Do you have a closet packed with clothes? A stuffed shoe rack, an extra dresser, an overflowing coat hanger, an underwear bin, whose contents are a mystery to you and additional storage containers with clothes in your basement? Then you are pretty much me, about one and a half years ago.
I had a crazy amount of clothes, but felt like I had nothing to wear.
Looking at my clothes I felt overwhelmed. I also was missing a sense of self in the piles of fabrics before me. Every season I would buy "great deals", follow a few new trends that I was intrigued by and spend a lot of money on a lot of clothing items.
Before I went to a party I would try on at least five different outfits, leaving my bedroom a complete mess. I had a lot of fantastic clothes in my wardrobe. But fantastic for who? I held on to jeans that hadn't fit right for ages and T-shirts that seemingly held emotional value.
I fell into the emotional trap a few times before, thinking that shopping will make feel better about stress, a bad break-up, or just a bad day. The joy, was always only temporary.
I felt frustrated, that none of my clothes seemed to actually go together and if you asked me what my "personal style" was I had no idea.
Also, I was not completely oblivious to the world. I knew about the horrible conditions in clothing factories, child labor, harsh chemicals and dyes and other issues. However, with a limited budget of a college student, and an unlimited taste for shopping it was simply easier to keep up a facade of ignorance. Ignorance is bliss, after all. However, my subconscious never felt all that happy about the cheap items on hangers, that still had the price tags on, even though I had purchased them months ago.
When it was time to move overseas and with my little girl on the way I knew it was time to change. I de-cluttered my wardrobe quite a bit before the big move, however still holding on to items, because I was thinking "well, after pregnancy...". Well, after pregnancy, my body was completely different, so was my lifestyle and my taste. So I started reading about "capsule wardrobes" and narrowed my wardrobe down to four bins of seasonal items. Not bad for a start, really. I guess I was too scared, to cut back even more at the time.
Four seasons have passed since then and I finally had the courage to go bare. Bare in the sense of complete honesty to myself; what I feel good about; what I love to wear everyday, no matter what the trend, no matter what the general taste dictates. "Men don't find boyfriend jeans sexy" - well, too bad, because I love them. And if I feel truly great in my jeans, that will surely radiate to the world and I will look sexier, then in a pair of jeans, that I feel uncomfortable in. On a side note, me and my husband are in this together. We are both building a new, sustainable wardrobe from the ground up and we share our feelings about single items, but also respect the comfort and personal taste of the one another.
I also went bare in the literal sense. I got rid of the seasonal boxes, and got rid of even more clothes. I have started to put together an all-season minimalist wardrobe, that I can love. One that is filled with clothing items I feel good about. I want to feel great about how they fit and feel when I wear them. But also (and equally important) I want to feel good about where they came from, how they were made, who made them, and how choosing these items help me to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
My minimalist wardrobe is not about judgement. I will not judge anyone for buying a $5 tee at H&M, when in fact, they will love that tee and wear it all the time. You will still see me in department stores, browsing, looking and possibly buying. My minimalist wardrobe is about finding the best solution for me and maybe you - and to keep our ecological footprint in mind, while keeping our personal style in tact.
In the following posts I will share my whole experience with you. Starting with how to strip down your closet, followed by how to define your style and build a small wardrobe, all the way to "unshopping" and how to find great eco-friendly brands.
So here, in short, are my reasons; my mantras (if you will) for my minimalist wardrobe:
be true to myself.
feel comfortable in my clothes.
de-stress my mornings.
easily pack for my travels.
be part of change.
but more intentional.
a happy, purposeful life.