I hate clothes shopping. When ever I go out to do it I don’t ever know what I’m looking for and I don’t understand fashion. I have a closet full of clothes yet still manage to wear the same outfits again and again and again with minimal variation.
I’ve tried to solve this problem before, looked at style blogs that tell you how to wear the same thing different ways, I’ve even considered hiring a stylist. I’ve gotten some marginally good advice like creating a Pinterest board of clothes I like (Turns out; I like the way the Duchess of Cambridge dresses). Generally, the take home advice from all these sources was – if I want to make my current stuff look different I actually need to BUY MORE STUFF.
Which I wasn’t going to do… not just because I hate clothes shopping, but also because it seems a rather expensive solution to a really small problem.
Then, around February this year I was listening to a podcast called ‘The Functioning Minimalist’. Sara (the creator) discussed the idea of curating a wardrobe which was made up entirely of things you love to wear. These clothes would all match each other and can be worn in many variations. She called it a capsule wardrobe.
The main appeal of this idea for me, was that it suggested that I look at the clothes I already own. It’s first step? Clear the wardrobe and all my drawers of all pieces of clothing and put them on the bed.
Step 2 was to put back ONLY the clothes I know I LOVE wearing.
As well as doing this, I took this time to get organised – I sorted out clothes into ‘definitely keep’, ‘maybe keep’, ‘to sell’ and ‘to donate’. I put away my sleeping clothes and gym clothes in different places and separated my winter/summer clothes (I’ve never really done that before since I don’t have a lot of clothes the things that get tossed into storage are mostly just coats and knits while summer stuff stays out all year ’round).
Now, with everything put away, and short list of all the winter appropriate clothes sitting in my wardrobe; I had finally gotten to the fun part – trying on my clothes.
I tried them on in different variations and tossed aside ones that didn’t seem to flatter or have any versatility. I played around with colours even ones that I thought might not go together – with some surprising results. I mixed and matched and styled myself! This was an amazing breakthrough for me as I have never been able to do that before!
In the end I was left with my cupboard looking like this…
When I counted, I had 35 pieces of clothing for my winter wardrobe – not including under garments or shoes… (2 coats, 10 scarves, 6 shirts, 2 skirts, 8 pants, 4 sweaters, 1 blazer, 2 pairs of gloves) . It’s not perfect, and yet I’ve never felt happier about my wardrobe than I do now!
This was such a worthwhile exercise. I learned about my personal style by looking at the clothes I already own AND LIKE. (Japanese scarves make my outfits look a little fancier). I have an idea of what kinds of clothes I need to buy (I’m looking forward to shopping for a casual winter jacket) and most importantly, I feel like I have a brand new wardrobe filled with endless permutations of outfits I’d like to wear. The best part? I didn’t spend a single cent to get it!