Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Closet Requirements Relative to Lifestyle

Closet Content Analysis: Striving for a Minimalist Wardrobe

Choices: Lifestyle Requirements

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED

There are women in my closet, hanging on the hangers, a different woman for each suit, each dress, each pair of shoes . . . 
- Marya Hornbacher

Once again, I am contemplating reducing the items in my closet therefore I need to asses what it is exactly that I NEED.

Since I returned to Canada, I have only been bringing to my bedroom closet what I need from my storage closet. Two revelations have come to me. First I certainly don't NEED everything that I have and second, even within my limited range, I have certain favourite go to outfits, which would be considered my NICE.

Even though I am contemplating a minimalist wardrobe; I recognize that my lifestyle is erratic and I NEED different clothes at different times. If I am in my "workshop" or writing, then . . .

NICE: I can live in blue jeans, t-shirts, workout wear and for the most part, barefeet, flats and runners. I have used this quote before but it rings so true for me at the moment:

I'm like every other woman: a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear; so I wear jeans.
- Cameron Diaz

Presently I'm in my "workshop" constructing jewellery for the Christmas sale on the 7th, 8th and 9th of December. My yoga pants and a t-shirt with barefeet is as elaborate as I get. I leave the house to pick up a few things, where a merino light wool black pullover or v-neck camel cashmere pullover with skinny jeans and high boots are as elaborate as I want for my shopping treks. When I'm off to the gym, I wear my gym strip and don't even bother changing at the gym since it's there and back with no stops in between.

NOTE-WORTHY 1: However, at the jewellery show and sale, I have to look like I wear what I make! My LBD of course and any other classic apparel works but not jeans since they still look a smidge too casual for the type of sale I'm at.

So at certain times my jeans are both my NICE and my NO THANKS.

NOTE-WORTHY 2: With the holiday season here, I NEED formal/semi-formal attire. The LBD gets a lot of wear but I do have a range of simple LBD to lace overlay to bling enhanced. My LBD and a variety of statement necklaces can pull me through for the most part but even within the invitations there is a range of requirements.

NOTE-WORTHY 3: Then I have yet another life, where I occasionally take on teaching contracts so in January I'm off to the University of Alberta for five weeks in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A more business-appropriate wardrobe is required in this situation because it is a professional college and I feel more comfortable in business wear than in casual clothing. Therefore, I keep my blazers and re-work or update them as need arises.

Given all my NOTE-WORTHIES, how am I to minimize my Canadian wardrobe? I do have a minimalist wardrobe in France since my life there is simpler. My visa states that I cannot work and so I have no professional obligations. I have everything I NEED there and don't seem to be bothered by the fact that I have worn the same dress out to dinner many times. Most of my summer wear is now there and I probably will need to look at reducing the numbers in that closet as well.

It appears that this closet analysis has put me right back where I started. I NEED most everything I have in my closet even though it is only NOTE-WORTHY and not required everyday.  Should I feel guilty?

Guilty feelings about clothes are totally unnecessary. A lot of people earn their living by making clothes, so you should never feel bad.
- Karl Lagerfeld

So what are your favourite NICE go-to clothes in your closet?
In what ways might you minimize your wardrobe?
Or are you too caught in a lifestyle where very different clothing is required relative to the NEED of the moment?


  1. You are making me feel guilty with this post but I'm going to turn this guilt into action. (As soon as I get home from Arizona) I've been thinking for the past year about this exact topic. What do I really need? I have a walk-in closet with a 3 drawer dresser in it. I have 3 more, 3 drawer dressers in my bedroom. I have my old waterbed frame which also has 6 drawers in it. (Sorry I don't have the waterbed anymore!) And lastly I have WAY too many shoes. Everything is full

    - No Thanks. - I shouldn't buy something nice just cuz it's a deal. I likely have one already. (Unless it's another pair of flats then the sky is the limit)

    - Need - My work clothes are provided but I must store them.
    Working outside I need all the flannel and things that keep me warm.
    All my casual everyday clothes.
    All my recreational or activity clothes
    Socks and underwear.
    I need all the stuff I have, just not the quantity I have.

    - Nice - It's always fun getting new clothes BUT! back to No Thanks,
    I don't need anymore. All the storage space I have is full of Nice clothes. If I don't consider them Nice, then they need to go.

    - Note-Worthy - The so called "gender" of clothes. Clothes do not have a gender but they are sold geared toward either gender. I have clothes from both sides of the rack. Not like dresses but clothes with a softer look about them. These are Note-Worthy and will remain in my wardrobe.

    Add it all up and it needs to start at No Thanks and end at - If it's not Nice it goes.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for sharing! It's the "all my . . . " Yes, of course, but do we need 10 of a particular item? - So you're right we don't need the quantity. One of my favourite ways of downsizing is to take my NO THANKS pieces on holiday and then forget them in the hotel wastebasket. I've done this with shoes and underwear. I once took a pair of shoes to an out of town wedding thinking they're passable but if I go shopping and find something new - and I did, so I threw out the ones I originally brought. Mind you, I have also done this inadvertently with some NICE things.


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