Now isn’t that a simple wardrobe?
Continuing on in our simplifying series, I have received many requests to talk about clothing! Oh the joy of figuring out how much clothing is sufficient!
Remember again, the reason we are simplifying is so that we might have more freedom to enjoy the important things of life. Having an overstocked closet can definitely consume a lot of time as we stress over the fact and complain to our husbands or family “I have nothing to wear!” Let’s admit…we have all been there! “Nothing” in our book means nothing “new” to wear. Do we really need new items or do we need to develop our creativity in assembling new outfits from what we already have?
Shopping for clothing can consume a lot of time (to find modest clothing especially), in addition to washing and maintaining your wardrobe. Just because we may have the space to store them, shouldn’t give us license to fill it with more clothing. Women especially have more of a natural battle of desiring to look appealing and fashionable and thus a tendency to consume a significant wardrobe.
How can you begin to simplify?
1. Evaluate Your Clothing Needs
First, figure out your clothing needs. For what purposes/events are in your life that you need attire for? It may include: casual day-to-day attire (which may include an exercise outfit or two, if you exercise outside the home), semi-formal attire (for work, church, etc) and formal attire (for weddings, formal occasions, etc). Divide your clothing into these three or different categories. Whatever doesn’t fall nicely into these, eliminate it from your wardrobe.
Second, evaluate how many total outfits you will really wear between washings for each category. Overall, having around seven pairs of your everyday/casual clothing is the ideal to last you through one entire week between washings, with a little buffer for vacations, forgetfulness in keeping up the laundry, etc. Realize that most often you can wear one shirt or pair of pants more than once in that period of time.
Both Aaron and I have around seven shirts/tops (for each season -summer and winter), two pairs of pants and shorts/capri’s (with one extra for painting, and more messy house or car work), and 3-4 church outfits or more semi-formal attire (also for both seasons). All other undergarments and the like are limited to around seven pieces to last a week, once again. During the off season, we store the other seasons clothing in a box in our closet, to keep our closet clean and not overflowing with both seasons clothing. My pregnancy clothing is in another tote and is rotated as necessary.
Children may need more like 14 outfits, depending upon their age and around 7 pairs of pajamas, onzies/t-shirts, and socks. Infants and toddlers tend to get more dirty and thus may require two outfits a day. I have chosen to limit our children’s clothing to the maximum of 14 outfits per season, to last them for an entire week.
2. Weeding & When in Doubt Solutions
Before you begin to weed out some of your clothing, ask yourself the question, “have I worn this in the last year?” (The one exception is when dealing with pregnancy and maternity clothes – hold on to those if you are in that season of life). If you have not worn it in a year, then remove it all together. If in doubt, place it in the back of your wardrobe and if it never moves forward in six month’s time, then remove it…or try this little trick.
Hang all your clothing (besides maybe those casual pants) – this makes them easily accessible too! Turn all your “in doubt” clothing so that the hanger hooks are facing towards you (basically backwards). As you wear your clothing turn the hangers hooks around to face away from you (in the correct hanging position). This will tell you in a period of a month or so which clothing should stay and which should be removed. This is something I would do every six months or so, with the changing of the seasons.
Donate your unused clothes or resell them at a consignment shop.
3. Limit your color scheme
I have found it best to limit your color scheme in your clothing selection and when simplifying your wardrobe, choosing roughly three colors to stick with and one or two complementary colors. This simplifies your wardrobe by allowing you to mix and match your clothing rather than having an entire outfit that only works on its own. Don’t necessarily choose these colors based upon your favorites, but also evaluate your skin and hair type. Make sure these three colors go together so you can mix and match your clothing for variety and freshness. If you have three basic colors you don’t always have to wear that same skirt with that same blouse.
My dark hair makes warm, deep and some soft colors look the best on me (I fit into the Autumn colors), whereas light hair can get away with more lighter colors/ tones (tans, beige, yellows, etc). You want your face coloring to blend with the colors of your clothing, so that people are drawn to your face instead of your clothing. You will find depending upon your skin/hair color that certain colors look good on you and some do not. My closet contains mainly red, browns, black and white. The brown, black and white are my versatile colors that go together well and red and turquoise as my bright additions/complementary colors which also work well with brown or black bottoms. Begin simplifying your wardrobe by removing the colors that do not match well with your coloring and stick to three or four basic ones. Get others to help advice you on this as well!
Limiting your color scheme will help limit your accessories (stick to accessories that complement those main colors!) as well and shorten those shopping trips. You can pass right on by all those other colors that don’t fit into your wardrobe!
To figure out what colors work for you, check out Color Me Beautiful for a step by step guide to get you started on what season you are. They provide some helpful color schemes without buying their packets. There is also several books under the title Color Me Beautiful which will help guide you. This video is also very helpful in figuring our your coloring.
Stay tuned next week for part 2…for more tips and tricks to simplifying your wardrobe, including those purses and shoe collection!