Let’s Make Outfits
Rather Than The Traditional Closet Purge, Let’s Make Outfits
I don’t like closet purges for two reasons. First, in times of stress, I’m self-possessed to over-clean, later finding I forgot that a seemly insignificant t-shirt linked several outfits. Second, closets are meant to be used. Using my closet and wardrobe in a compressed period gives me an understanding of how my wardrobe is supporting me. Making outfits leads me to build a more substantial wardrobe rather than continually replenishing after a purge.
EASY AS PIE
I start by listing the categories of my lifestyle: family/ home, career, activities, events, holidays, vacations. Then I draw a pie chart and assign a percentage of the time I spend in each category. I avoid getting over specific.
The easiest way for me to make outfits is to start with bottoms: pants, jeans, skirts, leggings, yoga pants. I build my outfits from there. I include shoes, accessories, and anything else needed like tights, special undergarments, glasses. Since I’m not running out the door for a while, I have time to play and really get to know my wardrobe.
As I go, I make notes of what I could add to make it easier. Then I photograph while I’m wearing it, as well as all the pieces in a flat group. I keep doing it until I run out of outfits I can make with bottoms. Then I move on to dresses, jackets, tops, suiting, anything left. As I go through my photos, I note which lifestyle category each outfit fits in, which may be one or several. When I finish, I basically have a lookbook of my current wardrobe.
I survey what remains. The closet clutter is sorted and donated to the appropriate non-profits.
THAT’S NOT WHAT I THOUGHT
As I’m looking through my pictures and notes, I realize I have a shortage of pants, the top I use the most looks tired and could use some love. I see the same scarf quite a bit, and I have others to bring into the rotation. I can also see what I repeatedly use (may need multiples), my color palette, and my fit.
I know how cohesive my wardrobe is overall. I count how many outfits I have per category and make another pie chart. Looking at the two pie charts, I can see if I have a good distribution across my lifestyle or if I’m unbalanced in specific categories. Between the charts and notes, I have a better idea of what I need to fill in. Now, I can hang everything back up, knowing what’s there and how I like to work it.