This post is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I haven’t decided the best way to present it. I haven’t figured it all out. But I need to START. So I’m starting.
This post is about clothes, mostly. But, more than that, it’s about self-expression and self-acceptance. It’s probably about a lot of other things. Let’s begin:
THE CURATED CLOSET
I read, no I am reading the Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. I’ve always been about refining my style and I thought this would help. What I didn’t realize was it would bring me face to face with the reality that I shop too much, I don’t buy quality and I don’t have any idea what I like. It pains me to admit how many mistakes I’ve made. All the items I never should have bought. Don’t get the wrong idea, the book has been really fun and helpful. I really enjoyed the various exercises: creating an inspiration file, two weeks of test outfits and then analysis, creating a mood board, then defining a style profile and color palette. I learned how to balance the types of clothes I have for the actual lifestyle that I have. (Apparently I think I go to a lot a fancy parties!) I did a lot of self-discovery and thinking. I thought I was ready to go out and start buying the right clothes for me, carefully chosen clothes that would be perfect. I had pretty much taken the month of January off from shopping. On February 1st I hit the stores. I bought five things and returned three. I felt anxious as well as empty. Something had changed. More thoughts about this to come.
My favorite blogger right now is Un-fancy. Caroline is a curated-closet, capsule-wardrobe prophet! I really respect bloggers like Caroline who post consistently. They show up daily. That is hard to do! I also love her photography. The ‘set’, the lighting, and her writing are so beautiful, clean and simple—reflecting the content and philosophy she embodies. Reading Un-fancy led me to The Curated Closet and the spiritual awakening I just spoke about. And then…
…a few weeks ago I stumbled upon Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix. It features The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus who wrote the book on the subject Everything That Remains. It also features Courtney Carver of Project 333. I think I’ve always been a minimalist. It really shows in my home decor (or lack thereof). People who know me tease me about how empty my house is, about how much I hate clutter. (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was written specifically for me!) I’ve always been drawn to modernism and scandinavian style. But secretly I’ve felt like there was something weird about me. Watching this film made me feel so validated. Having a word for only keeping what you need and really love made it seem normal. It made me want to be more minimal. It feels really good to me. In my soul. But the reality is that I don’t always do what is good for my soul. A part of my soul is sick. A part of it feels scared and “not enough.”
I could tell you about my deprived childhood and my very frugal Dad who only let me get clothes from Sears and only if I really needed them. I could point to the popular girls in school who had the cool clothes that I didn’t. But that doesn’t have to define me. What I’m learning is that making a decision to acquire only what you need doesn’t need to feel like a punishment. I don’t have to feel deprived. I can make the decision that I’m enough no matter what I have or what I wear. I can also make mindful choices about having certain beautiful things. I think that’s okay.
I’m committing to not buying clothes for the rest of February. I’m going to finish the Curated Closet and continue to remix my clothes in new ways.
I’m working on some new content — on my fitness regime and on recommitting myself to eating healthy. Not bootcamp style. This year I’m looking to get in shape mindfully.
Thanks for reading!
Halfway through your first paragraph, I thought of Project 333. I have watched the Minimalists too. I like the idea. I have a closet, no three, filled with clothes of which I wear about one-third. Mostly because they no longer fit or I just don’t like them anymore.
I would like to try Project 333, but I am too afraid. Afraid I will magically drop the 30 pounds needed to fit into them? Afraid they will come back into style? Afraid I will not have enough to choose from? Or maybe afraid I will have too much empty closet space!
Nevertheless, I like the idea. So, if you try it, please let me know how it goes. And if not, don’t fret, February is a short month 😉
Thanks for your comment Susan! Why do we hold on to things that we don’t need? I think is will take me a while to be okay with less.