Me vs. STUFF
True story: my senior capstone project in college was a project I called Purchase My Life [dot] com. It was a personal social experiment on consumerism, and it was sobering. I cataloged all my belongings (and I had a lot of them!) and rated them on two scales: (1) of nostalgia and (2) of value. I then proceeded to sell my belongings on eBay to track where they went and how much it hurt to lose them in relation to where they fell on the two scales. It was the first time that I publicly admitted that I had a problem.
If you know me at all or read Adored Austin for any length of time (especially pre-kids!), it's clear that I really enjoy the act of shopping. I mean, duh! It's why I had a personal style blog to begin with! However, this problem that I have-- this tendency to accumulate things-- was a problem long before I had a blog. This is no secret nor is it any new admission. I do, however, think the blog magnified it and flamed the fire for the desire to chase trends. So in 2011, two years after I started my blog, I made a commitment to shop more thoughtfully; I called it "Shopping with Heart". I tried to buy clothing that was domestically made or second hand or from companies who had a give-back model or who had a commitment to producing goods made under humane working conditions.
And things changed. The bad: I had to part ways with a few of my sponsoring brands and shopping at the mall got to be difficult. The good: Shopping at the mall got to be difficult, but I learned about companies such as Noonday Collection, Raven + Lily, and Purse & Clutch. I bought more thoughtfully and bought less.
But when I was packing up all my belongings for this move, I was struck by how much clothing and how many pairs of shoes I still have. You would be aghast. One whole walk-in closet was filled, filled, filled. Granted, most of it is pre-2011 and pre-kids, but a good portion of it is stuff I got on a whim at thrift stores. I don't wear most of what I own. I don't even regularly wear half of what I own. Maybe I don't even wear 25% of what I own.
This is a problem. In the illustrious words of someone, "That ain't right!"
I need another change.
I'm mulling over a doing a capsule wardrobe each season from here on out. The seed was planted by my buddy Katherine and shortly after that, it's been popping up all over my own social media feeds. Grechen (the TxSC catalyst!) pared down her wardrobe and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Project 333 is all over Pinterest, and Un-Fancy is KILLING IT in this realm. If you would have asked me to do a capsule wardrobe a couple months ago, I would have said "H-to the ELLO, no." I failed Kendi's famed 30x30 for goodness sakes.
However, since most of my belongings are in storage, I'm already living with what is essentially a capsule wardrobe, and I am surprised at how much easier it is to get dressed every morning. Granted, I wish I would have chosen what I have here more thoughtfully, but I've been living out of one suitcase for three weeks now (with at least five more weeks to go), and I haven't sobbed in my pillow about it or died or anything like that yet. So, what I'm saying is, I think I can do it.
If all goes well in the next phase of negotiations with the house, we'll close Oct. 28. I'll get my belongings out of storage that weekend and can start utilizing a winter capsule wardrobe starting Nov. 1 through Feb. 1.
I've been scouring methods and Un-fancy is my fav. I'll be doing 33 items: 15 tops, nine bottoms / dresses, and nine pairs of shoes. I may or may not count coats in the 33 (how cold does Atlanta get?), and this does not include gym clothes (but I'll limit myself to two tops and two bottoms, my one pair of running shoes and my one pair of weight lifting shoes). I still want to use items that fall under my Shop With Heart guidelines, and of course, I want to keep downsizing my closet and listing things on Poshmark. We will see if I fail this endeavor miserably, but I have high hopes! Plus I have all of October to pump myself up to be able to do this.
Anyone else want to jump in? Solidarity? Support?