A Primer to Simplifying Your Wardrobe

A Primer for Simplifying Your Wardrobe - by Little Bits of GranolaAbout 3 months ago, I got fed up with my massive amount of clothes and have decided to make a change.  I’ve decided that I need to simplify my wardrobe and cultivate a more long-lasting style (rather than a highly trendy style).  The thing is, the pressure of being “in-style” and the consumerism that fast fashion promotes makes me quite uncomfortable.  So I’ve been doing lots of research, reading, and becoming inspired by the ideas and methods of others, trying to figure out how to simplify my wardrobe in a way that works for me.  I want to share my simplified wardrobe journey with you and I’m going to start by sharing some pretty inspiring and encouraging resources I have found.

The 40 Hanger Closet

This is the article that really got me going.  Ruth of Living Well Spending Less scaled down her closet to only 40 hangers in an attempt to bring order and organization to her closet.  She does have clothing items in drawers and on shelves that do not count toward that 40 and she changes her wardrobe out with other pieces.  So she is not limited to 40 clothing items total; that is just what she keeps on hangers in her closet. (Read about her process and see before and after pics of her closet here).

What hooked me about this idea is the organization it brings to her closet.  Seeing an organized space brings me calm.  Searching for things, sifting and sorting through piles, all of that makes me crazy.  And it is so frustrating to find something and think “I forgot I had this!” because it didn’t have a proper home (or it wasn’t in its proper home).  I know, very Type-A of me.

The other thing that draws me to the idea of minimizing the number of clothing items allowed in my closet is that it will make me much more cognizant of my purchases and consumption.  I can’t tell you how many solid color tank-tops I own just because when they are on sale I figure I might as well get a few since they can be worn in so many ways.  But do I really need a closetful?  Nope.  And only allowing myself a certain number of clothing items in my closet suddenly makes closet space prime real estate that I’m not going to give to just any piece of clothing.

Project 333

This is a wardrobe challenge that asks participants to use a wardrobe of only 33 items for 3 months.  That is 33 items total – clothing, accessories, shoes, outerwear.  Everything.  There are some freebies (clothing and accessory items that do not have to count toward your 33):  your wedding ring or other jewelry that you never take off, undergarments, sleepwear, loungewear that you don’t leave the house in, and workout clothing which can only be worn to work out in.  This is a real challenge when you think about it; especially if you have a few different “modes” you have to dress for (i.e. work mode, mom mode, going-out mode, etc.)  You change out your wardrobe every 3 months, which coincides with the seasons nicely.  I think the most intriguing thing about this challenge is that it is just that – a challenge.  It pushes me to really change the way I think about my style and wardrobe.  The Project 333 website is full of wonderful tips on getting started and keeping with it.  I recommend starting with this page when you visit the Project 333 site.

Slow Fashion

I came across this while searching the web for earth-friendly fashion ideas.  Finding this warmed my heart.  You mean there are people who think it’s cool to NOT buy into the 6-week trend cycle of conventional (fast) fashion?  Yay! I’m not just an unstylish bum!!!  The mission of Slow Fashioned is to

“Educate, inspire, and influence change in the fashion industry by encouraging consumers to slow down and make more conscious consumption decisions.”

This website is more about inspiration than instruction.  The other two will give you some tactical advice, and this one will help you feel great about the journey.

I have actually begun paring down my wardrobe already.  I completely emptied my closet (I do best when starting with a blank slate) and started adding things back in one piece of clothing at a time to build a summer wardrobe.  As this process evolves, I will share with you my lessons and tips.  I hope this inspires you to have a more simplified and consciously built wardrobe that highlights and makes you feel great about your own personal style.

Linked up at Savvy Southern Style and Living Well Spending Less.

Looking for more on how to simplify your wardrobe?  Curious about cultivating your own personal style?  Check out my series A New Way to Declutter Your Closet {and cultivate your own personal style} Parts One, Two, Three, and Four.


6 thoughts on “A Primer to Simplifying Your Wardrobe

  1. Bravo! Stepping away from clothes hoarding can be surprisingly difficult. Thank you for pointing out different methods—I never realized that I could have a support system for my clothes habit. I moved around a lot in my early twenties and ended up leaving tote after tote of clothing at my mother’s and just never got around to retrieving them, but for years, I said nay to her going through and reselling or donating them. Only recently did I take a step back and realize that if I’ve lived without it for 2 years, I don’t need it. Except the cute dresses. I want those.

    1. It really is surprisingly difficult! I rationalize keeping things in every way imaginable, but my go-to excuse is that if I ever need that {insert clothing item I haven’t worn in over a year}, I’ll be glad I kept it so I don’t have to buy a new one. But you’re right – if I haven’t worn it in a couple of years, I don’t really need it. And yes, the cute dresses are probably the hardest to let go!

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