Archive for August 2011

Day #6

August 26th, 2011 — 11:46am

So at the end of week #1 of the clothes challenge, here’s what I realize. With clothes, as with life, there’s no end to wanting more until you realize just how much you already have. The value of going through my closet, recombining things, playing with color, texture, and proportion feeds my sense of creativity and play. Very important! But mostly, I realize just how much I have and what a lucky girl I am. And when I realize this, I am, for a moment anyway, satisfied.

For those of us who actually do have enough, if we took the time to see it and recognize it, and lived our lives knowing it, if we weren’t always scrambling on to the next new thing, we’d be able to take a deep breath. And so would the planet.

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Day 3

August 21st, 2011 — 5:37pm

OK – it’s Sunday, and I’m a little shlumpy. No great fashion heights to claim. Gap straight leg jeans, j. crew navy tank with a frilly peplum bottom, white camisole underneath, and a Lands’ End gold cotton cardigan.

No great shakes and yet, I am enjoying this outfit. Why? Because I love color and I love specific combinations, like navy, gold and white. And, since I owned all these clothes, I’m happy to enjoy what I have instead of being perpetually hungry for what I don’t.

Which brings me to lipstick (?!) I joked with a co-worker that I own 10 coral lipsticks. No shit, I do. “How many lips does a girl have?” I asked out loud.

So what was I looking for in the endless quest for the perfect coral? Perhaps the magic shade that would bring out the creaminess in my skin or the green in my eyes, or that would transport me momentarily to a yacht sailing around the coast of Capri. In that same dream, I’m wearing gold sandals, something white and lineny, drinking bubbly, while my turquoise bracelet clinks against the glass. All for the price of a lipstick.

And isn’t that what buying something new does for us? It’s a canvas, a world we create that we can step into and live out a specific dream. For me, coral is fun, alive, and tinged with the good life.

But, if I’m not buying anything new, and that includes lipstick, and, alas, I’m running out of my all time favorite Mac So Chaud, a yummy tomatoey orange that I’ve yet to duplicate elsewhere, what do I do?

I took a q-tip, dug the remainder out of the tube and put it into a tiny container — enough So Chaud for weeks. I may only have two lips but they will be happy lips, living the good life in Capri for the next two weeks.

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Day #2

August 20th, 2011 — 4:47pm

…of the 30-day challenge

Black gap skinny jeans, gold Gap v-neck sweater, my black asymmetric Michael Kors motorcycle jacket, and my seriously comfortable, I truly could walk 10 miles in them — black leather fitflop sneakers.

Not shown, Nico our new puppy. (I wore this outfit to our puppy training class — I’m being trained as much as he is), and my black Sorial hobo bag, shown in this link in olive.

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Day 1 of 30-Day Challenge

August 20th, 2011 — 9:54am

Well, first of all, I now have a huge amount of respect for the work of photographers. When I look at fashion pages in magazines and the clothes look so yummy you could eat them, I now realize how difficult that feat is. When I tried to photograph my clothes artfully placed on my, um, bed, they just looked wrinkled, shlumpy, and utterly unappetizing.

So, I’m wearing them instead.

Here is my outfit on day one:

It’s a variation of what I often wear when I’m not at work — army green cargoes and a black sweater, a combination I find very pleasing. In this case, Cynthia Steffee cargo pants, a Lands End cashmere cardigan, a Martin & Osa (now out of business) white burnout t-shirt, my fabulous Faryl Robin combat boots (oh I love them so!) and a red American Leather hobo bag (I decided the outfit needed a pop of color). And, what you can’t see, is an old silver cuff bracelet I bought on a beach in Mexico. I feel comfortable, and with my non-elastic-waisted pants combined with combat boots, I don’t even feel that middle-aged.

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The 30-Day Shop-in-My-Closet Challenge

August 18th, 2011 — 2:52pm

I find myself at a point where buying more stuff no longer makes sense. I have enough stuff.

My weakness is clothes (and shoes, and purses). I love beautiful things. And since I lost 30 pounds, a journey which I wrote about in my book “Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom,” I am three sizes smaller and can wear styles previously off limits (a belt! Imagine that!).

In the last year, I’ve spent a lot on clothes. A lot is, of course subjective. But for me, it’s a lot. I had a lot of excuses: I needed smaller clothes. I went on a book tour. Etc. Etc. But I also spent a lot the year before, and the year before that.

Some fundamental shift happened to me while writing Ravenous. I not only got less hungry for food — I got less hungry for things. Just like eating a piece of crusty baguette slathered with triple cream cheese used to knock me to my knees, wearing (or dreaming of wearing) the sensual lines of a Brian Atwood shoe would make me similarly swoon.

But I really do have enough. I’m in a different place. So is the world. It can no longer be business as usual. I’m reading “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World,” by Paul Gilding, and the future has arrived. Our decades of ignoring the role we play in disrupting planetary systems has come home to roost, and I for one, believe we will see more and more turmoil and upheaval on a planetary scale. We’re already seeing it. We simply cannot continue to consume all the stuff we’ve gotten used to consuming. We have to learn to live in a different way.

But, I still love beautiful clothes.

So, I’ve decided, that for the next month, I am going to shop in my closet. I will indulge in my love for color, form, shape, texture, and proportion with what I already own. I will exercise my creativity by seeing my clothes with a fresh eye, and combining them in new ways. And I will document the outfit I wear every day with appropriately blithe commentary.

You will not see Chanels or Laboutins or Gucci.

You will see J. Crew, Banana Republic, and some quirky small labels. I’m a, um, working girl, after all. (Actually, I work for Yoga Journal Magazine, so I could wear yoga clothes to work every day and no one would even notice).

And speaking of yoga, the foundation of yogic philosophy are ten ethical precepts known as the Yamas and Niyamas, which are guidelines on how to live a skillful life. One of the Yamas is Brahmacharya, or non-excess. I practiced this regarding food when I wrote my book (I still work with it), and now, I’m practicing it with stuff.

The world we now live in demands we live skillfully. It asks us, begs us, to consume less and give back more. I decided to take this challenge one step at a time, starting with my closet. It’s a brand new day.

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Four Eyed Frog, Gualala, CA

August 10th, 2011 — 7:38pm

We just got back from Sea Ranch, located two minutes south of Gualala on the north coast of California. We visited our favorite bookstore, Four Eyed Frog. The owner Joel sells great books, and free tea served up with a big dollop of interesting conversation and good humor.

To my great pleasure and surprise, Joel had a copy of my book! Here’s a picture of me, the boys, and Joel, holding Ravenous…

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