My shoe collection is outgrowing its allotted space, collaboration opportunities are filling my time and I’m starting to feel like I don’t know what to wear. Sounds like it’s time for a good, honest Closet Check In. I like to do these periodically because 1) I always want to be transparent with you guys and 2) it forces me to actually take the time to be mindful and assess my closet and the goals I have.
1 // SHOP ETHICALLY. I feel really good about saying I set this goal quite some time ago (two years this summer) and I really haven’t looked back. I am so used to avoiding places like the mall, even stores I once loved, (*cough* Madewell). I’m thankful that shopping with ethics in mind has become second-nature. It’s fun to read back on some of my first musings on the concept of slow fashion, because I share the same sentiments today. The bottom line: people are more important than clothes, and no person should be harmed in the making of your clothes, to include unsafe sweatshops. Inexpensive clothing is just not worth it. Furthermore, our fast and furious consumption of clothing is damaging the environment. The apparel industry is one of the leading causes of pollution to our planet.
I’ll cautiously say I think this topic is continuing to move away from fringe conversations and more toward the mainstream. There is a lot to take in, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Here are a few resources to help. If you want to learn more, check out this fabulous guest essay I published awhile back, or catch The True Cost documentary on Netflix. If you want to know how to get started on simply shopping ethically, try my Baby Steps. If you’re just looking for a place to shop responsibly made goods, visit my Where to Shop page.
2 // MAINTAIN A LEAN CLOSET. I want getting dressed to be simple and easy. The most effective way I’ve found to do this is through a lean closet. When I was a capsule’r I did this by storing away everything but my current capsule. It made getting dressed very easy. Now that I live outside the capsule realm, I have to be extra careful or my closet will feel overwhelming. I try to keep a strict gate about what I allow in, but it can be hard when you’re a blogger, and the opportunity to add more items presents itself on a regular basis. I am very thankful for the opportunity to showcase brands and designers for you guys, and the opportunities are what keep my blog moving forward. That said, I am very choosy about the brands I work with, and the number of items I take as ‘gifted.’ I don’t want to end up with an overstuffed closet again, and I don’t want to be ‘out of touch’ with non-blogger folks who are doing their best to stay stylish on an ethical wardrobe. Currently, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by my wardrobe, so I plan to pack away a few of my colder weather items – some sweaters and a flannel – to reduce the visual noise.
3 // LIMIT CLOTHING PURCHASES TO 3 ITEMS PER SEASON. This is probably the hardest of my goals, but also my favorite. I love the way it forces me to look at my clothing in terms of trade-offs. Which do I want more, sandals or another summer dress? Which hole in my closet would get the most mileage if filled? This ‘rule’ makes it a lot easier to pass on any would-be filler items. It also plays into my first goal, because let’s face it, shopping ethically can be pricey. But, if I’m only buying 2-3 items a season, I can usually afford to spend a little more on them. This goal also supports my second goal, for obvious reasons. Care of, or c/o items are a definite ‘gray’ area when it comes to this goal. For example, for spring I have purchased four items, but I have accepted a handful of gifted items that are parts of collaborations and reviews. As I mentioned above those items are the fuel that helps propel this blog forward. A big part of what I do here is connect people like you with like-minded ethical brands. To do that I share and showcase a little more than the average woman. Therefore I’ve chosen not to include gifted items in my ‘3 per season’ rule.
How have I faired on this goal so far this year? Not as good as I’d hoped. I only made 3 purchases for winter, but between winter and spring I added some jeans, a cardigan, even a winter coat I snapped up on sale. That was before I got to my spring purchases (which I detailed in my last post). So, I still have work to do in this department, but overall it has really shaped my buying and shopping.
WINTER GOAL CHECK IN:
Mega kudos if you’ve made it this far. This post has turned into a lengthy one. On a much briefer note, we find my seasonal goals. This winter I set out with these three in mind:
1 // Work on identifying my uniform, in 2-3 versions. – I put a post together on this topic, and found the introspection helpful. However, after a little time passed, I found the third uniform wasn’t quite accurate. Perhaps trying to nail three uniforms in one season was a bit ambitious.
2 // Continue to keep my dresses and skirt game strong. – Definitely struggled here, as I yammered on about a few days ago. I’m letting go of the ‘shoulds’ for now, and I feel good about it. See you in the 70’s my lovely dresses.
3 // Avoid making clothing purchases until spring. – I did good on this one, until I didn’t. I ended up buying two items off season (vintage denim, and fisherman sweater) plus a winter coat. Part of the reason for the impulse buys were because vintage items can be rather hard to find, so when I spotted them I felt the need to pounce.
ANY NEW GOALS FOR SPRING?
I’m pretty exhausted from reviewing all of this, and thinking about it all, so I plan to keep it super simple for spring.
GOAL: Make getting dressed easy. If I have to pack some items away, I might do that. Or maybe it’s time to purge. I’ve also been toying around with this new app Cladwell sent me to preview called Outfits by Cladwell.* You input your wardrobe, and then it checks the local weather and your closet inventory to suggest something for you to wear for the day. So far I haven’t worn exactly what it suggests, but it’s given me a great starting point. Either way, bring it on spring, let’s do this!
YOUR TURN! Now that I’m finished talking about my closet and goals, I want to hear about yours. Do you have overall goals you want to share? Or do you set goals seasonally?
*Contains affiliate link.