I considered "Coming out of the Capsule Wardrobe Closet" as a more appropriate title metaphor-wise, but since you now know I at least considered that title, we can move on. I read Haley's No Brainer Wardrobe last year and loved it. I loved the idea of quality over quantity, and it seemed wonderful to open one's closet and love everything in it. But I didn't really know how to attempt it. I was only six months into motherhood, and only a year before I had established my first professional wardrobe. I didn't know what I needed for this motherhood gig. Could I go back to my college clothes? Would I live in athletic shorts and t-shirts? I needed to keep my clothes around and figure out what to do.
I began my work the other day. This past year, I've been donating more and more clothes, but I still have too many.
I cleaned out my closet and moved my extra clothes to "sell" piles and to my son's closet for now (am I a terrible mother?). I want to see what I wear, what I need. I don't want to be rigid, but I need a closet with just the right number of clothes. I haven't focused on a number as much as "Do I really love this?"
Interestingly, I have suffered from terrible allergies for the last few days as a result of my closet cleaning (closet dust has always given me the most severe reaction). This further solidified my desire to purge--to get it down to the minimum and store what I'm not wearing and prevent that dust from accumulating.
Why I am attempting this and what I hope will happen:
Cleanliness and order: Clothes mess is my worst source of bedroom clutter. Whether it's "I can't find a hanger so I'll just put it on the bed for now" or "I have to rush out the door and am changing outfits," clothes litter the floor, the bed, and the dresser far too often. I want to see if this helps.
Laundry: I hope that this will enable me to do my laundry more efficiently and easily. I will know what I have and what is dirty. I hope it will also enable me to plan ahead so I can wash my clothes in a way that preserves them (see this post for more!)
Finding my "mom style": I hope this helps me figure out what I would like to wear on a daily basis. I need a medium between comfortable/workout and more professional outfits. I want to dress a little better as a stay at home mom. I also want to find out what colors I love and what will go together. I'm getting better at this but want to be even more confident. I also don't want to feel guilty about wearing the nice shirts I love on a daily basis. They're doing no good just hanging in my closet. If I need professional clothes again, I can get them (I am keeping my hemmed wool pants though as I assume I will wear them this winter).
An experiment: I want to try this out as part of my word "play" for 2014
Fresh Spring Wardrobe: When I put away my non-fitting clothes during my pregnancy, it was like Christmas when I pulled them back out. Like rotating my son's toys, not seeing things helps me not take them for granted. I also hope storing my clothes carefully will help preserve them longer.
Less Overwhelm: When I got rid of clothes in my winter purge, I couldn't believe the guilt I had been feeling. No longer did I see a dress and feel guilty for not wearing it. I hope that this will help me know what's there, know what I love, and then be able to choose it. I want to know what I actually need and what I actually wear; then it's worth it to buy/keep something.
Not enough Mom outfits: I am worried that too many of my clothes are too dressy for my life now. I tried to decide whether I should keep two pairs of dress pants out or not. For now I'm keeping them out for the cold winter we're supposed to have. I am afriad I've kept too many church outfits for now. I've considered doing as ___ suggests and maybe creating a separate dressy wardrobe, but I want to try this one first.
Warmth: I hope I have enough layers and warm clothes, but this time of year is also hard because some of my clothes are too warm. Conversely, in October I'm struggling to layer effectively so I don't get too hot.
Laundry: Will I keep up with it? Will I do it enough? I guess I will learn quickly if I don't.
Old Clothes: Most of my clothes are years and years old. Some of the shirts have maybe exceeded their wear limit (?). I hope they hold up because I don't want to buy many new ones.
I don't want to buy anything other than possibly the items below.
Hangers: I need to buy a few more hangers that match. This seems to be important.(Update: I bought a small set of wooden ones at Target. Over time, I hope to switch all my hangers to nice wooden ones although I like my cloth and narrow hangers, as well).
- New jeans: The zipper on my Old Navy jeans has been broken for a while, and I can only wear them with long tops because it slips open (tmi?). If I find the perfect jeans, I will buy them (I'm searching daily on Thredup and Twice for specific ones!).
1-2 new shirts: In photographing and taking stock, I realize that my t-shirts are mostly stretched out, stained, and some even have holes. I may replace a couple, and I hope to buy at least one striped one.(Update: I did buy three new t-shirts, one from Everlane, one from Twice, and one from Thredup).
What's in My Wardrobe?
Please note: Most of my clothes are at least two or three years old (or older!), so I'll include the info, but I will only link to clothes I purchased recently.
These are clothes I wear around the house or running errands. The sweaters may go more with the dressy wardrobe, but I usually pair them with casual clothes, so they'll stay here for now.
chambray shirt (Old Navy), colorblock sweater (Loft), striped tunic shirt (through Stitch Fix last year), burgundy shirt (Loft) red button down (Cabelas), red and white striped shirt (through Twice), black dress (Loft), navy t-shirt (Everlane), black shirt (Loft), teal t-shirt (Loft), green and black striped knit shirt (Eddie Bauer), Gap striped t-shirt (through Thredup), red dot shirt (Loft), beige t-shirt (Loft), striped silver sweater (Gap), boot leg gray pants (Old Navy), jeans (Old Navy), black Jeans (Old Navy)
These are clothes that were my favorites from my teaching/professional wardrobe. They're mainly hanging around for church, although I may occasionally wear them to other occasions.
Outerwear: I also have a black down jacket I might wear if it gets really really cold.
black fleece, denim jacket (White House Black Market from Thredup), burgandy vest, silver cardigan, houndstooth coat, teal cardigan (6 total)
I am not big on shoes, but I am included a variety though I usually only wear boots, tennis shoes, or heels. (Let's be honest, mostly boots!).
dressy flats (Anne Klein), Chacos, boots (Fossil), flowered flats (Unlisted), Sperrys, tennis shoes (New balance), black heels (Target) (7 total)
(40 items total)
In My Drawer (but not counted):
warm boots for winter (if needed), some leggings, old t-shirts, and athletic shorts, socks, underwear, bras, a couple of scarves, tank tops for layering
My main goal for my wardrobe: to think about it less and love it more. I'll keep you updated.
Have you found any secrets for maintaining a wardrobe that requires minimal thought and effort?Note: This is not a sponsored post, and I am not compensated in any way. However if you purchase something through Everlane, Twice, or Thredup, I will receive a credit. Twice and Thredup will give you a credit for using my link as well! I recently discovered and love all three sites. Everlane does a great job of making quality, ethical clothing, and both Twice and Thredup are wonderful for getting quality second-hand clothes at great prices.