A confession: I have a walk-in closet that I can’t actually walk into.
A second confession: There are two four-drawer dressers in our bedroom and they both are filled with my stuff.
*Sigh*. I have way too much clothing. Really. I mean, I’m a stay-at-home mom. It’s not like I need a work wardrobe and a casual wardrobe. My husband and I rarely go out, and when we do, it’s to the movies or the bookstore or for frozen custard (he has an addiction) – I don’t need fancy “date night” clothes.
Ninety percent of the time, I am wearing some combination of the following: jeans or cords or chinos, stripey tees of various kinds, cardigans, pullover hoodies (uh, I guess I have an addiction, too), and Toms, Chucks, mocs, ballet flats or The Best Boots Ever. But even then, no one needs 87 stripey tees. Or 10 pairs of jeans. Too many choices overwhelm me, and I end up wearing the same few items over and over because it’s easy and they are visible in the chaos that is my closet.
I just read The No-Brainer Wardrobe, an e-book by Hayley of the fantastic Tiny Twig Goes Out on a Limb. I really like her ideas about having a capsule wardrobe consisting of essential pieces, partnered with what she calls Additions for layering and Finishers (pieces that bring a little life and fun to the outfit). The idea is to have fewer pieces that can be worn in lots of combinations. If done right, there’s really no way this method couldn’t simplify getting dressed – if you love the things in your closet *and* they all essentially work together, you’re going to be able to just grab items and know you look good.
Ahh, that’s the dream, right? The hard part for me is beginning – closet purging sounds terrifying and sad-making. Growing up, I never had the right clothes because it wasn’t really in our family’s budget and clothes simply weren’t important to my mom. Therefore, as an adult, I’ve always been a little…hoarder-ish about clothing. Knowing I have lots and lots of “acceptable” clothes makes me feel better, like I’ll be able to fit in with others. But the thing is, having huge quantities of clothing now doesn’t undo the discomfort I felt in childhood, so it’s really not serving me as the grown woman I am now.
So, I’m planning a closet purge (EEEEEEEEK.) in the next month. I’m allowing a month to get it on the calendar, because I’m in the middle of a sewing class right now and that’s really taking up most of my free time. But in the meantime, I’m going to start a building my own list of Essentials, Additions, and Finishers; that way, when it’s time to purge, I’ll know what really works within the framework of my functional wardrobe, and what I’m hanging on to for other reasons. And here’s the other biggie – I will not buy any clothes until said purge is complete and I know if I have any needs to complete my capsule.
So, that’s the grand plan. I’m really looking forward to having a neat, simplified closet that is only filled with items that make me feel like I look good, and most importantly, like myself. I owe that to the awkward little girl I used to be!