Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wardrobe Downsizing

Today's post takes us back to the eyesore of my apartment - the closet. I took a long hard look at it recently and decided that something needs to go. And the "things" that need to go are clothes. This post is the beginning in a series - I don't know how long yet - of me downsizing my wardrobe. Just take a look at all these clothes:

I'm sure for some people, this is just one side of their closet. But for me, the number of items is overwhelming and actually makes it harder for me to decide what to wear. I don't really know what matches and I go long stretches without wearing things because I actually forget they are there! I like looking good, but I'm also a reformed "jeans and t-shirt" girl. Meaning, I'll slide back to that state when given the chance!

Lately, I've come across some blogs on remixing clothes and creating a minimalist wardrobe. See blogs like Project 333 and Putting Me Together. I've read some really great advice from these and others, which has inspired the beginning of my wardrobe downsizing journey. And it begins by making sense of the crap hanging in the above photo!

In order to downsize, I need to understand what I have that works. I also need to understand my style. What do I like to wear? What pieces am I missing that would work as multi-functional items in my wardrobe? Conversely, what pieces do I own that don't fit (I'm talking both size AND style, here)? One way to answer these questions is to arrange my clothes by color. So I did just that.

After arranging everything, I counted the number of reds, then whites, then blues, etc…. This not only told me what colors I tend toward, but what colors I avoid. It also told me exactly how many items I have hanging in my closet. A whopping 106! HOLY COW. I never knew I owned that many clothes. And that isn't counting the stuff in my dresser - like undergarments, pajamas, and work-out clothes. This number shocked me and made me feel a great deal of shame, as well. I'm not a shopper, I swear! I don't consider myself a fashionista, nor do I spend a lot of time shopping or looking at clothes online. Clothes, to me, should be comfortable and functional. Expressing myself has always been tertiary to these other two requirements. But now, I'm wondering if I bought clothes without thinking of how they fit with my overall style. Another reason I have so many clothes is because my mother loves to shop and buys things for me. But I'm not going to blame her fully here - keeping these clothes is definitely my fault and mine alone!

Regardless of how I ended up with over 100 items of clothing, I'm now looking at how to get that number down. Here are the highlights of the color count:

Favorite color: Blue
No surprises here. Blue is my favorite color. It did surprise me that I have 26 pieces of blue clothing, though! Before I did this exercise I would have said I maybe have 10 items that are blue.

Least favorite color: Yellow
Not surprised about this one either. I don't think I look good in yellow.

Rounding out the top five are black, purple, green, and gray.
The results of this exercise tell me that I tend to stay with black and gray, with pops of blue, purple, and green. It did surprise me that red didn't appear more often. I do like the color red and think it looks good on me. However, when I do wear red, I am VERY aware of how much it makes me stand out. I think part of the reason I don't wear red often is because I don't like to be noticed for what I'm wearing, in general. This is the old "t-shirt and jeans girl" coming out of me, I guess!

Now that I understand my color preferences, I can look at my clothes in terms of style. One blog I read suggested picking out your top 10 favorite pieces. This exercise is to help you understand what kind of style you prefer. Modern? Classic? Vintage? Sporty? Here are my picks:

The thing is, this exercise didn't help me all that much! I don't know enough about fashion and style to say what model this fits into. I think it might be classic with a modern twist. Maybe? I could use your help here. This is my call to arms for the fashion gurus out there - what is this style and what pieces could I add that enhance it?

Also - I'm not into modeling, so I'm saying right here that you aren't going to see pictures of me IN these clothes on this blog! :)


  1. Project 333 sounds really interesting - good find!

  2. PS - I love your favorite pieces! You are a modern girl with a boatload of class, Katie.

  3. I've been working on this for so long now, I need to just bite the bullet and hit it hard. I keep using the baby as an excuse. Saying that I'll actually get to it when I am done nursing and when I make an effort to tighten the belly. AH! Get out of my own way. Way to be an inspiration...and thanks for the link to the PMT blog. She's here in San Diego! :)

    1. PMT is in San Diego!? Can we stalk her for clothing advice? J/K :P But also - no wonder none of her items include huge winter coats and sweaters!

      I've been trying out my new mixes and matches the last few weeks and I'm happy with it so far! I haven't had time to blog about some of them because of work...I'm just so tired when I get home!