Lately I’ve been shopping a lot. And by lately I mean since I’ve been living on my own. So y’know. Ten years or so.
I blame my parents. They didn’t buy me everything that I wanted growing up, so I had a lot of ground to cover when I got my “grown up” feet on the ground.
Living on a budget growing up turned my sister and me into what my mom now lovingly refers to as “clothes horses.” My sister is dark-featured and Italian looking, able to wear heels with jeans convincingly as her dark curls tumble over her Equipment-draped shoulders. While I got double-dipped in the other end of the complexion gene pool, I have other assets, mainly the superpower of being what my mom used to call “sample size” (I’m going broke on air quotes here). Booblessness (new word? Remember your solar calculator training, Sunflower) and hiplessness make it a breeze to buy clothes online.
tl;dr: I have a lot of clothes.
So, with great power (or whatever) comes great responsibility, and with that comes the occasional shameful (and cathartic) wardrobe purge. And that day was today.
Look I get it. The rage right now is some opposition to the evil that is “fast fashion,” and bloggers everywhere are extolling their collective obsession with the Capsule Wardrobe. That’s not me. I like therealreal.com way too much to commit to one pair of heels for the season. It’s a nice idea, and if it works for you, cheers. But for me, getting my crap to fit in my closet without looking embarrassing is rewarding enough.
Oh, right, you probably want rules. Let’s see.
- If you look at it and say “ugh I have to steam/iron that, and I don’t want to,” then you’re not excited about it. Gone.
- Toms are terrible. Just get rid of them. They look ridiculous and they’re overpriced. I threw out two ill-advised pairs today, and it felt awesome.
- If you look at it and I say, “wow, I forgot I had that,” someone else will probably appreciate it more than you have.
- Get rid of everything from Forever21. There’s a time to stop trying to be 21. For me, it’s age 28.
- You don’t need 8 American Apparel hoodies.
- Or American Apparel cardigans. (I used to work there.)
- If you’ve been waiting for the day to just get rid of shit, like athletic socks that sink down in your shoes when you run, or the pair of jeans whose stretch said “uncle” years ago and you just hate, guess what? Today’s that day!
A few other pointers:
- Be prepared to load the deliverables up and donate them immediately. Nothing says adulthood like finishing what you start, right?
- Don’t try and tackle everything at once (my dresser is another story, folks.) Sometimes you just do what you can, and you give yourself the congratulations you deserve. Yay you!
- Grab a buddy! My boyfriend jumped in on this, too. We had a hilarious afternoon of speculation as to what compelled him to buy so many ill-fitting dress shirts over the years. I’m pretty sure one was actually a women’s shirt.
Capsule wardrobe or just manageability – whatever your goal – never underestimate the impact cleaning out your closet can have on generally un-fucking your brain.