I love all of the wonderful comments I received on my last two posts about closet downsizing and wardrobe minimalism (here and here). Clearly, many of you have thoughts on these topics and I’m glad you decided to share your words of wisdom. Since the post consolidating readers’ comments seemed to be popular, I will feature comment round-ups again in the future when it seems appropriate to do so. As one reader mentioned, even though she regularly reads comments, she often doesn’t remember which post a comment was on, so she appreciated having many of the best ones aggregated in a follow-on post. I’m glad I thought to do that…
It’s coming up on the end of July, so it’s time for me to share my latest “grab bag” of useful links (see previous editions here). Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the subjects of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development. I’m also sharing a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now).
A warm summer’s evening near the famous Ocean Beach Pier.
When I shared my tips for a reader looking to downsize her closet and asked for additional suggestions, I never imagined I would get so many wonderful comments from all of you. I was so impressed with the quality of the recommendations given that I decided to share many of them in this follow up post. I know that many subscribers don’t read the comments on my posts, but they are often equally as helpful as what I write. In this case, I would venture to say that the suggestions in the comments may be more beneficial than the tips I offered.
Do you struggle with deciding what to cull and what to keep?
I didn’t include all of the comments and I edited some of the ones herein for the sake of clarity or brevity. I didn’t want this to be too much of a marathon post. I have given credit to the person who made each comment. I hope that those of you who are looking to downsize your wardrobe will find these additional tips as useful as I did. If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so.
About a month ago, I received an email from a reader who wanted some advice for her struggles in paring down her wardrobe. She told me she hadn’t seen advice anywhere that fit her specific situation. I could have just responded to her questions via email like I usually do, but since I’ve been blogging for a few years now and have read many comments from readers, I knew many of you could likely relate to this reader’s challenges. I also believe that those who have overcome similar struggles in the past could offer her additional advice beyond that which I am able to give. So I decided to answer the questions in a post rather than through email.
Summarizing the Questions
I will do my best to summarize the reader’s questions here, as her email was quite a few paragraphs long and I want to preserve her anonymity. This reader is an aspiring minimalist who wants to own less but finds herself with a closet full of items that she either likes or loves. However, she feels she owns too much overall, especially for someone who really wants to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. She is hesitant to store some of her items in boxes because that doesn’t feel “clean” or minimalist to her, yet she also doesn’t want to get rid of anything that is still in good shape and which may be hard to replace in the future. Compounding the issue is the fact that she plans to get pregnant soon and worries that if she stops working for a while, she won’t be able to afford good quality business clothes if she gives up the ones she has now.
Half of 2015 is behind us and I realized that I have yet to post an update on how I’m doing with my theme for the year. In hindsight, I wish I would have done at least a quarterly update, if not more often. It’s very important to keep our yearly themes top of mind, and an update from me may have reminded those who also selected 2015 themes to take a look at how they’re going.
Well, better late than never, as the saying goes. So today I’m going to let you in on my progress with my 2015 theme, which is “deliberate.” Early in the year, I shared this theme and my thoughts on what constitutes deliberate shopping, a deliberate wardrobe, and a deliberate life. While I will touch on all three facets in this post, my main focus will be on the third one, a deliberate life. The reason for this is because I write about my wardrobe and shopping all the time here. You know how I’m doing in both areas through my accountability posts and “Love It, Wear It” challenge updates, and many other essays I write on this blog. Yet I don’t write about my life at large nearly as often, even though the theme of this blog is “Trade Your Full Closet for a Full Life.”
Are YOU living a deliberate life?
I decided to split my June LIWI update into two parts because it was just getting too long. I think I will change the structure of my future updates to streamline them a bit. As longtime readers are aware of, I’m a big fan of numbers, statistics, and analysis, but I know that not everyone has the time or the inclination to read such a deep level of detail. But I will definitely share information galore at the end of the year when I was wrapping up the challenge, so fellow detail fans will be sure to appreciate that post.
In part one of my June LIWI update, which went live on Friday, I shared what I wore during June and gave you a glimpse into my “working closet” halfway through the challenge, complete with lots of photos. As a reminder, here’s what my working closet looked like as of the end of June:
In today’s post, I do some analysis into what has yet to be worn and why. There will also be quite a few numbers and photos in this post to help illustrate my points. Since my previous LIWI update was also very detail-oriented, I will highlight what has changed between the unworn areas of my wardrobe in May versus June as well.
I have now completed the first half of my 2015 “Love It, Wear It” Wardrobe Challenge (LIWI). I feel this project has been instrumental in helping me to feel better about my clothes, shop smarter, and cultivate a more workable wardrobe. I continue to learn new things about myself along the way, as well as what types of clothes, shoes, and accessories work best for my life and my evolving style aesthetic.
As with last month, I am splitting this update into two parts. In today’s post, I will share what I wore during June and give you a glimpse into my “working closet” halfway through the challenge. In part two, which will go live early next week, I do some analysis into what has yet to be worn and why. In both posts, I will include lots of numbers and photos to help illustrate my points.
I hope you will find this update interesting regardless of whether or not you are following along with LIWI yourself. Those whose eyes glaze over with numbers will have many photos to look at, while those who like data and statistics will likely embrace those parts of the posts. I encourage you all to see if you can draw parallels between my situation and your own and glean some pearls of wisdom from my mistakes and the lessons I’ve learned.
I hope all those in the U.S. had a great July 4th weekend (and that everyone else had a nice weekend, too). Mine was more low-key than usual, as my sweet kitty Coco had to have five teeth extracted on Friday and I wanted to stay close by to keep an eye on her. She is doing okay now and is on my lap purring as I type this… There must be something about July 4th and tooth issues in my family, as I suffered with an infected tooth and had to have a root canal last year!
My husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary with a lunch on Coronado Island. Since we got married on an island (Catalina – see a photo and read about my 2013 anniversary here), we make it a ritual to spend every anniversary on an island. Our island jaunts have ranged from the faraway and exotic (the Caribbean, Hawaii) to the nearby and tame (Coronado, Balboa). Here’s a photo of us from this year on Coronado, with downtown San Diego in the background (I was wearing one of my wardrobe pieces that have stood the test of time – the tank, as well as a favorite maxi skirt from last year). It was a beautiful and sunny day and the crowds were definitely out, as evidenced by the other photo below (taken with the new camera my husband gave me as an anniversary present).
My husband, Mike, and me on our 14th anniversary on Coronado Island.