Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Thursday, February 06, 2020

That white sweater, or, how do you start thinking you want something?

If you get it in your head that you want something, have you really come up with that idea yourself, or did you let someone plant it in your mind? And is that necessarily a bad thing, if the thing you want is useful and fills a need? Charlotte Mason did a lot of thinking about that.

This winter I seem to have majored on sweaters, which is fine. There was a point a few years ago when I didn't have even one cardigan sweater, mostly because they were making me feel old. I've thrifted a few knit and sweatshirt-type cardigans here and there, cycled them in and out. This winter I found a grey belted cardigan I like (it's a few posts back), and there are one or two others in my closet that I wear sometimes.

Recently I've been thinking about lighter colours, though. I was at an outlet store a few weeks ago, and I bought an off-white cotton mock-neck pullover (after not allowing the saleslady to push me into a pink one. I like pink, but I needed a plain colour that would Go With Things. I was channelling my inner Charlotte Mason that day for sure).  The Vivienne Files did a story about ways that someone could wear an ivory cardigan. I also found this 2019 post by Style Bee about her investment-quality cardigan.  I liked the idea of something buttoned-up and light-coloured, even though white cardigans (especially fuzzy ones) made me think of my great-grandma. But okay: v-neck, about five buttons, medium weight. I started keeping my eyes open on our thrift-store touring, but I didn't find much besides much-washed acrylic. Then I was doing a thrift shift, and had a few minutes to shop afterwards. Here's what I found: an off-white cotton cardigan, v-neck, five buttons, in like-new condition. It's not organic or lifetime-quality, but it's not dollar-discount-store either. 
So far I've worn it with a denim shirt (that doesn't get worn enough) and light-coloured cotton pants, and a white t-shirt (kind of copying Style Bee) and grey jeans. 

The question might be, whose idea was it that I wanted/needed a sweater-that-wasn't-a-pullover? Is it like looking at a blank space in the stairway, and mentally matching it up with a pair of pictures while you're walking past the art rack at Value Village? I don't think it's about trying to be something I'm not (ahem, I'm not Style Bee); I just wanted/needed something that filled in that gap, that didn't cost too much money, and that fit into a Conscious Closet. (I did buy the white t-shirt at Walmart, so I needed to balance things out.)

How do you trace out your ideas?

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