Mrs. Less Is More

April 20, 2015

My style approach has drastically changed in the past year or so as a result of embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. The changes have come slowly, but each step Craig and I take in that direction makes us feel liberated. So, when I applied the minimalist approach to my closet, I saw that - like most people - I had a TON of clothes that I didn't wear. They either didn't fit properly (or at all), I didn't like them, or they didn't work with my lifestyle.

If you're like me and struggle with keeping things simple, this post is for you.

Here's how I whittled my closet down to just two rolling racks and why it has changed my life.

Have you ever felt jealous of how guys get ready super fast, and are able to have more time to relax, or do stuff while you're angrily trying on six different outfits?! Yeah, this practically solves that problem... no lie! I have found the key that magically unlocks the door to being that cool, chill girl you've always wanted to be.

Save yourself time, money, energy and most of all, keep from getting in a tizzy err' day!
Most of us minimize the impact our getting ready process has on our day and our mood. It's usually how we start our day and end it, when we're most tired and emotionally vulnerable. My clothes weren't adding something good to my life, so I needed a change.

My closet mocked me - like I was the one that needed a transformation, not the other way around. I had ALL THIS STUFF, but nothing to wear. I realized that I had been shopping for the life I wanted, rather than the life I had.

The idea of plentitude is a basic human desire. There is nothing that we love more than a stock pile of things. "More is more!", they say. But we live in a world where most anything is at our fingertips and most of us have never missed a meal, or a shower, or slept out in the cold - unless we went camping and forgot our tents. This constant need to shop for clothes is a knee-jerk reaction for some of us that then forms into a habit, a hobby, or a pastime. Although sometimes it is rewarding and fun to shop, it is also exhausting, time consuming and expensive. If you're like me, and your time and money are scarce, then let go of this urge to have a giant closet full of clothes. Let's simplify things.

Ideas you should let go of:
- More is more
- My closet has so much in it, which makes me feel rich and impresses my friends
- Shopping is entertainment (unless you have tons of disposable income)
- I cannot wear something twice in the same week
- If my wardrobe is small, then I won't have what I need, and I'll feel meager
- This is on sale, so I should get it!

Think quality over quantity. If you own a couple of white t-shirts, then own the best white t-shirts you can afford. Purchase a few pairs of jeans that are AWESOME, rather than ten sucky pairs.

It sounds counterintuitive to get rid of stuff when your main problem is that you have nothing to wear, but it works because you get rid of the noise - the over stimulation of your current closet situation so that you can think straight. Clear out the junk! Breathe!

You may say "But if I get rid of everything I don't wear, then I'll have almost nothing left!!" Exactly. You already don't have anything to wear, so why not get rid of the stand-ins - the faux wardrobe you have, and make something that actually works. By narrowing down, you learn more about what you truly like to wear on a day-to-day. You may find (as I did) that your closet doesn't represent what you really like.

A good way to get started is to pull out things that you know you never wear, or you don't like. Put them in large trash bags to donate - or consign, but remember, the easier you make this on yourself, the more likely you are to actually do it. Then, with the things that you're on the fence about, try them on, take a cell phone picture of yourself in it. Ask yourself, "when was the last time I wore this?" If that still doesn't help you reach a conclusion, take a post it note, write today's date on it and pin it on the garment. If you haven't worn it in a month, then most likely it's time to let it go. This applies to seasonally relevant items. Store the other items somewhere, or put them in the back of your closet out of your way until that next season rolls around.

Once you've narrowed things, start asking yourself questions like: What are my favorite fabrics? Which cuts do I love/hate? What colors do I love to wear?

photos//Claire Baugh

For me, it is definitely still a work in progress, but now I shop for clothes with purpose, which saves me so much time and money. Money that I can use for things that I love to do or help me reach a goal. Time, because I get ready way faster so I have more time to enjoy my life. Find freedom in simplicity and don't be surprised if this approach spills over into every other aspect of your life.

My current fav places to shop:
H+M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, ASOS, Target, Thrift Shops, Old Navy

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