November 1, 2012

Preparing to Go on a Clothes Diet

While many people will start the New Year with a new food diet, in 2013 I will be not be buying any more clothes.

I have enough.

For the next two months, I will be scrutinizing my closet, what I wear on a daily basis and will attempt to have enough outfits and practical clothing items to get me through the next 365 days. The goal is to have enough items to keep me stylish and appropriate for work, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I will be purging what no longer works, but I will also purchase one or two things to round out my wardrobe and to make sure I have enough socks and underwear.

The idea behind this challenge is that all of us really have all we need in our closets to stay warm and clothed. The constant wanting for new items has nothing to do with not having anything to wear, but more with being bored with what we already own.

This is what I've been learning about my own clothing purchases and how my habits will affect this challenge:

Get rid of and don't purchase the "just in case" stuff

It's highly unlikely I will ever walk the red carpet, so I am not going to go looking for a pair of black kitten heels to keep "just in case".

Embrace the staples

I reach for the same tank tops and black, long sleeved tops all the time. These will become the staples of my wardrobe and I will make them work with every other item I have. I have struggled over the years to find a "uniform", so I hope this challenge will enable me to find what works best for me.

Take care of what you have

When thinking of not purchasing clothes for a year, I got a little panicky. What if my favorite sweater completely unravels? What if a heel comes off my shoe? I relaxed and realized that I sometimes treat my favorite clothes in a not so nice way. Now I am conscious of taking off my nice shoes when I get home rather than running out into the garden with them. I also will quickly sew up a hole in that sweater before it grows to the size of Minneapolis.

Replace worn out or inferior items…but not right away

If I have an item that I think needs to be replaced, I am going to really think about how I wear that item and if I really do wear it enough to justify purchasing something similar.

Photo by Sue Westergaard


The Anti-Hoarder said...

I saw another article in the NYT about a woman who did it with just five. I'm trying it with 35 and it's hard but worth it. Looking forward to hearing more about your experience.

Christina Nellemann said...

Five! That's awesome. Yes, I was thinking last night about doing it with about 10 items. However, where I live the weather can go from freezing in the morning to 80 degrees during the day, and with winter coming, I may need to do some more layering. It's a fun challenge though, and I'm looking forward to saving money. :-) My goal for this month is to take photos of my "capsule" wardrobe.