Raise your hand if your closet is everything you want it to be.
Yea. That’s what I thought.
Of late, I have been having issues with my wardrobe and the pieces that have been stagnating in it for goodness knows how long. As the BOF blog churns out more and more articles throwing another layer of mud on my previous fast fashion habits, I have become ever more inspired to curate what can best be described as my “dream closet”. This fixation gained momentum after I read Elizabeth Clines “Overdressed- The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion” , and has further coalesced after discovering the Recovering Shopaholic Blog through an op-ed in Porter Magazine. I am in dire need of this closet rehab. I have always envied a well curated, minimalist wardrobe–one where only gorgeous, high-quality, timeless pieces are allowed to enter. In practice, I am light years from one. Nevertheless, I am trying to change this.
I was inspired by the bold participants of Project 333, who pare down and live 3 months with only 33 items of clothing. (Seriously, I can’t). My heart races just considering that, but knowing that the average person wears only 20% of their wardrobe encouraged me to try something. I regularly purge my wardrobe of damaged, out-dated or ill-fitting garments. The problem, however, is that I still retain pieces that fit my body, but totally don’t fit my style. Case in point, the pair of loose fit, camo, J. Crew rip-stop cargo pants I have had since 2007. Apparently I have been saving them in case of.. a hunting trip? hiking Mt. Everest? the freaking apocalypse? I can’t define the mental process that has led me to hold on to these pants, even when I haven’t worn them in at least 5 years.
The new game-plan to get me past that “what-if-I-need-these-for-some-asinine-and-totally-unrealistic-reason” rationalization is what I fondly call “Clothing Jail”. “Clothing Jail” is a box tucked into my room where I can put the items that haven’t passed muster while they wait out a sentence of “probation”. If they aren’t bailed out of “clothing jail” in the next 6 months, it is time to find them a new home. Keeping my strange camo cargo pants company are items such as:
- Two cotton pencil skirts that, while they are a fabulous color, wrinkle within 45 nanoseconds of putting them on. Thus, causing my to neurotically attempt to smooth them out for the rest of the day. Rubbing your crotch at work (wrinkles or not) is generally frowned upon at work, so they are on probation until they a) decide to stop creasing, or b) my wrinkle OCD is cured. Their future is grim.
- A metric f**-ton of lace shirts & minidresses with a startling Victorian influence. My body type does not take well to such frilly, feminine pieces, and I always feel like “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”s long lost sister. As much as I love Free People and their look book, it just doesn’t look right on me.
- An entire wardrobe for my unemployed, surf rat alter ego. I still have way too much uber-relaxed stussy, roxy & billabong. All well and good if I still worked on the beach. However, I am a fussy city girl, even when I visit the beach, and am pretty sure I keep those pieces solely out of the nostalgia of those sun-kissed summers working Beach Patrol. All the more reason to throw them in clothing jail.
- Not everything is a laughable emotional keep. Some of it is things like a super cute embroidered anthropologie blouse (size s/m ladies) that is just a bit too feminine for my body type (looks great with boobs if you want to adopt it)
- For the win: A hot pink, super kawaii, harajuku tee. Complete with puffy sleeves, and a pattern consisting of candy-colored handguns shooting grinning flowers & jewels. I kid you not. Words can’t describe this travesty (or whatever demons possessed me to keep it for so long) so I have included a picture below.
So, yes. I have a long way to go in paring my closet down to manageable proportions. To speed it along, in addition to “clothing jail”, I am forcing myself to wear every item in my wardrobe (if I pass on an item, they go to jail). This means not repeatedly pulling out my favorite go-to outfits, and forcing myself to dig into the less worn pieces in my closet. Today I drug out a top that only periodically sees the light of day. It is a halter, which isn’t a cut I usually gravitate towards with my proportions. It is a silk, BCBG top that I bought specifically for my graduation party. My highschool graduation party.
The silk is still in flawless shape, and it fits well. It is tenuous, but I still haven’t decided if it will go to “jail” after today. What do you think?