I am on a mission to love my wardrobe–everything in it. A few years ago, I would have said the more the merrier, when it comes to things sartorial. These days, being out of college, and developing a more adult-world style, I value quality over quantity. I would much rather have a few things I love, and fit me well, then have a closet stocked full of a variety of cheap fabric and so-so measurements.
Of course, I cannot remove everything that does not fit me perfectly all at once, because I would be left wearing the same three items all season. We cannot have that. So, my goal now is to get rid of things as I accumulate better things. My ultimate goal is to get to the point where I only have to buy a few things each season, to spruce up my closet a bit. I want to be a collector of clothes…not a consumer.
Here’s the thing: I hate, hate, HATE that feeling of clothing discontentment. I hate feeling like I need more, more, more. Because, for one thing, I don’t.
I am not a big fan of shopping, because I am overwhelmed by how many things I just love and can’t live without…until I leave the store and don’t miss anything. Most of the time, my shopping trips end with buying a book or a journal. Why? Because a book doesn’t make you feel fat or pale or like you hate everything you already own. In short, you don’t have to try a book on. But because I already have more books than I have read, and because I would like to feel good after I spend money on clothes, I have slowly come up with a closet ritual I do every season to avoid both buyer’s remorse, and time wasted. Want to know what it is?
Note: the following process is a lot smoother, and a lot more enjoyable, with a glass of wine close at hand. Why not make the most of it?
I take a good long look at each item of clothing I own. I notice the quality–how much longer will the item last? When was the last time I wore it? Do I feel good when I wear it? Can it stand alone, or do I have to add a cardigan to cover the teeny tiny hole in the back (please tell me I am not the only one)? If I am not ecstatic about the item, but I cannot seem to get rid of it, I hold onto it for a few months. If I don’t wear it, to the donation pile it goes. If I don’t love it, and am suffering from major inability to make a decision, I put it in a pile. If I lose sleep over it, I retrieve it. If not, it goes to donations as well.
I try on everything: things I always pair together, and things I have never worn together. I experiment, and take pictures of the outfits I love for future outfit inspiration (this may seem too time-consuming, but I always thank myself when I wake up without an ounce of creativity in my blood). Know thy closet. Your bank account, and future morning-self will bless you. That’s my motto.
I take note of all my favorite things in my closet. What are my go-to items? What makes me happy when I put it on? What do I want in ten more colors? I then note why I like them: color, style, fit, fabric? I ask myself what I spent the most money on, and was it worth it? My smartest closet investments: my pink wool coat from Anthropologie, cashmere boyfriend cardigan, brown leather boots. I wear them almost daily in the colder months, and not having to buy them year after year actually saves a lot of money.
I make a list of things my closet is lacking: both basics, and things to update what I already own, both short-term and long-term. On my list this season: a neutral cardigan, basic flats, another pencil skirt for work, pants other than jeans. With a list, I feel like I am on a treasure hunt when I go shopping, instead of feeling like a country mouse in the big city. I stay focused, and I feel good when I find exactly what I am looking for, and can leave the store in peace.
And that’s that. This is usually when I call it a night because let’s be real here: wine and changing clothes at a fast pace are cause for some major exhaustion. At least for me. I don’t know about you.