How to Simplify Your Wardrobe & Feel a Whole Lot Happier (+ My Closet Tour)
“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”
Collectively around the world, people consume more than 80 BILLION items of clothing each year, and many of which are seen as disposable. Textile waste, chemical dyes, and inhumane working conditions are a huge issue amongst many fast fashion brands. While I love expressing myself creatively through style, I often ask myself...at what cost? I had a closet overflowing with clothes, yet never felt like I had anything to wear. What gives?
I've been on this minimalism journey to train myself to be more intentional with my purchases and to really love what I buy. I can confidently say I've drastically changed how often and how much I consume, even as a blogger who works with brands. I am very intentional about who I work with, and I'm way more conscious of what I allow into both my mental and physical space.
I've been able to make an impact with what I can control (within my budget and lifestyle), and these days, when I open my closet I feel really good about what I see. Each item that takes up space has a right to be there. And with each new item that I add, I try to make sure it's thoughtfully chosen rather than picked up on impulse.
My mom recently visited our new ATX apartment, and even she was shocked at how minimal my closet has become (you’d jump out of your skin if you saw my closet in high school). So, you bet I’m proud of my evenly spaced hangers and super tidy closet. It took me two decades to get to this realization that less clothing makes for a happier me and here’s why:
I spend less time fretting over what to wear, because most everything can easily be mixed and matched.
I can find what I want quickly. My drawers are not overstuffed and my clothing rack isn’t crammed.
I have more disposable income to spend on yummy food, experiences, and higher quality clothing that lasts.
I learned that buying something is a temporary mood-booster, and I’d rather put in the work to get to the root of what truly makes me happy.
I feel good knowing I am contributing less to fabric waste by buying less and getting the most out of every item.
It's OKAY to want new things. It's OKAY to treat yourself. The idea is to be more intentional and less wasteful, so you can live a life that isn't clouded by clutter.
A Peek Inside Mine & Andrew's Closet
Considering we both share this closet, I couldn't be happier with the progress we've made since we first began our simplifying journey a year ago (see original post here). The left side of our closet is Andrew's and the right side is mine. We each have our own dresser, but I'll admit my yoga pants snagged a spot in his bottom drawer. Yes, I have a lot of yoga pants... it's kinda my job. I, of course, follow Marie Kondo's folding method. Gamechanger if you're not currently doing it!
Steps to Simplifying:
Take inventory of what you currently have. Start to separate into three piles: keep, transform, or donate. If it brings you joy, keep it. If you might like it better if you shortened the hem or cut into shorts, transform it. If there’s anything you don’t love, donate it. Repeat monthly, seasonally, or whatever cadence works for you.
Invest in high-quality solids. These are the items you’ll get the most wear out of, so make sure it’s a quality brand that doesn’t need to be replaced after only a few washes. Athleta and Everlane are my go-tos for quality, sustainable basics (see here and here).
Forget what’s trendy and focus on how you FEEL in the clothes. Do you like the way it fits on your body? How’s the fabric, the cut, the silhouette? Do you feel confident when wearing it? Don’t let fashion trends dictate your buying habits.
Learn to repair what you have. Your favorite top lost a button or started opening at the seams? Get a little hand-sewing kit and learn to fix it. Even Andrew knows how to sew. If sewing isn’t up your alley, drop it off for a professional. Most times, it will end up being more economical than constantly re-buying, especially when it comes to shoes. You already did the work to break in your leather clogs, now go get ‘em resoled rather than getting rid of them.
Refrain from buying things that you can’t easily clean. I know me, and if I can’t easily throw it in the wash, then I’ll avoid wearing it. The point is to WEAR and ENJOY the clothes you buy. Don’t let it hang pretty in your closet. So, skip the garments that need dry cleaning… they use yucky chemicals anyways.
As I mentioned in my going green blog post, it’s not about making this immaculate transformation into a zero-waste environmental superhuman. It’s about setting realistic and attainable goals for yourself and working towards them. Think progress, not perfection. Take tiny steps forward like choosing to bike instead of drive, bringing a reusable coffee cup, refusing plastic straws. Progress is progress.
Feel less guilt over not ‘doing enough’ and feel more empowered by the efforts you DO make. We’re all perfectly imperfect humans. Do what is attainable for your lifestyle.
SHOP MY ORGANIZERS: