esp. if one of those seasons is winter and another is "spring". In short: It means a shit ton of clothing is required because you never know when it's going to snow, pour with rain. sleet or hail, be 40C in the shade, have wind gusts of 100 km an hour or be hot/cold (an interesting TO phenomenon wherein it is both hot and cold simultaneously and for which it is impossible to dress) for days at a time. There is NO fucking way to predict the weather here. To wit: Yesterday, as it poured relentlessly for 10 hours - the kind that trashes your shoes in a minute and potentially kills the cherry blossoms in High Park for the second year running - I observed an hour of wet snow flurries. People, that's not ok but that's how it is here. Our trees are still bare, if starting to green. We've had a reprieve from the months of gray but that goes as fast as it comes and then the most terrible melancholy rises to the surface. We all feel it. It's a cultural phenomenon as distinct as this weather pattern. When I say that people in TO go insane when the spring (sort of) hits, I'm not joking. We're a people in the grip of unknowable, but miserable, weather for fully half the year and by March we are done. Note: Since we rarely experience storms that cause millions in damage, we don't see a lot of air play. But this weather is spirit-crushing. Read any Ontarian blog from early March to mid-May and you'll see what I mean. That's when we full-on lose it.

I own upwards 10 coats - all of them are still in regular rotation. This doesn't include the rain gear.

Anyway, long diatribe aside, I decided to use this move as an opportunity to experience my inner-minimalist. I only brought half of my clothing. In truth, I recycled 50 per cent of the other half because I do that occasionally...

If you check out my IG, yesterday I did a bit of sale shopping. Now, if you know anything about this move (which we did ourselves, like college students?!, because my husband would not relinquish control), you'll know that we do not want to bring back one thing more than that with which we originally moved. Except an 80 lb espresso machine.

But my current 2 pairs of denim leggings are both too baggy and frayed at the inner upper thigh. My staple, a striped T shirt, needs seasonal replacing as those really get worn to shit.* My "lounge" wear has become hideous through overuse. I wish that those Gap crew T shirts weren't out of stock everywhere, including online, because there won't be another shipment till after the summer, according to the SA. And, on that topic, OMG people. We need readily available long-sleeved t shirts all year long! Everywhere in the world. How can they stop making these in February??? M and I have been sharing a pair of rain boots for a year because I gave my Hunter wedges away (too heel-like, too heavy). Then our shared pair died. I went all out crazy and bought 2 new pairs because, hey, I figure the rain is never going to end if I don't. Also, they were so on sale I couldn't believe it.

Short story: I have thrown out the ratted T shirts (they have holes!), the frayed leggings, the rubber shoes with tears. And I replaced them all-too conservatively. Partly cuz I don't want to have to move shit and partly because I couldn't find the requisite number of t shirts for lounging and sleep.

On that topic, since I cannot shut up about it, I went to Kit and Ace to seek out other Ts and there were some fantastic options. They cost 148.00 CDN before 13% tax. Sorry, I can't do it. Not for a T shirt I'm going to wear to watch TV. No high-street store had anything remotely useful. Nor did The Bay?! I'm actually feeling T shirt-drought anxiety!

So, today's questions: Is everything in your closet the same colour? Can you tell me where the hell to find a fitted, hip-length, crew neck, long sleeved, black/grey/navy T shirt at this time of year? (Under 40 bucks before tax pls! I trash those things.) Am I the only one who still has denim leggings in rotation? And, if you live in southern Ontario, how's your mental state at this point? Let's talk.

PS: Last day of vacay here, and what a truly necessary and health-affirming holiday this has been. I do hope I'll have the opp to continue to post more regularly once I return to work because, really, I love this space...

*FYI, while I have no use for J Crew (so bland, so badly made), they've come up with a short-sleeve T shirt style this year that is extremely flattering given the cut and fabric. I do recommend you try the style. The sleeves are longer than others (half way to elbows) so if you like arm coverage, this may be the T for you. I really like the neck-line and length. Size down. This knit fits large given a copious amount of stretch with great recovery.

15 comments:

  1. You don't have a Simons yet, in Toronto? That Québec-City based firm is expanding across Canada now. They do have nice t-shirts of better quality than J Crew, and most of them are not nearly as expensive as the other place you mentioned (they do have some designer pieces).

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    1. Just want to say that I went online and bought 3 new shirts (2 ts and one drapey fun Montreal-style top that can work for work). If they don't fit, it's FREE return shipping in Canada!

      Also, to anyone reading, Simons online has HANDS DOWN the coolest size finder I've ever come across. Just use the feature. It's multi-staged and I believe it will be entirely effective based on how it's put together. That's math in action!

