We all know that we have too many clothes in our lives, yet everyday we step foot in our closets and repeat the same words "I have nothing to wear."
Believe it or not, even as a blogger I struggle to find clothes to wear while digging through piles and piles of potential outfits. It got to the point that dressing up became a moment of stress, especially in the mornings. That is when I knew a lot had to change.
Three weeks ago, I decided that it was time to stretch my minimalist journey into my closet area. There were tears, internal arguments, more tears...but at the end came ultimate happiness.
One of the first steps in decluttering my closet was understanding my relationship with clothing. As a plus sized woman, I am just starting to experience the world of having MANY options. Unfortunately as a result of that, I hold onto every possible outfit...maybe out of fear that one day brands will go back to making things up to just a size 10. As I looked at my clothes I had to ask myself simple questions.
1. How many outfits can I make out of this (REALISTICALLY. If it is less than 5 it goes)
2. How many times have I worn this in the last 90 days (if it was less than 3 then it has to go).
3. Do I have more than one thing similar to this? ( This works well with jeans...you DO NOT NEED 5 TYPES OF RIPPED JEANS)
Getting through the functional aspect of decluttering is actually quite easy. You ask the right questions and put things in black trash bags before you can talk yourself out of it. (ps- the key is to use black bags...if you use the white ones you can still see items and then you will start to take things out.)
The hard part comes with dealing with clothes that have apparent emotional value. Good grief, I am embarrassed to tell you how many of my ex-boyfriends shirts I still owned. I had clothes from high school (because I wanted to pass them onto my kids). I had clothes from college (Because maybe one day they will come back into fashion). I had clothes that were too small (because maybe one day I will be able to fit into them). I had clothes that were gifted to me that I would never wear (but I felt too bad throwing them out).
Lets be honest, as you read through that, you checked off at least three of those boxes...don't lie!
The trick is to ask yourself the last time you thought of that piece of clothing? Some pieces I have are so so so emotionally valuable that they cross my mind from time to time (those are the ones you keep).
Next is the hard part, you have to get rid of everything that you are not wearing right now. If it doesn't fit...it goes... (not into storage...but actually goes). If you owned it long ago and haven't touched it in years... it goes. (If you have a pile of those kinds of items...allow yourself to keep one thing from them). IF someone gave you the outfit and you have never worn it because it doesn't fit your style...IT GOES. This will also teach you to tell people to not buy you clothes.
My mother loves to buy me clothes, or send me some of her stuff. I had to have the conversation that I have no space, and I would rather she send me items I ask for. This is the discipline that will help you sustain longer.
Lastly - Please remember that sorting through your closet is something you NEEEEEEEED to do alone. You cannot get help from a friend. The act of going minimalist involves you having conversations with yourself, it needs for you to touch every single item, it needs for you to understand the value of not holding onto things, and for that reason it needs to be a personal one.
After my closet purge, I realized that I only owned four pairs of jeans (down from 18 pairs). I chose to keep a pair of RiverIsland Jeggings (pictured above), my favorite pair of distressed River Island Jeans (I wear these alot in posts), and two pairs of other jeans from other brands (One has a slight distress in the knee), and the other are faded denim. This seems like very little, but there are great ways in which you can get value for your jeans by learning how to style them from dressed up to dressed down.
Below, I take you through some interesting ways to do this, by pairing my FAVE pair of River Island jeans with different looks. (Yes I actually own these jeans and have had them for almost two years). Have a look below, and if you like anything you may purchase with a special 20% off code this week.
Use code 4thJULY for discounts ( to shop the items, simply click on the image)
The Over-Dressed Casual
This is basically how I will show up to all casual events. The trick here is to pair your jeans with statement pieces. I am pretty much into graphic tees now and love to push the limit by adding statement jewelry to it as well. When picking statement jewelry I always have it match to something within the outfit, in this case I wanted to pull out the pinks in the shirt. The Grey heels help keep it all neutral without having it overdone (do not try and match everything down to your shoes...you will look like you are trying too hard!
The Real Real Casual
This is for the moments when you literally do not feel like getting dressed. I always make sure to have that ONE white t-shirt that is great quality which I can wear on days like this. The true thing here is that although you are casual, there has to be a bit of chicness to it. For that reason I threw in a pop of color in my shoes and tied it in with the subtle earrings.
The I Am Wearing Jeans To Work Look
I am the person who wears jeans to work most of the time, but even when I do, I don't want it to seem like I am wearing jeans to work. I make sure that in these cases, the top I choose to wear is a tiny bit more formal. In the look below I paired the same jeans with a white shirt that still had character to it. When it comes to the shoes, I play it by day of the week. If it is friday, I go very casual but spunky with the shoes, if it is any other day I throw in some lady like heels to tie it all together.
The Night Out Look
This is for the times when you may be at work (in your jeans) and the girls ask you to come out for drinks and dancing. To add a bit of overdressyness to it, I threw in the Kimono and tied it together with sky high heels. The trick here is to tuck in the white top, this helps accentuate your silhouette. Also, every one of every size can tuck in your top, don't feel the need to have to hide your tummy...it is there... OWN IT.
This post was in partnership with River Island, who has been a great supporter of this blog from Day 1!!!!
Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.