Monday, September 14, 2015

Last Days of Summer

Thank you all for your kind words and wishes! You are my favorite, lots of love to you all! :)
We had a great summer this year - I hear it was the hottest on the record, and certainly an extremely dry one too, with many forest fires and burn bans lasting all summer long. To me it was much hotter than I prefer, but not nearly as hot as summers are in many parts of the world, including my homeland (which not many people realize about Siberia - 100 F and humid is quite common there). Here, temps did not go as high as 100, the hottest days I remember were in mid to high 90s, but it was consistently in the 80s for probably the whole three months, which is much more hot days than I care for (just how many days I can spend on the beach? certainly not 90 in a row). I admit I feel exhausted by the heat, and lots of things I would like to do I put on hold until the heat is over, but I still managed to do lots this summer, including daily writing and, oddly enough, lots of cooking experiments. This is still by far the most wonderful place to live, of all the places I've lived or visited, and if this was our hottest summer ever, I'm game. On to my outfit now. 

As you might have read in my previous post here, I started cleaning my closet this summer, which was long overdue. I think I donated 12 bags all together so far, probably half of them were big shopping bags, the rest were smaller. One or two bags were Justin's shirts, and the rest were my clothes. I am not the one who buys all or nearly all new stuff every season or even every year and discard the old stuff, no. I never especially cared for changing trends, and I hardly ever will. I rather get attached to my wardrobe, and it is difficult for me to separate with some beloved pieces, which is exactly why I stored way too many clothes that I overgrew or just got bored with, and they filled a huge chunk of my donation bags. The rest were the clothes that I bought within the last couple of years which I consider experimental for me. Some new styles and brands I tried and either did not like the quality enough to leave those clothes in my closet for longer, or realized that I am not crazy about the style etc., etc. Some of them were thrifted, and others were new. Some pieces I did not even wear or wore once or twice, so they will be a good catch for thrift hunters. (I.e., some clothes felt way too formal, "office-ish" for my current lifestyle - but there were great pieces like blazers, straight leg trousers, etc.) So what I learned from my experiments, which certainly broadened my sartorial horizon a lot, is that quality is still very important to me. I was always a bore like that - the girls go for trends, and I go for quality. So that did not change. I let myself experiment with some questionable quality brands, and now I am moving away from them. And another thing I learned is, that I am also moving away from office wear. Not completely - I still like structured pieces, but I want to merge my artistic side with my "good reliable girl" side and embrace the artistic side much more than I did before. 

Goodwill probably is going to send me a bill for the mound of clothes I donated! In addition, I also reconsidered some of my recent purchases and returned a lot of items, and those shops will probably also consider sending me a bill as they are quickly running out of space after my returns. I did leave quite a few pieces, from both my favorite brands and our Goodwill trip to Seattle a couple of weeks ago. My new purchases are mostly for the Autumn season (or, rather, for the rainy season, as here in the PNW only two seasons, really, rain and no rain), and I've already started wearing some of them. But this linen jacket (or tunic) will soon have to wait till Spring/Summer to make appearances, so in one of the last days of summer I decided to give it an outing. Isn't it a gorgeous thing? It says late 1980s/early 1990s to me. I don't know when it was made (it was made here in the US, by A.P. Collection, California), but I just love the clean lines that remind me of those years. It is of a wonderful quality and condition, and I am going to enjoy wearing it during hot sunny days which will return to my part of the world in about 9 months. I styled it with skinny jeans from Old Navy (it was funny when both my daughter and I picked the same style, from their dozens of styles and colors of jeans, without looking at each other) and semi-precious stone jewelry. You cannot see my earrings here, but they are lovely, wooden with amber, from Ukraine.

I think I am mostly done with cleaning my closet, and the rest I will do more gradually, as time goes on. Or at least that's what I think I'll do. What about you - do you clean your closet in one big step once in a while (every year? every two years?), or little by little, without making it a huge project?

Linen tunic - thrifted, $8, via Goodwill
Jeans - Old Navy (last spring)
Jasper bracelet - gift (old)
Jasper (I think) ring - from Chico's, $5 basket, years ago
Canvas shoes - Toms (couple of years ago)
Canvas purse - hand-made, boutique in Michigan, years ago

I'm taking my linen tunic to join the Visible Monday at fabulous Patti (now every Monday!)

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  1. Dear Natalia, amazing fall outfit. I Love the ring. I clean my closest once in a while. Recently we gave clothes to the refugees. Have a nice day Natalia. Kisses Tina

  2. I agree with you on quality. I have quite a small wardrobe, but I only buy clothes of good quality, meant to last for a while (OK, there might be a few H&M t-shirts in the mix, too, but not many). And trends... What matters is finding what suits you, and also fits your lifestyle. That's what style is made of. And you do have a signature style, Natalia, and that's more important than following trends.

  3. that tunic has something of an artist´s smock :-) and hooray for quality! around the 2000s i bought some low quality stuff 2.hand and i was never happy with! it felt bad, it washed bad. after a while i returned to the homesewn and high quality vintage pieces - some of them i still wear.
    i trow out worn down pieces when i change the closet from winter to summer and vice versa - thats the moment i see all the stuff we have at once. but mostly its not more than one regular shopping bag, stuff that gets often washed like shirts and undies or socks. if its from natural fibers we use it as rags for the car and motor saw and such. socks for polishing shoes. and in the end i light the oven with.....
    i wish you a wonderful mild autumn!!! xxxxxx

  4. The tunic is lovely, typically Natalia rich earth tones and the jewellery, especially that ring, is stunning.
    I've just had a bit of a clear out of the stockroom, packing away the very Summery clothes for next year and put together a rail of clothes in need of mending for tackling in front of the fire later. A local organisation is collection for the Syrian refugees so I've gathered a few coats, hats and woollens to drop off later. Fells good to have a declutter! xxx

  5. Wonderful to see you again, Natalia, and I love your linen. A good declutter is therapeutic : >

  6. You are doing good thing. It is so difficult to push yourself to this, but it so liberating! Good luck. o)

  7. I'm exactly the same way...I get emotionally attached to my clothing. That is why I don't buy new clothes all the time...if I did, I simply couldn't form a link with my clothes and I really need to do that....and I need to organize my closet too!

    That tunics is wonderful...this outfit is very much to my liking.

  8. What if you paired that very sharp looking tunic with more wintry black jean and a cropped black blazer ... oooh! a long, light weight blazer or structured long cardigan ... with or without sleeves? I'd take that linen piece right into winter.
    You look so sharp in this outfit ... delighted to see your rippy skinnies! They've been on my mind and on my backside all summer!
    Thank you for your sweet note of support ... I persevere!

    1. Great ideas! I like your thinking, Jan! I also thought (after posting this) that this is such a coarse linen, it will look just right in fall/winter. Now I need to get creative and find good winter friends for this tunic! :)