2020 Summer Wardrobe Plan
Portrait of an unidentified woman in Edwardian dress, c. 1901 – 1940.
Wilf Henty (1882-1941), photographer via State Library Victoria

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my 2020 Signature Wardrobe Summer Plan is the kind of extreme you get when you have to replace your entire wardrobe.

2020 Summer Plan

As I mentioned in my last review, I had a stroke (which makes it sound more pleasant than it was). It’s had an unexpected and significant impact on what I wear.

“Normal” people can selectively filter the input from their five sense. Often people with brain injuries (including stroke) cannot. And I am no exception to this. Right now, I’m assessing tiny parts of my life to determine what I can do to reduce this input and the consequent sense of overwhelm.

When I wore coloured or patterned clothes, my clothes distracted me and I and lost focus on the task at hand. And when I wore black, I found my body became background – I could ignore it.

Similarly, jewellery is distracting in two ways – sight and sound. And in some cases, textures and smells are distracting. Like my old perfume.

Right now, black clothes are an essential part of my way back to normal. Or my version of it at least! 😉

Budget

I have’nt bought much this year, and there’s a lot to buy now, so I’m going all in with $2,000.

Appropriateness

We’re just coming out of lockdown, and as I’m still taking immune suppression, I’ll be mostly staying home. And wearing L3 masks when I go out.

The drugs also mean I’m more prone to sunburn, so I need to think about greater coverage. I’m sidling into the kind of anaemia you get with kidney failure, so being hot is less of a problem than being cold.

I’ll be focusing on lightweight fabrics, and that means linen.

Style

Just because I have to change the colour, doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice style. Looking at the building blocks:

  • Colour: black.
  • Pattern: none.
  • Silhouette: My favourite is still a 3:2 ratio – long top over a long bottom (e.g. tunic over jeans.
  • Design Line: Semi-fitted.
  • Texture: Light and Smooth.

Wardrobe Review

I’ve packed up everything that isn’t black because I might be able to wear colours and patterns later. And some of my textured clothes (e.g. cabled sweaters) have had to go away as well. I’m not sure how long I’ll leave it before I check again.

I dyed some clothes to get me through, and now have:

  • 1 blouse
  • 1 skirt that needs altering
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 t-shirt

The dying wasn’t completely successful (more midnight blue than black), but I can live with it for the time being. I’ll need to redye them or replace them with actual black.

Planned Purchases

Right now I’m good for hats and undies. I can get by with the shoes I have, but I’ll need some black socks.

I’ve been thinking along the lines of what will make a minimally viable wardrobe:

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 4 tops (one that can be used as a jacket)
  • cardigan

Normally I would split my purchases into needs and wants, but I need some version of it all.

Shopping Plan

Similarly I would list out the priorities, but it’s all important.

Get Ready

Luckily, I’ve bought custom made clothes from several Etsy providers over the last few years, and I’ve already ordered more of the same. Some have arrived, and I’m expecting the rest over the next few weeks.

Blessed be the black.

Although I’m curious about whether anyone else has faced something similar. And whether other people have found different colours relaxing.

How is your 2020 Signature Wardrobe Summer Plan coming along?



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