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I am not, by any stretch, a fashionista. In fact, I care a lot more about where my clothing comes from than about what it looks like. On the other hand, I don’t love being frumpy and feeling unattractive either. And also every time I clean out my closet I find a bunch of cute things that never get worn. Which is annoying, since apparently I like cute things but one would never know that I have a great wardrobe at home, just waiting to be worn. And then I can’t seem to get rid of them (I will totally start wearing this!)....um...yeah.
Anyone with me?
I’ve tried SO. MANY. Wardrobe ideas. The Capsule Wardrobe. Honestly—While I lOVE minimalism, I get spit up and spilled on WAY too much to have but two pairs of pants (one is always in the wash…this just can’t work). I’ve tried closet organization (me + organizational tools = BFFs. Come here, Container Store. Let me hug you.) Except when the closet is too small and stuff is exploding. You guys, I’ve tried it all.
So I came up with my own system.
And O MY GOSH. It is so awesome. It works! Like, really really works. GONE are the days of standing in front of the wardrobe feeling exhausted about having to choose what to wear. GONE are the days of having things in my closet that are never ever worn. GONE are the days of looking frumpy because I JUST CANNOT EVEN RIGHT NOW. Gone are the days of never ever using or wearing all my cute jewelry and accessories because who the heck has time for that with an infant and a toddler running roughshod over the place.
Seriosuly, ya’ll. This is Magic.
Ready for my system? The setup will take you a few hours. After that- NO MAINTENANCE. Not even kidding. Are you ready? Let’s go.
What you’ll need:
- Hangers. The velvet ones are best, but honestly I just get the cheap white plastic 10-packs.)
- Lots of large binder clips. or you could buy the more costly and less versatile suit hangers. But office clips are just as awesome, and work fine.)
- Your clothing plus jewelry, belts, and accessories.
- About 2 hours, entirely dependent on the size of your wardrobe.
1. Make a match. Starting with your go-to clothing first, match up your outfits! Choose pants or skirt and a shirt to go with it, and hang the set on ONE hanger using the office clips.
2. Put everything on the same hanger. Use the large clips to add pants and accessories.
3. Make each outfit as complete as possible. The point is to have a complete outfit on one hanger, so do it up!
4. Accessorize: Add accessories to specifically go with that outfit. This is a good time to figure out uses for jewlery that never gets worn! That said, if you have staple accessories that you wear often which go with a lot of different outfits, keep those aside for easy access. The accessories thing is totally optional depending on your closet space and jewelry/accessories collection. I personally love it because I have a complete outfit, but customize the system to suit you!
What if one pair of pants goes with multiple shirts? For this, or any shortage like it: Hang the other shirts on their own hangers, and in your wardrobe hang those shirts behind the complete outfit. Accessorize each shirt so that all you have to do is add the pants to make the outfit. I, for one, keep camis and most leggings aside because I wear them with ALL the outfits, and need them to be easily accessible.
What about wrinkling fabrics? I introduce for your consideration: the steamer. Also, I have yet to figure out a way to NOT have my clothes wrinkle while hanging in a closet even when hanging by their lonesomes. So if you have, you are WAY out of my league on the wardrobe front. Many props.
What about around-the-house clothes? I find this system most useful for let-me-be-seen-in-public clothes, but just for fun I did this with pretty much everything, from yoga clothes to pajamas and sweatpants/shirts. Even my frumpy matches, and I was able to slim down my wardrobe by taking a good look at what works and what doesn't.
Maximize your wardrobe: After you've worn an outfit and it's back on its hanger, turn the hanger around, so it's backwards in your closet. This is an easy way to keep track of what you're wearing and what you're not. After 6 months to a year, dismantle and reassign- or get rid of- any outfits that haven't been touched.
Clear out. If you can’t find a matching bottom for a top (or vice versa), ask yourself: when you are grumpy and exhausted and fumbling in the dark, how likely are you to find the nonexistent match for this item? Unless you LOVE shopping and plan to hunt down the perfect thing-- get rid of it. Move on. Be free.
If you struggle to get rid of stuff you like but can't match it: Grab a bin and fill it up with the things that don't work right now. Try to keep it to one bin if possible. Put it away in a closet, in the attic, wherever. If anything in there is worth keeping, you’ll think about it sometime this year- and if you do, go grab that piece. Otherwise, about this time next year, haul that thing to Salvation Army or to a consignment shop (don’t even look through it either. The temptation will be great.) * Please note: This does not apply to the various sized clothing you might accrue during the pregnancy/postpartum body shifts. If the clothing doesn't fit right now but it's what you'll wear when it does- use as many bins as needed. Some clothes are just for a different season, and should be kept. (On that note, I have a bin of clothes in my attic labeled "Someday when I'm fancy." Because toddlers.)
That’s it! Easy, right? A couple of hours of work for a lifetime of ease-- these are things that I love. Having complete, fabulous outfits ready to go with absolutely no work or decision-making on a daily basis is life altering.