September 24, 2012

Maximizing a Minimal Wardrobe: The Final Countdown

Hello lovelies! 
We've  made it to the third chapter of our Maximizing a Minimal Wardrobe series- The Final Countdown!! 

 You can dance if you want to. 
So far we have covered the basic benefits of having a wardrobe that works for you and how to avoid making common closet mistakes (no sloppy copy cats 'round here!) in Part One and tips for giving your closet a little S.O.S (Sort. Organize. Sell) help in Part Two
Hopefully you were able to weed out your tiresome wardrobe with ease- I don't do this just for fun you know... wait, yes I do! In fact- wait there!-  I'm on my way over with Moscato and cupcakes and I'll sit on the edge of your bed and look at Pinterest and laugh with you while you clean out your closet!! Later we can learn to fishtail braid and paint chevron stripes on our nails.
 (Wait, is chevron still in? Also, when did chevron start referring to stripes and not a gas station?)
Anyway, I hope you are having fun too! Hooray for organization! Hooray for closets!
Actually,  as long as you aren't a sobbing mess each morning as you attempt to get dressed, I'll count that as a win. You didn't used to cry while getting dressed? Yeah me neither. 
Now that you have pared down your possessions to the things you really only love, wear, use, and enjoy you are ready for your final mission, should you accept: 
Count everything in your closet.*

*minus pajamas, workout clothes, costume items, heirlooms, or jewelry

What    the    beeeep!?
A little but I'm working on that. 
Seriously, this was a huge reality check for me and it's a great way to get a grip on what you have and what you may really only need to still have a closet you love. 
Start by counting your basic tops (1st layer)- tshirts, tanks, blouses, and long sleeve shirts. 
Then shirts (2nd layer): plaid, chambray, button-ups. 
Then count sweaters, cardigans, and light jackets. 
Then count skirts and pants.
Then jeans. Then dresses. Then coats.
Then scarves, belts, purses, and hats.
Then... shoes.
The contents of my former shoe problem collection. Roughly 40 pairs. 
40!! I got it down to a mere 26 a few months ago.

That was just the beginning. 
I counted 49 tops, 24 shirts, 26 sweaters, 13 skirts, 10 pants, 12 pairs of jeans, 25 dresses, 7 coats, about 15 scarves, 8 belts, 6 hats, and 8 purses, 26 pairs of shoes...
for a grand total of:
229 things!

I don't know if there's anything that anyone needs 229 of, but seeing that number after I had de-cluttered my closet was a bit of a shock. 
229 things in my closet,  and nothing to wear. 

After counting my crap, I went back to my Pinterest board and as I scrolled through hundreds of outfit pins I made a list of the general items I saw in each picture. 
Like this:
Striped long sleeve shirt.
White cotton tank top.
Cream blouse.
White t-shirt.
Black cotton dress.
Light color casual dress.
Black pencil skirt.
Khaki skirt.
Doing this helped me not only see patterns in the types of things I was repeatedly drawn to, but I was able to dissect the anatomy of the outfits and realize that most of them were made up of...

different combinations of the same general things
Oh. My. Gosh.

(Let's just say I may or may not have done this at around 5am one morning when I couldn't sleep, so my mind-blowing experience may have been slightly influenced by external factors).
Making this list has been super helpful because I was able to go back to my closet and match my things item to item, rather than trying to recreate an entire look from scratch. It also helped me see what I could use to round-out my wardrobe and create a shopping list for this season.

So guess what I did next... armed with my wardrobe wish-list and list of things I had picked out from Pinterest, I ambushed my closet again and rid it of another 50 things!

Just. Like. That. 
A sweater I held on to since it was "fine", a dress for spring parties that I haven't worn in 3 years... 
 Before I knew it, I had added another sizeable stack to my sell/donate pile. I even got rid of things that were super cute in theory but didn't fit in with the style I was aiming for and I realized holding onto them was making me crazier than if I had just let. them. go
The best part is that in the end,  I have never regretted getting rid of something.
Er, except that time I thought I brought a pair of black heels that were slightly too small for me to a clothing exchange, only to realize the next day that I had given away my brand new pair instead. Womp.
I got them back though,  thank you Ely!! :)

So... Did you count your closet? What was your number?!
Have you ever gotten rid of a piece of clothing that you regretted giving away?
If you all behave I may just surprise you with a few more M.M.W. posts this week!
Who's excited?!?



  1. Blerg, okay, I NEED to do this. I don't know how much crapola I'm hanging onto *just in case* I can fit into it again, but I'm sure it's WAY too much. Also, I still have clothes from high school that I will NEVER wear again, but because they still fit, and maybe SOMEDAY I will wear that ugly flowered dress again...
    No more excuses!

    1. Haha!! Seriously, you are not alone. Clothes are such an emotional part of who we are, our identity, and as sentimental pieces of the past. I have found that doing this series in my own life, step by step, has really helped me to clear away the cobwebs. I hope you find it super helpful and effective for you too!!

  2. Let's spend all our time while you're visiting Redondo Beach sorting through mine and Dad's closets! YAY! I know you'd like to help us so what better way to spend your weekend here while it's 90 degrees by the beach, going through our closets. You're the best Hailey. Love, Mom


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