Losing and Using

Losing and Using

Thank you for all the great feedback about the H & M wide-striped top. Wow! Sixty-two opinions in all.

Here is what I learned from you all:

1) I shouldn’t have to work so hard to make a simple item like this top look passable.

2) A wide white stripe around one’s middle is not flattering.

3) It should not surprise me that an $8.00 top is not made of quality fabric and will therefore fade quickly and shrink. Annie pointed out that H & M items often don’t stand up to multiple washings. I washed my top twice and the black is already fading.

4) Many of you mentioned that you thought it looked “okay” on me, not great. I agree. There is no reason to take up closet space on an item that looks just “okay”.

I appreciate everyone who thought the top was a winner. I came so close to keeping it. But in the end, I decided to lose it based on the reasons listed above. I will try black and white stripes again, but nothing as wide as the stripes on that top and it must be of good quality.

Also leaving my Use it or Lose it Zone for the  consignment shop is this sweater.

So cute on the hanger. So unflattering on me.

I love it on a hanger, but on me it’s fussy. It doesn’t tie correctly and I always have to readjust it. Besides being fussy, it’s fuzzy. I have never in my life seen a sweater pill the way this one pills.

The last time I wore this sweater was December 11th, 2010. It’s been over 13 months! Time to say farewell.

And this green number has been on the chopping block for far, far too long. The final decisions came down to #4. It looks just “okay” on me. It’s got to go!

The J. Crew jeans I wear often on the blog have also been ousted.

I have gotten more than my $30.00 worth from them. A reader commented on a recent post that they don’t look flattering on me. I used my most discerning eye and decided she was right. I have never once felt great in them.

The Ralph Lauren choker shown below was not part of the Use it or Lose it Zone as I haven’t gotten around to my cleaning out my jewelry yet. But this large chain has been on my radar since my denim-on-denim post.

It didn’t lay properly last time I wore it and I wasn’t sure why. This time, I laid it out and repositioned some of the links before putting it on. That seemed to do the trick!

It’s was interviewed with an H & M cobalt blue ballet top, $5.00 thrifted sheath dress, striped stockings, and Clarks Water Row booties.

The choker passed its interview and will be staying. I have eliminated four items from my Use it or Lose it Zone so far. There are 12 more items left to interview before March 1st. It’s a long way off, but I have some hard cases in my closet coming up.

What do you have in your closet that you can interview this week?




  1. January 25, 2012 / 11:56 am

    Wow – thanks for sharing your thought process. If I follow your thinking the pants I wore to the grocery store this morning would go. I’ll have to think about that.

    Love the necklace by the way.

  2. January 25, 2012 / 12:44 pm

    I love how you wore the colorful shirt under the sheath dress! It looks like a whole new dress now! Gorgeous : ) I really need to start interviewing my closet as well I think…

  3. January 25, 2012 / 12:45 pm

    Oh, and any chance that wrap sweater might fit me? Or does the pilling make it time to go to Goodwill?

  4. January 25, 2012 / 1:11 pm

    The problem here is that you really do not look BAD in anything. But, I see where some things might not look as good as others. YOU have to feel like it looks good on you or it is not a keeper!! You are a gorgeous lady, Adrienne, and you wear clothing well!!

  5. January 25, 2012 / 1:51 pm

    I am glad you kept the necklace in the last photos and I love the dress with the cobalt top underneath those definitely should stay!

  6. January 25, 2012 / 2:02 pm

    What a great post, I admire your honesty about what you think looks good on you or not and the “use it or lose it” rule is a pretty good one. I went through my wardrobe after Christmas and ruthlessly de-cluttered – it was bliss 🙂

    Love from London xo

  7. ChrissyM
    January 25, 2012 / 2:37 pm

    THANK YOU ADRIENNE! I have been conscious for some time about the need to simplify and declutter my wardrobe, but jeeeez, it always such a daunting step to take. I adore, just ADORE the idea of ‘interviewing’ items I haven’t worn in ages to see whether they really are truly ready for tossing or whether they are just being overlooked as worthy of being incorporated into every day wear. What a fabulous way to start the process.

  8. January 25, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    This is such a great way to decide what you are going to keep and get rid of. You make me want to go clean my closet.

