This is going to seem like a really silly post to have on a page all about fashion, but I hope it inspires you to rethink your wardrobe.
I’ve been having a really tough time sitting with the fact that although Joel and I have done an awesome job getting rid of our stuff – we still have so much left. Especially when it comes to clothing. As thrifters and people who truly appreciate the things we purchase or inherit, especially things with history or special meaning behind them, it’s been easy for us to accumulate closets full of clothes. Particularly me. I had one full closet stuffed to the brim plus a few claimed shelves and hangers in Joel’s closet…and then there’s the clothing rack in the basement…and the shoes in the hallway closet…
I sat with the thought of totally gutting my closet for a few months. I read stories and watched videos of others liberating themselves by getting back to the basics in their wardrobes. Every single person said it was one of the best things they’ve ever done, although hard, totally worth it. With each story, I got one step closer to having the strength to dig into my own stash of too much clothing.
I chose a day that I would purge. One whole day when I had nothing else going on. I would clean out every clothing closet and take everything to a donation center immediately after. No hesitation. Bags in car. Car to center. Bags out of car. Easy.
I thought about following a closet “challenge.” Creating a capsule wardrobe, whittling my clothes down to a certain number, etc. – but I chose to do my own thing. If I hadn’t worn it, of course, good bye. If I had similar items, I chose one or got rid of them all. Trendy was out. Loud prints were out. Holes or stains, gone. Too small, never going to fit into it again, in the bag. Too big, I didn’t like wearing it but did anyway, buh-bye. My rampage also included shoes and accessories. Some pieces were easy to let go of. Others, not so much. If I had something for a long time, those were normally the items I hesitated on, but ultimately threw into the pile.
In total, I cut my wardrobe down by 60%. Let that sink in. I sure had to. I surprisingly didn’t cry. I felt relieved. I felt proud. I felt like I was practicing what I preach. Less stuff = more joy.
I kept classic basics. Timeless pieces that 1) will not go out of style and 2) could be mixed and matched. My process was as simple as that.
I feel happy for the clothing items I kept and for the pieces I gave away because now they’ll all live the life they were meant to live: to be seen.
I’m down to ONE spacious looking closet. There is room on shelves, there are gaps between hangers, and it’s a completely new, inspiring space for me now. Before, somehow I felt like I had nothing to wear. Now, the possibilities seem endless. I have so much fun mixing and matching some of my very favorite pieces that were hidden by mounds of other items competing for attention.
This sounds completely backwards, but if you really love fashion, I challenge you to give this a try. I’ll even hold your hand and hold the bags open if you need some support. You’ll take yourself back to the basics, to the pieces that truly make you love fashion, while putting your inner stylist to the test.
Taking bag after bag into the donation center relieved an invisible pressure from my chest. Looking into my simplified closet fills me with both appreciation for what I have and inspiration for what I can do with it. Less stuff = more joy. Repeat.
Here are a couple "after" photos!