Closet Challenge : Three Month Review / Successes, Learnings, Fails

Welp, I’ve survived three months of this nonsense, I mean challenge, and have learned a few things along the way. I suspected I wouldn’t much miss things that were out of sight in the trial separation closet, which is precisely what happened, making it easier to pare things down even more. Also, I had some success with selling items online and via consignment; there were a few items I felt worthy of refreshing and had great success with repairs. Lastly, I realized there are a few holes in my closet. For instance, I love wearing blazers vs. cardigans so tossing all those jackets that didn’t fit the bill and weeding out a number of button front sweaters I never wore freed up space for another blazer or two. Same thing with dresses and skirts; I love to wear a variety of dress silhouettes but am so very picky about style and fit of skirts. Weeding out those skirts I didn’t love and the few dresses I hadn’t been thrilled with allowed more space and opportunity to wear the ones I do like.

That brings me to my next hurdle in this challenge – purchasing additional items that are wants, not really needs, more like could haves. There are big, slightly terrifying questions that come to mind when I think about adding to my closet :

How much to spend on this item?

Quality, fabric, material, color?

What will it be paired with (and should work well together with)?

How do I want it to fit (or how do I want to feel when I wear it)?

Will I know when to stop?


With all of that in mind, I sat down and thought about what advice I’d give myself if I were talking to someone else. Maybe thinking about all those questions above, and going into this shopping endeavor with answers to those questions in mind, might leave me feeling prepared. A few things I’ve found helped in the past are :

Only purchase items that look good on you, not on someone else, including the mannequin at the store and the models in the ads. Buy for your shape! Not the shape you hope to have, not for the weight you wish you were..

You should never have to talk yourself into a purchase. No matter what.

There should be preexisting options already in your closet to pair with this item. There aren’t? Then what’re you buying this for?! Put that thing back right now, girlfriend!

Give yourself twenty-four hours to think things over (especially with big ticket items)

Don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit comfortably, or make you feel like “you” when wearing it.

If there’s a mark or stain and you try to remove it post purchase but it won’t come out return the item. That spot is permanent. Even better : don’t buy it in the first place.

We really only love things in the store, if you aren’t absolutely in love with it in the store you’ll not love it any more at home. Don’t buy something you’re not tickled pink about.


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