Saturday, October 26, 2013

(Re) Building my wardrobe....slowly ~ one piece at a time.

I am in the process of re-building my wardrobe as I have lost almost 25 pounds and have gone from wearing XL and size 14 + to wearing M size 10/12. My weight loss journey is ongoing and I hope to lose another 5 pounds.

 Before Weight Watchers
I am dressed for a summer wedding weighing in at a hefty 160 pounds.

Most of my larger sized garments have been donated or consigned as I do not plan to wear them again.
I have kept a few things and some fortunately were in a smaller size.
I had kept hoping I would slim down and be able to wear at some point...and now I can!

Before hitting the shops I needed to take everything out of the closet and decide what to keep, what to consign and what to donate.

I had forgotten about these cute leather booties!

The things that I kept:
(about 30 pieces)

Burberry quilted jacket
Lands' End down coat
Eddie Bauer down jacket
Jones of NY metallic grey raincoat
Aunt Tirzah's fur jacket (for the snow!)
Royal Robbins black squall jacket

Lands' End cashmere pullover, grey cardigan, black cardigan
Johnston of Elgin black cashmere pullover
grey tweedy knit sweater in a "jacket style"
St. James grey sweater coat
Betty Barclay grey sweater ~ longer style

Talbots white shirt ~ which is oversize now but gets worn over a white tank
2 white tank tops
white lace top
Banana Republic Breton striped tee
Carilyn Vaile black SS top
Splendid black sheer top
Black sequined Tee
black white patterned 3/4 sleeve top
Cut Loose quilted vest in chartreuse green
Mondetta white grey patterned workout jacket

Gelco tweed trousers
(Pants are the most difficult to have tailored and still look decent.)

Dressy wear:
3 LBD's
Precis Petite patterned dress which I bought for a wedding a couple of years ago...see above image.
(I have not tried it on recently but it was expensive so I have kept it and it can be altered.)
Symplii knits in black ~ palazzo pants, tank top, top 3/4 sleeves, jacket
Spanner metallic pewter skirt
Jones of NY multicoloured silk skirt

I have kept all my accessories:
bags, boots, shoes and scarves ~ they always fit!

Everything else is gone!

I started rebuilding by first having a professional bra fitting and purchased some new undergarments.
My next priority was decent looking outfits for walking and fitness ~
(wearing smart workout clothing helps keep me motivated)
2 pairs of  Lands' End performance pants ~ black, grey.
3 Champion white tops and a black pair of capri length workout pants
3 workout/Yoga style hoodies

I am focusing on fall and winter right now and will tackle the out of season clothing in the closet downstairs next Spring and see what I can salvage and what needs to go.

Purchases since September amount to approximately $350.
I am applying my new rules of frugality, minimalism and function before any purchase.

Levi's distressed jeans (thrifted) $15 (they replaced my beloved Vear Wang boyfriend jeans)
Black Ponte knit Bellissimo trousers (thrifted) $12
g 21 skinny jeans, one in black, the other dark wash denim $10 each
Chillox black coat $130
Barbour vest black $125
Merino Tees ~ grey and black $17 each
Eileen Fisher silk tank top ~ a muted mocha shade which is a very versatile shade (thrifted) $15

I have read many books which offer basic wardrobe guidelines.
Two of my favourites are Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott and Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange.
Tish Jett has a new book...Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Timeless Secrets to Beauty, Style and Substance.
I am eager to read this as she writes one of my favourite blogs.

I am adjusting to my new "retired lifestyle" and am wearing casual workout clothing most days at home.
I really do not "need" too many outfits as most of my activities are quite relaxed.
Weekly lunches out, grocery shopping, errands, dinner out, the occasional house party and theatre.

Weight Watcher Month 5
(almost at my goal weight)
Feeling better, I have more energy and my hips don't ache when I walk now.
WW = Win Win 

Thank you Kristien for posing the question and Congratulations on your weight loss!

