The back story.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved shopping and “collecting” clothing; even when I was feeling body conscious as a middle school and high school student, I always loved the way that a new outfit made me feel. Wearing it to school and having it be something geared towards me as an individual made me feel confident... what I found though, is that the happiness and confidence that the “newness” of an outfit or multiple pieces at a time would give me, was always temporary and short lived because there were things like my weight and my confidence (especially back then) that were there weighing me down no matter what.
As I moved into college and even after I graduated, although my body went through a couple of changes when my activity level changed, or my mental health was in a different place and my weight fluctuated, I made it a point these last couple of years teach myself to love where I was at regardless and love and appreciate my body; instead of dwelling on what didn’t fit right etc. I really challenged myself to put together outfits and purchase pieces that made me feel on top of the world... and straight out ditch the rest instead of waiting for the clothes to magically fit right or look the way it did at the store I bought it from.
In short, my outlook on clothing and consumerism, my individuality, my confidence level, and my style have all changed dramatically in the last couple of years and I think that I finally have found the styles that suit me and make me feel incredible in my own skin, all while staying true to my financial and sustainable goals for the future.
I wanted to share with you all today, the new way in which I am approaching my closet and my wardrobe as a whole this year. This will include the things I have done to get to where I am in the present, as well as the things I am hoping to incorporate as we move through 2020!
Struggles with my previous system.
1. Shopping to Shop. Before I got my current job, I was working as a Key Carrier at a retail store and found myself purchasing (on discount I may add) SO many unnecessary pieces of clothing at the worst quality possible. Because I was able to purchase multiple items at a time, I found myself constantly giving into the temptation of having something new and “better” to add to my wardrobe, and because it was so convenient for me to be in that store setting every day, seeing exactly what merchandise was coming in, I found myself doing that more frequently than I should have been. I spent money I didn’t have that I now wish had been saved and put toward something productive like our new apartment or our wedding, especially when I think about how most all the clothes I bought have now been donated or given to my sister etc. because they don’t/didn't fit right or I wasn’t truly in love with the pieces in the first place. Total waste.
2. Our closet. Now, Bryer and I couldn’t be any more excited that this April, we will finally be moving into a new apartment! We are on the hunt and looking at a few of our options in the next few weeks, and by the 30th of April, we will be in our new two bedroom home, hopefully with some more storage space! We currently have one functional closet between the two of us, and that closet has the one door (opens like a front door) and then shoots off to both the left and the right. Though the closet has depth, the door and the shape of the closet make it near impossible to view everything you have hanging because all that is visible is what sits in the doorway. I hate this, and it has been the number two (next to our tiny kitchen) reason that I have craved a move. I find in the last few years the closet and the amount of clothes, has had me wearing the same pieces over and over, and though I do enjoy the pieces that sit at the front, before the re-vamp of the closet as a whole, I was definitely losing sight of the pieces in the back that I really liked to wear.
What does it all boil down to?
Excess purchasing + not enough space = total chaos, stress, and lack of imagination and passion when it came to getting dressed for success every day.
Steps I took to de-clutter my wardrobe and prepare for a move in 2020.
In 2019 I got rid of 8-10, 30 gallon trash bags full of clothes, and that is because I became increasingly aware of how much stress and clutter having clothes I don’t wear or use laying around or squished into my closet caused me. And I’m going to be honest... it was the most freeing and most gratifying experience... and I feel SO much better. Here are the steps I took.
Set the goal. Before jumping into this project, I did a lot of reading on capsule style wardrobes. 30-40 pieces (excluding active wear, lounge wear, intimates and jackets), was the average wardrobe count I was finding, so I made it my goal to get as close to that number as I could, while still being reasonable and giving myself some clothes to work with while I try to replace some items. To emphasize my progress, I started with 140 tops, dresses, and jackets hanging in my closet, and I ended with just over 50!
Purge. In Steps.
