Evolution of Style

I used to think I was really good at keeping a well-edited closet. Like Stacy London, vicious-closet-editing good. So I’ve always been a little surprised when I read articles about refining one’s style and closet, and the primary recommendation is to bin anything you haven’t worn in the last six-months-to-a-year. I always thought, who keeps stuff in their closet that they don’t love and wear?

And then suddenly, in the last few weeks I realized that I’ve lost my Stacy London edge. Not only do I not wear everything in my closet regularly, there were at least a couple blouses that I knew I hadn’t worn in well over a year. What? I had become that woman. The one who pushes the too-small-pants to the side but keeps them there, thinking that on-again 10 pounds CAN BE CONQUERED. The one with clothes that don’t necessarily match her lifestyle. The one with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.

So last week I channeled my Stacy London mojo and cleaned house, and by house I mean I removed 30-40 pieces from my closet and dresser. Pieces that I could no longer wear comfortably; pieces that I loved but were now in disrepair; and pieces that just no longer worked with my current style. I took a good stack of things to consignment, listed a bit on Poshmark, and packed a couple bags to drop at Goodwill. And you know what, IT FELT GREAT!

 

Image via vanessabeletic.com.
Image via vanessabeletic.com.

Things Change

For whatever reason, 2016 has been a year of cleaning and organizing for Hubby and me. We have really cleaned out the clutter in several areas of our home, so I suppose it makes sense that I’d finally tackle my closet. It was a no-brainer, really…I had finally come to the realization that my style had evolved…and my closet had not.

There are four reasons why my style has changed:

  1. Environment.
  2. Lifestyle.
  3. Philosophy.
  4. Personal style.

Environment

Since I started working from home  a few years ago, my tendency to dress up has been significantly tempered. While I do go into the office about once a week, I no longer buy clothing specifically for work like I used to. Of course, some of my pieces do double duty, but mostly, I purchase casual clothing since I usually only dress for two environments from Monday to Friday: home and the gym.

Because I work from home, my overall style really has become more casual. I know you might not believe this, but there was a time in my life when I never wore jeans. Like, never. Not only have I changed on that point, but the jeans have changed too. They’re more stretchy, and since the resurgence of mid-and high-rise waists (thank God), they are a lot more comfortable than they were a decade ago.

Lifestyle

The aforementioned gym environment brings me to the second reason my style has evolved considerably: my lifestyle. Monday through Friday I am up at 6am, and I’m either headed to the gym, or I walk my dog. So most of the week, I’m in activewear.

Aside from that, I rarely travel for business or pleasure, I don’t have a very active social life (I’ll admit I’m a total loner; Hubby is my bestie), and I rarely attend formal events or weddings. In the past, however, all these things were very much a part of my life. Until my recent closet cleanout, my wardrobe still reflected that lifestyle instead of my current one.

Philosophy

Finally, I’ve been thinking a lot about my philosophy toward my own style, consumption, and the idea of minimalism. I think the gross excess I’ve witnessed in the fashion blogging world and on Instagram has perturbed me a little. It’s not that I’m opposed to all luxury or designer goods. Come on…you know I love my labels! Most designer goods resonate at a much higher level in terms of quality, and I will never be opposed to that.

What has gotten to me is not so much consumption of luxury, but the excess consumption of it. I’ve post a couple snaps about this on Snapchat in the past, but I haven’t really written about it here: It just seems like it is never enough. I see bloggers buy $2,000 bags, then go and buy an $11,000 bag, only to turn around and buy another $4,000 bag. Then sell them all to buy…more bags.

When is enough stuff, enough? Clearly for some, never. And I don’t subscribe to that mentality. And frankly, I think it makes the purchaser look a little unhinged, as if they are trying to fill some void. They seem to be chasing some kind of contentment that perpetually eludes them because, really, you can’t fix loneliness, insecurity, or personal hangups with a handbag, even a ridiculously expensive one.

I can justify luxury purchases for myself only if they are high-quality and highly-functional. But at heart, I have to admit I’m more of a minimalist. I don’t have 50 pairs of jeans and 25 black tee shirts. I don’t have 10 pairs of black pumps. I don’t like clutter in my home. I only have one set of sheets for my bed!

I really like how Leo Babauta of mnmlist.com, explained minimalism in his post, minimalism isn’t traveling the world with nothing:

…Minimalism isn’t just one way of life. It’s figuring out what works best for you (and your family if you have one) but being more mindful of what you own and do. Not obsessing over possessions, but being mindful. It’s about finding contentment.

