As I have grown into myself, or what I should say as grown into an adult and developed my core life values, I have learned to value experiences and relationships over things. But one area of my life where I have struggled deeply with that idea is my closet. I hate to be the cliche shopping-obsessed female stereotype (which I certainly am not) or reinforce it in anyway, but I do have a wardrobe that is certainly larger than I need... or at least I did.
I used to hoard clothing and shoes. At one point I had over 60 paris of shoes, that's more than one pair for every week in the year! And although this pales in comparison to the closets of many fashionistas, my wardrobe stood in stark contradiction to what I believed in. I used to thrift and vintage shop a lot, believing that secondhand was better and more justifiable to both my pocket book and my philosophy of sustainability (which I still believe in today). But because of these same justifications I acquired far more than I needed. Everything I owned there was a duplicate in another color or hem length or sometimes the same color and hem length! It became out of control. So before I moved back to New York City I purged. It was the perfect opportunity since I would no longer have the double walk-in closets where I could hide my atrocities. Much of my clothing went to family and friends, other things I donate, and the vintage items I had a hard time just giving away I sold on Etsy (which funded my trip to Europe before grad school!).
The things I no longer have I do not even miss. I realized many of those items held me hostage, instilling a fear of regret if I have them away. It is easy to feel this way about material items you have memories with. I still remember going to a thrift store and the rush of an amazing find, and I still enjoy it. I just have to hold myself back and ask "what is I truly need." And this need isn't just practical, it's what do I need in my wardrobe to feel like me and present myself authentically without burdening my closet with frivolousness.
Maybe all of this is what most people already know, I know that living in NYC has always been bittersweet when it comes to clothing. There is inspiration and access to so much creativity, but that also can serve as a distraction and overindulgence. Now I like to use Pinterest to collect my inspirations and plan my wardrobe (as well as my interiors!), that way I can prevent impulse buying and duplication.
All this to say this Spring I am taking a different approach to updating my closet... more to come.