Here’s What I Learned
Earlier this year Rye and I moved in together and it brought on a lot of changes, one of those was to my closet. I was now going from two big closets all to my self down to one tiny shared closet. Let me just say, I never knew how many items of clothing I had until I faced shoving it all into an eighth of the size space. Seeing as the closet was not going to get any bigger, I had to make my wardrobe smaller (or at least stop it from growing). So I decided to stop buying clothes for 2 months (a feat that proved harder than I thought), here is what I learned.
- It is Extremely Hard to Curb an 18+ Year Shopping Addiction. It became obvious to me very early on that I actually had a problem with how much I buy and how often I shop when it comes to clothing. 2 months, in theory, should not be a ridiculous amount of time to go without buying new clothes. The time frame did not span any new seasons and it even included February, the shortest month. But it was hard, I had to make a conscious effort to stop myself shopping online and I physically had to stay away from stores. Clearly, years of “unconscious” purchases (as I am calling them) did their damage on mindless spending and my “need” for new clothes.
- I Spent a lot of Money on Clothing. Having now come out the other end of the 2 months it was clear how much more I saved from not buying new clothes every week. On average I was spending at least $100 a week on new clothes, which honestly is completely ridiculous and the saved money has now let me afford other more exciting things (more to come on this later).
- You Learn to Love What You Own. Now that I didn’t have new items coming into my wardrobe every single week, I was stuck with picking from what I already had. This gave me a new love for items I had forgotten about and a renewed appreciation for my tried and true items. It also helped me to shop my own closet and narrow in on what my true style actually is, not just the “in fashion” thing for the month.
- And Get Rid of What You Don’t. Because I was downsizing my closet space, I also decided that I needed to get rid of some of my clothing, or at least separate it into seasonal use. I was actually surprised at how good it felt to no longer be burdened by such a huge closet and instead be selling the clothes I never wear (some spare cash is always an added bonus). Now I’m actually happy to know the clothes will get used by someone who will appreciate them instead of collecting dust in my own closet.
- No One is Perfect. While I was successful at not buying clothing and selling off a lot of items, I was not as successful at downsizing my dress collection. There is no doubt in my mind or anyone else’s mind for that matter. that I have far too many dresses. I blame my mom for never letting me buy the adorable spring dresses when I was a kid because she is logical and knew that I did not need them… why did I not inherit that dress logic. When it came to parting with my dress collection, I was less than perfect; getting rid of only a few in my 30+ (40+?) collection. But hey it’s a start.
- Creativity in Outfits is Key. Now with a significantly reduced wardrobe, I have been faced with the task of creating new exciting outfits. This to me has been the most fun part of the process because it has challenged me to create versatility within a limited number of pieces and be more adventurous with how I wear them. New items are easy to style, old ones take some thinking (unless you always want to wear them the same way).
- Personal Style Tops All. Trendy items are just that, trendy, they go out of season and are often not well made (especially those from fast fashion stores). I will be the first to admit that I love jumping on the odd trend here and there, but creating and refining a long lasting style with quality pieces is far better and even more important (or at least I believe now). It creates individuality and an expression of who you are (my favorite thing about fashion), without jumping on something because it is “in-style”. This may have been my favorite thing I learned in the entire process and worked/will continue to work towards achieving.
- Side Note: If there is a trend I absolutely love and is aligned with my style then you can bet I will be right there testing it out!
- Minimalist Closets are Easier Than They Seem. And they are attainable. Having a capsule wardrobe would be absolutely AMAZING, but right now I am just not ready to part with all the items needed to achieve that. I do, however, now have a lot smaller of a wardrobe and am in the process of taking baby steps to reduce it further. I will be the first to say I never thought I would stop buying clothes and part with so many items, but here I am and it feels good. It is also a lot easier to choose what to wear in the morning when I am not walking between two separate closets sifting through clothing.
Overall not buying anything for 2 months was a great experience. I learned a lot, not only about myself and my shopping trends but also what it takes to actually achieve a minimal wardrobe. Will I stop shopping forever? No, I won’t, but I will start being more conscious of what I buy. Going forward I will choose items that I will love long-term and not the items that I get one or two uses out of before they end up in the back of my closet. I am going to opt for quality items over quantity and ya if there is a crazy trend that matches my personal style then I’ll be right there. But no more mindless shopping, especially because my closet space cannot afford the items.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe or a minimalist closet? What are some of your tips for downsizing or things you’ve learned from moving to a more minimalist wardrobe?