I’ve finally done what I committed to do back in July 2016. If it weren’t for me rereading my blog post on Closet Shopping, which you can read here, I probably would’ve thought I just recently came up with the idea to take pictures of outfits I assemble with my existing wardrobe. Genius! Yesterday, I spent most of Saturday (7 to 8 hours) getting reacquainted with the clothes in my closet. As I prepare for 2020, I want to let go of feeling like I don’t have enough. I have plenty!
For clarification purposes, on this recent endeavor, I was focused on my winter wardrobe, which mostly occupies the closet space in my bedroom. My summer clothes reside in my daughter’s closet. With changing seasons, I switch out the clothes. I grew up in the midwest (Chicago, IL) so changing clothes with the seasons is a habit.
I didn’t think it would take me 7-8 hours, but time flies when you’re having fun. I had my music playing in the background as I diligently went through my clothes, focusing on the pieces where I tend to have more difficulty assembling outfits. As the QUEEN of “separates”, I sometimes forget which pieces work well together. This exercise will help me remember.
Clearly, I’m not a photographer. After I tried on combinations I liked, I just layed out the pieces on my bed and took pictures with my phone camera. The lighting in my bedroom is HORRIBLE. You can see it didn’t capture the vibrant hue of this sparkly blue top. The impetus for assembling my outfits is that I had an epiphany recently. I spend very little time getting myself dressed because I’m often multitasking, trying to get things done that I think are more important.
This became apparent to me when I ended up not liking the outfit I put together for Christmas Eve service at church. My husband and I took a picture together at a display at the church sanctuary, and let’s just say, I didn’t post the picture to my social media. A complete ensemble consists of not just the clothes, but jewelry, shoes, and a hairstyle. I have a bad habit of neglecting to spend time on the whole ensemble. This will change.
Another epiphany I had is that when I was in my shopping frenzy heyday, I didn’t have a systematic way to shopping. Unless, there was a special occasion, which was rare, I shopped sales. This could be another reason why it feels like I don’t have complete outfits, but just a bunch of pieces. My mom would ask me why I had so many tops, which is still true to this day. I think it’s easier to pick up another pretty shirt. I didn’t have to put much thought in it. Over the years, I’ve gotten more strategic about pieces I need (i.e., black dress pants, white shirt, etc.)
The good thing is as long as my clothes are good quality, I hold onto them for years. I still wear some clothes as old as my daughter (she’s 14). The brown skirt pictured above with the gold shirt is about 13 or 14 years old. I bought the gold shirt and necklace (separate purchases and stores) about 2 years ago.
My weight has fluctuated over the years, but I’ve lost roughly 25 pounds two years post having my daughter. I’ve already given away clothes that were too big (except for a few favorite pieces), which is why I probably don’t have any clothes from the time I had my son. I was heavier then. Three years ago, I lost more weight and have been maintaining all except 5 pounds.
In 2020, my goal is to lose 20 pounds. Although I’m putting shopping on pause now, I will likely need to shop in the future to accommodate my smaller frame. I need to find a talented tailor for a few pieces I have now and in the future.
There was a time I had very little black pieces in my wardrobe. I loved bright colors and I still do to this day. Then about 15 years ago, I had a manager who mostly wore black. She used to live in New York City for a period and I noticed she wore black often. She said everyone wears black in New York because it’s chic. She had me thinking about black, so I added a few black pieces to my wardrobe.
I hope this post encourages someone to stop the madness of constantly buying clothes only to constantly feel like you have nothing to wear. Why buy things if you don’t take the time to enjoy them. Spending a whole day in my closet, assembling outfits is a rare treat, but it gave me an appreciation for what I have.
And what I do have is a whole lot of dresses, especially summer dresses. I didn’t bother taking pictures of them all. That will be a future post in the spring. I’ll have fun pairing them with blazers and dress sandals. What I’ve learned since living in Texas for 22 years is that you can turn a summer dress into a winter ensemble by simply adding a sweater and some boots. Just like that, I’m able to extend the life of my dresses.
I have a small closet filled with clothes and I haven’t even touched the surface. In my earlier post on Closet Shopping, which you can read here I give insight into how growing up poor contributed to my obsession with clothes.
Although assembling outfits from my existing wardrobe was a useful and fun experience for me, I want to acknowledge I also felt overwhelmed. I only touched about 40-50% of the clothes in my closet. I assembled approximately 25 outfits (not all pictured).
Earlier in the year, I purged a decent amount of clothes after I watched Marie Kondo on Netflix. I did the exercise of purging the clothes that no longer served me and I kept the ones which brought me joy. I think purging should be reevaluated periodically. It’s not a “one and done” activity. What brought me joy 9 months ago, may not be bringing me any joy today. You can apply this to other aspects of your life.
One light lesson as we close 2019 is I need to purge some “things” from my closet.
Namely, I want to let go of these false truths:
- I don’t have enough
- I have to be constantly acquiring stuff to satisfy me
- External things define me
The truths I plan to embody are:
- I am enough
- I have enough
- External and materials things don’t define me
How much time do you spend coordinating your outfits? What’s in your closet that you might need to purge? What are you looking forward to in 2020?