Thursday, February 7, 2013

I have NOTHING to wear!!

When we were first married up until the time we had our first son, I would very regularly pick out my husband's clothes for work or for church, and I would always pack his suitcase when we would travel.  Now, my husband never asked me to do this, I just did it because I liked picking out the outfits and I knew he would wear anything that I chose.

What I LOVED about playing "dress up" with my dear hubs, is that it reminded me a lot of when I was little about would pick out outfits for my Barbies and Ken dolls.  I was obsessed with Barbies.  I would plan all sorts of events for them: Proms, Weddings, Camping, Pool Parties, Picnics, Vacations, and the list goes on and on.  Barbie (obviously) looks good in whatever she wears but there is another reason it is so much fun to dress her.  For one all of Barbie's clothes are the right size for her body, her clothes coordinated with the activities in her life and Barbie is confident enough that she can wear her clothes over and over and no one is going to think she is any less chic!

It's true.  Maybe a bit silly but true nonetheless.  One Christmas when I was about 8 my mom had gotten these homemade clothes from a lady she knew for one of my presents.  I loved the clothes, they were so cool!  But they were too big and disproportional for my Barbies.  I didn't have any dolls that would fit them either.  So what did I do?  Well I kept them stored with my barbie clothes and I pushed around them and sorted and looked at them every day but I had no use for them!  They were great clothes, I knew my mom had probably spent a lot of money having them made, I kept thinking maybe someday I would have a doll that would fit them, I felt bad to tell my mom to give them away b/c I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

Fast forward 20 years.  I found myself in the exact same spot with a LOT of the pieces in my wardrobe.  About 2 years ago my husband and I started purging.  And wow did we purge!  We filled dozens of the big black trash bags with clothes.  Clothes we had since high school (or before!) clothes that we never wore, that didn't fit, clothes that were perfectly nice but we had no reason or occasion to wear them.  Two of my husband's biggest struggles with letting go of his clothes was remembering how much something had cost when he bought it new (even items he hand't worn in years) and not wanting to let go of clothes that he liked really well (even if he had 4 or 5 of very similar pieces).  My two biggest struggles were holding on to clothes that no longer fit in hopes I would fit in them again someday and holding on to clothes because I really liked them (even if I never wore them!)

So herein lies the first way I have come to own a wardrobe with minimal items and still have LOTS of outfits to wear. 

I discovered one of the biggest reasons I loved picking out outfits for my husband is that is was sooooooooo easy.  Too easy almost!  For church I would pick a pair of pants (any pair of pants), choose a button up dress shirt (again, almost any color would be fine), and finally choose a tie.  Viola!  An outfit.  I could almost do it blindfolded.  So I simplified my clothing with a similar concept.  I wanted everything to match just about everything else I owned.

Step #1 was choosing a color scheme.  I owned about a dozen scarves ad realized there were 3 that I wore almost exclusively because they were my favorites and the colors I liked most.  Two of them incorporated the same colors and so those are the two I kept.  All the others were (reluctantly) donated or given to friends.  I decided that from then on out any time I bought anything new it need to draw from one of the colors in these scarves.  Black is a favorite color of mine because it is so versatile and I feel good in black.  Grey is another favorite (also a color in my scarves) as well as maroon/purple and a dark turquoise/green shade.  For comfy wear I typically like grey and navy (since most of my "sweats" and comfy clothes are either WVU or Pitt.)

Step #2 was realizing what style of clothing works best for me, considering both what activities I do most as well as how clothes fit/feel for me.  My base style I discovered (what I wore most frequently) is pants/skirts with a tank top and cardigan sweater on top with flats for most every occasion whether it is church, game night at a friends, having company over, grocery shopping etc.  I am a stay at home mom so MOST of my time is spent at home and I typically wear comfy capri pants and a tank top or if I'm a cold a hooded sweatshirt over the tank top.

SO what does this look now?  Well my wardrobe which used to consist of closets full and dressers full and under-the-bed-bins full of clothes now consists of only pieces that I LOVE, that I wear A LOT and that coordinated with mostly every thing else.

--2 cardigan sweaters - One dark grey, one light pink with creme accents
--7 tank tops - this may seem like a lot but this is my base of all of my outfits.  Since I am a nursing mom wearing a tank top is almost a necessity and since I wear them everyday, all day, they wear out quickly and need washed often so they can be reused.  I have two black long tanks, one "dressy" black with a lacey top, one "dressy" grey with a lacey top, one dark pink/maroon, one yellow and one white.  I could absolutley cut this down to 3 or 4 if I didn't know much wear these receive b/c of this season of my life.  I have already had to replace two tanks just in the past year because of ripped straps or tears etc.
--2 skirts - one that is solid black, and one that is black and white polka dots
--2 scarves - one that is mostly maroon with several other blotches of colors and one that is somewhat sparkly and mostly pastel pinks, turquoises, tans
--1 pair of jeans that are dark denim, simple, plain, and fit well
--1 black dress, again plain and simple no frills
--1 black sweater dress with cream stripes
--1 black pair of leggings
--1 black 3/4 sleeve top with white designs on the sleeve
--2 comfy capris, one black, one dark grey
--2 sweat pants, one grey and one navy
--2 hooded sweatshirts, one navy with PITT, one blue with WVU (once one of these wears out I won't replace it, I will just stick with one hoodies but after getting rid of about 10 hoodies I couldn't part with either of these ;)
--1 pair of snow boots that are insulated and have great traction
--1 pair of almost knee high dressy boots in dark brown
--2 pairs of clogs (what I wear most) when one of these wears out I will not be replacing it and just have one pair
--1 pair of athletic running tennis shoe
--Intimates (under garments, socks, etc) to last about a week and a half

What I would like to add to my wardrobe:
--1 pair of ballerina flats (My foot grew from a size 7 to an 8 with my first pregnancy and from an 8 to a 9ish during my second pregnancy! So I still haven't found a flat shoe that I love)

Now I admit by true "minimal" standards my closet still has a lot of items in it.  But it is such an improvement from where I was!  And I was able to type of every item I own while sitting on my couch typing to you ;)  I love that I know everything that I own.  I love that getting dressed for any occasion is so simple now.  I love that when I see the same people/groups of people over and over they continue to tell me how much they "like that outfit" I'm wearing.  And if you think people are going to notice that you are wearing the same items over and over, trust me they probably won't be any the wiser.  I know for myself I wouldn't notice if a man wore the same suit day in and day out, as long as he changed his tie or maybe the color of his shirt every once in while.  The same for a women's wardrobe, wearing the same black skirt and grey tank but wearing a different scarf, maybe a colorful pair of earrings and all of a sudden my outfit seems completely new!

Your needs are different than mine, your lifestyle is different, your body shape, your skin tone etc.  If you're having a different time getting started with this go to your closet and pick out for favorite item or outfit.  You know what you feel most confident in and what looks best on you.  I started with my favorite scarf and worked from there for a color scheme.  Maybe yours is a favorite sweater or even a pair of earrings.  If you work at an office and need to dress up everyday your wardrobe may not include so many sweats ;) and instead include slacks and maybe a simple/plain suit.

Don't chase the styles.  They are ever changing and not every style works on every body type.  I don't even know when tank tops/cardigans and scarves were in style (or if they've ever been in style ;) but it works for me!

Check on my facebook page Becoming a Steward where I have a poll up about what your biggest struggle in simplifying your wardrobe to help decide what area I will blog about next to help you in your quest for a more simple more beautiful wardrobe!

No comments:

Post a Comment