Thursday, October 7, 2010

My closet's benchwarmers

Last week I talked about the items in my wardrobe that I considered my most used and most reliable pieces, my MVPs. In doing so, it made me evaluate some of the pieces that never get used. Since I like to make the most of what I already have, I don't see getting rid of them as an option yet, but I am open to getting things tweaked or altered to get them to work more. Here are my closet benchwarmers, why I think they don't get used, and how I can get out of this functional fixedness mentality (i.e., think more creatively about their uses). Maybe it'll be of inspiration to you as well?

Banana Republic blue silk top

Purchased in 2008. Worn only a couple times since start of blog. I used to wear this top all the time when I first purchased it, and used it as a closet staple during my internship last year. Now, not so much. I think this is probably because I can't see past it being paired with wool trousers and a sweater, which was my go-to uniform back in my conservatively-dressed office days (I know, I've done a 180 since then!). The ruffle detailing is too sweet to just idle by in my closet. Could this be paired with a skirt? As a vest to a dress? Underneath a sweater with the ruffle sticking out?

Giorgio Kauten mint green floral dress

Purchased this summer, and only worn once. I don't seem to have any problems with wearing dresses all the time, except this one always eludes me. I think part of the problem is that I don't think the drawstring empire waist design is very flattering on me. I may have to resort to "eye trickery" by wearing a sweater over it and belting it at where my natural waist is. Perhaps it would look good with colored tights and boots as well?

Liz Claiborne red shift dress
Back when I did The Dress Project, this was one of the dresses I held off from wearing until the very end, because I wasn't sure of how to wear it. I'm not sure I like the length of it -- perhaps a snip-snip to the hemline will do the trick? It might also look good with a patterned sweater...

How do you make your closet benchwarmers work for you?

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  1. I have a few "benchwarmers" of my own. A ruffled tank is also in my pile. I look forward to seeing how you work these in. As for the dress, I think a little length readjustment will go a long way.

  2. OMG the red dress is beautiful, it must become a wardrobe MVP! That BR top would be so cute paired with a skirt and some boots or flats, and I think most dresses can be dressed down with long cardis, belts, and boots.

  3. oh man.... i have so many benchwarmers it's disgusting. i so badly want to go through and throw them all out right now since many of them don't fit with my growing belly. haha!

    i love that blue top... i think it could work in a lot of ways! with patterns, triad colors, trousers with some more casual accessories...

    and the mint dress might be tempered a little with black and brown together... kinda earth it up a little?

  4. I am embarrassed at the sheer volume of benchwarmers my closet has. I need to purge...
    Love the Banana top... don't let that one go!

  5. I love that mint coloured dress! The colour is so pretty! The red dress looks amazing on you!

  6. Don't do a thing to that red dress, lady. It's a stunner as-is.

    I keep a list of my underutilized items and whenever I lack for outfit inspiration, I build around them!

  7. Weird how I've missed that BR top, its so beautiful!

    My wardrobe is such a mess right now, I don't know which ones are what...

    I'm so excited for you to get the second parcel!


    Win a pair of FREE tickets to the Ottawa Fashion Week at:


  8. if these things were part my own wardrobe i'd wear the blue top with my short black high-waisted skirt; the green dress cinched at the waist with a cream stretchy belt with tan buckle-thing at the front; and the red dress just as it is, with simple neutral accessories and maybe some red lippy too. but i think you could definitely wear any of them with a sweater for the fall and the green dress would look great with say tan boots.

  9. I think you can totally make these pieves work, I especially love the mint green dress. I would probably just throw a belt on over the elastic waist!

    I don't have so many benchwarmers in the clothing department but, when it comes to shoes and handbags... I definitely have favorites and all my other ones get ignored :(


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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