If the thrift shops in your area are not to your liking try some consignment shops.
There are lots of great online shops with great return policies and some offer free shipping.
Depending on where you live you might want to take a drive to another city to find some great clothes.
If you have a friend whose opinion you can trust, you could take a weekend away and have a fashion adventure!

I hope this post helps to better answer your question.

I know there are a few readers out there who buy online...I'd love to know where you shop.
Please share your favourite sites in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you are having a fabulous weekend!


  1. Try Woolovers for cashmere/merino and silk/cotton sweaters. They wash really well.

  2. Congratulations! on your weight loss.I am enjoying reading about your journey. Can you please send me some of your motivation?

    1. The Weight Watchers meetings give me the motivation I need to keep on might try it and see if you like it.

  3. After losing the weight, did the bust size decrease proportionately? I used to be a pear years ago and I wonder if my 61 year old body would revert to a smaller bra size. As a petite, I would prefer to be smaller on top.

    1. Well I suppose it is in proportion... the cup size is the same but now I wear a smaller size as my chest is 4 inches smaller.
      Genetics play a role her though as I am like a clone of my grandmother!

  4. Congratulations. The only store I've shopped online from is LL Bean as I like their pima cotton T shirts. It is hard to get the sizing right. I like your glasses and will be buying something similar next year. Can you tell what make yours are?


    1. They are Anglo American Optical made in England. I purchased them from an independent optical store but I am sure they are readily available.

  5. look great! What a wonderful reason to build a new wardrobe. I don't buy many clothes on line, probably because of getting the right size. I am petite like you and that can be difficult.

    Incidentally, I am currently reading Tish Jetts book, Forever Chic and it is wonderful, lots of great tips, I know you are going to enjoy it.

    Have fun shopping!

  6. You are such an inspiration. You look great and I love how you are so thoughtfully and carefully compiling your new wardrobe. Fortunately your weight loss coincided with your change in life so you can reconstruct your wardrobe on both fronts at once.

    I noticed that you have 4 gray cardigans/sweaters - you must be a gray lover like me. I also noticed how many of your items are from Lands End. I would love to know have a review of the things you have bought. I like Lands End, but it is always a bit of a gamble when you are ordering online (usually I'm happy though).

    Congrats on all the weight loss. You look terrific.

    1. I like Lands' End and the sizing charts are good. I read all the reveiws on a product before I buy as some people have experienced sizing issues and that does influence my purchases. I do like their cashmere sweaters and this season I am unable to buy any because they will not import shell buttons to Canada...returns are easy but you do need to pay to have them shipped back.

  7. Congratulations, Hostess! I, too, hang onto favorites even after they become too small and hang sadly in the closet. Isn't it wonderful when old friends fit again!

  8. You look fantastic and congratulations! You mentioned your before weight, but what is your height if you don't mind my asking? I bet you are having fun shopping - enjoy!

  9. You look great and isn't that fantastic how weight loss shows so much on the face. You look ten years younger, greying hair or not !xx

  10. Have you shopped online at JJill? They may be just the thing for your retired lifestyle. Great sales, too.

    1. I've been into JJIll in Seattle and liked their clothing and they do petites which I need cuz I am so short! Will keep them in mind...

  11. You look adorable, Hostess.

    I met a lovely young well dressed woman who uses the consignment shops like an extra closet. She has an account at the shop. She buys something there, wears it for a while and then puts it back on consignment. It saves her a ton of money.

  12. Congratulations! That is an awesome accomplishment. I'm finding it almost impossible to lose 10 lb. But I shall soldier on!

  13. Congratulations! Consignment and thrift thrive on weight changes. Yes, agree we need less when retired.

    My new goal is to maintain the loss, and I do find that less compelling and exciting than losing.

    1. There are several gals at our meeting who are at their goal weight and they seem to do well by coming to the meetings and offering their experiencial advice to the rest of us. I would expect that there is the temptation to stop tracking and let things slide a bit...good luck.

