Here’s what I learned on my journey to wardrobe simplicity: I have a lot of clothes. I have more than many, but honestly, I think I have less than most people.
I used to love shopping and clothes. And while I still enjoy fashion and the actual act of getting dressed every day, I have come to hate shopping. Last year I began using a shopping service (stitchfix- I get no compensation) and I really love it. I can update my wardrobe by literally doing no work. The only thing I shop now are for gym clothes and basics and occasionally shoes- and I don’t do that more than once a season. I have been a member of the one in, one out rule for awhile- if I buy something new I must get rid of a wardrobe item. As you will see, I simply do not have the room to store things.
There are very few things that you can control in your life. As a control freak I have difficulty with this. But, I can control my wardrobe. I can determine how much I need and how it should be stored. Being able to do this gives me little tiny bit of peace of mind…
Now when it comes to the actual curating part, I realized that I wear the vast majority of my clothes for three seasons. (I tend to layer, so a sleeveless t shirt dress can be worn by itself with sandals in the summer, with a lightweight cardigan and booties in the spring, or with a denim jacket and knee high boots in fall) When I actually realized this I saw that it is just easier for me to have my entire wardrobe accessible the entire year (also- as it’s 14 degrees today, but supposed to reach 50 on Tuesday, it’s just practical) But these realizations have made me rethink my magic number of 30-40 items per season. As the year progresses I’m going to tally numbers,(I haven’t really purged spring or summer yet) and I’m going to come up with a magic number for the entire year. Right now, I’m thinking 100 items might be reasonable, but we’ll see.
I am also very aware of my lifestyle. The clothes in my wardrobe reflect the life I lead right now- they are not the clothes I needed ten years ago, nor are they the clothes I might need in some parallel universe of my life. My friend had been married to a guy who was very involved in charities and they used to attend benefits quite often. She is no longer married to him, but still has at least 10 formal dresses that she hasn’t worn in years. I realize there is probably nostalgia, but there is also baggage. I know another woman who buys all sorts of bohemian inspired clothes because she dreams of being a free spirit. Guess what? I see her in the same preppy clothing all the time- I’m going to bet the tags are still on these clothes. Also- beware sales. Seriously- there is nothing wrong with getting a bargain, but if you don’t love it you’re not going to wear it, so you’re not saving 30%, you’re wasting 70%.
This is how my things look now:
My next big goal will be how to store things better. I have very limited closet storage, as you can see (I share a closet with my daughter) and I’m thinking there might be a better way. Right now I have maybe items on the far left and the far right- and then the order is jackets, cardigans, vests, pants, dresses, long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless.
I am much happier with my folded clothing- this was the really ugly part. I might invest in more containers to keep this separate and organized, but I’m thinking about it.
I’m not thrilled with jewelry organization because some of my necklaces are just too long for the necklace holder. Now that I have more storage room in my armoire I may figure out a way to store them in there.
So I have some organization goals, but I have a clear path to what I want to achieve. This curated closet thing is going to work for me, because it’s what I need in my life. But this doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with owning things- I’m just choosing to simplify because stuff was starting to crush me.
But… I do advocate going through your wardrobe once a year just to get rid of stuff. If you don’t use it, ditch it. There are some fine charities that will make good use of your donations. You can also send things to a consignment shop or list them on a shopping site to resell.
So now we put an end to closet week. Looking forward to hearing about your closets and clothes purging…