|Michael Kors show backstage instructions from Aerin Lauder's Instagram|
The change of main seasons twice a year is a perfect time to dive into your wardrobe. With Spring here in New Zealand, I am excited about washing my merino woolies, sorting out what I want to keep for next year and making a pile to donate that I haven't worn much and seem to always find a reason not to. There are so many variables - the colour's not quite right, the shape isn't good for you or the feel of the fabric doesn't make your skin happy.
And sometimes, it’s just that an item doesn’t look as good as it used to. When something is a favourite it’s hard to let it go of, but then when you think about how often you’ve worn it (a lot)… I came across a great quote on Laura’s blog The Chic Planner which has helped me release a few items:
Last season, I gave away my favourite navy and white blouse. It was worn out looking, and I could no longer wear it with confidence as a best quality item in my wardrobe.
The last part of this quote which I have bolded, helped me immensely when I was dithering over decluttering something.
In my dream quest for a small-size clothing collection, I enjoy editing out the not-quite-right pieces and this allows all my favourites and newer items to shine brightly, making me happy when I slide open the wardrobe (or a dresser drawer) in the mornings. I actually do this year round and keep a donation box in our guest bedroom which gathers up saleable items and gets donated when full.
To inspire and keep me focused on my wardrobe journey, I have imagined a scenario to keep in mind what I want my wardrobe to have the essence of.
You are in the shining city of Paris. It’s your first day there and you’ve emerged from your darling little hotel room, showered and fresh, with shiny clean blow-dried hair and light, glowing makeup. You are meeting a dear friend for lunch later on, but this morning is all yours.
Taking care to keep track of the streets and alleys as you look around the arrondisement you are in, you turn up a quaint cobbled side street and look in a boutique window. As you walk in your senses are immediately assaulted with racks and racks of mismatched clothing in all different sizes and colours.
You have a hard time imagining that an outfit can be pulled from all these racks despite a plethora of clothing styles and many, many pieces to choose from. There are shoeboxes stacked up in uneven piles everywhere and other unrelated items for sale also.
Because the boutique is so packed with stuff, it can't be easily cleaned and this lends an overall sense of stagnation and mustiness. The music being played adds to the 'get me outta here' feeling - you literally have trouble breathing easily with all this happening around you.
You exit the boutique quickly and look at the next one you pass. Aaah, that looks more inviting.
A gleaming black and glass front door is flanked by potted standard buxus and it shuts behind you as you step across the polished white ash floor and onto a huge, Persian silk rug in shades of black, grey, taupe and cream. The rug is faded and almost threadbare but it looks amazing, and absolutely perfect in this setting.
‘Bonjour Madame’, the slender shop assistant calls out melodically from her counter.
Right in front of you is a large round oak table with an oversized vase of fragrant white and pale pink lilies in the centre, with glossy books, beautiful candles, artisanal soaps and tubes of handcream arranged around it.
You notice the soft level of sultry jazz lounge music playing at a slow tempo which lulls you into a relaxing frame of mind.
As you look around you see there aren’t a lot of items for sale in this store, but everything in there you would happily have in your own wardrobe. It’s like someone curated the most perfect and deceptively simple capsule collection in expensive-looking muted tones and chic neutrals.
I’ve often daydreamed about having a wardrobe that is like a bijou and chic Parisian boutique and why shouldn’t it be a reality for me? Why do I need to hold onto everything I’ve ever owned, pieces I’ll never wear again and items in different sizes, just because I’ve spent money on them?
Isn’t it better that all of these things go to someone else who will enjoy wearing them if I'm never going to? Another great piece of inspiration I came across recently was on Deborah’s The Beautiful Matters blog when she wrote on her experience with Project 333. The post is fantastic and I also loved what one of her commenters had to say:
I don't think I even have 33 things in my closet. I keep things to a minimal as I can't stand digging through clothes I've grown tired of, never really liked, or they don't fit correctly anymore. When it comes to clothes I'm not sentimental. At the end of a season, if I've loved and worn something a lot, I'm usually done with it so it goes in the giveaway box. If I still love, then I keep for next year. (from Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life).
Isn't that fabulously said? So simple, and yet more beautiful inspiration to help me pare down to the most perfectly distilled (yet ever evolving) wardrobe which, despite this lengthy blog post, means I can think less about what to put on in the morning, because I've already put time and energy into planning it before then.