Two years ago I noticed that I had so many different “identities” in my closet: preppy, athletic, edgy, trendy, etc. It was really annoying getting dressed in the morning and not feeling just like myself. I was trying so hard to conform to these fabricated identities until the day I decided to simplify my closet.
Getting dressed is quick, I always feel put together and I didn’t spend a fortune.
Thinking back on it now, I’m pretty sure that it was the way shops displayed their clothes which influenced how I thought about myself ergo the clothes that I bought. In any case, my story is probably different from yours but I truly understand the struggle.
I started out on this “closet cleansing” journey before I came across minimalism and the awesome community which embraces it as a lifestyle. That being said, I’ve tried a lot different things and experienced all the pitfalls.
There is no one way to create an ideal wardrobe but I consider it to be one that you feel works for you. I hope that the method I’ve developed helps guide your mindset throughout the process to make it as simple and easy as possible.
THE D.E.T.A.C.H. METHOD
Determine your style
Be decisive about this! Use Pinterest to create a mood-board for your style. Think about what you normally wear, and accept that, rock it! You can also refer back to my previous post 5 Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration Brands To Find Your Personal Style to learn about a different way of doing this.
Dress for yourself
I’d advise against dressing to ‘feel sexy’. Think about where the validation of that feeling comes from: the male gaze, advertising, society, whatever you’d like to call it. Dressing to feel like yourself is a much more rewarding experience.
Don’t fall for trends
“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” —Karl Lagerfeld (He’s kind of a big deal)
Empty your entire closet.
So this… will suck. BUT it’s the easiest and fastest way to really survey ALL your clothes. Separate them into simple piles like pants, shirts, blouses, dresses. Does one pile have considerably more clothes than the other? Start with that pile.
Examine each item.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Does it fit? Have I worn it in the last 3-6 months? Do I feel good wearing it? Is the color flattering? Is it annoying to wash or wear?
Enjoy this process!
I suggest doing this with a friend over wine or tea but if you’re really dreading getting started, maybe bright and early with a cup of coffee. Do whatever it is you have to do make it feel like less of a chore because it will benefit you in the long run!
Throw away damaged clothing.
This should be a pretty simple one. Do a quick google search when you get to this point to see if there are any places in your area which accepts fabric donations.
Take clothes that you don’t wear to Goodwill/Buffalo Exchange
Alternatively you could also host a clothing swap, give them to a friend or sell them online! All are perfectly fine options, some being easier and faster than others.
Tough decisions shouldn’t slow you down.
If you’re fighting with yourself trying to justify keeping or tossing a few items, put them into an empty suitcase and try again another time. If you find yourself pulling them out of the suitcase, then you’ve found your answer! If you’ve forgotten they were there, then it might be fine to toss.
Always wear at least one accessory.
This will really help your outfits feel a little more dimensional. It doesn’t have to be very large, flashy or elaborate but a little goes a long way.
Allow yourself to purchase the things you need as long as they are good quality.
Try holding off clothing purchases for 1 month if possible. Never invest in clothing that you’ll only wear one time because it’s 2017 and Rent the Runway exists.
Accept that there will be a difference between your real closet and ideal closet
Because that’s ok! You can work towards the ideal closet in a sustainable way. You won’t be overcome by debt or underwhelmed with closet space this way. Your tastes might change and you’ll always be glad that you didn’t buy into trends.
Clean the inside of your closet.
Put this season’s clothes back in and clothes from other seasons away. I use 2 suitcases, one for the other season’s clothes and one for the “limbo” items that I’m not sure if I want to get rid of. When you pull these out again, it’ll feel like you’ve just gone shopping!
Cherish the clothes you’ve chosen.
If you want to display them nicely, try investing in a cheap clothes rack from IKEA or make one yourself. Taking care of the clothes you do have as best you can is one of the best things you can do for our environment.
Celebrate your success!
You’re all done!!! It wasn’t so hard, right? A few hours can save you a lot of time every morning.
How would you rank your closet before/after?
How did this process make you feel?
How might you change your shopping habits?
If you liked this post, you might also like: Minimalist Mood Board
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