Thursday, September 13, 2012

Simplifying the Wardrobe

Princess Leia had only 1 dress color, style and harido.  How much simpler can you get?

I love having less clothes in my closet and wearing them on a weekly and monthly basis.  It's so much easier to figure out what to wear in the morning when I don't have to weed through hangers of the clothes of my past dreams, past lives, and even future hopes.  It's just stuff that I love to wear.  But it wasn't always that way.

Newly married and just out of college, I tried hard to have a closet full of clothes that would reflect me and the latest trends.  But we couldn't afford to buy much or store much.  And then I heard a story on the radio about a woman who had simplified her wardrobe more drastically than any other person I had known. 

This woman had decided long ago that she would only wear 1 color - cream.   She didn't need to buy a lot of coordinating shoes and accessories and everything went together.  I was floored at the concept and toyed with the idea for about 10 seconds.  I love wearing color, and as a "winter" complexion, jewel toned colors love me too.  But I was inspired.

I decided that I would wear neutral bottoms - pants, shorts, skirts, etc. and wear color on top.  No more buying trendy pants or skirt colors and having to find the shoes, stockings, socks, etc. to match.  I would stick to blacks, browns, creams and whites for my shoes and socks.  This concept worked so beautifully and I never missed my navy blue pants or even that pair of red capris that were probably an unfortunate idea anyway.

A few years ago, I improved on my idea.  I decided that I would no longer wear brown since that color didn't look good on me anyway.  I no longer had to find brown shoes, stockings or socks.  And I also nixed gold tone jewelry, save one set that was from my mother's things.  Silver looked much better - so why not just wear what really looks good?

This last year I once again pared down my choices.  I decided that my jewelry drawer which resembled a junk drawer, had to go.  I would have 1 pair of earrings that could go with about everything and wear them all the time.  There would be a few other pairs for other occasions but I would put them away out of sight.  I got a necklace tree and limited my necklace and bracelet choices to what fit on there.  Gone were the worn, broken and unloved things.

Another benefit of these choices is streamlined shopping.  I can zero in on what I can put in my closet and easily turn down those things that I've said no to.  Gone are the afternoons at the mall where everything is a possibility!  Limits really do improve our lives.

All these things have helped me to keep only what I love and need in my closet.  It's been a process over time and it still continues.  I still haven't limited my pairs of shoes or dress scarves.  But it all came down to knowing myself; what I liked, what looked good and what I was comfortable living with.  

And I'm taking another bag to the consignment store today. 

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