Last week, I mentioned the concept of a limited closet on Instagram. The post generated a discussion about the pros, cons, and difficulties of building a curated closet. The concept has been on my mind ever since so I wanted to continue the discussion here.
I moved to Washington, DC in May 2015 after getting married. Before moving, I did a massive closet purge (or so I thought). When I moved in with my husband, I realized I hadn't fully prepared myself for the tiny city closets and limited storage space. Or, maybe I just hadn't considered the fact that I'd have to share the tiny city closet and storage space with another person. So, I did another large closet sweep. I was (finally!) able to get everything in my closet, but it was tight and made it difficult to even see what I had. So over the course of a year, I continued the purge.
Throughout the process, I learned a few things that have helped me to shop less and smarter (because, let's face it, I still love to shop).
I buy tops, dresses, and jackets (i.e. anything that is dependent on fitting my torso) almost exclusively in tall because they fit me so much better. Although I managed to "get by" for years by looking for longer lengths in regular tops, once I started buying "talls," there was no comparison. I realized it's more than just the length of a top - the armhole placement, bust dart placement, waistline, and pocket placement are all altered for a "tall fit" when done properly. When I try on a tall and regular version of the same top, back to back, the difference is undeniable and I simply can't settle for a regular. Because of this, all pieces in the ME clothing are completely tailored for the best tall fit!
Love it or leave it //
If I don't absolutely love an item or question the purchase, I pass. If I can't stop thinking about it over the next week, I will buy it. If I don't wear a new purchase within a week of getting it, I return it (unless of course it was for specific event* or out of season in which case I return it if I didn't want to wear it but simply couldn't because of the weather). *I try very hard not to buy clothing for a specific event unless I can incorporate it into my everyday wear or have several events already lined up. During wedding season, I typically use Rent the Runway.
Partly because of my limited closet space, I always consider the versatility of a piece of clothing. Can I wear it across seasons? Can I wear it to the office, out to dinner/drinks, and on the weekend? If it's not versatile in the traditional sense, will I simply want to wear it all the time? In all of my closet clean outs, I realized that I wear and re-wear the same handful of things no matter how jam packed my closet is. So, I try to make them count.
Because I wear and re-wear the same things all the time, they must be high quality to withstand the wear and tear. If I'm afraid something will peel or "bag out," I pass. This also means I will happily pay more or full price something that has a great fit and is high quality because I think the true cost of a piece of clothing isn't what you pay for it at the register, but the "CPW" or cost per wear. A $20 sweater you wear once is a lot more expensive than a $100 sweater you wear five times.
Style // I've learned over the years that there are certain silhouettes and styles that are more flattering on my body than others. Similarly, there are some styles that I simply feel more comfortable in. So, I stick with those. Doing so has made me more confident, allowed me to spend less, and keep my closet in check. Of course it's always good to try something new which is where my approach to "love it or leave it" come into play. If I think I might want to try a new style, I will buy it, hang it in my closet (with the tags on, of course), and wait to see if I wear it.
What are your tips for building a closet full of things you love?
Shop the Meghan Evans collection here.