June 03, 2016

Lesson 231: A Year After Getting Rid of All the Clothes

It's been a year since sharing my magnus opus of fashion in blog form and then, ahh, succumbing myself to posting pictures of me wearing clothes. All very strange!

Since then, there's been no talk of fashion on here for two reasons. 1. It's not like I post regularly anyway. But also, 2. I haven't thought about clothes much this year.

Translation: the concept worked.

After devoting a week or so, thinking intentionally about the clothes I own and how they work together in multiple ways, I spent the rest of the summer, well, wearing them. Occasionally, I'd think of something revolutionary that would inject life and love into the rotation, like white denim or a leather tote, and I'd confidently make the purchase and quickly begin wearing said garment.

It's been fun and frankly, stress-free.

Soon after posting my own content on a paired down wardrobe, my favorite blogger and inspiration gave up blogging for the year. She felt she had said her message and was ready to do something new. In that time, she loosened up her own standards, allowing the capsule wardrobe to work for her life, growing and shrinking as needed.

Currently, she's blogging again, having moved in the direction of ethical fashion (which if you follow any of this stuff is a natural progression) and in a recent post, she reflected. 

Even though capsule wardrobes got super trendy last year (almost a little too trendy, if I’m allowed to say that), I’m still fascinated by them.
Creating a strong style concept through a small, thoughtful collection of clothes? I don’t know why, but I love it.
I learned so much about my style and myself from my capsule experiment, and I’ve been wanting to explore the concept in a less structured way — something practical that honors the heart of it while being free to flow as life changes.
Her thoughts got me thinking about the whole idea of capsule wardrobes and pairing down one's wardrobe, and I've concluded that serious thought, cleaning out, and purposeful purchasing are practices that are especially useful for women going through life transitions. It's beneficial for graduating college students to rework their wardrobes as they move into a life of full-fledged adulthood. The way they spend their time changes, and so their clothing needs naturally change as well. A similar transition occurs as a young woman moves into motherhood. It's a strange time in numerous ways, a strangeness that is amplified by feeling uncomfortable in one's entire set of clothing. Such emotional and situational changes occur every five to ten years. Life looks different. I mean y'all, 30 was a big deal!

At times like this, a new shirt simply doesn't cut it.

Hard-lined clean-out is most beneficial during these times of transition. Get rid of everything associated with the old life patterns and attitudes. Think freshly about the adventures and trials ahead.

And get fitted for it.

Pairing down and thinking strategically allows the space to identify real needs, and then to slowly and wisely meet them.

But this summer, my life looks a lot like it did last summer. I spend time with the same people, frequent the same places, and do the same activities. I don't need a whole new set of clothes. The ones I have, the ones I bought for this particular season of life, are working out great!

I still vaguely am following the trends, and am considering, very hesitantly the move back to wider leg pants. I'm more interested in black than I have been in a while, and it's officially the color of my toes this season.

I took the plunge and bought a high waisted bathing suit.

But these are all just small details. (Ones I'm sure many of you are rolling your eyes at.)

For the most part, I'm just wearing what I'm wearing. And it's working. No purging this summer. No shopping sprees this summer. Just life.

Lesson Learned: Perhaps "the capsule wardrobe" reboot is more of a life-stage change event than an annual habit.

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