Week One of the 2014 Clutter Cleanse Challenge starts today!
The first place I start when streamlining my stuff: clothes.
Unlike a few other rooms or closets in the home, we look at our wardrobe everyday. You may not pick something out of your home library every morning, or bake a cake/ski/hold a wine tasting at your home, but you always get dressed. It may be pajamas or the same jeans or the dress you wear that feels not quite right, but you choose something to put on, or stay in, daily.
So what are you wearing? What do you want to be wearing?
Are you wearing everything in your closet regularly? If you aren’t wearing everything in your closet frequently why is that? Are things too big, too small, out dated, need mending, don’t go with anything you wore or you don’t have an occasion to wear them? Start asking yourself these questions as you look through those hangars.
It’s time to build your capsule wardrobe.
You may have heard the term before. It was coined in the 70s and is still a popular way to describe a collection of clothing that works interchangeably. The idea is that pieces and accessories compliment each other and any top could be worn with any bottom. Your shoes work to dress up a pair of jeans, compliment a little black dress and you can still wear them daily to your business casual office. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is exciting for people that want to have a smaller wardrobe full of things they enjoy wearing.
I’ve been happy with my wardrobe in the past but in the last two years my body shape has changed several times. First I stopped doing Crossfit and got um, soft, so to speak. Then I was pregnant. Then I was post-partum.
Last summer I was back at a comfortable size and shape but my wardrobe was looking tired. Threadbare jeans, a few tops that I wore a little too long into my last pregnancy and stretched out. My trusty yoga pants were getting a lot of use. And no, I wasn’t wearing them for yoga.
I’m a big believer in only wearing and owning things you love and feel great in: yet, there I was not loving or feeling good in my whole wardrobe. Looking for a fresh start I bought The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley Morgan.
Note: this is a great book but not a necessity for building a capsule wardrobe. If you have a good sense of your own style and some fashion confidence you’ve got all the tools you need to edit your wardrobe down to just what you love. I, however, don’t really like shopping and often buy the wrong things because I just want to get out of the store. This book was a big help to me.
After two babies and moving overseas to an island where it is often windy and wet, I was feeling confused about what to wear.
Can I be fashionably dressed while still being able to discreetly and comfortably nurse?
How do I find the right clothes for my thirty-six year old ‘has had two kids’ body?
Can I rebuild and edit my wardrobe without spending a fortune in time and money on it?
Is any of this possible for a woman that actually hates shopping for clothes?
The No Brainer Wardrobe answered those questions for me. Yes, I can have all those things.
Today I have a capsule wardrobe. I’m still saving up for a few pieces and my current blue jeans (hand-me-downs from my sister) need replacing, but the bones are all there. I’m wearing 95% of my wardrobe regularly and 95% of the pieces work together. Yes, I’ll be copping to the pieces that don’t work that I am still hanging onto too.
Some revelations from reading The No Brainer Wardrobe:
- I am a stacked triangle shape. Essentially I am an hourglass. Crazy. For years I thought I was an apple and have done a lot of dressing/shopping accordingly.
- I don’t have a full length mirror in my home. I bought one.
- Shopping for clothes should be an enjoyable process. I’ve always hated it.
- You don’t have to be an expert to shop thrift stores or second hand. You just have to be knowledgeable about what you are looking for and if things can be tailored. Hayley has some really good tips for shopping at second hand stores in this e-book.
For the rest of the week I’ll be sharing my capsule wardrobe in a series of posts and including short tasks and exercises you can use to get your own wardrobe in shape. While I haven’t burned or donated my yoga pants since I built my capsule wardrobe, I will say I have had far fewer days in them. I can also say that I have actually enjoyed this process of tailoring my closet and even some of the shopping. It is so much easier to look for clothing when you know what you want and what will look good on you.
Task: before you start tearing your closet apart, choose three to four outfits that you enjoy wearing, that work for most days of your life and that are somewhat interchangeable.
Define why you like these outfits. Is it the color combination? Is it the cut of the clothing? Can you wear these outfits most days of the week? You might find it helpful to jot down a few notes as you go along. Don’t over think this process. These outfits should be made of your go-to pieces and this exercise should take 20-30 minutes at most.
Note: I am not a fashion blogger. I’ll be including lots of advice I have found from stylists and fashion bloggers this week as we whittle wardrobes down to just what we love and wear. I’ll even be sharing my wardrobe, a wardrobe that works for my life on a little rainy island with two kids under five and a work from home job. Please, please don’t take this as advice to copy my wardrobe. If you do you’ll find yourself in black skinny jeans, knee high boots, a striped t-shirt, infinity scarf, either a black blazer or grey cardigan, red shoulder tote or mustard yellow cross body bag, pearl or diamond studs and if I am not holding a baby, a necklace with birds on it, most days.
Next up: defining your wardrobe basics.