  14. Retirement really suits you,your eyes/skin glow.My wardrobe of clothes is even smaller than your's!

    1. Heh, Judith - and mine is even smaller than yours ; )!!

    2. It might interest you to know that I kept a few of the tops and they are a bit big because I did not want to have to spend the money needed to replace them. I am belting some tops and layering others.
      OK you two how about you give us a list now, it's your turn!

    3. What about it Mette? cannot let a challenge like that pass us!

      Good idea Leslie belting larger items will look good on your figure.

    4. Yes, let´s do it Judith ! You first and I´ll list my small bit.
      Will we add our " working clothes " too .
      I agree with you, wearing a bit larger items ( depending on the piece ) and a belt ( if needed ), do feel good on.

  15. Since you have managed so very well on your weight loss, I am sure that you will manage to gather a sensible, minimal wardrobe - the kind you are looking forward to.
    And I must say, that the shorter hair looks very good on your smaller frame : )!

  16. You look so much younger now! Bravo! Sounds like you have a great basic wardrobe. There are times I look in my closet and some times just wish for a bit less. I am working on getting rid of 5-10 lbs and then can really decide what I want to keep and what is no longer me.

    As you have moved through like, have you found that your style changed? I have always been a cashmere cardigen kind of gal but not am looking at things like leggings with a tunic. Haven't gotten guts to even try it on yet though.

  17. I haven't commented in awhile but just wanted to congratulate you on your weight loss. I love your new refined look with the black glasses and haircut. You look very chic, happy and healthy.

  18. You mentioned getting new lingerie after a good fitting, which sounds like a brilliant idea (too easy to take that layer for granted!) Any advice about brands, styles, etc.?
    Thanks : )

    1. I like Prima Donna, Triumph and Warners. In the larger cities there is a lot more variety than what we can buy here.

    2. Thanks for the advice - like you, I live in a smaller city, and in my case would have to go to Toronto for a better selection, but it's definitely time for a lingerie overhaul!

  19. Thank you for including the list of the items from your closet that you kept. Like you, I still have my 1976 wedding gown (an altered size 8 for my then 117 lb body), as well as some other more current items I would like to wear again. I haven't begun my weight loss journey yet, but you are inspirational!

  20. Thank you, thank you! You keep me inspired as I slowwwwwwwwly continue to lose. It has only been a few weeks since I began attending meetings, but the trend continues downward at least. Right now, my clothes are fitting properly rather than tightly which is quite an improvement. I love that you chose workout clothing as your first replacements. I think I will do the same. Going to a larger city to shop the thrifts and consignments is a brilliant plan and would be such a fun "girls weekend." I am going to plan one after the holidays.

    1. P.S. This week started out impossible for my. A fall trip to the Finger Lakes wineries cost me 1.5lbs of new weight and I could go on from there. So I decided to get out of my funk by starting on my closet(s). Using your list as a guide, I am going to take a good look at what is there and just begin. This will be an ongoing project as I lose and another incentive to keep losing.

  21. Congratulations! Your kept list sounds wonderful, but as a frugality tip check "" for online retailer coupons if you do purchase anything online.

  22. Congratulations! You look fantastic! Weight watchers worked for me. I am a big fan!

  23. Good on you! That is an incredible achievement and even from the head and shoulders you look transformed. Now you have to model some of your new outfits for us!! PS I love that top outfit have to keep that! (shrink it?)

  24. Congratulations! You're doing and looking great and inspiring me down here in Texas!

  25. Hostess thank you so much for mentioning my book! Sending you hugs Jennifer Scott xx

  26. If you have a garment that is now too big, you love it and paid a lot for it, it could be worth while finding a dressmaker who does alterations and making it fit. A friend of mine has done that.

  27. This dress is looking fabulous . I always try looking for a great deal on them.

    Luxury Sleepwear & Pima Cotton Sleepwear

  28. Great post! And I totally agree with your way of thinking. Thanks for Shearing Ur lovely Pictures.

    Bridal Shop Prague & Levné Svatební Saty