  9. Anonymous
    January 25, 2012 / 3:59 pm

    No disrespect, but whoever is doing your botox needs to give it to you in a way that eliminates the “rabbit ears” when you smile. These appear between your brows when the botox is done wrong and actually make you look like you are frowning even though your forehead doesn’t crease.

    Also, I think most of the things that you find aren’t working for you are are because they are too young fashion wise.

  10. January 25, 2012 / 4:11 pm

    I admire your ruthlessness, Adrienne. It’s the way to a wardrobe you will really love — but I don’t always follow my own advice : > I must embark on a similar journey.

  11. January 25, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    Looking fab as always! (I love the tights). I liked the H & M top in the previous post but stripes aren’t for everyone!

  12. January 25, 2012 / 4:29 pm


    I have not commented as much recently, but I am still a devoted reader. You are inspirational,and beautiful (inside and out). I have enjoyed reading this blog so very much.

    I hope you how much you have given.


  13. Susan Corey
    January 25, 2012 / 4:47 pm

    Hi Adrienne, mind if I address the “Anonymous” poster?

    Dear Anonymous,
    Seems you suffer greatly from low self esteem. I pity you. Anyone who knows anything about fashion, let alone “Botox”…can see that Adrienne doesn’t have or need any cosmetic enhancements. Her beauty comes from the inside out. Her self confidence and ability to carry herself with grace and class exudes. Stick around, obviously you could learn a thing or two from her.
    Sincerley, Susan Corey

  14. January 25, 2012 / 4:50 pm

    So happy to see that green shirt on the lose it list.
    You do look good in everything, but still, why not have only great stuff? Good job unkinking the RL choker – looks great now.
    I did my closet about 6 months ago, and I feel like I need to do it again! After I did a major de-cluttering the first time, I find I still am wearing only my favorite things again and again.
    I also sort of “forget” what I have – do you do that too?

  15. January 25, 2012 / 4:58 pm

    I find anyone who leaves a critical comment under the guise of being “constructive” and does it anonymously to be really pathetic.
    I see the supposed “line” you’re talking about, and it’s a loose strand of hair from Adrienne’s bangs, not a crease.
    You must get a lot of botox though as you seem to be an expert on what can possibly go wrong.
    Notice I’m signing my name.
    Kathy Peck Leeds

  16. January 25, 2012 / 5:37 pm

    @Anonymous, please get your own blog where you can inject your venom into the www and own it. You could even use your time to learn some self improvement skills, like how to critique, not criticise, when people ask for an opinion.

    Adrienne, I have been purging the closet (about 20 pieces so far) and whole house! and just started on the shipping container in the paddock! (we don’t have a storage shed or garage!) I’ve even started on the books. I’m a librarian and want to get the tonnes of books my kids have finished with and I have inherited into my library. I’ve had enough of all of it, I have a plan and it will take me a while, but I’ll get there. What’s that saying, If you make room for it good things will come to you. I think the same applies to the wardrobe, get rid of the so so, ho hum and things that are better will find you!!
    All the best,j

  17. January 25, 2012 / 6:01 pm

    You know my thoughts – you’d look fabulous in a grain sack. I do like that green.

    I thought your botox was done very well. Much better than my botched attempts. I still have lumps where it was injected. And my lips. Talk about trout pout. Yours look so natural. :p

    Haha some people really must lead pathetic lives.

    TDM xxxx

  18. January 25, 2012 / 6:13 pm

    Another wonderful and inspiring post!I have been able to discard so much of the clothes that no longer fit my life (and also some that no longer fit my body… ok many in this category..lol). Thanks to your posts and some of the comments left by other readers. As much as I miss the clothes, I know they are now being put to use by others.

    I love the message in this post .. good is OK, BUT you want it to look Great and feel great!! going forward that is what I ‘m going to ask BEFORE buying a new item; also will go through some of the remaining ones and assess them that way.

    Thank you for your visits, kind words of encouragement and being a wonderful inspiration.

    NOW!! To the person who hid behind the Anonymous comment…I have 3 words ..GET A LIFE!!!

    xo HHL

  19. January 25, 2012 / 7:05 pm

    Another great post! You have really got me thinking about my wardrobe and I think I better start the interview process!! Love that idea. Kim:)

    And to Anonymous – One of the reasons Adrienne is so beautiful is because she’s not botoxed! Clearly you need to make a trip to get some reading glasses. Nice spreading your tidbits of mean around!

