Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Minimalist Wardrobe

I know I've talked, some, about my wardrobe. It was really the beginning of my pursuit of minimalism as I looked through my clothes and realized that, although I liked most of what I had, not all of it fit well, was in good condition, and there were too many choices. I had half a closet, a couple shelves, and a large dresser full of clothes. My husband had exactly the same amount of space for his clothes. And we had clothes in storage for the off seasons.

I wasn't super happy with my wardrobe. The year we married, I had lost 40 pounds due to poor health, and a lot of my clothes were essentially pinned on. We couldn't really afford to replace them, but then I thought why do I need to replace these things? Is there enough that fits me to make work?

My decision was simple: I told my husband I was going to get rid of everything except for a certain number of each item. I don't remember the numbers exactly, but it went something like:

  • seven shirts
  • seven skirts
  • three jeans
  • five pairs of shoes
Etcetera. I had to love these items, they must fit perfectly, and they had to be in good condition. I was essentially building a capsule wardrobe, but I didn't know that, as I'd never heard of such a thing. My husband decided to join me, and by the end, we shared one dresser and the closet was half empty. The shelves were used for shoes and other storage as we no longer needed them for clothes. It was great! I loved everything I owned, and it all fit. 

Then I got pregnant. Suddenly, my wardrobe wasn't exactly splendid. I had several maxi dresses and a few maxi skirts, and those got me through it with few purchases. Then I had my baby, and dresses really don't work for nursing. The shirts I had worn before the pregnancy were mostly fitted, so I ordered some tank tops to even things out. 

Not too much later, we moved. As can sometimes happen, I quickly realized that because of the wardrobe changes I'd had to make, I had accumulated a lot of things that were no longer functional. I decided to downsize again. This time, I picked an outfit for every day of the week, with a few outfits have a second top to choose from. My husband joined me again, though his way of choosing what to keep was different, as his style had been changing over those couple years, and at the end, we sold the dresser and shared a closet. 

Again, I loved everything I owned. It all fit. It all looked nice. I had around 30-40 items, as well as a few seasonal items. I was pleased with how much having fewer clothes made my mornings easier. There was little enough choice, I didn't stand for several minutes trying to decide what to wear. I think my wardrobe stayed this way for about a month before I felt dissatisfied again. I had grown used to fewer choices and thought what if there was even less choice? 

I decided to go "extreme". Four skirts, one pair of jeans, five tops, a black dress, and three layering options. This includes one outfit for Sunday, which I don't wear at any other time. Eventually, I want to have three of the same skirt, three of the same shirt, a Sunday outfit, and a few layering options (I live in the north. Layers are important), thus making my choice even more simple. As I get closer to this ideal, I become more excited. Having little choice makes me feel like I have more room for other choices, and I find that I care way less about what people think about my clothing. I know that everything I wear is functional, beautiful, and something I chose with careful consideration. How many people can say that about their clothes?