Personal Style

For a long time, I was resolutely in the “better overdressed than underdressed” camp. I was definitely more glam, more OTT, more interested in excess. Don’t get me wrong, though…my closet was never filled with racks of bold patterns and color. I have always defaulted to black, and I always will.

That said, I have not been feeling the patterns or tiny pops of color that were in my wardrobe. I don’t know if it’s my age or my shift toward the “less is more” camp, but lately mostly solids and neutrals seem fresh and sophisticated to me. Again, not a huge surprise given that my home is neutrals city; I can’t stand seeing a lot of color. As of last week, most of the patterned items in my closet are gone, because those were the items I just was not wearing. Still love a good leopard print and black-and-white stripes, though…but both are are really classics, are they not?

Now what?

So, I cleaned out my closet and am feeling better about it. But what’s next? This is actually the first part of possibly a few posts on how I pared down my closet and how to evaluate your own. I’m also flirting with the idea of a seasonal capsule wardrobe. More to come!

 

PS: You might have noticed G&G got a little refresh. I’ve streamlined my home and wardrobe, so I felt like it was time to really streamline the blog. Like my lifestyle, blogging has changed, you know? There’s just no need for so much visual clutter. You know what to do. 😉

8 comments

  1. I love this. I can’t bear clutter and ‘things’ and especially now as I get older I want fewer possessions and tend to make more considered purchases that I know will see me through the years rather than an impulse buy which will do for that week.

    I find the less I have the calmer I feel also.

    Looking forward to the next instalment.

  2. I’ve been feeling the same recently. I don’t know if it’s having being a part of the blogging community or just whether that fact social media makes it feel like you’re being promoted to 24/7. But recently I’ve been feeling more and more passionate about minimalism, particularly when it comes to fashion. I’ve also started looking into ways I can be a bit more ethical when it comes to making clothing purchases, whether that be buying better quality items, buying more pre-loved luxe brands to reduce waste (and get better quality at a great price) or hunting down ethical brands (much more harder, especially for menswear).

    I don’t think I own a lot of stuff anyway, I had a good clear out when I moved home. I’m also really fickle when it comes to buying things so I’m quite cautious about buying clothes I know I won’t love and get lots of wear out of. But the culture of ‘hauls’ and super fast fashion where you can get t-shirts for £3 ($2??) has made me feel more passionate about re-thinking my relationship with fast fashion and explore minimalism and slow fashion more. Especially when you stop and reflect and think about a) another human has actually touched everything item of clothing I’m wearing and b) what working conditions were they in when they made it and has my purchase influenced those conditions.

    I’ve even joined a local minimalist group, where we meet once a month and chat about minimalism and other things. I joined it purely as a way to meet some new people, but have found myself becoming more interested in it. So much so, that I’m strongly considering rebranding my styling business to align to my new values, thoughts and feelings.

    So yeah! Great post haha! I’ll stop rambling.

    1. Hey Arash, thanks for your comment. I think we’re probably both sort of in the same place right now for most of the reasons you mentioned in your comment. The fashion blogging world has changed a LOT since we’ve been in the game, and not all of it is good.

      Anyway, sounds like you really are getting into minimalism…you should definitely check out mnmlist.com if you haven’t already!

  3. I feel the same. I’m currently throwing away everything I don’t absolutely love. It says a lot about how much my things matter if I choose NOT to wear them for a year or longer. Ive found that I can also use my money wisely. Instead of buying cheaper leather jackets I’ll save up for a luscious Veda one! Might not seem like it but it’s a better use of money!

    1. Hi Romo, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Don’t you feel so much better saying goodbye to all those things that have just been hanging around?

      And yeah, it makes total sense to save up for a quality leather jacket. You’ll have it forever!

  4. First let me say that this is a well done article! I have been feeling the same exact way and honestly I have unfollowed so many bloggers and you tubers that seem to be force feeding us products after products after products. It’s ok to shop (I love it too) but when is enough, just that..enough?!

    I also think about the message we are sending each other as women and virtual mentors to younger subscribers/followers. I love my designer purchases and I make them to keep me minimal and from shopping so often. At the same time I love my ZARA Basics to make things look expensive but not break the bank. As bloggers we have the ability to share who we are and what we like and I think many bloggers lose sight of that as they began to gain more attention. You nailed on the head with this post and I appreciate the work you do. Great Job!!

    1. Thank you so much! It is always wonderful to know I have resonated with a reader, and that you “get” my philosophy and approach. Thank you for your comment and support!

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