It’s the weekend, and I’ve spent some time working on my closet. You could not call it “cleaning my closet” since that implies that I’m actually getting rid of things… this is mostly just organizing. I don’t get rid of much out of my wardrobe because I genuinely like the pieces that I have. My struggle comes that I buy most everything from thrift shops, so while I find great pieces, I don’t always manage to incorporate those individual pieces into coherent outfits.
I have too many clothes for the storage that I have, which means that I move things around seasonally. North Carolina does get four distinct seasons, with a winter that necessitates chunky sweaters and boots and a summer where you want to wear the flimsiest slip dress on a 90+ degree day. Right now my heaviest winter things are being moved into totes to make room for hanging summer dresses and pulling out t-shirts and shorts. I’ve always had to shuffle my clothes with the seasons, but it’s time consuming and a real pain. As I’ve been packing away winter there are certain items that I took out in October, never wore, and am now re-packing. Someone else would tell me that if the season went by and I didn’t wear that item, it means that I should get rid of it. I tell myself that it’s not the item’s fault, and that I just need to be less lazy about putting outfits together!
Forcing yourself to go through your closet is a great way to get insights into your style and current fashion sense. The process made me realize a few things. First of all, I have a lot of things from when I first started working. At 23 working my first “real” job, I wanted to look more professional and needed to be taken more seriously. I have gorgeous fitted blazers and perfect crisp blouses. Why am I not wearing these things to work now? I work in academia, where the dress code is not corporate or stuffy, but I could certainly still dress up and look nice. It might take a little more effort, but I could and should wear to work the nice and professional clothes that I own. That might take a little bit more time to plan an outfit the night before and steam the wrinkles out of something more delicate, but I could do that.
Also, I realized that somewhere along the line I’ve become a brand snob. I’m lucky enough to find some high quality pieces in my thrifting, and I tend to choose those pieces over lower end items. For example, in looking at my sweaters from this season, I mostly wore my cashmere and my Ralph Lauren cable stitch sweaters all winter. Even though a Forever 21 sweater might be really cute, it’s not the thing that I chose. I’m sort of torn about this. On one hand, those better brands are good quality pieces that I like, but I don’t want to ever like anything just because of the name. If the Merona sweater from Target is a gorgeous color and fits well, then there is nothing wrong with wearing it too!
The last thing that I realized is that I’m way too lazy about re-wearing the same outfit versus putting together a new outfit. For winter my default outfit when I’m trying to get out the door quickly is black leggings, a long sweater, and tall boots. It’s comfy and easy… but that does not mean that I should wear that one look everyday. I’m also terrible about wearing something, throwing it on the end of my bed, and later wearing it again just because it’s there. I end up re-wearing outfits even though I have a closet full of clothes, and there really is no reason for that.
Since I’m not the type of person to purge everything that I haven’t worn in the past six months, I need to push myself to change how I shop my closet. I don’t keep items in my closet that don’t fit me or that are damaged/ have holes/ are past the point of being worn any longer. Everything that I have is nice pieces that I’m either wearing or not wearing for some reason. I realize that there are some pieces in there that don’t fit my style anymore- that I’m passing on wearing because I genuinely don’t love them. I need to figure out what those are and donate or sell them. I also realize that there are some pieces that I didn’t really give them a chance, didn’t try to style them and make an outfit, but obviously there was something about the item that attracted me to it in the first place.
As the new spring/summer season starts I want to push myself to wear more of what’s in my closet. I will try a little harder to rotate my clothing, with the goal of wearing a different outfit everyday that I go out- incorporating at least one new piece that hasn’t been worn recently. I know that I also have plenty of accessory items like belts, scarves, statement necklaces, and shoes that I just don’t wear often enough because I don’t take the time to go find them. My wardrobe can have a whole lot more variety and personality if I wear everything that I own versus reaching for the same basic pieces over and over again. I’ve been using my journal a lot lately to track things and try to organize my life, so I may attempt to track outfits too or take more photos so I remember different pieces and looks.
Hopefully there will be a few positive results of wearing more of my closet: 1.) If I’m playing around with the pieces I already have, I won’t feel the need to buy so many new pieces and can save some money. 2.) Maybe I refine my personal style a little bit more and decide what I love and what I don’t love. 3.) When I feel like I’ve given a piece a chance and still didn’t really feel it, then I can be okay about getting rid of it and moving on. My closest has gotten out of control, and I do need to edit things down a lot.
Basically this post is a rambling story of where my thoughts are about the current state of my wardrobe! At the moment when my room is a mess with hangers and totes and clothes scattered everywhere, I feel overwhelmed by it all- which is crazy to feel overwhelmed by your clothes! Writing about things, thinking it through, and coming up with a plan to get my closet more under control helps though. As I try wearing more things I’ll report back, post pictures, and write about what worked and what pieces I’ve finally given up on.