When we finished our closet renovation last year, and many times since, I get asked, “But are these all of your clothes and shoes?” And I give an enthusiastic YES! There’s no hidden dresser or extra clothes stashed anywhere. It’s not a little bit of clothes by any means but I’m also not a fashion guru (I have one…wait, 2 purses!). I love getting a few fresh pieces every season…especially when I find a good sale. But for me, it’s always been about quality and personality over quantity. I don’t care about wearing the same thing over and over, in fact, my goal is to find pieces I want to wear 100 times.
But for those with an overflowing closet and nothing to wear–here are a few closet rules I live by:
1. I purge after every season. With winter coming to a close, this week, I’m going through my whole closet, focusing on my winter attire mostly, and if I didn’t grab for that sweater or turtleneck or boot at least one time in these last few frigid months–it’s gone. Chances are if I didn’t wear it once in the past 5 months, I probably won’t miss it. And then I even assess the other wintry things that I did wear and see if they still look or feel tired or, I guess, no longer “spark joy” and donate those things too.
2. I never buy more hangers. I’m not going for a minimal wardrobe, or limit myself to a capsule but this is my own version of keeping myself in check. Purging every season helps me keep the amount of clothes I own down, but having a finite number of hangers puts a hard stop to my shopping. A lot of people do a similar system with one in and one out, meaning every time you buy one thing, you get rid of one. This is just my version of that. I don’t do a one in and one out, but I’m not expanding my closet, I don’t have a dresser and I’m not buying more hangers so when I clean out my closet, I get to add more, but if I’m happy with everything in it, there’s no space for more and that’s a good thing, too.
3. I stick to my style uniform. Here’s the thing, I love so many different styles and I’m referring to home styles and clothing styles. But when it comes to clothes, I also know what works for me. I have extra long legs and a normal sized torso. I’ve learned I look best and feel the best in high waist jeans, casual shoes (mostly flats!), neutrals and stripes, button ups and crew neck shirts (a little cropped so my shorter waist isn’t swallowed) are my favorite. I veer more classic and casual (which falls right in line with our home style so that makes sense!) So even if “Sarah” looks impeccable in that large floral jumpsuit, it doesn’t fit into my style code that I’ve defined for myself–so I’m not tempted to purchase it. The same goes if something is on sale, even if it is a really good sale–there’s no chance I’m going to buy it if it’s a bright teal oversized sweatshirt or a cap-sleeved shirt (I just. can’t!). I know what I like to wear and what I feel good in and stick to those things, first and foremost.
4. I launder and store my clothes carefully. Paying attention to care tags on clothes extends the life of my wardrobe by years! Imagine that, ha. Things like turning black jeans inside out and washing them in cold and hanging them upside down to dry keeps them long and not so faded (although I like a little faded these days). Folding sweaters. Washing delicates separately. The best way to keep your wardrobe looking its best and loving what you’re wearing is to show your clothes some love first.
5. Don’t keep clothes that don’t fit you right now in your closet. This is a hard one as a woman because I feel like for the last 10 years, my size has been all over the map as I have had my babies and struggled with an autoimmune condition. But, I’ve learned that keeping my closet stocked only with the clothes that fit me now (and packing away everything else in storage under the bed or in the storage room if it is a temporary weight fluctuation like pregnancy) has helped me feel more positive about myself and more excited about what’s in front of me when I am getting dressed in the mornings. Now that I’m done having children, if something no longer fits me, I donate it or pass it on to a friend. I don’t keep “goal” or “just in case” clothes.
When I love everything in my closet and everything in my closet fits me now and feels like it is reflective of me as a person and a body, I feel like I could conquer the world. At the beginning of 2018 (over a year ago), I made a personal goal to get dressed every morning despite working from home. Slipping on a pair of good jeans and some fun earrings or slides I love has shot my productivity through the roof. I feel awake and confident and prepared for anything. Even the days I don’t see anyone, I feel more like me.
And since we’re rounding out winter and heading into Spring (at last!) below are a few Spring staples I’ve added to my wardrobe recently or are tried and true and still going strong from past years. Clicking on the clothing item, should bring you right to it!