If you're thinking about lightening up or paring down, I'd like to share a few ways having a smaller wardrobe has given me more...
1. Confidence I can't overstate the benefits of loving how I look, and more importantly feel, in every single item in my wardrobe. No standing in front of a full length mirror to make sure something "looks right." That critic in the mirror can be mean, especially if your jeans feel a little snug that day or that dress from last year just never hung right. It's like death by 1,000 paper cuts to start the day that way. With a carefully edited collection of my favorite pieces, getting dressed for the day is a joy--and fast, which brings me to...
2. Time I can go from coffee in my pajamas to dressed for the day in under 5 minutes without trying, including time to steam my clothes and accessorize. There is no rushing around or stress rising as the minutes tick by and the pile of castoffs on the bed gets bigger.
3. Style As a personal stylist, I started with a strong sense of what I like, as well as an eye for trends. I knew what my go-to pieces were, but what I didn't know--couldn't see in the clutter of options in a standard-sized wardrobe--was that there were strong themes among pieces I had brought home only to avoid wearing. We all do it. Today, I know down to the fabric blend and rise what I feel my best in and what is just ok. I've stopped bringing home the "just ok."
4. Gratitude I have enough. I have more than I need. Experiencing how well I was served by a tiny sliver of my wardrobe over a season reconditioned how I see my clothing needs and wants, leaving me feeling appreciation for what I already have.
5. Clarity Now that I know exactly what pieces I need in my rotations each season and the details about what those ideal pieces are for me, I have a crystal clear understanding of what I am shopping for. I shop for clothing about 4 times per year: once for each season's capsule wardrobe after I have taken stock of what I'll bring out and put away for the upcoming season. I'm not picking up an extra t-shirt at Target or reacting to marketing for sales.
6. Options Bear with me here... In a survey of 1,000 American women done by ClosetMaid, the average woman considers her wardrobe in the following ways: 21% to be "unwearable," 34% too tight, and 24% too loose. That leaves less than a quarter of her wardrobe viable options during any given attempt to get dressed. When I eliminated the distractions, fresh ways to mix and match my favorite pieces emerged.
7. Mental Energy Decision fatigue is a real thing. It refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions over time. It's been well documented that we tend to make our best decisions earlier in the day, due to this principle. A capsule wardrobe eliminates a tremendous amount of the decision making we may not even be fully conscious of while processing a larger wardrobe each morning, saving my decision making prowess for what matters most to me in the day ahead and improving the quality of those decisions.
8. Life Last year, I didn't spend a single minute of our summer doing "back to school" shopping for our son. Before school let out for summer, I scooped up everything he would need in the fall during a pre-Memorial Day sale online, freeing us to soak up every moment of our summer together. For myself, without shopping as a hobby or for entrainment, I suddenly had the capacity to take up things I had always been meaning to...I learned to play the ukulele, read books that had been on my list for awhile, and take a watercolor class.
What would you do with more? Let's find out!