04 August 2022

Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes


Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes - Curating a Wardrobe / www.delightfulrepast.com

A wardrobe post at Delightful Repast? That's right. No food today! For the first time in 12.5 years, I'm posting about something besides food. And that is because the weather has made me lose all interest in cooking and even eating this week, so instead I've been spending time "curating" my wardrobe, weeding out the unworn clothing.

Some people who know me would call me a minimalist, but I recently saw the word 'enoughism' and decided that I'm really more of an enoughist. Of course, if you could see all my kitchen equipment, you'd question how I could call myself an enoughist! I wrote a bit about minimalism six years ago in this Pasta with Chicken and Spring Vegetables recipe post.

And the year before that I wrote about conquering a very specific type of clutter in this In My Kitchen post. I hope you'll read these two posts if you're at all interested in the topics of decluttering, organizing, minimalism, or enoughism.

There are many ways to pare down one's wardrobe. One is the capsule wardrobe, great for some people, but it would take up way more time than I’m willing to spend. I've always limited my wardrobe to what would fit in my small closet and chest of drawers by practicing the one-in-one-out rule, but I decided to take it a step further. 

My 90-Hanger Closet

I started by measuring my closet rods. There is one rod for long items on the right side, and an upper and lower rod on the left side for short items. The three rods total 90 inches, so I decided to have 90 hangers. Sounds like a lot, but I also decided to stop storing any clothes in drawers. So now ...  

All of my clothes—except underwear, swimsuits and coats—go on a hanger. No folded garments on a shelf or in a drawer. Every item, including scarves and belts and my workout pants and tops, is on a hanger. Nothing gets rotated in or out for seasons or any other reasons. It’s all there, all the time. 

If I want to add a new garment, it has to replace an old garment that will be promptly relegated to the rag bag, if it's worn out or damaged, or donated to a charity shop, if it no longer fills a need.

It would be grand if I had the "bandwidth" to deal with consignment shops or other methods of selling things, but I don't. So the ordinary items go to an ordinary thrift store and the really good stuff to a special thrift store that is very particular about what they sell.

A Working Closet, Not a Warehouse

I purged 13 items that had been taking up space for far too long, most of which were going to require altering if I was going to wear them. Six of those pieces were three rather elegant pantsuits that I wore regularly for years in a business that called for that level of dressing. It was hard to let them go, but it made no sense to go to the expense of alterations for things I no longer needed.

Three hangers out of the 90 are empty. Three have skirts that need altering. And I have resolved to get that done before the end of the year. If I don't, they must go. The empty hangers can stay empty! If I find I can whittle those 90 hangers down even more, that will be wonderful. I don't want anything in my closet that isn't getting worn somewhat regularly.

I need business-type dresses or skirts and tops (including blazers, jackets, and cardigans), a few times a week; dresses that can be worn for special occasions every couple of months; dressy-casual (also called, smart casual) pants and tops; casual pants/jeans and tops; workout pants and tops. I am not likely to have need of a ball gown or evening gown ever again, so no need to keep one of those on hand.

What is your take on this subject? I hope you'll tell me all about how you handle your wardrobe. And then, I promise, I'll get back in my lane—food! The cake above, by the way, is French Almond-Rum Cake, and you need to make it! 

Jean

Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes / www.delightfulrepast.com

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58 comments:

Carol Benton said...

It feels really good to purge a few items from a closet. I do this occasionally and sometimes get rid of items I have not worn in years. I give my clothing to a thrift store that serves a charitable organization that helps mothers and infants in need.
Carol
www.scribblingboomer.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You're right, Carol. It feels good. Some years ago, my husband noted that I get more excited about getting rid of stuff than *getting* stuff!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Just before lockdown I filled someone's hatchback with bags upon bags of clothing. Most belonged to my late parents, but some was mine. They went to their hospice shop. Then, sorting got put on hold during the pandemic. Now I must pick up that baton again and finish the job. I find it hard to do because I can always justify a need, even if only cutting it up to make dusters and paint cloths. Like you, I can no longer justify suits, ballgowns, and the like.

TONY said...

This is great Jean but you wouldn't get along with my wardrobe. It is a ,"history ," of my sartorical journey through life. I still have my school blazer and school tie. No, I do not wear the uniform at strange reunions!! Ha!Ha!. I have the suit I got married in 40 years ago. I have a suit I wore twenty years ago and I also have a suit I now wear for weddings christenings and funerals. I also have other items of clothing that tell the story of my life in different decades. No, Jean you wouldn't get on with my wardrobe at all. Thanks for the advice but I think I am stuck in my ways.
Take care. Jogging pants!! I never knew Jean. I go jogging too. "'enoughism'" Are you sure that is a real word? Its' not in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Vee said...