  20. January 25, 2012 / 8:31 pm

    Another hater lurking about in blog land …To Anonymous: I have seen Adrienne in person and I can assure you she is Botox free!!! She is a natural beauty. How sad that some individuals have nothing better to do with their time. 🙁


    My whole wardrobe is in dire need of an overhaul. I started going through one drawer, so far two sweaters are out of here. Hey, it’s a start!


  21. January 25, 2012 / 10:20 pm

    Adrienne! I’m glad my advice helped. I have become quite aware of how those misplaced lighter color can do strange things to a girl’s shape so I’m keenly aware that the dark color needs to be wherever you want the thin parts, like around the waist. Case in point, Miss Kate Winslet in the new Stella McCartney Optical Illusion Dress. Vavoom!


  22. January 26, 2012 / 7:22 am

    @Juhli I often don’t think about how I really feel in my clothes. But when I am interviewing an item, I think about that a lot. I ask myself how confident I feel in it, how stylish, and is it comfortable? I guess you could call it mindful dressing. It is helping me to shed lots of just okay clothes from my wardrobe. It’s a bit scary, I won’t lie, but it’s freeing, too.

    Glad you like the necklace. I do, too!

  23. January 26, 2012 / 7:33 am

    @Amy I think the blue shirt look I posted here and the white button-down are my favorites with this dress.

    I would happily send you the sweater – but you would be swimming in it. It’s a large. Too bad because it would look great on you.

  24. January 26, 2012 / 7:36 am

    @Pam @ over50feeling40 Thank you, Pam. It’s important to pay attention to how a garment makes us feel. I often overlook this and just go with what I’ve got – or go with what’s acceptable because it’s easy to wear.

  25. January 26, 2012 / 7:38 am

    @Fashion By Alicia I am glad I kept the necklace, too. I can’t believe it took me so long to wear it. I’ve had it for at least 8 years…this is only the second time wearing it.
    Thank you, Alicia! xo

  26. January 26, 2012 / 7:40 am

    @Mademoiselle Poirot Having a pared down wardrobe is so liberating. With the exception of the dozen items I have left to interview, everything in my closet is wearable and likable!

    Lovely to hear from you! xoxo

  27. January 26, 2012 / 7:53 am

    @ChrissyM Welcome Chrissy M!

    Decluttering your wardrobe can be a daunting task – for sure.

    Here’s what works best for me:

    I have found that having a friend to help you, someone who’s style you admire and who will be honest about what does and doesn’t work, is a huge help.

    First, I take all of the clothes and accessories that I love – the no-brainers – out and put them in a pile or move them to a separate section of my closet. Then I take out the things I know I want to get rid of. They go into a pile on the floor.
    What’s left is what you try on for your friend to see…or if you can’t recruit someone or there’s no time and you’re in the mood to declutter, look at yourself in a full-length mirror and try to be as objective as possible. Forget about how much you spent on it or who gave it to you. Just focus on how you feel in it and how it looks on your shape.
    You only have two choices when it comes to these remainder clothes. They either go into the pile on the floor or you keep them in order to interview later. They must not go back to the closet with your loved clothes. The didn’t make the first cut so there is something about them that isn’t quite right.

    I give myself a time frame – several weeks – in which to wear the Use or Lose it items.
    So far, it’s really working for me. I think I have been able to overcome some roadblocks that prevented me from refining my wardrobe in the past. I hope this helps you!

    Thank you for stopping by! A

  28. Anonymous
    January 26, 2012 / 7:55 am

    Honestly, I did not think the stiped shirt looked bad at all, you are thin and tall, how can this look bad? I can see maybe wearting a cardi or blazer over it so you don’t just have blaring wide stripes staring you in the face, but I would have not gotten rid of this item. I wear stripes all of the time and love them. I think they are more of a concern for people who are wide through their upper half, you are not 🙂

  29. January 26, 2012 / 7:56 am

    @Carrie Teal It is a long process, but for some clothes, it’s worth the time and effort. I hope I did motivate you! Finding the motivation is the first and necessary step towards a good, thorough closet clean-out!.

