Last week, I was reminded of the concept of a minimal wardrobe consisting of very, very few pieces. I first learned about it several months ago and was inspired by it, and tallied up my closet total at the time (less than 90 items). I was moved to keep my wardrobe small…and then promptly forgot when it came time to shop for spring/summer.
My reminder last week also led me to The Daily Connoisseur, a blogger who promotes a 10-piece wardrobe in particular, which is not something I knew existed as a “thing” that people do. That’s pretty amazing! I watched her videos and, once again, felt inspired to do something similar. I promptly filled five large trash bags with clothing. All my supposed “favorites” that are now too far big for me. The items I was keeping because I thought I’d still want to wear them if I ever went up five sizes again. Well, listen. I went through those items again with fresh eyes and only 10 pieces passed the test! I don’t even know why I had kept so much (I had already donated 70% as soon as I’d lost the weight. I had an enormous wardrobe before.) Really and truly, I will never gain that weight back, so there was just no reason to hold onto so much.
I also filled one bag with current clothing that still fits. Items that I felt too guilty to get rid of because they are new as of last summer, fall, and winter. But they are items that I avoided wearing or guilted myself into wearing. Every time I read anything about purging clothes, I immediately thought of those pieces. They were either fussy to launder, weren’t really my style, or didn’t fit quite right. The style thing was a big issue for me, because I started to experiment a lot with this trimmer body. I finally got to wear trends that I’ve always wanted to try, only to discover that I love them on others, but they are not “me.” The laundry thing is just as big; if it’s fussy, I don’t wear it because I don’t want to launder it. I’ve finally admitted that tissue-weight sweaters are my nemesis.
With six donation bags filling my car, I was on fire! On my way to a 10-item wardrobe. Except for the problem that I just stocked up on spring/summer a couple of weeks ago. Gluttony! I thought that maybe I’d focus on purging a few more items and seeing if I could get the number down, but not necessarily to 10. Excited about this idea, I talked to my husband about it. 10 pieces! Can you imagine? How great would it be if I, a shopaholic, could get down to 10 or even 20?
…And the axe fell.
Readers, my husband is so wise. He doesn’t even like to shop, so I don’t know how he is able to tune in so well to my problem.
He casually asked if my desire to have a small wardrobe would mean a desire for a perfect wardrobe.
Oh. Shoot. He was right — if I’m only going to have one blouse, it needs to be perfect. If I’m only going to have one pair of jeans, they need to be the perfect pair. I know all too well what the search for perfection means for me…
Endless amounts of shopping and research. Hours and hours of adding to my wishlist. Repeated retail excursions. Larger budgets for fewer items. Buy-return-buy cycles.
He knows me so well.
Deflated, I realized that a 10-piece wardrobe is not in my immediate future. I am, however, going to work on an intentional wardrobe. I’m going to note what I wear this season and what I don’t. I’m going to “let” myself repeat outfits and pairings, something I usually avoid because I think it will be noticed by others. If there are things that I’m not wearing, they’ll go into a holding area. I’m going to let my favorites emerge, and favor them.
(Can I just add here that three of my favorite tops are at least 5-10 years old?? I’ve had them a long time and still love them. Thankfully they made it through my heaviest weights and are still fine. Miracle fabric, I tell you.)
I’m just as excited about this idea as I was about a 10-item wardrobe. Now, to start!