I’ve been moving towards a smaller wardrobe, and in the bigger picture a more minimalist approach to life in general. The idea is living with less stuff leads to richer experiences and more enjoyment in life and I have found this to be extremely true thus far. Justin and I both have slowly made transitions in our belongings and in our spending habits by asking a few simple questions, do I love this? is it functional for the space we have? is this replacing something that I can let go of?
In regards to my closet, it has been a slow and at times challenging project, but a really worth while one. I’ve learned so much more than I had anticipated about what is important to me, not just in my fashion choices but in life in general. Along the way I have sold & donated too many items to count, and in doing so it has given me a new found appreciation for fashion, for how much influence we have as consumers, and for the clothes I choose to keep. I have had a few aha moments about the way clothing and personal style make me feel emotionally. Especially my most recent attempt at creating a summer capsule has brought to the forefront some deeper issues of self esteem I did not realize I was still holding on to. These insecurities were hard to deal with at first, but I realized that I was ready to see them for what they truly were, so that I could finally work through them.
A big part of why I think summer clothes brought about these insecurities and doubts about my body is one that I think so many can relate to. The comparisons, the expectations and the feeling of being too exposed or too covered up of this season are daunting. I didn’t like the way I looked in shorts, I felt stupid for wearing jeans when it was sweltering hot, i love the idea of a dress but I didn’t quite have the confidence to make it out of the house in one. I felt that I didn’t really have a voice in a way, for in the past I have always been made fun of for being skinny.
This isn’t easy stuff to write about, but it’s even harder to feel it in secret. If there is anything I have learned from my fellow women it is that this feeling is something we all deal with, and men do as well and may have an even harder time expressing it. It has nothing to do with your size or your shape or even your gender, it is the feeling that you yourself are not enough and simultaneously you are too “fill in the blank” ; fat, skinny, flat chested, busty, curvy, small, short, tall, all of these horrible descriptions we were given or gave ourselves growing up and still carry with us. I am here to say that you are not too much for me, I accept you as you are, exactly as you are. I started telling myself this, so that I can mean it when I tell it to others. And I mean it with all of my heart.
And guess what? These past few weeks I have had so much fun getting dressed. I have been trying new outfit combos, new silhouettes and I have been mixing in dresses and my first pair of shorts! I decided to make a few basic rules for this summer wardrobe, but not limit my items or try too hard to make it a true capsule.
My rules are:
- wear jeans to work only once a week
- don’t spend any money on any new clothes for these 3 months
- get dressed everyday, even days off
The first rule helps me to mix in dresses and fun rompers/overalls that I have in my closet. The second rule helps me fight the urge to buy something new when I’m feeling emotional or insecure, but one thing I have done instead is traded a few items I knew I wasn’t wearing for new items from a second hand store and I’ve LOVED this! It’s really helped inspire my style and the new pieces made my clothes already in my closet feel exciting and fresh. The third rule has been one of the most surprisingly helpful of all, it’s made me feel more organized, more productive and more focused with my time and energy, and after all that’s why I started all of this to begin with!
I hope this has helped some of you that may be feeling like I was, self conscious and self critical. Let me leave you with a quote I am very fond of in regards to self love
” I have a daily religion that works for me,
Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”
Below are some of my favorite outfits so far, I opted for no filters for these because that’s the whole point of accepting myself just the way I am, so that you can too.