Hello Internet! It has been a while since I’ve been on this. And in the last 6 months or more so in the last four years I have accumulated a wardrobe bursting in its capacity. I may not be able to give Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic a run for her money, but 2018 is my year of decluttering and cleansing as I end this four-year chapter of university.
Over the four years, my style had transitioned immensely, as I learned more about fashion and myself. I stopped following the immediate trends by 2017, and entering 2018 I realized I was not going to back how I dressed in high school or even as a freshmen at university. So instead of forcing myself to constantly wrack my brain on what I should wear, and how to create an outfit every day; I decided on a purge over spring break.
I’ve gone over many books on organization, style, and decluttering. Mind you, my bedtime book is Victoria Beckham’s rulebook. But when the time came to actually do this purge all the books and videos I have watched did not matter. I did not base my entire project on them. I took a little from all the information undoubtedly and made a way to put it into effect for myself. So here are the steps I followed… I tried to be as ruthless as I could be. My goal was to stay under 100 pieces, which included clothes, shoes, accessories. Makeup is worth a whole other story. But as of now I never really made it to under a 100 since I decided to keep my accessories so that I could rotate them.
From the beginning of this project, I knew I had 30 or 40 pieces combined that I could not bear to be without. These pieces made me feel confident and powerful, and no matter what I felt inside, as soon as I put them on, my posture and attitude towards the day would change. So to ensure that these were the pieces I constantly reached for I made a list just from memory of the pieces that I was constantly wearing throughout the year. Surprisingly there were only 25 pieces that came to me instantly and in another round the next 15 hit me. This list was not based on any season but my constants throughout the year. They could fall into any season and be used as transitional pieces.
After this list, I went through my closet first, mind you as it is still winter here in Tokyo much of my closet consists of sweaters and winter wear. I began with my list separating them, if there were sweaters that had not even come out the whole season so far, they would not be remembered again. They went in the “give back to mom” pile or the donation pile. In terms of donation, I take most of the worn down clothing items to H&M and get coupons for the recycled items. Clothes that are in better condition or are valued more, I sell them at second-hand stores or apps like FRIL.
After this, came all the pieces from different seasons and different phases. There were pieces from my graphic t-shirts describe my life phase, my neon color days, and my Spice Girls phase. These were the things I would not ever wear again. I realized that if I ever wanted to be the next Blair Waldorf meets Indra Nooyi, I had to have pieces that defined me and I could wear both casually and professionally. I had outgrown so much of my wardrobe. So much of it was the sale price t-shirts bought in different colors, but the reality was I would stick to 6 or 7 colors. I always rotated between black, white, beige, grey, red, and blue in denim.
Even though I tried to be ruthless, there were some pieces that I would try and work them into my every day once more before giving up on them. After this three day project, now my entire wardrobe went from half a dozen boxes, suitcases and a closet to a closet and a fashion rack. All my pieces now complement one another and I can match each top to at least four bottoms and create four different looks.
My constant overwhelmed attitude towards my closet and the feeling of being powerless has decreased. And I’ve fallen back in love with creating looks and I feel powerful in them again. I’ve discovered that I tend to stick solid colors and only like abstract prints as accent pieces.
I admit that it was overwhelming in the beginning and even while I purged my entire room was a disaster, and I could not believe I had accumulated so much of what I thought I would wear someday but that someday had not arrived and may never arrive. In the end, I still have a moving box worth of clothes from the purge that I have to go through before saying goodbye, but as for now, my closet is a reflection of me and the woman I want to be and the person I constantly strive to be.
As Queen Wintour would say, “To me, fashion is ceaselessly fascinating because it is an expression of self.”