In early December, I ordered The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees in the hopes this book would (1) assist me in cleaning out my closet, and (2) give my style a bit of a reboot. I have a pretty good idea of what my style is, but my current wardrobe isn’t quite matching up with my vision.
I came across the idea of wardrobe capsuling while doing a bit of research and stumbled onto what is now one of my favourite blogs, Un-Fancy by Caroline. This, in turn, led me to The Curated Closet and here I am.
I’ve gone through the editing process of what I owned and either turfed or donated all items that no longer belonged in my closet for various reasons. I was in a ruthless mood when I went through the process which proved most helpful. By the end of it, I had pared my winter wardrobe down to about 45 pieces. Then I started reading the book to help me pull it all together and determine if some of the remaining pieces could be let go.
This book is laid out so that each chapter builds on the next, making the whole process easy and accessible for everyone whether you have no clue what your style is or have a firm grasp and just want to learn how to pare down and make the most out of a smaller wardrobe. I highly recommend it.
I’m at the point in the book now where I need to determine my wardrobe palette, choosing my main colours, accent colours and neutrals. Ms. Rees suggests building your wardrobe with 3 main colours, 2 neutrals and 4 accent colours, though she indicates these numbers aren’t carved in stone and you can adjust as needed so long as you don’t go crazy or it may make the task far more onerous in the end.
I’ve always known my wardrobe was heavy on the grey side. I can’t walk into a clothes store without gravitating immediately toward something in one shade of grey or another. A few months ago I went into a store with the sole purpose of breaking the cycle and purchasing a sweater in any other shade but grey. I picked out a green sweater. The colour looked good on me, the fit was good, but I wouldn’t say I loved it. What I really wanted was the grey sweater on the other rack. But I was on a mission and so off I went with my green sweater.
That green sweater, only a few months old, landed on the donation pile last month after being worn only once. Live and learn.
Grey is clearly one of my main colours. I also lean heavily on medium to dark blues with navy being my favourite hue. And oatmeal. I’m not sure that’s an actual colour on a palette somewhere, but it’s on mine. Black and white are my neutrals. The accent colours I had to really think about. I’m more of an earth tone girl with leanings toward fall colours. They work with my skin tone and keep me from looking sallow, unlike pastels. I like the rusty orange and dark crimson of autumn leaves. Also, I can totally rock a dark burgundy/wine and sage green. For now, I’m going to stick with those four colours, although there may be a few others that crop up here and there.
Ms. Rees also suggests if your place of employment has a dress code, you may want to curate a separate wardrobe for specifically to this. I may take her up on that suggestion as right now I am overlapping some of my casual tops to use in my work wardrobe, which got a bit decimated in the initial purging stages.
My mission this weekend is to do an inventory of my current wardrobe and separate the pieces into three categories: Key pieces, Statement pieces and Basics. Then I’ll start the process of setting up style formulas that fit my personal style, so I can see how best to mix and match and make the most out of what I have, while also determining what items I don’t have but that would be useful. Those items will go on my To Be Purchased list.
However, given my spending moratorium on clothes, any item purchased will be well thought out and paid for by the spending money I set aside each pay. If I already have an item of clothing that is currently filling the need, I will wait until it bites the dust before purchasing a replacement. I want to do my research first to ensure I am buying quality pieces that will last, at the best price I can manage. I would also like to start paying attention to buying more ethical fashion as well.
So there you have it – it appears I will be spending a good portion of the weekend with my wardrobe.
Have any of you gone through the process of paring down your closet and/or building your style from a smaller wardrobe? I’d love to hear about it!