Back in college, at my smallest, I was wearing a size xs, a 2 generally speaking. I was eating whole heads of steamed broccoli for dinner and raw fruits and veggies only. I didn’t drink alcohol. I didn’t cook or bake. I never enjoyed eating out- heck I didn’t even drink coffee for real yet! I went for long long runs and kept track of my miles on my little Nike fit sneaker chip thing that used to be so popular. What the heck was that thing called?!
But I’m different now. I’ve birthed three HUMAN BEINGS out of my pelvis and my literal actual bones have moved and shifted. I felt every millimeter change and every bit of pressure and pain. And I’ve accepted with gratitude how much my body can accomplish and be put through. I know that the reverse of what happens when THREE HUMANS are born from my own body takes time, patience, grace and love. I’m ok with all of that. I cook again now obviously (with reckless abandon!) and I bake and eat sugar and carbs and gluten and fat and oil and allthethings in relative moderation. I absolutely love going out to eat. Coffee with cream and sugar and the addition-of-the-moment is just a constant guarantee. The most exercise I do is playing in some capacity with my girls.
I am so utterly hopelessly happily OK with all of that.
See that woman up there? ^^ That’s me; comfy in her own skin Mama of three and wife to my one.
But myGOSHwoman the closet situation was so far beyond out of control. WHY WHY was I keeping and storing and constantly pulling out clothes that wouldn’t ever fit my body anymore? That I hadn’t worn in half a decade? That you can’t nurse in? Can’t move in? Can’t play in? Enter the elusive fox casually known as LETTING GO. Hard in theory, yes? Harder in practice, definitely. It’s not so much that I want that skinny girl back. She didn’t have what I have now. But I guess I haven’t been ready to let her go until now. It’s taken me a long time to walk into my closet and just think, “I deserve to see clothes that I love, that make me feel beautiful.” Instead of seeing clothes that are too small, or too big. Clothes I might have worn to the bar or club or to a particularly fun party
back in the day a few years ago. Or just simply clothes that are never to be worn again because they were SO worn (out) during one pregnancy (or all of them). I HAVE beautiful clothes, I OWN things that make me feel amazing. So what in the heck am I doing?!
I brought up the trash bags (let’s call them the big guns), put the kids in a long bubble bath on repeat over the course of a week, and got to work.
This epic closet purge garnered some thought provoking feedback on Instagram. Calling it a “capsule wardrobe” wouldn’t be entirely accurate but I guess it’s not false either. But how did I do it? Why is it so hard? How do you begin?
Here it is in a (really long) nutshell:
Capsule Wardrobe 101
Pairing down your closet so everything you own is everything you’ll actually wear!
(and before you ask, NO I did not photo-catalogue my entire closet because… babies haha)
1. Take everything out of your closet. I wanted to kick myself after doing this as it was a PAINFULLY SLOW process for me. With three little ones, a dog and
four five chickens to take care of I just could not dedicate once chunk of time to going through all of my clothes. But having the “Mt. Everest” pile in the only bathroom of our only house (harhar) meant I HAD to go through everything before putting it back because the mess was quite frankly unliveable.
2. Try on every single item of clothing. For me, deciding what to keep came down to one single thing: could I walk out the door at that moment wearing it? If the answer was no, the item was placed in one of three piles: consign, donate, or trash. There was a very limited fourth pile of clothes – the super nice items that were too small that were worth keeping “just incase” I ever fit in them again (classic designer jeans, formal black cocktail dress etc). If they were a reasonable size and something I LOVED, they stayed to be boxed up and stored somewhere NOT inside my closet.
3. Make a Capsule Wardrobe board on Pinterest. (HERE IS MINE) Add items that would be ideal for you from places you are likely to shop. This is essential. For me these places were stores like Gap, Old Navy, JCrew, LOFT, Nordstrom, Target and a few others. If you aren’t likely to order a $200 Tshirt from some obscure online boutique, don’t add a t shirt from some obscure online boutique. This board needs to be a sort of recipe for your ideal wardrobe and adding items you’ll realistically never own is pointless.
4. Cross check the clothing items in your “keep” pile to the board you just created on Pinterest. What items match up? What colors are you noticing that you gravitate towards? What area of your closet are you lacking: jackets? bottoms? dresses?
5. Make a short list of various clothing WON’Ts for your particular preferences. For me the list is this:
-I WONT wear anything that requires a special bra. I’m a nursing mama and my girls simply must have full support.
-I WONT wear anything bright green, orange or red. That’s not to say I don’t like the colors but I just KNOW my preferences.
-I WONT wear anything with a natural waist or tight midriff area.
-I WONT wear anything that requires multiple layers. Sheer shirts, crop tops… Just no.
-I WONT wear anything requiring special washing care. I’ll make an exception for a special occasion dress I love but that’s it.
Now go back to your keep pile. Considering the list you just made- what else needs to go? For me, I had to part with a few more tops that required layers to be appropriate for me right now and another few dresses that used to be comfortable in pre pregnancy days but no longer had accommodating waists for my shape. They technically “fit” but based on my WONT list I knew I’d never reach for them. <<< HARD for me.