The Spring Cleaning Bug & Developing a Sense of Style

I am trying to develop a better sense of style.

After I left the agency last year, what I wore become decidedly less important. I was no longer hopping on Zoom calls during the day, and I was also balancing house renovations at the property, so leggings and a sweatshirt became the uniform. I was cleaning, sanding, painting, and cleaning again at all hours of the day, so naturally I needed to wear durable clothes I didn’t mind getting dirty.

But the house is renovated to the point of refinancing, and once again I am hopping on Zoom calls during the day. But since I now work for myself, I find myself in the unique position of being able to wear whatever I want.

Something about Spring makes me want to reinvest in myself again; a fresh haircut, new makeup, and yes, new clothes.

I was fortunate enough to be in a good position when I started the agency job with professional clothes. My mom took me shopping and passed on several pieces she no longer wore herself. It was easy enough to look cute but professional in fabric black pants and a variety of tops. But the office life brought with it an unwelcome weight gain of nearly 20 pounds and most of my clothes from then no longer fit around the waist.

That, combined with moving and not touching professional pieces in nearly a year has me purging my closet like crazy. Gone are the pieces I would wear again to an in-person meeting… even though there’s not been one in over a year. Gone are the pieces I would wear to award ceremonies and professional dinners, what once was filled out is now concave on my chest. And a sigh of relief as I pass on the pieces I never loved but kept simply for variety’s sake.

The Spring Cleaning bug has bitten down, and I find myself staring down round 3 of the Closet Purge.

This purge of course leaves me with fewer options, but I find myself struggling more than ever to put an outfit together with what I do have. What pairs well together? What am I drawn to today? What do I look for in pieces to ensure that I wear them?

As I search for these answers, two potential closet-organizing options have come to my attention.

The first comes courtesy of TikTok.

Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of useful clothing that you love that changes with each season.

The idea is that you build a small seasonally rotating wardrobe out of pieces you absolutely love. There can be any number of tops, bottoms, and shoes (but of course you can go overboard- the idea is to keep it small.)

One blog I read on capsule wardrobe explains that she also keeps a “base” wardrobe of clothes she needs throughout the year, such as pajamas, work out clothes, outerwear, and accessories. She also recommends keeping your base wardrobe separate from your capsule wardrobe.

I like this organization because I like the option of having clothing to rotate through. I love crop tops in warmer weather and big sweaters in the winter. Splitting up my wardrobe into seasons would be a great way to identify gaps that I could fill with new clothing. It forces me to get a little creative with my outfits, but still have plenty of options.

The next options gives me decidedly fewer choices.

10×10 Challenge

My friend Alina brought the 10×10 Challenge to my attention.

  • Select 10 wardrobe pieces, including tops, sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes and coats
  • Limit yourself to combinations of those options for 10 days.
  • Hats, bags, scarves, jewelry and gloves are freebies

I like this idea because it forces me to be creative with what I’m wearing and how I’m wearing it. So, starting on Monday Saturday 3/13, I’ll be trying my own 10×10 Challenge.

Once completed, I’ll purge my closet for the third and final time, and begin to invest a few new, sustainable pieces.

Stay tuned for the inevitable frustration and results!

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