Banish that "closet full of clothes and nothing to wear" feeling!
Tired of pushing past clothes that are New With Tags or once-worn to get to the clothes you actually wear every day? Or tired of the stress and shame around how much money and time you waste on clothes you never wear?
So many women find never-worn items when they clear out their closets annually or seasonally. They sell or donate them, knowing that they're great pieces and deserve a home where they'll be worn. But somehow the cycle of buying items and never wearing them repeats.
The solution to ending this cycle has several components, but the one that most women need to address is buying clothes that don't match their life.
Influencers create beautifully composed posts with idyllic backgrounds. Retailers spend millions on marketing that pitch clothes for a lifestyle we all want. Unfortunately, the lifestyle - and ultimately the clothes - that we're being sold, is not most women's reality. (I don't now a lot of women who pair their Walmart sweater with a Christian Dior tote, but it certainly adds to the look.)
Let me be very honest and say that this is my biggest struggle when it comes to shopping as well - buying pieces I love and are "fun" to buy, but not buying for the life I live.
If this has you nodding along in understanding, here is an exercise that will help you create some objective guidelines for future purchases. The goal is a wardrobe you love and actually wear!
Life & Style Study
1. Fill in next month's calendar** with all of your events, activities, and general daily plans.
2. Assign a style category to each day or section of a day if your plans dictate a wardrobe change. Examples of style categories could include Athleisure, Business, Dressy Casual, Casual, Cocktail, etc. and the most important consideration is that the categories make sense to you - you know the wardrobe elements required to get dressed for that category. Then assign a color to each category and block in the days or partial days.
3. Count up the days represented by each style category. Divide those totals by the number of days in the month. That will give you the percentage of the month you wear each category and therefore the percentage that should be represented in your closet. Pie chart not necessary, but actually a helpful visual!
20 "my" casual = 20/31 days = 65%
9 dressy casual = 9/31 days = 29%
2 athleisure = 2/31 days = 6%
4. Compare the percentages of each category to what is actually represented in your closet. The smaller the closet and wardrobe storage space, the more important it is to get these proportions correct.
**If the next month does not reflect an accurate representation of your lifestyle, add one or 2 additional months to the process.
When the pieces in your closet match your lifestyle, you will:
wear more of your wardrobe
maximize the physical space for your wardrobe
have fewer pieces that remain unworn, saving time and money
buy with more intention and less influence
The Life & Style Study will help you see where your purchases need to be reigned in and, perhaps, where more of your shopping focus should go. If you're stumped about what style categories even apply in your current season of life, consider a Style Define & Align session where we lay out your best colors, fits, and the unique characteristics of your personal style then place it all in the context of your life. Find more details about that service here.
A common phrase in the the sustainable fashion movement is "wearing what you already own is the most sustainable option", but that starts with purchasing pieces you love and fit into the context of your life - then you can actually wear them.
If you give this exercise a try, I'd love to know your categories and wardrobe percentages! Comment here or send me a DM on Instagram!
Get dressed, do good!