Ever stare at the clothes hanging in your closet or folded in your dresser drawers and say out loud to yourself, “I have nothing to wear!” Yeah, me too…
When this happens, it might be time to break up; and I’ve done this a few times over the years, however this time is different. Usually I’d do a bit of organizing and get rid of a bag and feel accomplished, however this year I’m approaching this re-vamp of my closet a bit differently.
Now Josh said, “Just throw it all out, start from scratch. Maybe find someone else to buy all your clothes for you, like I do.” HAHAHA, yeah, I’m the one dressing him. And let’s be honest, if I “throw it all out” I’d be running around naked! WAIT A SECOND, it that his motive; to get me naked? Typical. LOL
But in all seriousness, to start COMPLETELY over would be really expensive; and while it would be Josh’s idea to do so, I’m practical and have a budget. So I started tackling this project towards the last quarter of 2019, and did it in stages.
Stage 1- Foundations: Bras and panties. In late September 2019, I threw out all of my bras. Then I headed to the good old VS and made a hefty purchase. I splurged and now have 8 bras to choose from. I could have gone with 6 and omitted the burgundy and navy bras, however I don’t plan to have a ton of color in my wardrobe, and those colors I like wear for myself to change it up a bit. #jennyssecret As for panties, I usually have 3 kinds of panties in my underwear drawer. Daily wear, lacy things and g-ma panties for when Aunt Flo comes to visit or when I’m feeling bloated and pudgy. Yes, even the period panties are now things that I like. Why wear ugly panties during the time of the month, only to feel even more icky. Celebrate the fact that yeah, Flo is here, and well… life is too short to wear ugly old panties. Most importantly, now all my bras and panties match and compliment each other!
*Note: Wearing the right size bra and panties that don’t have VPL’s can really make a difference in how your clothes look and fit on your body.
Stage 2- Sleepwear: I love sleep pants. I live in loungewear whenever I’m home, I like to be comfortable. However, I have a lot of the same thing and well, it’s not exactly sexy. While I like to be comfortable, in the beginning of October I decided to simplify my sleep wear. I realized I have 6 of the exact same type of tank. 2 had frayed edges, 2 tanks that had shrunk, and one with a bleach stain… what’s odd is that I hadn’t worn them in a while, they made their way to the back of my drawer. However, after taking stock of what I had, those worn out tanks are all gone. Also, as it was getting colder it was time to revisit some long sleeved sleep shirts that had been hiding in the back of the drawer and say goodbye to the oversized thermal and flannel stuff. It’s just not cute. period.
Stage 3- Footwear: mid-October I focused on shoes and socks. I don’t have an abundance of shoes in my collection, but I had a few pair that were hiding in boxes that hadn’t been worn even once in the past year, so they were added to the donate bin and haven’t missed them one bit. Well to be honest I AM missing my little red Lucky ballerina flats, they were my go to shoes for everything- but sadly they’re no longer available for purchase. All totaled, I managed to get rid of 6 pair of shoes. I’m still on the look out for the perfect pair of black ballerina flats… thinking about splurging on a pair of Teiks or Rothy’s.
Which brings us to November.
November is usually a month of over indulging, and while my closet and dresser aren’t stuffed to the top with clothes spilling out, I can honestly say that I wear maybe 60% of what I own. Do the math, for every 10 items hanging I’m only wearing maybe 6 of them, and if I was really honest, I gravitate to more like 40% of my clothes with a few items as special occasion, or “dressing up” for a night out.
This got me to thinking, side note: I tend to pull down the fine china every so often because it’s there and I like looking at the delicate vine work on the plate as I’m eating, so why not adopt this same outlook and treat my closet the same way. Wear more finely made items on the daily.
Clothes today are mass produced. Much of it is cheaply made, with cheap fibers, you’re lucky to get a few seasons to out an item. Thus, after a season or two of wear, there’s pilling, tiny pin holes, and they fall out of shape. It’s frustrating, because you spend money on stuff and it’s cheap crap. Your $30 top is then exiled to the back of the closet, or thrown into a bag for the next person in line to buy at a a resale store, or worse added to a landfill.
Back to my closet…
Now Josh has mentioned he likes me in dresses, and in the past- like the 80’s and 90’s I wore all sorts of little dresses, skirts and stuff, but now it seems I live in my jeans or lounge pants (only worn in the house) an effort and emphasis of just being comfortable, looking like I’m ready for a nap at any moment. Gosh I haven’t had a secret nap in so long!
Through out time, people lived with much less. We didn’t need a bunch of clothes just to fulfill some void and what might just be a bit of retail therapy. NO, clothes were crafted. Sizing, tailoring, fit, the quality of the material, all the finishing touches… clothes were made to last and to be lived in. Most of the time, it served a purpose, while still looking really nice and dare I say presentable.
Stage 4- Accessories: Here, I reorganized stuff like socks, stockings, tights, purses, scarves and jewelry. I don’t tend to over accessorize as it is, so this task was easy. I now have 4 handbags: One gray purse, one camel purse, a cream canvas tote, and a small black purse. As much as I loved having a purse for different occasions, I realized that having a few nicer bags was far better than a shop full of things that rarely got use. As for jewelry, I made sure everything was in good repair, and properly hung on little hooks for easier access when getting ready.
By mid November I did my first major basic purge.
By now I was saying to items of clothing, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Yeah breaking up with some once loved threads can sometimes be a difficult task. There’s nostalgia, and memories of times and occasion of when that one thing was once worn… Or guilt for the item that still has tags, that now you’re saying under your breath, “What was I thinking when I decided to buy this?” It happens, but you have to get over that hurdle and constant need to hold onto stuff that isn’t serving a purpose, other that to overwhelm, clutter and basically take up space.
SIDE NOTE: People change. Our aesthetic alters, our body shape might even change a bit as we get older. 5 pounds in either direction is basically a pant size. Our lifestyle changes as well. SO it only makes sense that our style will also change through out our lives.
Stage 5- Tops and Bottoms: For this task, I went through both the closet and the dresser, and pulled every piece of clothing out. Put it all in a big pine on the bed… I got rid of anything that I wasn’t in love with, which was really easy. Anything that I haven’t worn in the past year was immediately gone. Things that were 3 years or older in the closet were folded and put into a donation box. Then anything that didn’t have a flattering shape and structure was omitted. I wasn’t left with a lot, but it really simplified what I had to work with over the next month.
December was my month to live with the basic and minimal stuff I now had available. This transition month was to make sure what I had kept was going to work together. Anything that I wore, I scrutinized and if at the end of the day I didn’t love the item, it went to donation.
This little experiment helped me to realize that I had a closet that resembled a patchwork quilt. Some decent pieces, many one off and odds and ends, but nothing really went together. Sure I could make do, and look ok, but some of these items weren’t exactly cohesive, or even flattering, or inspirational to to even really put them on. Some things hadn’t been worn in over a year! They were just there… available.
Purging all the dead weight has now inspired my to seek out some new items to rebuild my closet and to simplify what I have on hand. It’s funny, I have friends with huge walk in closets, that are spilling clothes from top to bottom, and you know there’s a good chance that most if it could be tossed and never missed.
Why do we feel the need to have so much stuff?
I’m looking forward to a bit of shopping in 2020 and reclaiming my closet, and building a capsule wardrobe in the process.