Prepping for Fall by Sparking Joy

June 27, 2015 § 2 Comments

BGJ8880_mx It is that time of year again: Fall/Winter Shopping. I know, I know….you are still not ready for summer. To be truthful, I would barely be ready if it wasn’t for the warm weather trip Mr. H and I tend to take in the middle of winter. Packing for that adventure generally makes me take stock in what I have for Warm, Hot and Burst Into Flames weather, and gives me a chance to fill in as needed through the Resort collections and careful picks from The Outnet and such*.

It is also in those cold, horrid months that one actually gets to see the what the Fashion Gods would like us to wear during the following cold, horrid months. So while I am picking through my summer clothes, I am also thinking about what I wouldn’t mind having for later. Much later.

This year there weren’t many collections that made my heart sing, mostly on account of my having something similar or everything seeming the same but maybe made less well than the one I bought five years ago. (What is up with that, by the way??). Not to mention that I am not dressing for the offices of Vogue every day, although I do try to Bring It on weekdays.

One exception was by one of my favorite designers: Dries van Noten**. I rarely go a season without a little something from his collection, as his use of color alone is irresistible. And aside from casualties, like the gorgeous silk print top in shades of deep teal, rust and acid yellow that my former dry cleaner managed to irreparably and prominently damage, I tend to keep his things for a long, long time. Like the peach and red Japanese-inspired raw silk bolero that looks heavenly over a black dress from The Row that I picked up this winter. I think I purchased the bolero in 2005. It still thrills me.

This year’s Fall collection was psychotically wonderful…beautiful colors, amazing combinations that somehow look great for day and proportions that make you want to dress differently. Take a look:

As such, I recently had a little Dries Attack, and picked up a few things, even though I swore I was good for the season just a few weeks ago. But for everything that comes in, I do believe that a few things generally need to go out.

I am sure that many of you have heard about Marie Kondo’s book about organizing ( While I haven’t made it through the entire book just yet, I got to the heart of the matter which is really about the Ruthless Edit ( But rather than looking at it as an episode of any popular elimination show, Ms Kondo’s thinking is that if what you have isn’t “sparking joy”, you should thank it and then give it away.

I will admit that this sounds a little odd, especially when one thinks about t-shirts and jeans — what t-shirts would “spark joy” for me? And why should I be thanking them? Still, I wanted to Change My Life by Thanking My Clothes Before Tossing Them. Even if it seemed extreme. So a few weeks ago, I began a major Kondo Method wardrobe purge, deciding if each item in my wardrobe (even unmentionables) was really making me happy, or if I was just keeping it “because”. As I started doing it, I began to realize that there really are pieces that I truly adore and others  — way too many, in fact — I have for some unknown reason. But they had served their purpose at one time, and so honoring them with a small “thank you” made it easier to let them go.

In spite of the good job I thought I had been doing on the Ruthless Edit front all these years, I managed to have three garbage bags full of “just because” items to be donated. THREE GARBAGE BAGS!!! And I am not even quite finished. (But I did drop off the bags I had, if for no other reason than to avoid rummaging through them with second thoughts.) And I have to tell you: Getting rid of all those “just because” items felt great. I can now look at my closet and dresser drawers and feel that everything within them is loved and ready for an outing. (Except for my egg-yolk yellow crepe blouse that needs a button sewn back on…sigh.)

Which brings me back to the Fall/Winter season. With so many things now gone, in a few short weeks I have become my own Wardrobe Bouncer. I kid you not when I say that when I am confronted with a new item, I now ask myself “Is this really satisfying and worth putting into my closet? Or just filling in like a granola bar before dinner?”

I’m finding a lot of granola bars.

But not entirely, which is why I am not feeling too bad about the Dries Attack. Sometimes you just come across something that you know will love for a good, long time. Like it was made for you. Such as that top in Look 1 and the kind of outrageous flower necklace pictured above. I just had to have them…they seem so special and so me…how could I resist? Well, I didn’t. They were sparking joy.


* Seriously, The Outnet is fantastic — just stick to the things that aren’t “defining” looks and fabrics in a prior season and you will be golden — quite golden, since the prices can be darn good!

**Like my love of high/low, I am also a fan of minimal/maximal — it just depends upon my mood on any given day, I guess.

(Photo: Gosh…I really never do this, but it is from Bergdorf Goodman. Fair Use, I say. I trust they will agree.)

§ 2 Responses to Prepping for Fall by Sparking Joy

  • Romi says:

    Loved Marie Kondo’s book and think her folding technique is genius! I have given copies of this book to my friends because I think her technique works. Goodwill probably loves her for the spike in donations from all that does not bring us joy.

  • HA! I am certain Goodwill is doing well on account of this book. I do need to get to the folding techniques….thanks for egging me on to do so. .xx

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