*photography by frontline media empire*
My closet has always been a mess. I add new pieces every season, but it's almost exclusively fast fashion — pieces that will find holes and broken zippers before the season is done. And I rarely throw stuff away, which means that I’m still rocking that one pair of American Eagle jeans from 2010. It's a disaster, I know.
I love clothes, I love personal style + I love following fashion. I describe my personal style as chill millennial girlfriend — or a little rocker, a little minimal and a little classic. I love pieces that outlast fast fashion, and my go-to look is Madewell jeans, sneakers, a moto jacket + basic tee.
But I oftentimes open my closet and think “I have nothing to wear” while staring at piles of overworn or never worn pieces.
So when Maxim and I gave up our double walk-in closets for a coat closet and a couple of drawers ... well, we said we'd make it work, but I was secretly panicking.
Enter Marisa (read: my fairy godsister stylist).
I met Marisa a while back, through mutual bloggers. She's a stylist at DC Style Factory (haiiii Rosana), mom, badass + pixie cut rocker extraordinaire. Seriously, she's sassy and fun and KILLS it with styling. I text her pics and ask for advice allllll the time.
So when I was asking around for advice on organizing my new *basically non-existent* closet space, she totally came through with the W. I had originally just wanted help with organization, but she suggested that we try something different: A capsule wardrobe.
Wait, what is a capsule wardrobe?
It’s the concept that helps women refine their wardrobe to include only high-quality essentials that you can wear over and over again. The term was technically coined in the 70’s by a certain Susie Faux – though she suggested limiting the wardrobe to a dozen or so pieces. The essence of a capsule wardrobe is that you want to have almost every piece go with almost every other piece. For example, your blazer should work for the office and drinks. And your t-shirts should work for a night out and the office and weekends at the farmer’s market.
Oh, and one woman actually created an entire blog + following around the idea of a capsule wardrobe. It's called Project 333. Personally, I’d say if you’re attempting to live that capsule wardrobe life, you should aim to have 30-40 pieces (one for f/w and one for s/s).
Also, how do I figure out what my style is?
TBH, I literally googled “how to figure out what your style is” and took way too many quizzes that gave me results that I just did NOT vibe with. So I ended up making a mood board on Pinterest.
SO ANYWAYS Marisa came over to re-do my wardrobe. We started by hanging out (I made her cocktail-inspired tea, LOL) and discussed where I like to shop, how I describe my style, etc. We talked about what a typical weekly schedule looks like for me, and my style icons.
She showed me mood boards for different styles (I’m DEFF not preppy or bombshell), and discussed what I liked about each. Again, I’m a little rocker, a little minimal and a little classic.
Then came the most stress inducing part. The audit. We took out my clothes — ALL OF MY CLOTHES — and put them on the bed. The goal was to sort them into three groups: KEEP, DONATE & TRASH.
Marisa asked me to try on pieces, and decide between two jackets (one to keep) and rate my likelihood of wearing certain jeans, etc. It was, like, a three-hour process.
BUT WE MADE IT THROUGH.
Once that was done, we kind of went through all of the clothes left AGAIN, and limited it down even more. Oh, and the shoes. OH MY GOD. It was so brutal — but we ended up trashing or donating 15 pairs of shoes. If you’re a shoe lover, you know the pain of throwing away that ol’ faithful pair.
One tee, three ways
styled by marisa gonzalez | photographed by frontline media empire
Throughout the entire day, Marisa took notes on what was essentially missing from my closet — the basics that I needed and what I could hold off on. Read: Marisa told me what I could go shopping for.
Marisa said I did a great job, but omg it was so painful. I wanted to keep so many pieces of clothing. Those old rags or $5 find that I found comfort in. A weird, $15, red cotton blazer that I always wore whenever I wanted to dress down, but also feel confident. That one jacket I’d had for YEARS and didn’t want to give up.
At the end of the day, though, it felt amazing. Marisa put everything back in my closet and drawers, explaining her organization methods (organize by “type,” going from light to dark) and then we took pictures, as one does at the end of a closet audit.
The next morning, I got up and felt … relieved. I opened my closet and everything was perfectly organized. I could see all of the clothes I had and easily test different combinations. And for the shopping part? When I look at my shopping cart online, I think to myself, “how will I pair this for day, night + weekend?” and if I can’t find an answer, I think about it twice.
There you have it, babes. Scroll down to shop my capsule wardrobe picks. Oh, and btw. If you want to try to declutter your own wardrobe...
MARISA'S TIPS FOR DE-CLUTTERING YOUR WARDROBE
Get rid of ill-fitting clothes once and for all.
Reassess current fashion trends - while designers constantly change trends creating a false need to buy these pieces, find timeless pieces that work best for your lifestyle.
Ask yourself some hard hitting questions about each piece. How does it make you feel? Does it project the image you want to project? Don't waste prime closet real estate on pieces you're not crazy about.
Do a seasonal audit. Set a timer on your calendar or timer to remind you to go through your closet again.
If there's an item you are on the fence about face the hanger the opposite way. If, after 6 months, the hanger is still facing in the opposite direction, it's time to donate it.
Don't just hold onto something because you once loved it or it used to fit your lifestyle. Stay in the present and what works best for you NOW.
No wire hangers! Use flocked, huggable hangers. They create so much space and keep your wardrobe streamlined. Recycle those wire hangers at your local dry cleaners.
Don't focus on the negative of auditing your wardrobe. If you focus on the negatives of getting rid of things, then you are missing the very positive experience that you are trying to achieve – i.e. ending up with a wardrobe of clothes that you love, that you will wear, that’s easy to find what you need, and that makes you smile.
Apply the 80/20 Rule. You may not want to admit it, but the majority of clothes you have probably go unworn. It's said that the average American only wears 10 to 20 percent of their clothes. To cut down on the fluff, remove items you haven't worn in a year.
For each new item you buy to put in your closet, donate one item (or ditch it if it's past its prime). This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.
*photography by frontline media empire*