limited closet lineup

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The last few months I've been toying with an idea that, if carried out, would fairly drastically change how I buy and wear clothing.  The idea is simple: keep my wardrobe to a limited number of pieces.  By limited I mean: put an actual number to how many articles of clothing I can own at one time.  Here's why.

The idea is rooted in my having just a few vexing problems when it comes to my closet. First off, our closet is rather small for two people who like clothing.  Secondly, sometimes I feel like I don't have all that many pieces that I really truly like.  Lastly (that is, the last thing I'll mention here),  since I can't have two dozen suits, 30 sweaters, and 60 pairs of shoes, an all or nothing sort of mentality has been creeping into my mind. 

However, a few short months ago, Landen and I were in Barnes &Noble where I thumbed through Scott Schuman's (a.k.a. The Sartorialist) latest book, "The Sartorialist: Closer." Among all the nifty photos, there are a few sparse bits of text.  In one such interjection he mentions that the best dressed people that he knows (and he knows a few) don't dress that way effortlessly.  Rather, they put in a lot of effort; just not where you might think.  Instead of standing in their closets for 30+ minutes every day planning the Fall runway show that will be their Thursday at the office, they put in more time and effort when stocking their closets.  They only buy quality pieces that are interesting and that will improve their wardrobe (not just make it bigger).

This struck me.  I don't have to own those 30 sweaters; I need just a couple VIPs that can bear the load.  This would not only open up more room in my closet, but it would potentially allow me to put my resources (time and money) into just a few really solid pieces that I love and that can work miracles for me everyday.

Don't get me wrong: I love having lots of options and I love buying new clothes; but part of me would rather buy that one, quality piece that makes me smile every time I put it on, instead of those 3 pieces that I more or less like, but am not entirely satisfied with, but that's ok because they're of a rather poor quality, so I'll just replace them in a year anyway.

Have any of you ever tried this?  Am I stupid/crazy/misguided for considering this new modus operandi?


  1. I have thought about this quite a bit actually! It would be nice to have those few quality pieces and maybe add a trendy item seasonally. It would cause 2 things--> 1. for me to shop a lot less often to stay within a budget 2. and for me to spend more.
    This would probably be hard because I love to browse shop and I don't like to spend a lot! I do though think you can buy quality pieces from some regular store's clearance racks (like banana republic). I have some things I have worn for years because they are quality but I purchased them for cheap!

    Good thinking, would love to hear this journey to purging and seeing if it works for you.

  2. I haven't done it, but it sounds like a good idea!

  3. I'm sorely tempted to go through with it. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how many pieces I would allot.
    I'll definitely let you know if/when I initiate the purge of all undesirables from my closet.
    Thanks for reading!

  4. I think this is a great idea in theory but wouldn't you end up in this situation fairly often??:


  6. Project 333 is a great resource for this idea! It made a big difference in my closet and my life.

  7. I have gone through this after getting pregnant and having my body change on me. Now, If I don't love wearing it, I either give it away or make it into something I do love!


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