Slow & Steady Minimalism
I've realized recently that I've been moving very slowly in the direction of intentionality. Oftentimes, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. I declutter, I acquire, I re-evaluate. It's really easy to fall back into the trap of overconsumption and to make mistakes.
I was recently doing a "slow and steady" closet declutter. Instead of a massive purge, reducing the clothing count by 50% - I really went throw things slowly and intentionally. The process took several days. I re-evaluated my lifestyle currently and looked to see if my wardrobe was meeting my needs. For example, I needed clothes & outfits to work in the following categories:
WFH: 4x a week
In office: 1x a week (potentially increasing soon)
Going out casually: 2x a week
Working out: 3-5x a week
Formal: nothing on the horizon, but I blocked off 2-3 options that I can rotate
With these categories in mind, I was able to look at my clothes and see what made sense, what I'll actually wear in each scenario and what seemed like more than enough (the areas I could declutter).
Anything that I was on the fence about - I wore for a day. The first hurdle is creating an outfit with the "maybe" item: something that is my style, comfortable and fits my lifestyle categories. By doing this, I was able to easily decide if the item was a yes or no. If I couldn't make an outfit and if I didn't commit to wearing it for the entire day - it was way easier to let go of it, because I had given the item a chance to "prove itself".
I ended up decluttering a little over 10% of my wardrobe and then put 3-4 items in a longer "quarantine" pile. These were items that didn't fit and there was 1 item that I had an emotional attachment to. I've placed them in the back of my drawer and the idea is, with time, letting them go will become easier. Or - maybe I'll fit back into it or just decide to wear it again. I made sure there wasn't a lot of clothes in this category because I don't want to store a bunch of maybes - but a handful is fine. Sometime letting go is hard! There's no pressure to make decisions right away, and I gave myself permission to take my time reconsidering these items.
One major thing I noticed is that there is a real lack of "cohesion" between my tops and my bottoms. Especially with the idea of returning to the office on the horizon. I have a lot of very flowy, loose tops that don't tuck in or pair well with my work pants (which require a more fitted top to be proportionate). That's definitely something I'll consider when shopping intentionally in the future, but since we are moving into warmer weather - I think it can wait until Fall starts approaching. I have probably a few too many dresses, but I decided to keep most of them since 'tis the season! At the end of Summer, I'll be re-evaluating and deciding what to keep based on the versatility of them all.
I want to make sure the items I bring in to my wardrobe work for most of my lifestyle categories and can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. Hopefully, that means I can reduce further over time because of the versatility.
Why reduce further? I'm comfortable with the number of items I own currently, but I also want getting dressed in the morning to be really simple - like I can be on autopilot. I have a "uniform" everyday makeup look and it really simplifies that aspect of my morning - I know what I'll do and I have 2 eyeshadow palettes to choose from. I want my wardrobe to be the same - knowing that no matter what I pick, I'll be pleased with the outcome. Although, that being said, I do still like playing around with style, so I don't think I'll ever simplify to a true "uniform" or an ultra-simplified closet.
I hope April has treated you well. What's been on your mind?