I’ve been thinking a lot about my closet lately.
(Wow, do I sound like a sad person, or what?)
Basically, I have two goals with my wardrobe. 1) I want to look nice, and 2) after I’m dressed for the day – which, ideally, will take me about five minutes or less – I don’t want to think about it again.
As I’ve been more serious about dressing myself over the last eight months or so, taking pictures of what I’m wearing, and generally trying to not look like Ella dressed me, I’ve realized a few things.
- I like a pretty simple wardrobe – I like t-shirts, jeans, easy-to-wear flats and sandals, cardigans, stripes, and a little jewelry. I am not very fancy, and I’m happy with that. I’m going to keep buying things like that.
- It’s time to stop pretending I’m going to wear things in my wardrobe that I’ve never worn. I’ve heard this a million times, but after reading The No-Brainer Wardrobe, I went through my closet RUTHLESSLY. I filled (with the help of Bart’s simultaneous closet purge) three enormous garbage bags of clothing. Things I’ve been holding on to for YEARS and never worn. Things I’d gotten as gifts, but never really worked for me. Maternity clothes someone handed down to me and I never wore when I was pregnant (do I think another pregnancy will magically make me like them after never having ONCE liked them?). I think I still have some things that I’ll end up recognizing at the end of summer that I don’t like or have never actually worn, but it’s huge progress for me. My clothing actually fits easily in my closet now and I’m not sifting through huge stacks of shirts to find the three I actually wear.
- And (and this is the biggest one for me), I don’t really love to sew. I feel like blogging and Pinterest have made me feel like there are so many things I COULD do, but I don’t really love to do them. I’m frustrated when I can’t make things work, I am so highly critical of my own sewing that even something that a stranger would say is acceptable is something I cannot wear because I see all the flaws, and the time, effort, and mess is almost never worth it for me. I don’t mind doing a few quick fixes on things (changing sleeve lengths on sweaters, or pulling in a neckline, for instance), but overall, sewing is not really the most enjoyable use of time for me. I’d rather just buy clothing that I like. I keep thinking of Gretchen Rubin’s words in The Happiness Project where she says that she is going to do the things she likes to do, rather than the things she thinks she should like to do. I’m going to stop saving every item of clothing in the hopes that I’ll find some amazing way to save it, and I’m just going to stop clogging up my closet with projects that make me feel frustrated, pretending I love to sew. Whew, this was such a relief to me.
I can’t say that since I don’t dress absolutely effortlessly every morning, but I do spend far less time, my closet is much cleaner, and I don’t feel guilt about donating Bart’s old dress shirts instead of trying to make them into awesome, I don’t know, skinny jeans or something. And that has been glorious.
For me, it’s just clothing. I don’t want to make it into something much bigger than that.
I’m linking up today with BlogHer’s Life Well Lived series and sweepstakes, and the things they’ve mentioned about how to find your personal style really resonate with me – it should be comfortable, make you happy and confident, and, for heavens sakes, not be things you have to fiddle with and adjust all day long (it’s only taken me 26 years to realize that if I’m fussing with a neckline or a waistband or a tie in the dressing room, it will only be fifteen times worse when I wear it while I go about my normal life).