For the past couple of years, I’ve pretty much been having a wardrobe crisis. I hate all my clothes. Ok, no, scratch that, I hate most of my clothes. For many years, I’ve been a shopping addict (on the upside, at least it was mostly secondhand stuff. Oh, and modcloth. *sigh*).
Here’s an example of my style for the past couple of years (these are what I would consider some of my “better” outfits):
In 2014, I was inspired by a number of bloggers to finally undertake a year without clothes shopping (Oct 2014-Oct 2015) which was incredibly good for me.
And now my wardrobe, much like my life, is in a weird limbo. I’m moving to Australia sometime (I’m finding that visa process is very slow for Australia. I have absolutely no control and essentially right now my life is in the hands of Australian Immigration) in the upcoming (couple? few?) months. So again, I’m on a strict no-buy.
I’ve been having an epic wardrobe purge. Epic. Pieces that I have loved and been hauling around for years are just gone (including a lot of the stuff pictured above). Donated or sold on trademe. This move is the perfect opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff. Why?
- I don’t love it.
- It doesn’t suit my lifestyle.
- It doesn’t fit that well.
- I bought it on sale because it was cheap.
Number 4 was probably the most difficult shopping habit for me to break (also, shopping is a habit. Getting used to not having something new every so often is also an excellent habit to get out of). Buying things that are cheap and on sale just because, well, they’re cheap and OK or decent or whatever was very dangerous for me (the eternal bargain hunter).
But it’s really been the anticipated upcoming overseas move and moving into a smaller house that has really fuelled the purge. This will put me in a great position when I arrive in Melbourne (ok, Geelong) and can start re-building essentially from as clean of slate as I can possibly get! I’m impatient to get started, but we still have some time in New Zealand left, and also I don’t want to rush things when we get to Australia as I feel that could be a slippery slope leading back to very bad habits (aka mindless shopping).
My advice to others wanting to overhaul their wardrobe?
- Be patient. It takes time. Years.
- Forgive yourself for bad purchases. Sure you only bought it last year but now you realize you don’t love it. Cut your losses and move on. Rid yourself of your literal baggage.
- Forgive yourself and accept that your style may have changed. (I’m still working on this one). Fashion is all about change, and as your lifestyle changes, it’s likely your style will too. This is OK. You need to dress how you want and how you feel comfortable. As a woman in my 30s, I think this may be the hardest decade to dress for and I’m still working on my style.
- Accept that where you live influences what you wear. It can’t be helped. We can’t all look like a NY fashion blogger – we don’t all live in New York. Some of us live at the ass end of New Zealand, and are influenced by the climate, people that live here and the clothing choices that are available to us. Don’t beat yourself up.
- The internet is a vast and wonderful resource. Use pinterest. Read blogs. Deciding what your style is won’t happen overnight. Using pinterest will help you see if your style is still changing, and help you create a cohesive vision.
- Effort will be required. You may spend hours, weeks, months or more thinking about your wardrobe and style. No judgement. If style were that easy, everyone would look fabulous. Guess what? It’s not easy. It requires a lot of thoughtful consideration – and this is a lot easier to do once you’ve stopped the mindless shopping.
Now I’m going to apologize if you’re tired of reading how I’m “purging” and “not shopping” and “waiting to move” blah blah blah until I start re-building my wardrobe instead of posting photos of actual outfits. I’m not exactly sure how many posts I’ve done on the subject – maybe only a handful – it just seems like I’ve been thinking about it all the time.
So here is an example of what I where I want to head (style-wise):
A more neutral cohesive palette but still fun, with a focus on print, texture, silhouette and footwear.
In the meantime, I will continue to purge, and look forward to the nearly clean slate I’ll be starting with Australia!