“I have nothing to wear!” I complained a few weeks ago, a statement commonly made by women in the western world. I had recently re-downloaded Instagram and immediately felt the need to be trendy. It’s funny, the reason I deleted it in the first place was so that I wouldn’t compare myself with women in the fitness world. Now I’d moved past that and was comparing myself to women in the fashion world. I’ve always had an interesting sense of fashion. I wore neon colored pants in middle school, a plethora of flashy beads in high school, and in college, I started replicating 70’s fashion. The point is though, that I have always followed the beat of my own drum. I have not dedicated my life to being stylish. So why would I expect myself to be on par with the women who breathe fashion? We are so saturated with content that it is hard to avoid comparisons.
What I really needed was a change of mindset. I did have clothes, but a lot of them had defects like missing buttons or holes. Or I had clothes that were inappropriate to wear to work (since I don’t wear bras). I had clothes that I mostly just wore to bed because I couldn’t bear to donate that “Made it to the Top of Half Dome” t-shirt. I had clothes that I would only be able to wear to a midnight soiree. (And how often do those happen?) I had pants that could only be worn with one of my shirts since the patterns were too fun (crazy?). Some of my clothes I wouldn’t want to wear simply because it was wrinkled.
What I truly needed was to take better care of my clothes and to invest in quality clothing. Not a fast-fashion, five dollar t-shirt from Forever 21. My mindset and closet needed a reset. And yes, I needed some new clothes, but not in the way that I had initially thought…
So what did I do to tackle this problem? I started by getting rid of anything that was damaged, or unworn. I filled two bags full of clothing and looked back in my closet. Then came the hard part: to get rid of beautiful clothes that I could hardly wear on a normal occasion or items with a story that I never wore. After I dragged myself to do this, my closet looked cleansed. It’s funny how the solution to not having anything to wear was actually to get rid of more clothes.
Then I made a list of every item in my closet. I listed them by category: outerwear, pants, blouses, tanks, etc. When I had finished logging everything, I organized them in the closet into their particular group. Long sleeves were together in the closet, skirts together, etc.
Finally, I looked at what I REALLY, truly needed and what I had a lot of. For example, I noticed I needed a few blouses for work and a belt, but I did not need another sweater or dress. I made notes of the items I actually needed and then decided to only purchase quality items that would match with other items already in my closet. And then came the fun part- shopping!
Actually it wasn’t that fun because I had to spend money and because most fitting rooms are actually closed right now thanks to COVID. BUT I made it work and got what I needed. I realized that I DO have clothes to wear and that I didn’t need to do the extreme minimalist wardrobe thing either. I realized I have some goals now when it comes to clothes. For one, I am going to aim to take much better care of my clothes. My old clothes were damaged due to my own negligence. I could have easily preserved certain items if I had been more intentional while cleaning them. Secondly, I am aiming to limit the amount of trendy items I buy. These pieces rarely get worn after the fad is over. I am aiming to stick to the classics.
Currently, I wear a different outfit every day, but I repeat it each week. The lack of “trendiness” doesn’t matter to me too much anymore though. Some of the most successful people in the world wear the same things every week! Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg and Albert Einstein all wore the same outfit pretty much everyday! They were able to save mental energy and get right to changing the world. Now I probably won’t be doing much world-changing, but it has been nice saving that mental energy to have an extra five minutes in the morning to read or eat another piece of toast!