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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Minimalism - in your wardrobe



Now that you've clean you home and your diet, it is time to address the 3rd biggest part of most women's budget... and even some men... and quite possibly the most crowded place in your homes!!!

Your wardrobe!!!!!

Pictures above are typical outfits for me.... and if I had to select a strict dress code to spend the rest of my life with, it would consist of jeans (long and short),  white blouse and t-shirts, cardigans and scarves! Less strict would include a few skirts/dresses, some corduroy pants, velvet items and more colorful tops!

I couldn't have said that years ago... not even 2 years ago... I did not stat my minimalist journey with addressing my wardrobe like most people do...  I started off with my home... and every time I would get to my room, I would clean up my wardrobe... and then fill it up again a few weeks (at first) and then a few months later...  I was REALLY addicted to buying clothes!  I had to get every new trends and colors and sometimes even multiple of the same item in case I wear it out and there is no more...  how silly???  Especially knowing that I had never ever worn anything out.... As it was out of style and discarded way before that! This was then... now I actually wear things out!

Why was I like that?  Well there are a few reasons...

1) As a kid from a single income middle class family with 2 kids going to private school, I could never really dress like I wanted to!  My parents could not afford it... and I understand...  BUT, as soon as I got the impression that I had enough money to buy any clothes I wanted, I started buying clothes... and more and more.... at one point, I was putting anywhere between 300-500$ every other week on my credit card just buying clothes... and I never really made that much money!  And truth is, we could not afford me to buy this much clothes... but there was always a good reason... I was stressed out... I was upset.... I was sick... I really deserved it... I really needed it.... I'd gain weight...  I'd loose weight...  (In any case, all my adult life my weight was pretty stable varying by no more then 20 lbs up and down... nothing requiring immediate clothes buying!) It was on sale and I'd save money! (that was my biggest one!) I was a shopaholic! Period.  Truth be told, I have paid for this a lot in due time.... 

2) I didn't know what my style was... didn't knew who I was...  didn't know myself  and later on wanted to cover up who I was becoming...  in certain occasion and then let it loose on others! Therefore for years I had a full wardrobe of clothes that didn't make sense...  Part of it reflected who I was...  part of it reflected who I wanted to be.... and yet another part reflected who I wanted people to think I was! How silly????? I was a chameleon dresser... dressing like who was around me...  taking fashion tips from magazine, friends, television...  and none of that was really calling me so everything seemed good enough! Fashion has nothing to do with style... it took years for me to understand that!

Then... I discovered Project 333...  and it started to make sense....  it came at a time in my life, about 2 years ago, when most of my life had been minimised and it had help me figure out who I was and who I wanted to be once I grew up!  It also came at a time where my yoga practice had taught me a lot about myself...  the perfect timing was there for me to work on my wardrobe!  And I did.... but I still had not resolve completely my shopaholic issue so it caused me a few more "faux pas"...  however never as huge in number of pieces or money spent as in the past years...

I am now more clear on my style... and it reflects who I am.. whether I am at work or not... practicing yoga, having tea with friends... on my bike...  or walking downtown... you'll recognize me by the way I dress... I dress the way I like and the way that makes me feel comfortable...  I do not like to name tag my style as it is my own and there are really no name tag... but if I must 9for you guys to understand), I would go with something like "urban hippie"... or "boho chic"...  why not: minimalist urban hippie?!? I know not too many scarves in the picture above but I couldn't find a picture of me wearing them... weird!   Since I wear them mostly everyday!

Once you know what your style is, it gets easier to mix and match your wardrobe as all items fit with one another style was.... then you need to make sure color fits too.  You can do so by going with neutral bottoms and colorful tops - sticking to a palette that mix and match together and that scarves can reunite!  You can also go with colorful bottom and neutral tops!  I even know people who are pretty neutral for tops and bottoms and play with accessories... whatever works for you!

The other thing I could suggest to make minimalizing your wardrobe easier would be to actually avoid stores... malls... magazine... fashion show on television...  reality TV... and go with your gut feeling! Then once you have a strong sense of your own style and are no longer a shopaholic (if you are now), you can browse the store for ideas and bargains....  but stay clear of magazine which always make you feel like you look/dress like crap! Always go to the store with a precise list of items you are looking for and stick to it!  Any impulse buy should be returned - this takes discipline... and anything off the list that you love should be put on the list and waited for 24-48 hours!  In most instances, you'll no longer even thing about this new "coup de coeur"!

Now if you are ready, because you have your shopping under control and you know your style... where do you start?

1) Everything that does not fit properly - size, color or style - OUT!
2) Everything you bought more then 5 days ago still with a price tag - OUT!
3) Everything damage that you know you will not fix tomorrow - OUT!
4) Any guilt items (price or sentimental) - OUT!
5) Anything you do not absolutely love and would buy again - OUT!
6) Anything you own in duplicate or triplicate or more - OUT!*

*one exception to that rule could be for example black pants if your job require you wear black pants... and you actually wear all of them. Or jeans if all you bottoms are jeans - obviously, you cannot do with only one pair of pants for a whole week! Right?

Now that you've made room, try everything one last time... and figure out new outfits....  there might me a few orphans items that no longer belong with anything - they are OUT too! You could even take pictures of new outfits so that you can look at them when it is time to dress and if you're afraid you'll forget and end up wearing always the same thing!

One more tip is to look at what % of time is spend doing what...
% time at work
% time out and about
% time doing physical activities
% time spent at home
% time requiring fancy dressing - cocktails etc...

What is the point of having 10 cocktail dresses if you really only go once a month? What is the point of having 10% of your wardrobe with clothes for work if you work 75% of the time???  Your wardrobe distribution should reflect your activities if it cannot blend in as easily as mine. I am lucky enough to really have only one wardrobe but it was not always like that...  it takes imagination... and a lifestyle that allows for it too!

Now that you've clean up your wardrobe, make a list of a few items, if any, that are now missing... and take this list with you next time you're off shopping... Make sure the items listed will go with at least 3 other in your current wardrobe... that they will not create a single outfit!  Everything from now on should be versatile!  In my wardrobe, I have not items that I can wear for a single occasion...  of course, some work related outfits or wedding gown might be but it should not be most of your wardrobe!

Basically, what I am trying to say is that minimalizing my wardrobe was exiting but very hard... it took me years, literally, to get it!  By following those simple tips, it will be easier:

1) Get rid of your shopping addition
2) Find your true self and style
3) Get rid of what no longer suits you (with above rules)
4) Find activity repartition of your time
5) Figure out outfits and take pictures
6) Make a wish list for what is missing

By following those 6 steps in order, you will succeed and get your dream wardrobe!

You'll save time figuring out what to wear... and shopping!  As well as money on clothes that do not suits your life and style!

Any questions???

thanks for reading!
and please share if you like this blog!!!


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