Like you, all seasons are in my closet. I no longer have the energy to do the storage and packing away that switiching out seasonal clothing requires. Also, seasons are extended or shortened in different ways from year to year. I have been happily wearing sweaters well into July this year. (Sounds as if you have the opposite weather conditions.) I did like this post. Thank you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, I know what you mean about justifying a need, but I finally was able to say to myself "You already have more than enough gardening and painting clothes and dustrags, just throw it in the donations bag!" 😁 You'll get there! Let me know how it goes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I would say, keep those sentimental things if you must, but store them away rather than let them crowd up your closet. And I wear lots of things I've had longer than 20 years, so I can't call them "historical"! 😁 And, no, I don't jog. That would kill my knees. But I do weight lifting, elliptical, walking, and stretching.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Vee. Yes, seasons don't seem to be as "set" as they used to be, so I want everything I might need handy. Like you, I don't want to be wasting my energy on switching out the closet two or three times a year. Noooo!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

I know it looks so neat and organized, feels good doesn't it? I'd love to do this with hubby's closet. He's got clothes he hasn't worn in over thirty years and will never wear again but he is just like his mother. She lives in a large three story house. All of the closets are full of her clothes, some even have price tags still hanging on them but guess what - she never has anything to wear!! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 78. Pinned.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at the 25 and Done Link Party 21! 25 entries in 25 hours!! Pinned.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dee, thanks so much. Pins and shares always appreciated. My mother was a hoarder, but with a smaller house than your MIL! And she also had my dad who was very minimalist and organized to keep her somewhat in check!

Slabs said...

As I am downsizing and moving, I am purging dramatically and as I am retired, so no work clothing is required, I have ruthlessly folded everything and placed it in bags for charities to pick up this coming week. It does feel good to do it, because when I will get dressed up again for a glamorous evening. Never

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

The 3-week cycle threw me for a loop, so I'm glad I checked tonight. That said, my closet is more like a sealed vault. Spend the entire warm weather part of the year barefoot and wearing only shorts, adding only a single set of more formal garments kept on a chair when a brief jaunt to a store requires or donning hiking paraphernalia!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Very sensible, Esme! Having fewer things means a lot of time saved, time standing in front of your closet deciding what to wear.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, glad you checked. My "schedule" of late has been a bit off. Sounds like you have mastered the wardrobe problem. If that's all you need, that's all you need!

DaisyB said...

I'm a beginner at decluttering. We'll be having some work done in the house, mainly the kitchen and living room, so pruning the clutter has to start there. Thanks for showing me how to start, the kitchen is far more orderly already. Getting started on the living room tonight

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Daisy. It's always best to tackle one room at a time. Otherwise, you get too scattered and it becomes overwhelming. When you get to your closet, I know some of the professional organizing people would have you start by taking everything out of your closet and piling it on the bed, but I think that would be overwhelming. I would suggest pulling out one category at a time.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Jean, what a fun post! It has definitely been much too hot for food, I agree. I have been working my way through a huge closet clean out as well, but I have way more than 90 hangers! But I consider my closet room to be the equivalent of a crafter’s craft room, a sewer’s sewing room, or a cook’s kitchen. My closet is where my craft happens! It feels good to purge the things that we no longer wear. I have cut my wardrobe in half and now the next test is if it doesn’t feel good on my skin and make me completely happy, out it goes! As for consignment shops, I can’t be bothered with all that either. But a local consignment near me buys my better quality things by the bag. I just want the stuff gone so I take about $20 per trash bag full of clothes. It works out beneficially for both of us! So it may be worth inquiring if a consignment shop near you would do something similar.

Shelbee

Carol said...

Hello, again. I'm just circling back to say:
Thank you for participating in Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-up 27.
Carol
www.scribblingboomer.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Shelbee, thank you! I understand completely why you would have many more hangers than my 90, because of your craft; that's why I have far more kitchen equipment than I would prefer to have. Thanks for the by-the-bag tip.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Carol! My pleasure.

Sally in St Paul said...

