purging and shopping


My name is Christina and I have a lot of clothes.

It’s true…I have my own closet room because I can’t share closet space with my husband.  I also had a full size tall dresser in the basement filled with clothes.  And half a closet of coats, buckets of hats, mitts and scarves and a box full of shoes and boots…and come containers of out of season clothing.  Why did I have so much?  Well, probably because I love shopping (within my means, of course).  And I didn’t see a problem with having 6 of the same item.  I also kept clothing for sentimental reasons and have a freakishly large collection of concert shirts that I collected through high school.  I often do closet purges and get
 rid of what I don’t wear anymore, but I also tend to buy the same sort of new clothes (a girl can never have too many black shoes, right?!).  That was my problem: buying the same item over and over again.  I rationalized it by saying each one was slightly different, therefore I needed them all.  I did a big closet purge in the fall and am proud to say I have only 3 pairs of black pants: 1 high waist skinny, 1 high waist wide leg and 1 normal waist boot cut.
Years ago I decided to make a list of the items of clothing that I needed to complete my wardrobe (this was in high school before I really had a stupid amount of clothing.  I think I had, like, 3 pairs of jeans and some sweaters.). On it where things like brown tights, back flats, red cardigan, black cardigan, patterned long sleeved tees, knit dresses. They were basic items that I could add to my existing wardrobe to make a lot of outfits, and for a while, the list helped my buy only what I needed.  Over the years my clothing needs changed what with going to college and eventually entering the adult workforce.  I had to completely rebuild my wardrobe because this…
is certainly not appropriate for someone who wants to be taken seriously as an adult. I rebuilt my professional wardrobe without realizing how out of hand it was getting.  During my last purge I looked at every single piece I owned and asked myself Does it fit?  How often did I wear it this season?  Do I have other pieces to go with it? Are there duplicates?   Looking at each item of clothing was helpful because I could visualize outfits in my closet or determine what I needed to complete an outfit.  For example, I realized I don’t have a white cardigan and that one would look very nice with several blouses and dresses.  I also realized I didn’t have any black flats, which should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe.  So after donating anything I didn’t need anymore I made a shopping list of the clothes I needed to make my closet complete.  I carry it in my wallet and only buy something if it’s on the list.  If I really want it but it isn’t on the list, I take a picture and think about it for a day or two.  Then I look at my closet and see if anything I own is similar or if it can be combined with existing items to make an outfit.   A copy of my list is shown below.
  • white cardigan
  • white blouse
  • patterned short sleeved blouses
  • patterned long sleeved blouses
  • purple cardigan
  • dark skinny jeans
  • brown dress pants
  • white dress pants
  • brown flats
  • brown boots
  • red heels
Each item is a basic that will get plenty of usage in my wardrobe.  When I buy something, I cross it off the
list.  I’ll admit it’s sometimes hard to say no to an item I want but don’t need.  But I know it would probably not get worn very often and would be a waste of money.  Here’s a little tip: I saw an item I really wanted but didn’t need so I made a list of all the ways I would wear it using existing items from my closet.  I came up with about 10 different outfits and determined that it was a good purchase.
Congratulations on making it to the end of this post!  As a reward, allow me to summarize this whole thing in a few bullet points.
  1. take a peek at this post for tips on how to purge your closet
  2. make a list of the clothing you need to complete your wardrobe so that you have a coordinating item for everything
  3. keep that list in your wallet and only buy something if it’s on the list
  4. when you find a piece of clothing you reeeeeally want but don’t need, take a picture of it and go home without buying.  assess your closet to see if you already have something similar or if it can be combined with what you have to make outfits.  if you don’t have anything like it and it is versatile, go for it!
I’d love to know what’s on your clothing shopping list!  Let me know by commenting below, sending me an e-mail (davidswife2574@gmail.com), tweeting me @OurWoodHomeblog or even on Facebook.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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