Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Clothes

A friend of mine sent me a link to a new-to-me blog last week. Since we were re-doing our roof, it took me a while to find time to look at it. But once I gave it a peak, I was hooked.

Un-Fancy | A Minimalist Fashion Blog

You may have noticed from my last post, I am on a purging role.

So this blog hit me right at the right time.

I’ve been trying to figure out just the right way to pare down my wardrobe for months and months. I just hadn’t really felt sure-enough on how to go through with it hard and fast -- just taking out bits here and there. And I’ve looked at a few different minimalist blogs which address their wardrobe, but I guess just the way Un-Fancy is laid out finally gave me the breakthrough I needed to really grasp it.

Her blog seems easy to take in. For one thing the blog isn’t even a full year old yet -- and it’s only about the clothes, nothing else --- so it makes it a faster learning experience than some blogs can be. And she breaks it down in really manageable bits of info. After looking at her blog for all of five mins, I was on board.

Her technique is to buy her capsule wardrobes to work for 3 months (with hopes of saving them for the upcoming years to keep from shopping later on) and her budget is (for me) very sizable.
I knew I wouldn’t be doing that.
I knew I already had enough clothes I could pick from to not need to shop.
I needed to remove clothes.
And I don’t necessarily expect my capsules to last from year to year. (We may have more children -- that means lots of clothing sizes-shifting. And my kids will likely get ketchup on my stuff and I’ll kiss those items goodbye after oxiclean gives up on them. You know, that kind of thing. My mom clothes aren’t gonna be going the long haul. Which is one reason why me and the thrift store are such good friends.)

So I downloaded her wardrobe planner and filled it out.
It’s slightly hilarious for me to fill out the pie chart (which is there to help you figure out lifestyle -- aka where you wear clothes, so you know which type you need) As a stay at home mom, it essentially read “HOME!!” (With a sliver that said “Church, grocery store, library.”) But I knew that already. :)

And there is section where she has you write out your fav Brands. Since I wasn’t shopping anything besides what I already own, I used that space differently.
I looked up all the style tips/rules for my body type from a bunch of websites and complied the most useful to me ones and wrote them on that page. That way I could be more objective when trying on my stuff. It helped me have less guilt when ruling items out. I could tell myself “This is just not flattering for you, it’s not going to be helpful having it around.”

Then I took EVERYTHING out of my closet and brought it downstairs.

(Because that way I could still let the girls play and stuff during my purge.) I pulled a full length mirror out of our garage (still haven’t made use of them inside the house, so they are just leaning in there) and got to work.

Basically I started by pulling the favs out first -- stuff I wear as definite go-tos.
Then I set aside everything too summery -- to store.
Then I set aside stuff I felt like would be better for deep winter to store. (This capsule is for 3 months, so in January I can do this again.)
Then I just really had to edit down what was left.
Around this point is where I had some initial hardship.

I’ve pared my closet down A LOT  two different times since moving. (And honestly I’ve been paring down for years -- I used to have a absurd amount. I don’t spend a lot on my clothes, so sometimes it feels like I can have a lot of them.)
One of those times, I went ahead and tried things on, then I used my phone to take a picture of myself from the back.
Ladies, if you’ve never done this -- you might want to consider it. I was shocked at how bad some of my dresses (that looked great from the front) looked -- I mean, super un-flattering from the back. I had to get over some “Woah, how horrible I’ve been wearing this in public” emotions that day!
Example:The black dress makes me look all sorts of good. The red dress, all shorts of squatty and chubby.
It’s just not for my figure at all.
(Thankfully, in the red dress’ case, I had been given this dress (the person got it for free) and I had never worn it, so this one was not hard to see or get rid of. But is a great example of how lines can be your friend or enemy.)

To avoid this back-side fumble in the future, I plan to do these back-side phone photos in the dressing rooms from now on! That over the shoulder glance has been failing me!

Anyway, after doing this paring down process a lot already, I felt kind of crazy taking more out of my closet.
But I knew I wanted to because, I’m just in the mood to have less. Think less, but get more out of it.

And I got some comfort knowing I could just store away off season stuff -- so I’m not going to get rid of those. And I could store away “maybe” items incase I need them later.

I did get rid of some more stuff.
I used my body-type tips to be more honest about what I had in my closet. A lot of those items I never wore because they are cute, but don’t look cute on me. So it was always hard to get rid of them since they were cute, but they just took up space. And they would complicate getting dressed because I would try to think of ways to make them work, but they really are never going to work for me.
Look at ALL those empty hangers -- they used to be FULL!

For me the concept of getting the clothes to mix-and-match color-wise was easy because I’ve been veering more and more towards neutrals for a couple years now. Its just what I’ve been drawn towards. So my color palette is black, white, grey and blue.

It took me all day yesterday to do this project.
I felt kinda lost trying to get the right number of the right items -- but I think it would have all ended up about the same no matter how I mentally processed it -- it kinda just is the way of clothes. Fewer bottoms, more tops, you know?
Doesn’t look like a lot -- but I think it’s gonna feel really vast since I can layer and mix it all up a lot.

But then this morning I got dressed in about 1 minute.

I desperately need to get to the grocery store today, and thus I am out of coffee! So before Blake left for work I ran to a nearby coffee place for sustenance.
So before I left I pondered shoes for a moment.
Going on the “rule” that for short girls you want to elongate legs by not breaking up color for shoes (AND heels are a very good friend!) I threw on my black wedge boots. This process seriously took 30 seconds. But once I put the shoes on I was shocked by how chic I looked. I could have thrown on my chucks and looked college/weekend/cozy/casual. But put on these boots and I felt like I just nailed a Pinterest-street-style-outfit.
And all that happened in 1min and 30 seconds of time because my wardrobe is pared down to good stuff.
And when I got to the coffee shop, I was feeling really confident and happy with my look. I got a lot of “ooo” looks.

So I’m hoping for lots of good and easy dressing to come in these next 3 months of this capsule wardrobe.

I’m personally fine with the idea of still changing the wardrobe up, as long as I’m willing to switch one for one (one in = one out) so I don’t grow the closet again.

I still haven’t really pared down my shoes (but I know my favs) -- I ran out of time before we had a church thing last night.
And I plan on going through my accessories kinda of similarly soon.

I’m just really enjoying less-is-more lately.

So we will see what happens.

I plan on getting the stylebook app (something I learned about from Un-Fancy) to help with my mix-and-match process. (Just because it sounds fun -- not because I’m putting pressure on myself or anything crazy.)

If I feel brave, and find time, maybe I’ll blog more of my outfits and pieces. But you know, I might just not find time. I still have the house to work on too. So…time will tell what I’ll blog for ya.

Thanks for reading when you do! :)
It’s always fun to hang out for a bit.

P.S. If anyone else is in a major purge/minimalism kick zone right now, I’ve signed up for this 31 day clutter free challenge which starts today! (Not sure, if it will work for me, but it sounds fun and it’s free.)


  1. Great info! When I purge my closet it's just kinda random and never fails that there's that one item I will eventually miss. I'm gonna go check out this capsule you talk about. Looking good mama!

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