I had a wardrobe revelation the other night. I was trying to get dressed for our Bloggers’ Night Out and was literally standing in my closet in my underwear, staring at my clothes, drawing a total blank about what would be fun to wear when Rita called. Fortunately, she was calling to say that she was running late and it would be another 15 or so minutes before we could leave but it jolted me into getting dressed, pronto.
And of course I wound up hating what I was wearing. But that’s not Rita’s fault at all. It’s mine.
Here’s my revelation: when I go places that are out of the ordinary, I overthink what I’m wearing. On a normal Tuesday, I’m able to get up, put together an outfit, and leave the house — and be happy with what I have on — without much stress or fuss. But anything unusual — a party or a conference or a date with Wade — throws me for a loop. Because of course I can’t wear what I normally wear! That’s boring! And lame.
Except it’s not.
After Rita called the other night, I threw on a skirt I love and a sweater I hate, because it’s an outfit I never wear and I thought I needed to do something different. And then I came home and took the sweater off and put it in the giveaway pile because why on earth do I even have something in my closet that I don’t love?
I have no idea.
Over the weekend, I stood in my closet and looked at what I own and thought about what I do and don’t wear — and why. And I filled another laundry basket with pieces to give away, because they’re not things I love, which makes them things I never wear.
What are my core pieces? I have basics, like white button-down shirts (two with long sleeves, that I can never seem to get ironed fast enough to get them back in rotation), jeans (three pair in basic blue), and tees (my faves right now are a black stripe and a basic gray). I have some trendy pieces, like my red skinny jeans, that are getting a lot of wear right now. And I have some investment pieces — my gray flannel blazer, a pink wool miniskirt, a navy cashmere pullover — that I have repeatedly high-fived myself for buying, because I adore them and wear them all the time. Good job, self.
And then I have all the other stuff that I never take out of the closet.
Purging the closet is hard, particularly when you’re looking at pieces that are perfectly good — not old and faded and past their prime. But of all the things I have parted with this winter (and there have been a lot, believe me) I have not missed one single piece — because I’m not getting rid of pieces I love and wear, just pieces that are taking up space in my closet.
I’m trying to think smart about shopping right now, to resist the urge to make over my entire closet. It’s easy for me to get sucked into the new clothes, new you! mindset, which is how I wind up with perfectly nice pieces that I never wear. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I already wear and what works for me, right now, and looking for pieces to compliment that. Right at this moment, I’m totally smitten by J. Crew’s schoolboy blazer in neon pink herringbone, and based on my experience with the flannel version of this jacket, I’m positive that I will wear the pink one all the time. It’s different, but not so different that it requires a whole new look. It will work with what is already in my closet.
Do you love what’s in your closet, or are you hanging on to pieces that don’t make you happy?