“Buy this diet mix so you can lose weight.”
“Buy this shirt so you can look cool.”
More often than not we are berated by advertisers telling us we’re not good enough until we buy “X”.
What if we just sat back and turned off the noise. What if we looked at ourselves in the mirror and said, “I feel cute today!”
What if we were satisfied and felt good in the skin we were in and the clothes we wore.
This is what I’m trying to work on. There are many different things that can help with this and one thing that I have found helpful is downsizing my wardrobe.
About a month ago I got rid of every single piece of clothing that I didn’t feel freakin awesome in.
I got rid of things that I was keeping for that one time in some faraway, nonexistent possibility that I’d need a sequence mini skirt (let’s get real here). I got rid of the things that I wore just the other day that I just didn’t feel right in, or that bugged the hell out of me. I got rid of the things that, in my head, looked hot as hell, but when I put them on took on a whole new look (and not in a good way). The only things in my closet right now are things that fit me exactly right, feel amazing, and work with pretty much everything else in my closet.
By doing this I was able to take ALL my clothes and put them into my closet. That’s right! No winter wardrobe stored away for that dreaded day when I have to unpack everything and pack away my summer clothes. It’s all out ready to wear whenever the weather decides it’s going to be 80 degrees in the middle of January (true story this happened last winter).
So this morning I got dressed in about 5 minutes flat. And you know what?
I feel cute today!
I have my red work slacks on with a simple white tank top and a turquoise cardigan. I accessorized with my staple long brown pendent necklace and my brown leather block heals.
I didn’t have to dig for an outfit. It was just right there. I’ve discovered that my “uniform” if you will, is a classic tank top with a cardigan over it with a pare of slacks. I now wear this same outfit every day with just switching up the colors. Every once in a while I will pick from one of my 5 or so blouses and ditch the cardigan, and rarely I’ll choose from about 3 dresses, but for the most part this is it.
I feel confident and professional and I can dress this up or down depending on the day. All my tank tops are solid colors (white, black, tan, blue), thick, and fit well with thick straps so, if I’d like, I can take off my cardigan and still be professional in the office (no spaghetti straps people!). If I have meetings I can easily throw a blazer over it to be more formal and my 3 blazers (also solid colors, black, tan, and navy blue) all match any combination. I also keep my classic black one on my door of my office for impromptu meetings.
With an almost 2 year old, substantially reducing the time it takes to get myself ready has helped me tremendously in the mornings. It has freed up time for me to feed her breakfast, get her dressed and ready for daycare and still have time to make myself some coffee!
Tips of how to get to a capsule wardrobe:
- Take everything out of your closet
- Immediately put back absolute favorites that fit you perfectly right now.
- Make sections of different pieces and pick a couple of your favorites to keep – sweaters, jeans, slacks. Even if you have 10 pairs of jeans that fit you perfectly, do you really need 10 pairs of jeans?? I’ll help – NO.
- Immediately get rid of anything damaged.
- Donate the rest!
One thing that I do have tucked away are maternity clothes. We aren’t thinking about having more children at the moment, but I know that time will come. So I have a capsule wardrobe waiting for that day. It’s very small and can fit into one drawer. But speaking from experience, I know it can get me through nine months and a couple after (because that mom pouch doesn’t go away overnight contrary to popular belief) with ease. I have one pair of jeans, and two pair of slacks for work. Plus few (maybe 5?) shirts and 2 or 3 dresses.
Also tucked away are my skiing/ snowshoeing wardrobe. I have one of each thing I need for the outer layer and two sets of my base layer and a few good ski socks thanks to Santa one year.
Another separate capsule wardrobe I have is my workout clothes. I have a few pairs of shorts and tanks for running and a couple pants and capris for yoga. I could probably do fine with less of each item, but it’s an ongoing process.
At the end of the day, we feel best when we feel confident and less stressed. Being dressed well and not being stressed out about the act of getting dressed accomplishes both.
If we have less to worry about at the beginning of our day – our kickoff, our jump start to productivity and mindfulness – we’d all be better off and on our way to a more peaceful life.