What is Northwest Style?

If you search "What is Northwest Style?", chances are that you'll come up with stories and images of a certain baby. When you've weeded through all that, you'll find some Pinterest boards and some articles about how people dress in the Northwest. A co-worker and I were talking about this yesterday, and she commented how a lot of clothes worn in the Northwest can, or look like they can, be bought at REI.

And that's totally true. Women dress in athletic gear whether or not they're going or coming from a gym. I'm guilty of that too if I'm running to the grocery store or to get take-out. I'll wear some yoga pants, my sperry shoes, and a t-shirt, maybe throw on a sweater or a cardigan, and go.

There are also people who live solely in t-shirts and jeans (or t-shirts and sweatpants.)

And people who wear flip flops in winter and/or in the pouring rain.

And then there are business people who live in suits and ties, dresses and heels. However, because it's the Northwest, I think that even most business attire at most companies, or in most industries, is toned down a little bit. There are, for example, PR companies where the employees wear t-shirts and cargo pants, or t-shirts, cardigans, and jeans.

Most of what we wear out can also be worn on the couch to watch Netflix comfortably.

So for us, it's more function comes before form.

For graduating high school, my aunt took me to my choice of restaurant in celebration. I picked a ritzy one in Seattle and wore a pretty one-shouldered white dress I have a rarely wear. My mom and aunt dressed up too. When we got there, there were people in jeans, t-shirts. Sure, there were a few other dressed up people, but considering that it's one of the most expensive restaurants I've been in, the attire did not match.

It was interesting to see. I feel like when people dine on the East Coast or in the South, that they dress up. They have actual evening clothes. But here, whatever we were wearing earlier works for dinner too.

Most of us wear what's comfortable and practical, then we toss on whatever jacket is waterproof and has a hood. God forbid we use an umbrella.

So what is northwest style? Probably whatever's comfy.

Closet Cleaning

Since I've moved from a large room to a smaller room, the contents of my closet have been in 3-4 places around the house. But having clothes in places I never go to makes me forget that I owned the clothes in the first place. So I finally went through the closets and boxes and managed to throw out old papers, find clothes from high school to give away, and reorganize it all.

I bought large clear boxes with lids from Costco and am using them to store winter clothes and sweatshirts. I took some business-like skirts that I haven't seen since high school and hung them up in my closet, and I found some old purses, like 1930's old, and put them on display in my room. I've also started to transition the summer clothes into boxes so my closet has more room. You can already feel the change in the air. Summer is almost over.

My hope is to get the majority of my clothes into my room, but seeing as how I can't get them all in there, it is nice to know what I have and where.

What helped me to go through everything was to drag all of it out of one area and to go through it until I had gotten the floor clear again. Then I did that with the next area closet/shelf. I had a garbage bag, a pile for unwanted clothing and accessories, and a pile to keep.

If you've been needing to clean out your closet, you should take a few hours, and just sit down with it all. It's daunting, but once you're done, it feels great. Just keep in mind, it'll probably take a few hours.

Good luck!

How Much to Bring to College

I've got more clothes than I need, so when I was packing for college, and for a limited space, I was freaking out over how much was too much. Then, a friend told me that I was moving there, and I would need whatever I had needed at home, while taking into account the different climate.

With that philosophy in mind, I brought lots of clothes, more than I needed, but they all fit in the room. I had decided before hand that whatever fit in my room, I would keep, and whatever just couldn't fit, I would send home with my parents. But it all fit, as far as I remember.

And since I went to college just 300 miles away from home, I came home every 6 weeks or so, and I would use that time to switch out parts of my wardrobe. I'd trade in my sandals for boots, my shorts for pants etc. But for those who go away further or don't go home as often, you should probably make sure that you've got all the clothes to last until you do go home. Or at least plan on buying what you need as the weather gets colder. I never needed a heavy duty winter jacket until I went away to college. So in October, which was early, but my mom was in town, she and I went to a NorthFace store and found a jacket for me. The people who worked there lived in that climate, and were able to give suggestions on what kind of coat I would want.

So if you're having trouble deciding on what to pack, remember, you will be living there for the next few years. And bring enough variation that you can dress up for an interview, or dress up for a dance.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on how much to bring to college?


Un-shrinking Jeans

My brand new, only been worn once, pair of jeans got shrunk today. After despairing over this for a few minutes, I searched online for a solution. I settled on the third method presented in a wikiHow article. I could button my jeans, but they were pulling at the waist, so I filled the bathtub with warm water. It took forever to fill. Then I put on a swimsuit top, got out a towel, and got into the tub with my jeans on.

I sat in the tub for 20 minutes before getting out. Then I sat outside, where it was warm, and wore my wet jeans for an hour.

It is very hard to take off wet jeans. But I did and then I put the jeans onto the drying rack where they should have been originally.

While the jeans don't seem quite as loose as they were, it was a pretty good solution and they are looser than they were right out of the dryer!

Do you have any other suggestions for un-shrinking clothes?