So, I’m not big on New Years resolutions. Proclamations of good intent are often forgotten by February. This year though, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to short term goals, and I made a few “resolutions” or changes that I thought were more attainable more immediately so-as not to loose track too early in the year. The first of those goals was to simplify my wardrobe starting with a big closet clean-out.
Easily 60% of the clothing hanging in my closet since we moved into our house hasn’t been worn since I hung it there. Bad, I know. Also, much of it is ill-fitting store-bought stuff that I never loved much in the first place. Being as tall as I am, everything needs to be longer to fit properly, and honestly, I’ve never made the investment in tall-girl clothes beyond the occasional pair of jeans.
This past year, I’ve been working more on my sewing skills and really trying to learn how to make my own clothes that actually fit my body. I’ve had some real successes with this and plan to continue to experiment with sewing this year. I absolutely LOVE the idea of the Seam Allowance Club at A Verb For Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA. Even though I live too far away to attend meetings, I am planning to implement some of the philosophy into my current and ongoing wardrobe.
Basically, the idea is that you try to make 25% of your own clothes. Whether you knit, sew, crochet them, etc., 25% of your wardrobe is hand-made. I love this concept and hope that someday I could even reach 50%! How awesome would that be? Realistically, I don’t think I would get higher than that because so much of my clothing consists of leggings and basic layering tees and tanks that I build onto with other pieces. I think I could be content with 50%.
I am also trying to simplify. If I only actually wear 3 pairs of shoes, 90% of the time, why own 30 or 40 pairs? It doesn’t make sense. I’m sure the fashionistas of the world would have a heart attack hearing me say that, but I am more interested in building a wardrobe of a few items that I love and feel amazing in rather than a wardrobe full of tons of items that I’ll hate to wear in a year. Plus, we live in an old house. Our closet, though well organized, is super tiny. I don’t have space to waste on stuff I don’t wear.
So to kick this off, I filled a plastic tub full of stuff that I wanted to keep for warmer weather and set it aside to go through in 6 months and possibly add back into my wardrobe this summer when I take out the winter items. I filled a second tub for stuff that didn’t fit anymore, I no longer love, or haven’t worn in years and am taking it to the Goodwill. Then I took a deep breath and let it all out. Ahhh! So much better! There are only about 40 pieces of clothing in my closet right now compared to the 100 or so from before. I haven’t dealt with the shoes yet but that will definitely come next.
I also cleaned out my t-shirt drawer and got rid of everything that didn’t fit right. I’ve been hanging onto these horrible “long sleeved” cotton shirts for way too long that the bodies were too short and a little too wide and the sleeves were ridiculously short. Gone. All of them. New tall-girl long sleeved tees purchased from The Gap Online. Done.
Now, I generally hate buying from big-name stores like the Gap and I haven’t set foot in one of their stores in years. However, I can’t often find tall-girl things from smaller boutique companies, and even though I would prefer to buy organic or sustainable clothing from places like Patagonia, their stuff just doesn’t fit me well. To me, it’s more wasteful to spend any amount of money on clothing that doesn’t fit well and that I’ll only wear a few times before I realize I don’t love it, than to buy a few things that do fit from a big box store, but that I can actually wear and feel good in. Either way, I suppose it’s better and less wasteful to buy fewer items, regardless of where it comes from.
So that’s where I stand with the wardrobe. I am so thrilled to be working with less items. I no longer stand and look at my closet each morning and have to wrestle items out of it or feel guilty about the sweater I haven’t worn in two seasons. It’s a huge relief.
Next up on the to-make list, a couple more dresses and tunics, like this dress in this fabric, this tunic in this fabric, and a Vitamin D Sweater in this yarn, which I cast on for last night. I think I will get a lot of wear out of this one and am really hoping I can find time to work on it between all of my design projects. Here’s to hoping!
Happy belated New Year everyone!