Over the past year, in my spare moments of the day, for fun, I've been making lists and reconfiguring the contents of my closet like a CFO crunches numbers. On paper, I've been choosing my favorite few pieces, and mixing and matching them and eliminating the others that don't work. It is like Sartorial Sodoku.
Since reading about Jennifer L Scott's Ten-Item Wardrobe, I've imagined...dreamed...of having one of my own. On 2/7/11 she made a blog post about her Ten-Item Wardrobe - Getting Started. Since November 2012 when her book was published by Simon & Schuster, it has been getting worldwide exposure. Each Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, Jennifer posts her new Ten-Item Wardrobe video on her blog. It is fun to see what she has put together, and watch her use the combinations in creative ways. There are thousands of people following her progress.
If you are intrigued about her Ten-Item Wardrobe, like I am. It isn't her total number of articles of clothing. She doesn't count her 'specials' like coats or 'special occasion' wear, nor her t-shirts or undergarments. She uses that Ten-Item number to count her daily basics she mixes and matches. (This is how she realized the need for the Ten-Item Wardrobe.) Since reading about her process, I've been trying to reduce the number of pieces I have. I have collected so many items over the years, since they haven't worn out, or I can still fit into many of them. I hate to get rid of them - which I know probably should - but getting rid of what is still good seems wasteful. At this time, I've kept out a limited number hanging in my closet and have boxed up the rest in bins. Each time I change out the seasonal clothes, I try to weed out a little more from things I haven't worn in a while.
I use Jennifer's writings like a words from a mentor. I use her experience to keep me on track. One thing I like about her, is that she doesn't claim to be a fashionista. She isn't like most Fashion Bloggers that post daily OOTD (Outfits of the Day), or boost of their latest purchases. She doesn't encourage buying or feeding the need to 'keep up with the Jones'. Her recommendation as written in her book or in this earlier blog post is the 'Rejection the New Materialism'. She reminds us all to reassess what we really need, and not get dragged into fast-paced commercialism or the need to spend more. She is all about having a simple look that is flattering, and having a small number of pieces that you wear until they're worn out, and then the next season you can give away or discard the worn items, and get a couple of new ones. If you purchase higher quality items, they show less wear, and you can keep them from season to season.
Ahhhh to be happy and content with what you have. Isn't that what we all want? But how do some of us try to get there? By wanting the 'next' thing...THEN...we will be happy. Well, I've been really trying to stop that cycle. Awareness comes first. Last year, I really tried to judge what was the difference betwen a need want and to only get what I really love. This year I was taking a step further and limiting my self and only getting what fits into my 'plan'. I am taking steps to have a simple, limited, wardrobe. Baby steps. At least it is a goal. If I limit what comes in, and eliminate some of what I currently have, Iittle by little I should end up with less.
It's tough. I love possibilities! I love colors and shapes and looks and styles. I enjoy perusing catalogs and seeing different looks, and how stylists put things together. That is an interest and hobby to me, like some people go fishing. So how do I continue that without feeling like I need to buy more? That is the challenge. It's tough to see a trendy new color on the market, and imagine the possibilities in a new blazer or capri pants, or kicky skirt. It's fun to imagine the combinations and really tough not to want it.
I guess it is the mental gymnastics of wrestling with the wants and needs in my mind, and reminding myself of my ultimate goal. Goal: To live a simplified life in an uncluttered home, surrounded by people and things that I love, so we are free to do what God puts before us. If I keep that in mind, it helps filter the unnecessary things out of the way. It's a challenge; I'm working on it!