Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Wardrobe Review

When I originally started this blog two years ago, my closet was a mess. Work had recently instituted a dress code, and getting dressed to meet that code was more difficult than it should have been. After years of working in various office and non-office environments, my wardrobe was a hodgepodge. Add in a couple years of restricted spending, and my wardrobe basics were either in need of replacement or straight up missing.

For the last two years I’ve done a closet inventory and analyzed the colours of the items in my wardrobe to determine where my holes were, where I was bloated, what I actually wore, and to give me an idea of what I need to work on. From where I started two years ago, it definitely helped.

To a point.

I’ve cleared out a fair bit of dead weight from my wardrobe, and added some nice pieces. Have I been entirely successful in building a polished wardrobe that makes it easy to get dressed in the morning though? Not really. Part of the issue is that I’m adding pieces solely because I think they’ll make my wardrobe more interesting, which will then make it easier to get dressed in the morning. It doesn’t work that way! The only thing that actually makes getting dressed in the morning easier is when my laundry is clean and put away so that I can access my go to base pieces over and over again.

When I close my eyes and visualize how I want to look, it’s been the same for years. I want my clothes to be classic, polished and unfussy. I want them to fit me perfectly. I picture myself in black, white, tan and navy. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult, should it? Yet here we are two years later, and I don’t feel like I’ve made as much progress as I should have. Why do I keep experimenting with different styles when they don’t match the image of myself that I have in my mind?

I found a lot of these questions bubbling to the surface last month. A lot of items entered my closet, and yet standing there looking at it, it didn’t feel like “me”. Part of the issue is that I’m slow to hang up my clothes after washing them, so my most worn items are rarely actually in the closet. But if that’s the case, what are the rest of the items doing in there? Why don’t I reach for them? Why do I have so many items taking up valuable space if I don’t want to wear them?

The idea of a capsule wardrobe has been so heavily done by the blogging community that it’s pretty much a cliche. That being said, I realized that being sized between my maternity clothes and my regular clothes has effectively turned my wardrobe into exactly that – a capsule. It’s much smaller than usual, and items are being moved in and out of it as I change sizes instead of as the seasons change. It turns out I can live with a much smaller wardrobe than I’m used to as long as everything fits properly.

I don’t want to be mindlessly buying clothes month after month because it’s a form of entertainment. Fashion is entertaining to me, but that’s not a blanket excuse to consume, especially if it’s not getting me to where I ultimately want to go. I feel a little better about it when my purchases are secondhand, but not great. If I was closer to a functional wardrobe that represented my personal style, I might feel differently. Currently I don’t.

The last few weeks I’ve spent a fair bit of time on the website Into Mind, especially on her 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp. I’ve gone through a year’s worth of magazines, tearing out outfits and items that speak to me (and recycling the rest of the magazine – long overdue).

I want my wardrobe to reflect me. I want it to be easy to throw together an outfit in the morning so I can look put together without taking time away from my son. I want the clothing to fit me, and I want it to last a long time. I’d like to support local designers, and companies that treat their people fairly. Just as importantly, I’d like to do it on a budget.

One of the items that has been on my list for years is a spring/fall coat that hits me above the knees. Rather than distracting myself with the fashion offerings this month, a solid chunk of my remaining quarterly budget will be going towards this coat. Anything left over will likely go towards a neutral sweater. It doesn’t make for a flashy budget recap, but that’s not why I’m here.

I foresee a rather large wardrobe culling in my future. And a trip to the tailor.

10 Responses to “Wardrobe Review”

  1. I totally empathize. I have a similar project going on… My Devil in Prada Project. I’m slowly overhauling my wardrobe. It’s taken some time. A lot of the clothes got tailored. Now I’m going through seeing what I should let go. That’s my biggest problem. My parents raised me NOT to donate or trash clothes. Everything can be worn to rags and then used AS rags. ^__^;

    • The Minuteglass says:

      I’ve been waiting for an update on your project! I’d love to see how it’s going. Don’t feel bad if it takes a while. This blog started out as a “fix my wardrobe” project, and it’s two years old now! Tailoring is such a big part that gets overlooked, so I’m glad to hear you embrace it.

      My mom embraced the wear to rags and then use as rags mentality as well when I was a kid. She also didn’t have a strong positive self image. I feel like there could have been a little bit of causation going on.

  2. Mica says:

    Good luck with the wardrobe cull! I want exactly the same as you – a wardrobe that makes getting dressed easy and effortless and where everything works together, with only a few pieces that are office-only or stay at home mum wear only. The problem is everything in my wardrobe I bought because I liked it so it’s hard to get rid of, haha!
    Previous pregnancy I was ruthless when things didn’t work for me and I regretted it….I miss a lot of things I let go. This time I’m waiting a little longer to get back to a new “normal” before I do another clearout, although I need it badly!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • The Minuteglass says:

      I feel like it’s something a lot of us want out of our wardrobes (and need when you have kids/are short on time!).

      I’ll definitely keep the regret in mind as I’m going through my clothes. I packed most of my wardrobe up as I outgrew it during the pregnancy, and recently I opened one of the tubs up to add some old clothes to my wardrobe again (no luck on the pants yet). A lot of the items I let go of were ones that I was on the fence about when I packed them up, and ones that didn’t mix and match easily with anything.

  3. Laurie says:

    I don’t really have a capsule wardrobe, and I don’t have anything in there I don’t like. I have learned to try everything on when shopping and I don’t buy unless I love it and I know it will fit in with everything else. I can however be too monochromatic. I need more colour!

    • The Minuteglass says:

      Part of the reason why I started this blog is that my wardrobe was too monochrome, and not in a good way! I always try everything on when I’m shopping, I’ve just been too lenient when it comes to fit and love of the item. I’m getting better, but I still have some of that clothing to deal with.

  4. Asia says:

    I agree, the capsule wardrobe is over done. I actually don’t get it.. Why not just have a small wardrobe all the time?

    I am glad you are finding your strides what you want your wardrobe to be. I have also fallen into the trap of buying things to push myself but I don’t enjoy wearing them.

    Streamlining your wardrobe is very important and I think you have a good grasp on hi you are going to do that. It’s taken me the last few years but I am finally at the point where my wardrobe is so easy to mix and match. I utilize all my clothes with ease. I also have the smallest wardrobe I have ever had. Less is more for me!

    • The Minuteglass says:

      Less really is more. I find myself wearing the same things over and over again. It could just be that some of my clothes are out of season, but I think I still have a lot of excess that can be culled. A lot of the “nice, but not perfect for me” stuff is being bagged up so that I can take it to a consignment shop.

      I envy that you’ve gotten your wardrobe to the easy mix and match point. Any advice?

  5. Mattie says:

    I have a section in my closet of things I want to get rid of. Seriously, still in my closet, because I’m too lazy to either send them to ThredUp or put them on Poshmark. I also want to go through and find MORE to get rid of…but it’s just never appealing to me. But having a cleaned out closet would be!

    • The Minuteglass says:


      Hun, grab yourself a garbage bag, take those clothes out of your closet, and donate them to your closest non-profit. You’ll feel so much better, I promise! It may even kickstart a purge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.