Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wardrobe Triage

From Stuff No One Told Me (http://www.snotm.com/) by Alex Noriega
I have been in a bit of a rut lately, with nothing exciting to share. Alex Noriega must be feeling the same way, because he posted the cartoon above. I always feel better about being disinclined to get anything done when I look around and see all three pets sound asleep and looking pretty pleased about it.

I wanted to get something done today, so I did a tiny bit of decluttering work on my wardrobe. Today is laundry day, which I think is a great time to get rid of clothes. There is a famous expression that describes me perfectly- "Most women wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time." Waiting until laundry day means that the clothes I wear most often are in the hamper and I can look critically at what's left over and decide if I really need it.

The big lesson I learned this year is that you don't need as many of anything as you think. I changed bra sizes and I survived for months with five bras. I only have four pairs of jeans: two for every day, one dressy pair, and one white pair. I only need enough scrubs to make it through 7 work days (two weeks for me), and none of my co-workers cares if I wear the same sets over and over.

I also learned (from my pal Isaac Mizrahi) that it's worth it to invest in your clothing purchases, and you can accomplish it by buying fewer items of better quality.  I used to be very reluctant to spend more than about $40 for any one article of clothing, but after I read How to Have Style I really revised that opinion. I love my Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses, I can dance in my Sofft gladiator sandals all night without blisters, and my inc maxi dress totally turns heads.

Honestly, I still own more clothes than I need, and I still spend most of my days in overly casual mode. Thank goodness I live in literally the most casual place on the planet, so it kind of works. But in case you were looking for some advice, here are my favorite wardrobe resources:

Style on a Shoestring: Develop your Cents of Style and Look Like a Million Without Spending a Fortune by Andy Paige.  If you are looking for a primer on creating a wardrobe, this book is fantastic. It contains tons of great information about shopping, fit, and how to look great every day.

Scaling Down: Living Large in a Smaller Space by Marj Decker and Judi Culbertson. This is not a wardrobe book, but it does give some tips on deciding what to keep and what to toss from your closet. It also introduces the concept of "clutter triage," in which you walk through your house, pick up everything you can easily part with, and get rid of it. I triage my closet every few months (including today), and I always find things I can live without.

Wardrobe Oxygen, a blog by Alison Gary. I am personally attracted to this site because Allie and I have similar body proportions, which means I could theoretically just copy her outfits. She lives in the D.C. area, so we probably wouldn't run into each other. I particularly like this post because it can help you identify wardrobe gaps.

Thanks to some of these resources and a little effort, I am always able to close my dresser drawers and I have more hangers than articles of clothing in my closet. I am not the best dressed girl in the room, but I am never the worst dressed either (I think). I am happy to be appropriate for the occasion, not trapped in my college wear, and not living under the impression that I am a size smaller than I actually am.

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and if you are looking for a small accomplishment, try clearing some of those monsters out of your closet!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the mention! It sounds like you have had a really great style journey, creating a wardrobe that works for you and your wardrobe! And I love how you call them monsters in your closet - such an appropriate term. :)


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