Sunday, April 23, 2017

Professional Work Wear

So, before I get into the meat of this. My Costa Rica 10x10 challenge went great. But it sort of felt like cheating bc the three days that I went to the OR I didn't wear anything other than my scrubs, lol. But, I did wear each piece and I didn't feel like I was lacking anything, so I'l take it for a win.

We recently decided to get matching embroidered scrubs for all the technicians in the office, and matching polo shirts for the front office staff. I got myself a pair of scrubs embroidered as well, but in a different color. I was toying around with the idea of just wearing embroidered scrubs to work every day. Some people do that. Ophthalmologists, as a general rule, are less likely to do this than other kinds of surgeons, but many people do this. I shied away from it because I was afraid it would look less professional. But, in my efforts to simplify things, a uniform that I wear to work would be very helpful. Not only would I not have to decide what to wear to work every day, but I also wouldn't have to worry about shopping for work clothes. Both are a plus in my book right now because I don't have time for either of those.

So, I was already going to get myself another pair. So I'm going to try it out and see what I think. I'm hoping I'll like it and I'll go that way. Asking around to other female colleagues, some say they don't like it bc they get confused with nurses. Others said that after they started to wear scrubs fewer people asked them how many surgeries they had done or if they were actually going to be the ones doing the surgery. So, we'll see...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Costa Rica 10x10 Challenge

Two posts in as many days, how about that?

As is the case with many frustrations, I woke up this morning with a sunnier outlook. Several of my favorite capsule wardrobe/minimalist bloggers have begun to occasionally do something called a 10x10 challenge. Basically you are challenged to wear only 10 articles of clothing for 10 days. You pick the articles ahead of time, then see what kind of fun you can have. PJs, underwear, jewelry, and workout wear are not included.

I've never joined in because I find it hard to mix my work and weekend clothes into 10 items I can realistically use/wear.

BUT, we're leaving for Costa Rica tomorrow. I decided to try a 10x10 challenge while we're gone. I think we're only technically gone for 8 days, but that's OK. It's a 10x8 challenge for me I guess ;-)

So, below you will see my 10 items that I'm bringing to Costa Rica with me:

Tops: chambray shirt, white tank, and my black Evolve top from Encircled.
Bottoms: printed shorts, bermuda jean shorts, navy linen pants, white skinny jeans
Dress: My JAG chambray dress from D. Diff
Shoes: TOMS wedges and black Birkenstocks

I did not include: my bathing suit, a cover up, a pair of PJs, a pair of scrubs, and my OR shoes in this count. But I think it looks pretty good! All the pieces mix and match well for the most part and it should cover most of my bases.

I figure the most important thing is for me to bring a bathing suit and my scrubs. So if I feel like I have nothing to wear other times, who cares. And with the average high about 95*F and low around 77*F, I don't have to worry too much about variations in climate.

I'm excited to see how it goes. If I get a chance I'll take some pictures of the different outfits I make and we'll see how it goes!

Friday, April 14, 2017


So, I am in need of new trousers for work. The ones I have are too big now, and I need something that fits, is going to be versatile and last a long time. I asked for some from Trunk Club, and as much as I usually like what they send, they struck out. Everything they sent in this category seemed to be flimsy, the one pair of trousers I did like weren't even lined, the fabric seemed thin, and they cost $120. I was not about to do that.

So I'm scouring the internet trying to find some trousers. I'd love to find something that was lined and looked really tailored and was made responsibly. So I'm looking, I'm looking. Over an hour later I am not happy with what I've found. I finally order two pair from Banana Republic and hope they fit and aren't too flimsy, as even BR quality has seemed to fade recently.

These bloggers that write about capsule wardrobes and whatnot are helpful in a way. They can give you good ideas and suggest places where you can find ethically produced clothes. But they don't go to work per se. Most of them are professional bloggers. They don't seem to have to look professional. And all the stores they send me to have models that look like they just rolled out of bed with clothes hanging off of them. The clothes never look like that on the bloggers, but the model looks like a heroin addict, so its hard for me to picture what it will look like on me.

And I am OK paying some extra money for responsibly made clothing. But I am not quite to the place of paying $395 for a pair of canvas sailor pants. I'm not saying its not worth it. If you wore those sailor pants every summer for the next 18 years like I did my linen pants, then they would be worth every penny. But it is so hard to tell if the pants are going to be those pants, or if you'll think they're going to be those pants and then you hardly wear them for one reason or another.

And this is the thing. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO SPEND HOURS ONLINE LOOKING FOR PANTS. I just don't. I could have spent that time doing about a million other things and ended up in the same place, with more stuff done.

If all I had to do all day was search the internet for clothes, I'm sure I'd have a closet full of responsibly made clothing that goes together and didn't cost me an arm and a leg and looks fabulous. But as it is I have a closet full of clothing that I sorta kinda like and I'm trying to figure out how it all fits me and my lifestyle and my motherhood (dry cleaning is not currently my friend).

Ugh. Frustrating. I know it is a work in progress, but I'm frustrated right now.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Joy of Less

So, it's been awhile, but we have been busy.

I did keep track of my outfits, and I did take a few hours one afternoon in Palm Springs and went to Marshall's and tried on as many things as I could get my hands on. I'm still feeling a bit lost, but starting to feel like maybe things are coming together a bit. I've learned a few things about what looks good on me and what doesn't, and it is not necessarily what I thought it would be. For example, shorts. Really short shorts don't look great or age appropriate. Bermuda shorts that hit just below the knee cap looks OK. But the in between can be finicky. The shorts that hit mid-thigh probably look the best. The ones that stop just above my knee cap look awful. As bad as short shorts, really. I had no idea. And I realized that ankle pants look a lot better on me than capris. Like a lot better.

So I haven't really had time to go in an go through all the pictures I took or anything like that yet. I'm hoping to be able to do that this weekend.

In the meantime I'm reading a book called The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify. I like it a lot. I am just over halfway through, but she sort of takes a different approach to the KonMari method of decluttering. Marie Kondo wants you to gather all like things together and then go through them. This author tells you to go through your house, room by room, drawer by drawer, and dump it all out. Start Over. And decide which things get to stay. It is useful? Do I find it beautiful? Does it make my life easier? Marie Kondo has a method to her madness, but her method is overwhelming to me. I have to have a good block of time to do it. Whereas I can go through a drawer in a few minutes. We've been putting everything that we don't want to keep but don't want to throw away in one of the spare bedrooms. I'm hoping to get thorough enough stuff that we can have a garage sale this summer and get rid of it. What doesn't sell gets donated. And in the meantime, she talks about being a Gatekeeper. You have the right to say what does and does not make it into your house. The key is to stop in the influx while purging what you don't need. I've discovered that I have a lifetime supply of dental floss. Like actually a lifetime supply. I may never need to buy dental floss again.

And she talks about Modules. Putting like things together. So if you want batteries, they are all in the same plastic container. Or drawer. Or box. Or whatever you decide to put them in. All your sewing stuff is together etc... And she talks about keeping all flat surfaces clear. Clutter begets clutter. When you are done with something, you need to put it away. Which is a good idea, but occasionally falls apart when you live with a two year old ;-)

So, every chance I get I try to empty out another drawer or cupboard or box or whatever. When you have a big house with lots of storage it is really easy to get a lot of crap. You have to be a good Gatekeeper to keep the extra stuff OUT. That is not always easy...