I spent the last year editing my closet. After my huge Konmari-motivated clear out last fall, I put aside some pieces that I wasn’t sure about. I figured that if after a year or so, I hadn’t touched or worn or even thought about any of those clothing items, then it was time for them to go. Meanwhile, I dabbled with capsule wardrobes, even creating my own 37 piece capsule wardrobe for the winter of 2015/2016. I realized I had no business casual clothes so I worked on building a professional capsule wardrobe, eventually nailing it when I realized that I had managed to curate a work wardrobe that allowed me to dress the part for my job.
All of this culling and curating for my wardrobe is approximately 110 percent more time and effort than I spent on my clothes, ever. Which is probably why my closet needed such an overhaul in the first place.
But now that it’s all said and done, I can safely say that having a curated closet is one of the best things I’ve done for myself in 2016.
I’m much more content with my wardrobe than I ever was before. I no longer look at my closet and despair that I have “nothing to wear.” I may have trouble deciding what to wear on certain days, but that’s a different cry than exclaiming I have nothing usable at all in my closet.
I’m more mindful of my purchases. I have zero legitimate need for, say, boots of any type since I have quite a few pairs. So I stay away from all stores and mailing lists that may tempt me into buying a pair I only want, but not need. I shop the sales critically whenever I have a gap to fill in my closet, rather than mindlessly browse the sale to justify filling a need that didn’t exist pre-sales browse.
I’m okay with spending more money on, say, a trench coat than I would have before. I know I can wear it in the fall and spring and that it’ll last me at least several years, unlike my old one which fell apart after a season. I try to purchase real leather whenever possible as the faux stuff makes me sweaty, feels less comfortable, and has less durability. I’m not a brand name snob by any means, but I can’t remember the last time I set foot in a Forever 21.
I’m far more aware of what works for me, and what doesn’t. For example, I have several of the same pencil skirt in neutral colors for work. Pencil skirts are a work staple, and neutral work bottoms are my jam because they’ll match with anything I pair it with. I stay away from most things with patterns because I’m a much bigger fan of items in solid colors.
I’m cognizant of my body, its shape, and what flatters me the best. I know my sizes in my go-to stores, and can blissfully order online from those places with little to no risk. Until I lose the pounds I’ve been talking about losing for the last two or so years, my body at its current size is what I have to work with. And that’s fine! Clothes are automatically more flattering on anyone when they’re in the correct size, anyway.
I’m learning about ethically made brands and sustainable industry practices. While my wallet is not as deep enough as I need it to be to have a 100 percent ethically and sustainably curated wardrobe, it’s something I hope to work towards in the future. In the meantime, I’m settling for recognizing the need to be more responsible in general with my wardrobe (and in life).
I’m comfortable parting with what I know does not work for me. I don’t hold onto clothes or shoes or bags that will just sit around and take up space. I can’t afford to be sentimental about things I no longer care about. I parted with four trash bags this latest round of fall cleaning, and when I look at my closet now, there’s not a single item I’m on the fence about or want to get rid of altogether.
Most of all, I’m embracing the joy of a curated closet. Now that my wardrobe is in tip top shape, I have newfound peace of mind. And that alone is worth the time, effort, and money I put into cultivating my wardrobe in the last year.