Amanda is a Hamilton, ON based watercolour painter, sewing instructor, knitter, mother, and generally crafty person!

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Purging & Rebuilding my Wardrobe

Purging & Rebuilding my Wardrobe

I've been reading this blog Into Mind and also Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect Series.  I've also had tons of time to think about what I wear every day as I am now sewing some of it. It inspired me to completely purge my closet last night. It's been a while since I last did that, and even when I did do it previously, I was always saving things for sentimental reasons or in case I fit them again. Last night I was completely and thoroughly brutal about whether I would ever wear an item again. I tried it on and if it looked terrible, I donated it. 

So two massive garbage bags later, I am left with about 6 skirts (3 are green? Hmm), 1 pair of dress pants, 3 pairs of jeans, some workout clothes, 2 hoodies, about 5 dresses (2 fancy and 3 everyday), an awesome swimsuit, about 8 loose button-downs/blouses, 1 blazer, 1 sweater, 4 cardigans and a handful of knit tops (hopefully to be shortly replaced). 

You guys, it feels and looks like NOTHING is in my closet. 

It feels surprisingly great. I truly love the remaining items and can't wait to wear them!

I made a list of things that impact my clothing and wardrobe choices and was honest about my limitations and strengths. Here are some of the key things for me:

  • My celiac disease/acid reflux makes super tight clothing quite painful. Constriction on my stomach makes me nauseous and has caused me to have to cancel plans. Super too-tight clothes MUST be avoided. Likewise, I have orthotic inserts and find cheap flats incredibly painful to wear for more than an hour. I hate wearing hideous shoes but I love being able to walk so stop judging my granny shoes.
  • I'm tall. Clothes that are too short make me self-conscious and fidgety. I don't want any clothing items that I constantly have to adjust. 
  • I have pretty nice legs and I love skirts, especially in warmer weather. Skirts and dresses FTW!
  • Although I love to buy see-through lacy/chiffon blouses and tops, I never ever wear them. I just donated about 10 of this kind of shirt, and I am cutting myself off from immediately replacing them. They don't really fit my everyday lifestyle (making things/baking/playing with Finn) so although they are super pretty, they just aren't ideal.
  • I love belting things at my waist and only have one belt that I consistently use. More belts needed ASAP!
  • It turns out I kind of hate skinny jeans on me? I like a slimmer leg on lots of other people, but maybe straight or boyfriend jeans are more my style. 
  • I had a lot of office clothes from my days in an office, but my life now needs more active wear for walking Finn and painting and getting down on the floor to cut fabric and move boxes in my part time job. I need more jeans, so there are more to rotate through, and more tops that make me feel good and pulled together but are easy to move in and aren't fidgety.
  • I like feminine, romantic clothes in bright colours and patterns. Besides my everyday jeans and a button-down, I would like to build a wardrobe of dresses and skirts that I can wear when teaching sewing classes or meeting friends for coffee or shopping or just any day when I am not being super hard on my clothes. 

Phew! It seems like a lot, but the Into Mind website has you break down your style into what they call "Proportions", which are kind of a classic uniform of sorts that you always fall back on. So Proportion 1 for me is a flared/gathered knee length skirt and a fitted top. Proportion 2 is my everyday uniform of jeans and a blouse or button-down with my granny shoes that allow me to walk around. Proportion 3 is a knee length dress with/without a cardigan.  Those three options really do cover 90% of situations I find myself in, so I am going to work on building up those three categories. 

How do you guys feel about your wardrobes? I have to admit that I never thought about this until recently. I am normally one of those people who waits until an emergency (Job interview tomorrow! Need emergency dress pants! Drive to closest store and get first thing that fits!) to add to my wardrobe. OR I walk into Anthropologie and buy ten things that I don't need and blow my entire budget for the year. HA. So guilty of that one. 

Also, I feel like style comes so effortlessly to some people (like my sister or my old roommate) and without them there to give me feedback/let me piggyback off their style, I kind of just float along in a state of perpetual frumpiness? So maybe planning it out like this will work for me. I will keep you all posted!

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