A few years ago I went on a spending freeze, and refrained from buying new clothing or accessories. This gave me a taste of what it’s like to have a more minimal wardrobe.
I know, it’s like WHAAAT? I’m a stylist. No new clothes? It’s like being a vegan butcher. Do those even exist?
We were doing a renovation ($$$$) which was the impetus that got me to stop shopping. But also, I was listening to The Minimalists, and I went back to Buddhist meditation classes centered around non-attachment.
It was this idea of living with less, and buying only what brings value that intrigued me. Plus, clutter stresses me out!
If you’ve got too many clothes and you’re curious about paring down, keep reading! I share the valuable lessons learned during my spending freeze which still apply now as I am back to shopping.
New Season, No New Clothes
That summer, I bought not one new pair of platform sandals, no printed summer-y dresses, not even a lightweight, drapey tee. NOTHING!
Additionally, the renovation that I mentioned involved our closet (I had to take everything out of it) so I started closet clearing like a beast. I was consistently clearing out more stuff.
But I wasn’t a minimalist. And I’m certainly no Buddhist monk. I knew I’d return to shopping for clothes again. I just wanted a fresh perspective.
The spending freeze helped me realign and consider my values — what’s worth buying, and why I’m really shopping.
What You Can Learn From A More Minimal Wardrobe
Shiny New Things Don’t Usually Stay Shiny
As I went through my wardrobe to clear out for the closet renovation, I found things I bought from the previous summer – an olive green shirt dress, wide-legged white pants, and a pin striped button down top. The year before I loved these things! They were shiny and new, and they made me feel fresh and happy when I wore them.
The next year, I didn’t wear them once. The shine was gone. Normally, new shiny things would pile into my closet that cover up the previous shiny goods. But with no new stuff coming in, I could still see the shine of previous purchases. Unless I couldn’t see them in the first place … which brings me to the next lesson.
You Probably Already Have Enough Stuff
As a seasonal shopper who loves an update every few months, my closet is stuffed. Once I stopped buying new pieces, I was forced to wear my previous purchases. There were a lot of them! (Hence, I never even gotten to the olive green shirt dress, white wide-legged pants and pin striped button down top.) Wearing the same old thing never feels exciting, but the truth is I didn’t need new clothes. My closet was full. I needed to re-style what I already had for new looks.
You Can Make More From Less
You’ve probably heard of the capsule wardrobe. It’s this idea where you pare down to a certain number of clothes. The funny thing is I usually only wear the same things from my wardrobe each week. So perhaps a capsule wardrobe is in my future, but not yet. I’m a stylist. My job is to present options. I’m accustomed to having A LOT of options in my wardrobe.
But since I was closet clearing like a beast, the options that I had were strong! By clearing out what I didn’t love (or let’s face it, I don’t even like some of the stuff) I was left with GOOD options. It’s not easy getting rid of clothes. Especially when there’s some sentiment tied up in each garment. But you may find that when you do let it go, you will feel like you have more than ever since what’s left is what you love.
You get more value by having less stuff. Also, I got more creative with what I owned. I found fresh looks from old stuff by putting them together in new ways. You may be surprised at all the hidden gems lurking in the back of your closet. You just need to clear things out so you can see them.
Need help clearing your clothes?
The 4 Hour Closet Revival is coming soon! This is for you if you’ve spent too much money on clothes you don’t wear, and you’re ready to take control of your overstuffed closet. During this purge party, you’ll pare down your wardrobe so that there’s no more clutter getting in the way when you need to get dressed. Join the waitlist now to be notified when doors open so that you can take advantage of presale pricing.
I know, It’s very freeing to have less stuff. Hard to get rid of it, but afterword it’s a very relaxing feeling. I like the, “use it, or lose it,” motto.
Great motto, Michele. I will use it!