I enjoyed hearing your take on this topic from a more minimalist perspective. Using the 90 hangers to hold everything does mean things don't get "lost" and not worn because they aren't front and center. This method will make it more clear that an item's a candidate to leave the closet if you find yourself passing it by over and over again.

Jodie's Touch of Style said...

Enoughism...What a fun term. It definitely doesn't apply to me, but that's the thing. We are all different and that's a good thing.
I do think getting things altered is a smart practice. Expecting our clothing to always fit well off the rack is pure silliness. Once you find someone who is good at it, it's SO worth it.
I understand wanting to have a working closet. That's such a great goal, especially for the idea of enoughism!! It makes us feel smart to wear our pieces over and over. That's why I LOVE being able to make our clothing versatile. Like scarves can be so magical for so many purposes.
And finding items for those once in a while special occasions is easy with the rental clothing places now!!
Loved reading this Jean,
XOXO
Jodie
www.jtouchofstyle.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sally. And that's an excellent point—I would completely forget about things that were in a drawer or at the bottom of a pile in the drawer OR I'd delay getting rid of an item because there was room for it in the drawer "so we'll see."

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jodie, thanks so much! I've always found your blog to be such a positve, fun space.

Bernideen said...

I enjoyed all this about your clothing and closet organization. I have a lot of "garden don't care clothes" that I put in a plastic tub. Shirts on one side and shorts/capri's on the other. They are vital as I go out to the garden and sweat and work! I find this works well for me!
You sound VERY ORGANIZED. I actually buy resale clothes sometimes from "Upscale Resale" and have quite a bit and I sew clothing too. I took a Habitat top I bought on ebay and made a pattern off of it and made about 6 tops!
No baking for me today either but I did take out the sugar cookies recipe......

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Bernideen! Unfortunately, my gardening is not on a scale to require too many garments in that category! But you definitely deserve to have all you need in that category, especially during summers in your beautiful garden. It has been decades since I made a pattern from a garment. Shoot, it's been decades since I made a garment! You have soooo many skills and talents.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Congrats on that! I don't have that extensive of a wardrobe,but I still have way too much. I need to get rid of some stuff. The 90 hanger rule is a good one. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John! It's a huge relief to get things pared down. Fortunately, I'm not one who enjoys shopping so it will pretty much stay just like this for a very long time!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

It feels so good to get rid of clothes and things that we don’t wear or need, doesn’t it? I pretty much am like you and hang all my clothes, and I don’t change out for the seasons.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, yes, changing out for the seasons would be soooooo much work. It's much easier this way, isn't it?

Cheryl said...

Jean, I don't have any fancy "tricks" for closet organizing. Very simply, I do:
1) Keep all of my clothes out all of the time. No seasonal switcheroo. That's far too much trouble, and then I miss out on those "in between" garments or layering pieces because they're not in the proper box.
2) A couple of times a year (or more as the urge strikes) I purge out anything that I do not wear, whether it's because it doesn't fit well, doesn't flatter, or languishes on the hanger for some other reason. It is easier to choose something to wear if you genuinely like everything that is there.
Like I said, no fancy tips, but it works for me!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, that sounds very sensible. Your "or languishes on the hanger for some other reason" is brilliantly put! I'm not going to ever let that happen again.

Jessica Jannenga said...

Hello Jean
I do like to go through my closet at the beginning of a season and see what can go. I sell on Poshmark ( a thrifting - secondhand site and give myself a time frame to sell it or it goes to Goodwill. I like how you decide to get rid of items once something new is acquired. One in and out. My hubby is doing this too.
thanks for linking!
jess xx
www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

Margie said...

Thanks for sharing your 90-hanger closet, Jean!

My clothes are also out all the time. I try to do mini-purges of my closet at least once a year, but I need to be more ruthless with some items like old bridesmaid dresses from 10+ years ago. LOL. Since my work is now permanently doing the hybrid working from home, I really should get rid of the "dressier" clothes that I haven't worn since the pandemic!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jess, thank you. I had forgotten about Poshmark. I have a friend who does that, but I haven't heard her mention it for a while. Nice that your husband is on board with the closet thing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie. The mini purges is a good idea. Please DO get rid of those bridesmaids' dresses! You know how much those things get worn again! 🤣

Louca por porcelana said...

Love your interesting post... I really needed it... Hope you inspire me to donate lots of cloth I have not wear... Greetings Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Maristela! Hope you are having a wonderful August.

Jeanie said...