  30. January 26, 2012 / 8:00 am

    @Patti @ NotDeadYet Style I am rarely ruthless with my wardrobe – but this time was different. I have been adding to my wardrobe a bit too much lately and my closet was getting out of control. Now that I have found thrifting, I don’t have as much fear around getting rid of things that I don’t love because I know I can find great clothes at next-to-nothing prices. I plan to keep hanging on to my much loved pieces while getting rid of everything so-so.
    I hope you do get a chance to declutter your wardrobe. It is such a great feeling to lighten up!

  31. January 26, 2012 / 8:01 am

    @LR @ Magnificent or Egregious I liked the striped top from the other day, too. But it was poor quality and too fussy to work with. I hope to find another one similar – but no wide stripes. And no subpar fabric.

  32. January 26, 2012 / 8:07 am

    @Julia Julia,

    Thank you so very much for your kind-hearted comment. It was very good timing today.
    Hugs to you. A

  33. January 26, 2012 / 8:09 am

    @Susan Corey Thank you for your friendship, Susan. And for coming so quickly to my defense. I appreciate it and *you* so very much. xoxo, A

  34. January 26, 2012 / 8:18 am

    @kathy peck One great aspect about having a blog about fashion is that you have a record of some of your outfits. I have been talking about getting rid of that green sweater since summer of 2010! Time for it to go already!

    That RL choker is temperamental. I spent about 10 minutes futzing with it until it laid properly. I have to be careful how I store it or it will happen again.

    I’ve read somewhere that people only wear 20% of their wardrobe on a regular basis and I can see how that is true. It’s so easy to grab the same jeans and same sweaters over and over again…nothing wrong with that, but what about the other 80% that’s just hanging there. That is what I try to conquer in my closet clean outs.

    Yes, I do forget what I have. I found a pair of white pants I bought probably 4 years ago – with the tags still on!! I hate that I let that happen. I think I need to throw them into the interview pile along with everything else.

  35. January 26, 2012 / 8:29 am

    @Jodie (aka mummaducka) Thank you, Jodie.

    Good job on your 20 items! That puts a dent in things.

    How great that you are a librarian. I would love to have that as a career. You must have loads and loads of books.

    Slow and steady is the best way to approach almost everything from weight loss to fitness to decluttering.

    I like that idea of making room for good stuff. That is very motivating. Thanks for that…I am going to write that one down in my journal.

  36. January 26, 2012 / 8:45 am

    @High Heeled Life You touched on something very important…going forward, to buy only those items that look great, not just okay. That is the hardest thing to do. It’s so easy to talk yourself into an item because it’s on sale, or it’s the last one or it’s the right color (but the wrong fit). I almost bought something yesterday because it was okay – or good enough but not great. I forced myself to leave it behind and am so glad I did.

    Thank you for your kind words. I always enjoy hearing from you…you are a kind soul. xoxo, A

  37. January 26, 2012 / 8:50 am

    @kim at northerncalstyle. I am sure we all have a few things in our wardrobes that could use some interviewing. Even if you think you love it, if you haven’t worn it in a while, it may not be current or it may fit you differently. Or, you could be pleasantly surprised by how much you could be wearing it.

    You are sweet to say such nice things about me, Kim. I appreciate your kindness. xoxo

  38. January 26, 2012 / 8:52 am

    @LRS4AMANDA Thank you, Linda 🙂

    That is a good start – once you get going and have momentum, you’ll be on a roll like me!


  39. January 26, 2012 / 9:02 am

    @Jessica I don’t know why I didn’t notice that sooner. If the black was around my waist it would be better, but then the white would have been around my rib cage – also a weird look.

    That dress on Kate W is incredible! She looks very vavoom indeed! I would love to try that dress on for kicks.
    Thanks for the link!

  40. January 26, 2012 / 9:15 am

    @Anonymous Thank you! I think the clincher was the quality of the shirt and my reluctance to wear it. I am swearing off stripes – I love them! But narrower it must be. And no more crappy quality clothes for me.

  41. January 26, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    I’m behind on blog reading, as usual, didn’t see this until your latest post went by on facebook about the “agreement.”

    I would have defended you too!

    Susan D. Tiner

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