In May, I was packing up my room to move into a much smaller apartment, and I knew it was time to seriously consider what was going on with my lifestyle and how I was spending my money. There were so many pieces of crappy clothing that I had collected from thrift shops and WAY too many statement pieces that I barely wore. My style was changing into a much more subdued and relaxed look over the year. It was time to purge and it was time to do it right. So I got rid of probably over half of my closet, and boyyyyy, did it feel GOOD. There were so many pairs of shoes that I had wasted money on, because I was so excited to working for a footwear brand that I adored. But I realized that the majority of what I owned wasn’t “me," and I rarely wore the majority of them. It was very frustrating and upsetting looking at my closet with a more frugal and honest eye, because I was seeing the amount of money that had been put into cultivating it.
But I didn’t wear it and I didn’t want it, so it just had to go.
When I first started fashion blogging several years ago, I started to get super into thrifting. Now, thrifiting is an art, and if you don’t think it is, then you probably do it too much already. I think you have to have a really good eye to thrift and shop vintage. (I totally know a ton of girls that rock it and are way better at it than I am.) Through the first couple of years, I was doing a LOT of it, and I thought I was saving money by buying cheaper, second-hand clothing. My closet started to get bigger and bigger because not only was I shopping more often so that I was having new material and clothing to work with for outfit posts, but I also was working full-time at a fashion-forward footwear brand where I received 50% off of their product. My shoe collection was exploding, when it was already massive to begin with because of my general shoe addiction. A couple times a year, I would buy a bunch of fast-fashion items from Forever21, Oasap, and/or Sheinside; and although they all have really cute things, are WICKED cheap, kehd, and are quick to partner up with fashion-bloggers (hoping for freebees and c/o’s in their outfit posts), I was feeling guilty and lost. When I would get a piece from Sheinside, I would pay less than twenty bucks for something and then would analyze the quality of the material and feel completely defeated. And more than once, I have tried to do a little detective work to find out what the factories are like that these fast-fashion companies are using in East Asia. (I have read some books in the past on fast-fashion, which definitely opened my eyes.) I couldn't find specifically anything about Sheinside or Oasap on their working conditions, but I decided that it was best to leave these fast-fashion brands behind anyway. When I really thought about it, I didn’t want my blog to be representing these companies anyways, because who knows if some poor eight-year-old child made this piece of crap skirt that doesn’t even fit a somewhat curvaceous- American woman’s body anyways?!
When I look at my closet now, there are a lot less thrifted pieces and a lot more solids and staples. Basically my closet used to be filled to the brim with statement pieces. My color scheme generally has become more earthy and the styles much more relaxed. I had to be honest with myself and ask “what do I wear the most?” and “What type of look do I generally want to go for?” And I realize I'm rarely not looking to be comfortable, so that’s kind of how I determined what to get rid of and what to keep.
I also knew that I’d want to walk into my room and not just see mounds of clothing everywhere. I wanted my closet to be neat and not bursting from the seams. I always want I have a little space for growth. And my ultimate goal was to have the current season’s clothing take up two spaces: my hanging closet and a small bureau. I’d also have plenty of space for laundry and am using a hanging shoe rack for that season’s shoes as well. In the end, I did pretty well but I know that I still have a lot of work to do on my fall/winter season closet, which is currently down in the basement.
Here's some tips for re-organizing your closet and moving into a more simplistic closet-lifestyle.
1. Be honest with yourself. Don’t keep things that you wish you wore more often but don’t. Keep the things that you absolutely love and have trouble taking off. Unless it's in great condition and I adore wearing it, I stick to the six-month rule.
2. Have a goal for your space. For example, my goal was to fit everything into a small hanging-closet and a small bureau.
3. When you bring something new home, get rid of something old. That's pretty self-explanatory.
4. Shop at places that use higher-quality materials. Unfortunately, they cost a little more, but because of that, you won’t be shopping as often; nor will you be buying or throwing away as much. I try to stay away from the Forever21's, the Urban Outfitter's, place like that. But I mean, I definitely don't avoid them all together! Sometimes you need a cheap statement piece, ya know?!
5. Don't go crazy with the thrifting. I mean, unless that's your thing and you're good at it. Some of my girlfriends are REALLY good at it, so I totally understand. But if you're like me and you already like to online shop like it's goin' out o' bidnass, you gotta lock that sh*t down, man. This past year, I only went once or twice.