November 2, 2014
I’m very excited to announce that the one year mark of The DH Closet Challenge is here! When DH first gave me this challenge neither one of us thought I would make it through the first month. And here I am, still participating an entire year later. This blog highlights many of my observations from the past year, so I selected my favorite 10 take-aways that I’ve learned from working with a smaller sized wardrobe:
- My ideal wardrobe size is smaller than I thought. Back in week 3, I realized that I owned over 12 pairs of bottoms, yet I was content with sporting the same 5 pairs again and again. And when I added a sixth bottom to my fall/winter wardrobe, I felt overwhelmed.
- Poor planning leads to poor purchase decisions. Too often I have shopped out of boredom, frustration, sadness or some other reason that was driven by emotion and not pure need. I have purged many items over the past year and the majority of these were purchases that were made without having a plan set in place before I shopped.
- I prefer brown (vs black) as my core neutral. To prevent from shopping out of boredom I participated in a few wardrobe challenges. My favorite is the French Capsule Challenge. During this challenge I realized that I prefer brown as my core neutral.
- Clothes don’t always wear out as fast as I think. I don’t mind owning duplicates of an item, but when I purchase a duplicate as a replacement piece, the item tends to sit unworn a long time. I ended up with a mini capsule at the end of last fall/winter because the pieces I purchased during the season never made it out of the boutique and into my working wardrobe.
- Quality (or lack of) stands out with less clothes. I don’t think one has to purchase budget busting clothes, but, with less clothes quality really does stand out. This is very helpful to use as a guide for how much to spend on a purchase. If I think the item is better quality and I know I will sport the piece often, I’m more inclined to spend more. And when I want to try out something new but am not concerned with longevity I’m comfortable spending less and knowing the item will not last long in my wardrobe.
- Souvenirs are still impulse purchases. My souvenirs run the risk of being wardrobe orphans just as easily as other items. Except these are even harder to purge from my wardrobe, because these pieces are also sentimental. I still have more than one souvenir item (vacations/holiday’s, concerts, etc) in the boutique after a year.
- Pause to help prevent purchasing mistakes. Taking time to think about my new purchases before I take off the tags gives the purchase high a chance to wear off. And I may end up returning the clothes once I am able to view them with a more critical eye.
- Wardrobe favorites stand out regardless of wardrobe size. It didn’t matter if I had 13 or 300 items to pick from, time and again I grab my favorite items and repeat wearing them. The same holds true for favorite outfit combinations. Once I decide on a combination I enjoy, I tend to repeat it again and again. And this helps make getting ready in the morning really fast too.
- Sales are a big trigger. My favorite sale, and well as anytime I hear the word sale really, acts like a trigger for me to shop. But an item is only a good deal if I really needed it. If it’s just going to sit unworn like many other pieces in my wardrobe, then it wasn’t a bargain after all.
- I shop less the more I like my wardrobe. DH was looking for a new winter coat earlier today and for once I had to be dragged to the mall. ME, not want to go to a mall?! What has happened? I told him his challenge broke me, and his response, “no, it fixed you.”
I still have my shopping challenges and hurdles to overcome, but overall it has been a successful year of ‘shopping less, shopping smarter.’
What’s the longest time you’ve done a wardrobe challenge?