Posts filed under ‘Downsize me’
Right, back to downsizing. After reading about this guy, I figured it was time to trim my wardrobe sails and get more minimal myself. But when I streamlined my collection of dresses, scarves and shoes, I needed a bit of a breather. Talk about traumatic. I’ve been surprised though – I haven’t missed a single item once and I love how much tidier certain areas of the wardrobe are now. So I am buoyed to carry on. Next stop: tops. But not jackets, jumpers, cardigans or vests. One step at a time people, one step at a time.
So I had 48 tops. Forty eight. That is quite a few tops. No wonder my drawer was shutting under considerable protest.
1. Patterned tops
There are heaps that I think are great in theory, but are always bad in practice so they never get worn. The red tops, like the red dresses, have had very few outings so they got the boot. Well, to be honest, only the swirly one got the boot because I do really love the material of the other one, and kinda thought that maybe this time I will wear it. We’ll see. There’s a Moochi top in there that never gets out, so thats gone out, and then there are some perennials in there that I have worn, and worn, and worn. So I said goodbye to leopard print and the blue spotted number too. No-one wants to be wearing giant spectacles from the eighties in the nineties (although now they are Bang! Awesome Again) so I thought it was best not to be stale and say adios, while we are still friends. And then there is Coral Camp. I never knew I had such a thing for the colour coral. I have a coral skirt too. Maybe I could wear it all together and wig out at myself. That’d be amazing. Needless to say, I kept all the coral I could.
This pile is almost exclusively kowtow clothing – organic fair-trade cotton awesomeness from right here in Wellington. I am a devout follower and ain’t no way I am separating myself from any of their numbers. If you aren’t already acquainted with them, than get so. Its guilt free goodness. I kept the yellow number from Kilt too, because it has two birds on it. Fickle and true.
A glitter singlet, a polka dot sheer top, a Sabatini top that should be good but isn’t, two mullet singlets – hmmm, there was a lot here to get rid of.
I took a photo, but really it just looks daft. Like it didn’t upload properly or something. So just imagine a pile of 16 black tops. Yeah, that is a few. Seems black is the constant across my wardrobe. I got rid of well over half – lets leave it at that shall we?
Sum total of tops after downsizing – 17. Thats the bottom of the drawer you can see there. I know -its a beautiful, beautiful sight.
There may be a sneaky few in the wash, but I figure, if they are in the laundry than I am clearly wearing them so that’s all good.
I looked at that minimal man again - he had five shirts sum total. Well, there’s minimal and then there’s me.
And I dont know – buying shoes second-hand just ain’t as enticing somehow. Hence my modest collection of 34 pairs of shoes. Not counting running/tramping shoes. No way I am using my quota up on those!
I tried to hack my collection down to 8 pairs, but it was too, too mean. I got pretty close though. I am very proud of getting my hoof options down to 12 pairs. Oh me, Oh my.
1. Full length black leather riding boots – vintage
2. Terra Plana black leather mid-calf boot – bought from Starfish
3. Trackers Cowboy ankle boot – vintage
4. Character Black Dance shoe – bought in London/vintage
5. Nude colour heeled shoe – bought in London
6. Stone coloured strapped heel – vintage
7. Wooden wedge – bought from Overland actually – made in Italy
8. Hogl shoe – bought in the marvellous Wairarapa at a particularly pleasing price
9-12 Various beachy flats
I hope I wont come to regret this fit of spartan.
I might just condense Steps 4-6 for your reading pleasure into a handy chart. There are only so many before and after shots you want to see I am sure.
So, sorting out my scarves were a breeze. I knew I had heaps of these suckers and boy was I right. But as I normally keep them stuffed in a bowling bag I never see exactly how many.
Soooooo, with a drum roll, here is my scarf collection before the cull. I had to take two photos, one of my longer scarves and one of my silkies. I love silk scarves but I collect them FAR more than I wear them. There were 28 scarves in total. That is alot of warm necks people!
And my after scarf situation. 11 scarves. Okay, so again, it’s not exactly minimal – but I have a feeling I will never be one of these people. But as long as I am not one of these people, all will be well.
Okay. So before we begin I suggest you pop back a couple of posts, and read about this guy. He owns a couple of handful of things and seems genuinely pleased to do so.
It challenged me. A lot. I subscribe to many of the measures of sustainable living and I do feel virtuous in the way I gather my threads, shwopping, opshopping and buying NZ made or ethically made things new. But the fact remains my wardrobe is absolutely FULL of clothes and I dont need them all. The volume of my treasures, after reading about Wardrobe Minimalism, is pretty darn shameful.
So I vowed to share my journey toward having a bit more wardrobe zen with you.
I decided to break the situation into pieces. And to start with dresses because they are pretty. And far more exciting to cull than socks. Although, that said, I wont need to downsize my sock collection at all. It seems I hoard in direct correlation with attractiveness.
Okay, so here is my BEFORE situation. 34 dresses. Yes, 34.
It was hard to get them all in the same shot, and this is the best I could do. I knew I had a penchant for black, but that penchant presented itself as 16 black dresses. I know I can’t need this many. I also had some dresses in there that I liked the idea of, but never wore in reality.
Clearly I think checkered dresses are a great idea but perhaps only in my dreams as I never take these guys out. So out they go. Similarly with that bright red Hailwood dress in there. I wore it to a wedding once, and never will again. Red is just not for me. So out it goes. And then there are the two fifties style polka dot dresses, both of which never see the light of day anymore. So out they go. The cobalt blue knit dress? Amazingly cool, but not on me. Out it goes. And then I took to the black dresses in the same scythe-like manner.
And, before you know it, I had chopped my dress collection, down to a trim 15 dresses.
AND, the unexpected boon of this, is I can see my personal style so much clearer now. I would have said I am eclectic at my best, downright confused at my worst, but looking at my streamlined collection, I clearly gravitate towards black and vintage. This is very helpful for this girl to know.
Doubters out there may point out that 15 dresses is hardly minimal. I know. I am kind of that person who had Exclusive Brethren length hair, chopped it to shoulder length hair and yet feels like Sinead. Fifteen dresses is feeling kind of bald to me you know?
So, as a mental break for myself, I am taking to scarves next. Equally pretty, but far less meaningful. See you there.
There seems to be great deal on the web at the moment about doing more with less, and its really inspiring me. After reading about Andrew Hyde, who owned only 15 things for a while ( he is currently up to a hoardworthy 39 things) I kind of think I have too much stuff. Well, actually that’s a lie. I KNOW I have too much stuff. Particularly too many clothes.
I know the world and I would be happier if I could just wear the same pair of slacks endlessly, but I can’t. That’s how The Big Shwop was born - out of a desire to get something fresh in my wardrobe paired with a reticence to use the earth’s resources by buying it new. And don’t get me wrong The Big Shwop works a treat for it – it rocks my world. Its a great, great thing.
BUT….the fact remains, that at a basic level, my wardrobe is a heaving beast. I cull it often enough, but new vintage finds sneak in and sentimental treasures hang out in ever-so-quietly. A new regime of ruthlessness is needed with the whole affair I think. Not that I want to get to the level that Andrew Hyde is at – not by any stretch of the imagination. For one thing, he likes outdoor wear. But I think I am going to start by trotting off to my room and doing a full counted stocktake of the situation. This will take some time. Once I have reported back, I am then going to set a goal and cut my trappings on down.
And to inspire me further in this whole folly is this quote from Andrew, the Man of Very Few Things,
“Once you get used to simplicity, the complex normality that others have
becomes the audacious thing.”