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  2. You are so right about those T shirts. Whenever I'm in MTL I stock up. Alas, I haven't been since last summer. And no, they haven't yet opened the TO store, though they've been talking about it forever! I'm going to see if they do online and shipping! Thanks for the great suggestion.

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  3. BTW, Simons has opened in Mississauga, I just learned when I checked out the website. There has been no press that I recall seeing. I never go to Miss because it's too far away without a car (though many daily commuters might disagree with me) so I'll never have a chance to visit that store (might as well be in Mtl!). But it might be cheaper to order online from a shipping perspective.

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  4. Hm. If it is any consolation, we all go nuts during the Santa Ana winds in the late summer. You know, what you're referring to as mid-fall.

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    1. I have heard of these winds - are they so strong that it wrecks your hair? Does it bring up allergies? Why do they make you crazy??

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    2. Mostly because the humidity and temperature changes so quickly. They bring up fires... and smog... so, yes, allergies. We had an unseasonal SA the spring before last, it dried a rosebloom - on the bush, before it had even opened.
      Imagine, after a long, hot summer - by which I mean three months when the temp hasn't dropped below 80 during the day - and one day, the humidity drops to 10%. The winds blow from the opposite direction. And the heat rises. Yes, it's a dry heat, but suddenly we're talking upper nineties. It's about at day 3-4 when people start getting wonky. It won't have rained since April, and this is usually September/October. So, all around you, there's crunchy brown brush, and the wind and the heat and the dryness are so intense that fires start just 'cause. Oh, and you're not like to see another drop of rain until mid-November. The air is filthy, sometimes a lovely shade of orange on the horizon... no, they're not nice.

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  5. Oh. And no. My closet is decidedly NOT all one color, though I do have a color system in place, I'm a Bright Spring, so my closet is ivory/turquoise/geranium/jade/brightnavy. You'd need sunglasses. :D

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    1. That sounds extremely pleasant to look at. Some days, I actually look at myself in the mirror and think, everything is the colour of the ground! I do have some great tops that are vibrant and jewel toned - and I get floral in the summer. But I couldn't bring the things that get worn every once in a while so this is a very flat palette...

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    2. I wear the bright colors all the time, so... :) I almost never wear black. It looks terrible on me. I always feel very cool and put together when I go into shades of neutrals (ivory/camel, for me) but then I pile on the bright accessories 'cause I just *can't* leave it alone.

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  6. I have friends who live close by (we live in Little Italy, near the Jean-Talon Market and two métro lines) who order online from Simons and have never been disappointed. It is easy for me to get to either the downtown store or the one in Galeries d'Anjou (due east of me, a way but one bus - I read on it - I can also cycle to either. On bicycle paths all the way in either direction...

    But it is more fun to go there. Simons management have always promoted the arts and have a beautiful glass mobile in downtown MTL. They offered the city of Québec a historic fountain from France for Québec's 400th anniversary. And they have very pretty socks and tights.

    No, I am NOT a shill for that firm, and typically very critical of shoddy or grossly overpriced and over-promoted merchandise. Just happy with my purchases there. Look at their housewares...

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    1. I've spoken about Simons often on this blog - also not being compensated :-) because I love it. Not only is it totally real, it's zany (sometimes) and there are some terrific, chic items to be found. Also, the tights are the best. I checked out the housewares yesterday! Hmmm....

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  7. Good luck with the T-shirt hunt! I don't think I'll ever look beyond my knit sloper now that I've pretty much perfected it. My wardrobe contains far too much black and grey, too. ;) and not enough red.

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    1. Bizarrely, we all found ourselves (my posse) returning underwear at the Gap (my friend's) at 8:30 pm?! I checked the T shirt pile and someone must have returned a size M in the T I love. I GRABBED that baby. I prefer the small (they all have so much stretch) for the fit in the shoulders, but I'm not going to be fussy. Desperate times! I have thought so often - if I had my serger I'd be knocking out 4 t shirts. Oh well. That's gonna happen in the fall...

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  8. FWIW, my closet looks exactly like yours above, except that instead of the florals, I have white shirts. ;-) As for the T-shirts, I feel your pain. Why is it that no mass market retailer has been willing to produce a reasonably priced, widely available all year round, basic crew neck T-shirt in both long and short sleeves? Preferably in both plain cotton and cotton with a bit of lycra, and always available in white, black, gray, and navy (and maybe some additional, sophisticated colorways; these might change over time as long as the standard colors continue). But keep to the same basic shirt ALL THE TIME. I need to wear and replenish these all the time, all year round. I've had some luck with Target and Banana Republic--and when I find something that works, I buy up a whole bunch and hope they will last until the next time someone produces an acceptable version. I can and do make some T-shirts, but I don't have that much time to sew and I'd rather buy these if I could find them. Simons is new to me, so that's good to know about.

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