fashion | purging & building a closet

throughout the entire time i was pregnant, i was thinking about clothes in the back of my mind.

well, i was thinking about clothes in the front of my mind too, since fewer pieces fit as my tummy grew larger. though you can bet i was thanking my lucky stars that previous to pregnancy, i wore a lot of loose, empire, and a-line dresses. no jeans! i made it through nine months with only the purchase of three new dresses from the asos maternity line, and a couple stretchy tees and tanks that my mother bought me. 

but i kept thinking about what kind of wardrobe i wanted to have when my body was back to normal. with the arrival of a baby, i started to think more and more about clutter and minimalism. being a minimalist is not a lifestyle i have committed to - but i'm becoming more aware of things i really need, and the clothing i actually wear.

have you every gone through your closet and tried figure out what should make the cut? it is incredibly difficult! i don't consider myself a pack rat, or even overly nostalgic. i do however, suffer from a bit of "what if i need this one day?"which means i imagine wearing each and every item at some unclear date in the future.

i have a clear vision of what i want my closet to consist of, but before i get to that lists, here are my questions to ask yourself when whittling down your closet:

one | when did you wear it last?
this can be tricky when it comes to seasonal clothes but think about when you wore the item last. i've often seen a one year (even a two year) rule. but i think it's probably best to adhere to a six month rule. if it's may and you're pondering a pair of shorts (which i never would because i don't own any shorts ;) then sure, think back to last summer. but for non seasonal or recent seasonal definitely donate it if you didn't wear it. be ruthless and try to avoid sentiment.

two | but did you like wearing it?
more importantly, if you did wear it in the last six months, think about whether you felt good in it. in looking back at dresses from last spring and summer, i definitely remember wearing them. but many were too short, and others made me feel fat all day long. if you don't feel good and confident in your clothing, don't keep it.

three | does it follow your rules?
i've noticed that a lot of my dresses are too short. and for a long time i put up with it because that's what is on trend. but it doesn't suit me and makes me feel incredibly self conscious! now that i've found a dressmaker that offers longer lengths, i'm not going to settle for less. so rule number one is that all future frocks must be of a length i feel comfortable in. the rest are below. what rules will you develop your closet around? think about it and stick to it (careful, spontaneity and sales will deter you!)

four | did you put it away for a bit?
definitely put aside clothes you intend to donate. in fact, that pile should be huge when you are done this exercise! but go ahead and put that stack of clothes aside for one week. when the week is up, go through it (quickly!) and do a quick review. here you're looking for items that you will truly regret if you get rid of them. but you still need to be as ruthless as you were the first time.

five |  do you intend to repair or alter it?
maybe you do. but have you yet? and will you in the future? i have pants with safety pins, dresses with loose threads, shirts with missing buttons, and necklines i'm hoping to change. but it's been months and i still haven't fixed them. which is ridiculous because i have a sewing machine, thread and even a bag full of buttons. so it stands to reason that if you are not motivated to repair a piece, maybe you just don't like it that much. 

i've included a list below of clothes i've purchased over the past three months. at first it was sort of confusing for me because i need to reckon the things i wanted to wear (and eventually will need to when i go back to work), with the things it's more realistic to wear while taking care of a baby all day. 

so i'm going to have a bit of a bi polar closet. and that's really okay because both styles are still me. i love to put on a neatly ironed dress when i leave the house (whether for work, social outings or just errands). but i also love to slip into a tank top and yoga pants when i get home. so my new hard and fast rules look like this

structure in going out pieces
loose fit in staying in shirts
below knee or tea length
no cleavage (though it's sometimes hard to avoid)
alines, empire, highlight the waist, hide the hips
a mid century modern feel
celebrate femininity
ballet flats and birkenstocks for casual
mary jane heels for parties
riding and victorian style boots in winter

in example...

p.s. these dresses are from eshakti. i am in love with this site. it's a perfect fit for my style and they allow you to customize the sleeves, the neckline and the length! the prices are excellent and every time you purchase you receive a gift card for next time. if you would like $35 off your first purchase, just drop me a line: patience[at]isavirtue[dot]net

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