growing up and paring down, part 1: the purge

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I spent a good chunk of Labor Day knee-deep in a closet edit of epic proportions. I sorted through every rack, rod and cubby, pulling the items I couldn’t see myself wearing in 3 years and tossing them in a pile on the bed. After a couple of hours, a mountain of ill-fitting trendy printed denim, flimsy clearance bin tops, and elastic-waist polyester dresses covered the bedspread.

I surveyed the teetering stack of clothing — the spoils of years of bargain shopping and too much style “inspiration” — and thought to myself, You’re doing it wrong. These things don’t look like they belong in the same woman’s closet. 

I’d created a monster, fed by blog trends and Pinterest and deep discounts; and I’d lost my point of view along the way.

Then I made a rash decision: I couldn’t move forward with creating a well-edited wardrobe with all this stuff taking up valuable closet real estate. I bagged it all up neatly (it took three Hefty’s and a good dose of resolve) and drove it to the local women’s resource center the following morning.

For the last two weeks, getting dressed has been so much easier. I’ll tell you more about it in part two.

To be continued! 

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Wearing: 

Cynthia Rowley dolman tee via TJ Maxx (SIMILAR) | American Eagle skinnies | Nine West sandals | Olivia & Joy Dynamo bag

43 thoughts on “growing up and paring down, part 1: the purge”

  1. Good for you! I also fall victim to the “but it’s cheap” rationale… Settling for things that aren’t quite right. I have to start thinking about cost per wear! Looking forward to seeing your part 2.

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  2. So great! I myself am currently working on buying simple and durable pieces I love to build my closet. I have fallen victim to pieces that don’t work with anything else in my closet (Pinterest brainwash) and or cheap clothing that I love that quickly falls apart. As much as I love Target…I have to stay away from that place! My last 5 purchases have shrunk, torn, ripped or had surprise stains after the first wear.
    Time to upgrade to a big girl closet!

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  3. Such amazing inspiration! And not the bargin bin/pinterest kind. I love pinning looks that I can recreate, but more for the overall aesthetic than exact item replication. I believe in investing in the things that matter (blazers, great jeans) and move from season to season. The trendy items I’m ok buying at Target or Forever 21 because who knows if you’ll be wearing it in 2 months, much less liking it in 2 years. Can’t wait to see Part Two!
    XO
    Katie
    http://www.charmingcitystyle.com

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    1. It’s funny, but I feel like my style is becoming alarmingly casual lately. I would be perfectly content with a closet full of good jeans and quality tees! ;)

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    1. Oh man. I know purger’s remorse all too well. I actually had to take a break from cleaning my closet for a while because I was thinning it out every couple of months. This time I made myself wait about a year before really weeding things out. I’ll explain more soon!

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    1. It really is, Natalie! Now when I walk in my closet, it’s filled with stuff I really love that works well together. It took a decade, but I think I’m finally getting it! ;-)

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    1. I think that’s a really smart way to do it. I used to be guilty of cleaning out my closet TOO often, and then I was always shopping to fill it back up. I’m hoping that this will be the last major clean-out for a while!

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  4. You’re speaking my language. I know I’ve got a big wardrobe edit/revamp coming soon. I’m still not quite pulled together and dressing my age, so while I don’t have a ton of clothes, I’m a little too casual/haphazard for my life, super-casual job or not. First step, editing.

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    1. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a LOT lately. I spent a lot of my 20’s figuring out my style, and I think I’ve finally nailed down the aesthetic I’m most comfortable with. Now I’m just working on editing my closet to reflect that aesthetic.

      Pinterest was helpful for figuring out the looks I really loved!

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  5. I have just recently switched to the same philosophy, and it’s totally worth it!!
    Follow my style and travel blog: inescoelho.com

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