I haven’t repeated an outfit since December 1, 2016. It’s been nine weeks.
Here are the rules:
- I can wear whatever I want on the weekend (read: athleisure and party outfits). These distinct outfits only apply to weekdays.
- Plain coloured bottoms (read: the army green, the black and the denim) and underthings are repeatable
- I must make my way through every possible outfit combination in my wardrobe before I can purchase a new item.
- I get rid of everything that doesn’t wind up being worn or doesn’t fit me anymore when I deem this whole experiment “finished” (I’m nowhere near finished).
I started this little exercise on the day I started my new desk job. I needed a way to express myself and be a little creative since my daily activities as a freelancer were taking a pause that would occupy the better part of a year. I also wanted to be a little more ethical, sustainable and thoughtful about what I was purchasing and making through a year. As a textbook hoarder, I collect, and collect and collect. Phnom Penh’s plethora of Japanese second hand shops and flea markets are my wonderland. I never really get rid of anything until the small tear becomes utterly and completely irredeemable. I also have a significant portion of my wardrobe made. In the final months of 2016 I was getting a new piece (or two!) made every month! I’m also Cait’s beta-tester!
My wardrobe was getting a little out of control. And instead of paring everything down to nine items, I decided to wear it all.
A little KonMari, a tiny bit capsule wardrobe and a whole lot of mindfulness, I wanted to test the limits of my closet. I’m also very much a one-sided dresser. This means I usually open the dominant door of my closet(s) and wear whatever is in front of me, on top of the pile, or just plain available. Which usually means whatever just got washed and hung.
Are you getting my drift? In this time of fast fashion and a hyper-consumption, I accidentally made the resolution to take a pause in my purchasing.
I’m on week 9 now…and the end looms near. I’m discovering everything that was in the unfortunate dark side of my closet. It’s “winter” in Cambodia now and I’m completely taking advantage of trouser-friendly weather. I didn’t know I owned so many tops!
It’s also reduced the time I need to determine outfits. Every Sunday night, I set out my every single outfit I plan to wear through the week (mindfulness – check! capsule wardrobe, check!). And tah-dah, no more tornados of decision fatigue (read: a huge mess). I quickly plowed through every single office-appropriate dress I owned (over the first three weeks). My field work outfits underwent the same treatment. I’m also discovering items that make me think “what the hell was I thinking?” TOSS! Konmari method, check. I’m making do with all these low-waisted things I bought in 2011 and eagerly await when access to high waisted everything comes into my radar.
It’s something everyone can do. For whatever your end goal is. Whether you’re trying to save a little money this year, or you’re wanting to be a more conscious about your consumption, or maybe you’re trying to figure out what you want to get rid of, this little experiment does it all. Are you up for the challenge?