1. I took EVERYTHING out of my closet and laid it on the floor in the office. And I mean EVERYTHING. I pulled out every bin, every shoe, every purse, bathing suit, hat, earring, sock, bra, etc. You guys can tell from the photos below (not even all of what I pulled out that day) that there was A LOT going on in there that morning, and in the moment I wasn’t even sure where to start.
2. I first decide I would go through and pull all the items that I knew right away I didn’t like. This eliminated a ton right off the bat. Clothes that I had grabbed from hand-me-down bags, or that I was gifted or picked up on a whim that were worn once and never again... out. BYE!
3. I then went through and made a pile of definite “keep” items; the staples in my wardrobe that I find myself wearing over and over again, that I know I can interchange and fit into many different outfits, and also feel amazing in when I put the pieces on my body.
4. The next and hardest part for me was parting with the things that I did love, but haven’t worn, or the pieces that were more sentimental (graphic t-shirts from certain events, gifts from family or friends etc.). I did make huge progress here though and made myself be harsh and honest!
5. Once I made it through the sorting, I then took all the empty bins that I had to store smaller items in and placed them in the closet in a way I knew they would be most accessible and visible, and pulled out all the hangers I had and began to sort the clothes into sections.
I personally sort my clothes by type (formal dresses, casual dresses, t-shirts, blouses, jackets, etc.) and color. I also (because of our current closet) like to put clothes that are most seasonally appropriate in the front and least relevant in the back.
6. Last I threw all the bags in the car, let my sisters and Mom go through it all before dropping off all the leftover clutter at my local thrift store, where someone else will be able to enjoy the piece and at a decent price!
So Rewarding! And more photos to come!
My goals relating to all things outfits and wardrobe in this year.
1. I want to have gone through all of my clothes for a third time in the last six months and eliminate even more of those clothes that I find I haven’t even reached for. My goal is to hit that 30-40 piece mark by the end of 2020.
2. I want to make my clothes visible to me and alternate 10-12 pieces every week so that I am finding which pieces work into the most outfits. I also think this will spark more inspiration when it comes to putting outfits together because I won’t have so much to choose from.
3. I want to shop in two ways, and two ways only this year. Either higher priced investment pieces at a less frequent rate, or thrifting for those pieces I am really looking for to complete a look. I want to put my money focus in other areas this year, and I think this will allow me the best of both worlds!
4. Take care of my clothes. I want to really be paying attention to how I wash, dry, and store my clothes so that they last longer.
5. I want to move toward completing my more neutral colored, boho-inspired wardrobe.
Above are ideas for how I might store my clothes to help me stay organized and inspired. And below are pins from my “Outfit Inspirations” Pinterest board.
I definitely lean more towards neutrals in my twenties, and that goes for both my wardrobe and my makeup. I like a natural look, and I like the way neutral colors work with my skin tone and my hair and eye color. If I do wear prints, it tends to be floral or stripes. Floral speaks to my soul.
The items below are just a few of the things I am on the hunt for this year, whether that be thrifting or a few investment pieces. I love an oversized sweater, or a mid-length skirt or dress, ankle boots, mules, long cardigans with pockets, some cuffed jeans, a graphic t-shirt, or anything suede. I also am in dyer need of some great shoes in more neutral, versatile colors.
What do you lean more towards? What would you say your style is like?
At the end of it all, it is the year 2020, and I finally feel as though I have accepted that I can have a passion and a love for fashion, as well as feel confident in my style and my wardrobe without feeling like I need to own 70 tops, 30 pairs of pants, and 20+ pairs of shoes.
I hope this sparked some inspiration as you move through the first few months of the year. I also hope that you all dress yourself without hesitation this year; making your outfits exactly how you like them, so you feel bold, fulfilled, and absolutely unstoppable!
Cheers to a sustainable, and inspiring year of growth!
Recommended De-Clutter & Minimalist Wardrobe Videos that I LOVE!