My closet has recently undergone a transition. In fact, it’s ongoing.
This is not just about changing from Summer to Winter, white linens to camel corduroy. This is about the year-long flux my closet has been in, ever since deciding to move to the city and to a life with less stuff.
Now, by normal standards (certainly by Steve’s standards…!), I have a lot of clothes. And shoes. And decorative accessories, and whatnots. I probably always will. But I have a lot less than I used to.
It’s not just about moving from a three-story suburban house with endless storage to a pied a terre less than half that size. It’s not about my weight (for once!). A lot of it is about realizing that the kind of life we want requires less stuff and is indeed made easier–facilitated by, even–having less stuff.
We want smaller space, a central location, less time at home, more “better” stuff and less “meh” stuff, and the ease to pick it all up and move if we want to. Having one hundred and twenty five pairs of shoes makes that hard. Having a mere sixty or seventy? Do-able.
Being in a city has changed things, too. No car? No elaborate wardrobe, just-so hair, sky high heels, long sweeping coat, massive purse. Relying on–and preferring–the Metro, bus, and good ole’ walking has resulted in a necessary shift to classic, clean, and interesting outfits, simple hair that can be fixed once you arrive, practical stylish outerwear (…inevitable rain), a larger tote bag into which a small crossbody purse lives (along with my lunch), and commuter shoes. Hideous commuter shoes. But still. I am now one of those people who I never understood before: one of those people with like four pairs of shoes in her office.
No longer needing a suit one-two times a week, I’m now happily in the land of dresses and separates. So the eighteen suits I moved down here, not knowing where I’d be working or what I’d need to wear, have slowly been culled to ten. And they’ll probably get whittled to five or seven.
I was never, ever a sweats person, and I still am not! But I am even less so now. Running tights/leggings are my go-to lounge around pants, paired with a stylish tee or tunic or oversized but nice sweater. If I need to run up the hill for milk or grab an Uber to Hala’s in the rain for a night of tv and wine, that’s the default. I own maybe two or three pairs of jeans right now, and I’ll probably lose one of those because I don’t need a thousand options: I need one or two. Even my PJs haven’t been spared…I mean seriously, who needs all these things in the guise of options?! I’m learning…not me.
I’m not now living off of a capsule wardrobe or a monochromatic minimalist wardrobe, and I certainly haven’t been on any sort of ridiculous shopping bans. No. I’ve been increasing my stash in some areas. Jewelry and scarves, for example, have become an inexpensive, small, but powerful way to transform the reduced wardrobe, so naturally I’ve been adding there. It helps when your best friend sells excellent jewelry… 😉 I’m working on upping my blazer game, too, now that the reliance on suits has decreased. Flats and commuter shoes–preferably, non-hideous–are always on my radar. I’ve also amassed an appropriately large array of raingear, too.
This mindset has been hard to keep to, honestly, this time of year. Everything is on sale, it seems. And I find myself saying “Self, that’s a great deal! You should buy it!”
But I haven’t, which is huge. Aside from a few pencil skirts to replace some dated ones, I’m over shopping for myself right now.
In this season of “more is more,” I’m wanting less and less, and living with what I have. Living with it, yes, but also loving the process.