By Kylea Wright – Baltimore, MD
I love clothing. Clothing has not always loved me, as some awkward middle school photos will attest, but I have always always loved clothing. I love clothing so much that if you asked my dad what the most difficult part of raising me was, he would say dealing with a child that created as much laundry as his other four children combined. There is rarely a day I don’t change outfits several times, and if I am in the same outfit for an entire day it is probably a good indicator that I am feeling depressed.
However, recently I have felt a little betrayed by my wardrobe. It drains my time, I feel slobbish because I constantly have mounds of dirty laundry lying around and when I put on an outfit I think will be on fleek, but instead makes me feel like my hips are ready to star in a bad horror movie called “The Blob”; I feel personally betrayed by the things I love the most.
As I have pondered what to do about my mountain of stinky clothing and the “guilt dress” – the one that makes me feel bad every time I see it because I still haven’t lost the five pounds that would make it look fabulous on me – I came across the idea of a minimalist wardrobe. My inner middle schooler cringed at the idea of wearing almost the same thing every day (won’t everyone notice and make fun of me?) but I have to admit that Steve Jobs’ turtleneck and jeans did make him look powerful, and I have always been jealous of women who rock out in all black all the time.
I took to the internet to find out if I was a crazy person for wanting to ditch half my closet. To my surprise, I found a lot of support. It turns out lots of people streamline their closets for similar reasons. I even found a community called Project 333 that gave me lots of advice on how to create what they call a “capsule wardrobe.”
Project 333 proposes creating a 33 item wardrobe every three months. That seems like a scarily small number because I am pretty sure I have 33 dresses alone, but over the past weekend I took the plunge. I packed up 80 percent of my clothing, donated another 10 percent of it to Goodwill and left 33 items in my closet (not including underwear and workout clothing). This paring down process was far from easy and highlighted how emotionally attached I am to material goods. I will unashamedly admit that I cried over a grey t-shirt I couldn’t see myself living without and unpacked an entire suitcase just to get to a dress I decided that I actually did really need.
If you’re considering embarking on the same adventure, take my experience to heart and be prepared for the stages of grief. The struggle is real.
“No way, this will be so easy. I don’t have that much clothing!” I have 28 Sigma Kappa shirts … I counted them.
“Who does this? Is this torture? Do they want me to cry?” Said after I unpacked a suitcase to get to my Hogwarts dress. I needed it.
“I can get by with only one pair of pants for three months, right? I’ll swap out my jeans and black work pants for two of the grey shirts. I will just look like a rockstar all the time.” One pair of pants for the three coldest months of the year: not realistic.
“Am I just doing this because I’m a slob and I don’t want to wash all these clothes? Just let me lay here among my children before you make me pack them away.” I then took a two hour nap on my clothing mountain.
“Okay, it’s done. I don’t think my room has ever looked this clean.” Said Sunday night at about 11 p.m.
All joking aside, my room has never been cleaner. I am now about one week into phase one of capsule wardrobe and I have to say, it’s kind of nice. I don’t know if it will stick, and I have to admit that almost every outfit I have worn this week is sweatpants and a grey shirt. If you are thinking about creating a minimalist wardrobe, I say go for it – at the very least it’s a good way to avoid laundry for a few months.