Even a quick glance at my wardrobe tells me I’ve bought too many clothes, and specifically I’ve bought too many that I either no longer wear or never wore.
Case in point: I bought a pair of three-quarter pants for my holiday earlier this year. They’re a colour I like (navy blue), they’re comfy (so very comfy) but they have a lacy trim at the hems of the legs that’s just not me. I bought them specifically for the comfy factor for a week-long holiday but at home? I’m never wearing them outside the house and I had some other less-holidayish pants I could have packed instead.
This led me to my second challenge: no buying clothes for a year.
For this one, the rules are pretty straight forward, I thought. I had considered myself done at just the two rules for this particular challenge but my realisation about the Holiday Pants has led me to add another item to this 12-month clothes buying ban: define my style and shop to it. I need to be clear in my head about what I will actually wear long-term (not what’s good for the moment) and shop accordingly, even if it takes longer to find what I need.
- No new clothes (except some black work pants and underwear/socks, as needed)
- Clean out my wardrobe, drawers and winter storage to get rid of things that don’t fit, I’m never wearing, are really just rags.
- Define my style so that when the year is up, I can assess any purchases against what I know I will wear.
- Reclaim my wardrobe*.
This first month of the clothes challenge has brought to front and centre how impulsively I shop, and which friends are unknowingly the worst people with whom I can stroll through a retail store. I was very close to trying on a funky (yes, I know, I’m old) denim jacket but two things stopped me. The first was that I obviously could not buy it, and the second was that I just wouldn’t wear it enough to make it a worthwhile purchase.
It would have been too much denim if worn with my jeans, so that’s a no for casual occasions and it really wasn’t office wear, even though it would have looked great with black pants. Given that’s more than 80% of “awake and not in the house” time considered, the jacket was a quite firm “no”.
I did, however, have a fail over the weekend. I bought two cloth hats at one of my local craft & food markets. They are gorgeous and practical, as I rarely leave the house without a hat. I bought them directly from the person who made them (from vintage fabric no less) and both fold up in my bag and reappear none the worse for wear! #lovethem They weren’t on the list but I know I will get many years of wear.
It also turns out I have to face the fact I am a bit of a hoarder of more than books. I have a suitcase full of winter coats and clothes, and my collection of winter jackets takes up some prime real estate in my wardrobe.
I moved to Brisbane almost a year ago from somewhere cooler so I’m not sure I am going to be needing those jackets in the near future but I do love them. Still, I need that space back. I don’t necessarily want to fill it but I would like to look in the wardrobe and not see everything all crammed in together.
*A bit extra
Reflecting on my (lack of) wardrobe space I realise there needs to be a decluttering element to all my challenges this year. I need to let go of books I no longer read or refer to as part of that challenge and for this clothes challenge, I want to reclaim my wardrobe.
At the moment, none of my clothes have space to breathe, the bottom is full of storage boxes (some of which have no good reason to be in the wardrobe, apart from a lack of space elsewhere) and I’m definitely holding onto hats I am unlikely to wear again. And those storage boxes mean there’s no room for all my suitcases in there and quite frankly, that’s where they should live.
Good thing I’ve given myself a year for this.