I just need to go through and donate old things I know I won't wear anynmore, much as I'd like to. And probably just donate -- consignment is so picky and I don't really have a designer wardrobe. By the time I don't want to wear it anymore, they wouldn't want it anyway -- too out of date! I need to be radical, like you are! I tend not to buy much anymore though and if I do, it's things like a new pair of jeans or a sweatshirt or fleecy top. Nothing "nice." I know if need be, I can shop for that but the odds of wearing it are so rare, why have it sit there! Your new closet set-up sounds very good -- and a terrific guidepost!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, thanks so much! I think I'm going to do annual revisit of my closet. It had been at least three years since the last one. And even at that time, I should have realized it was time to let go of the thirteen items I purged this time!

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

I purge and donate quite often; most of my winter clothes are in the attic to save room. I like your idea of something having to go if something new arrives. Thanks for linking, hope we will see you tomorrow!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Gail! I'll link again if it's not limited to clothing—this was a rare departure for me! But I'll definitely visit.

Shauna said...

I like the idea of having a working closet, not a warehouse! It's about time I do a closet cleanout to make more room and get rid of all the "extra" stuff I really don't need.

Shauna

www.lipglossandlace.net

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Brilliant post, Jean. I don't have any fancy tips either. I keep all of my clothes in one closet and one chest of drawers. I used to do the bin thing with off season clothing, but that is a disaster! At the change of each season I go through the ending season's clothing and purge, purge, purge. After losing weight it was an easy task.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Shauna, thank you so much! I think it takes a huge stress off us. Then we can open the closet and not tense up!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, thank you! I just can't do the off-season bin thing either. As you said, a disaster! Works for some people, but not us.

Anonymous said...

Once I retired I decided to take a very simple approach to my wardrobe, one that fits my casual lifestyle. I had someone make me about 3 dozen washable linen skirts a few years ago. She made a prototype pattern from a skirt I loved. I "introduce" 6/yr into my wardrobe. The skirts are stripes, small plaids, and solids. Two black linen skirts for dressier occasions. I wear these skirts year round with a variety of solid tops, sweaters, or jackets, and I have plenty of those. Boring? Maybe for some, but I love the freedom my plan provides.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sounds very sensible. We all need to consider what our actual needs are for whatever stage of life we're at. Saves thought, time, and energy when we know what we're working with!

Angie's Recipes said...

I wish I could be more organized. My closet is a total mess. Love your tips!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie! You'd be amazed at how much easier it is once you get everything in one place so you can see what you have.

Slabs said...

I am in full-on mode with purging and cleaning out our entire house. We are in the process of moving and downsizing dramatically so lots of stuff need to go. Yesterday we donated at least 6 large bags and boxes of clothing and household items. It's a daunting task but something that needs to be done and now that all that is out, I must admit it does feel awesome.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks for sharing, Esme. It really does feel good. And starting out fresh with your closet, you can easily keep it that way with the hanger-limit and the one-in-one-out rule! Wishing you all the best with the move!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

CONGRATS Jean! Your post is FEATURED at the 25 and Done Link Party 22! 25 entries in 25 hours!! Opens Aug-11 at 5am. Closes Aug-12 at 6am central.

Liz Klebba said...

I think "enoughism" is a fabulous word, Jean! I plan to use it regularly now that you've so kindly introduced us! I have less closet space than you and find it good for my spirit (and desire for change) to store my out of season items in a box in the spare bedroom. I might have room to hang them all except that my collection of outfits I wear for dance (Hubby and I attend dance lessons weekly.) take up a portion of my closet! Knowing thyself and being true to you (Polonius, cad though he was, had that right.) is key to a happy wardrobe. I'm fortunate to be able to help others with that discovery!

www.closetplay.biz said...

My apologies, Jean: I forgot to add this--For anyone disposing of those bridesmaid or wedding dresses, please consider mailing yours to WLJ Angel Gowns, a fabulous charitable organization in my town that takes formalwear and repurposes it into Angel Wraps, Gowns, and Buntings for families in need of burial clothes after suffering infant loss. WLJ Angel Gowns ships free of charge to families all across the nation. To find out more about the organization and their story, please visit https://www.wljangelgowns.org/ and share their work with others.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Dee! Much appreciated.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Liz, that makes sense—gotta make room to hang those dance clothes! Everyone has to find what works for them. A lot of people enjoy changing out the closet for the seasons, but I know it would drive me mad! Thanks for telling me about this charitable organization. What a wonderful way to repurpose formals!

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