Closet Editing | Breanna Rose

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Last week, I walked into my closet and got rid of ( sold and donated ) literally 2/3 of everything I owned. It felt ( and looked ) like a lot, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now. I wasn’t happy with most of the items I owned and only wore a handful of pieces, so it seemed like the right transition time to cut loose all that excess “stuff.” Phew. Thankfully, I’m not alone in all this. My friend Emma showed me a few resources for inspiration as she’s going through the same thing : Maddy of Wide Eyed Legless and Cuyana’s Lean Closet series. Thanks to all of this, I’ve come up with a plan of action! For the first time ( seriously ), I’m ready to make INVESTMENT purchases, not just quick frugal buys. When you actually put the time + research into an article of clothing – or accessory – you are that much more likely to love + take care of it, which is an idea I can stand behind. Less is more.

So back to my mission!! Since I need to build my closet back up a bit, I plan on buying 1-2 pieces per month until I feel like my wardrobe is whole again. I’m going to push myself to really think about WHAT it is that I need and research first … then buy. After creating a new pinterest board of inspiration, I realized that I’m very much into simplicity nowadays. I used to wear loads of bright colors and dresses, but have noticed my shift towards neutrals become more permanent. Totally cool with me, though!! I think my favorite thing about the looks I pulled ( in the image above ) is all the subtle textures that help give something simple a little more edge. And speaking of, since it’s still freezing here, the first item that I’m on the hunt for is a nice sweater. If you have any recs, I’d love to hear them! And if you’re in a closet editing phase too, let’s do this.

  1. Sophie says:

    I am also doing this; I’ve recently realised I want to keep a minimal wardrobe with items I truly love, spending more on high end, high quality pieces than loads of cheaper clothing items. I tend to do this anyway.. but I’m guilty of making one or two “cheap” purchases because well, they’re CHEAP.

    • breanna says:

      I definitely fell into the “BUY CHEAP THINGS” category. I used to find nice things at J.Crew / Madewell that I wanted, but then realized I could get 2-3 shirts for the same price elsewhere, and would let that dumb mindset take over me. NO MORE!!

  2. Charlotte says:

    I did this last year and it felt so good, I only ever regret it on laundry days… ;) x
    http://www.charlotteswebblog.co.uk

    • breanna says:

      Oh laundry days. A lot of the nicer pieces that I have been buying require hand washing, so I’m definitely not really looking forward to that. I get so so lazy!!

  3. Sally says:

    I was reading Maddy’s posts about this on Wide Eyed Legless just the other day, and she has some great tips! Well done for making such a great start, I really struggle with parting with some items of clothing, even if I know I’ve not worn them for absolutely ages! It’s so silly though when I always put on the same things… might have to have another go! Love the items you’ve picked above!

  4. Jess says:

    Into Mind (http://into-mind.com/) is an incredible resource for defining your personal style, and maintaining a minimalist/smaller wardrobe. You won’t regret checking it out! I’d definitely recommend checking out “Building a Capsule Wardrobe 101” on the front page first.. it’s a great intro to her philosophy and how to use her site.

    I also tend to read a fair amount of blogs that discuss consumption habits/patterns, slow-fashion, ethical fashion, etc. You may enjoy a few of these reads as well :)
    http://the-nife.blogspot.ca/
    http://thiskindchoice.com/
    http://emptyemptor.com/
    http://recoveringshopaholic.com/
    http://majahuse.com/
    http://lostinaspotlessmind.com/

    Over the past year I’ve been going through a slow wardrobe purge-rebuilding cycle and it feels so great to own less but love it all more. Best of luck!

  5. Alex says:

    I’ve been doing the same thing! It’s nice knowing I’m not the only one that feels like they need to get rid of clothes, even if it means investing in new ones later. And it is hard to depart from clothes you know you will never wear again…haha.

    Also Breanna, I love your blog! Everything about it – the design, typography, and content. It’s one of my favorites. Good luck in the cold of Minnesota, I have family/friends up there that brave the weather as well – I salute to you.

    • breanna says:

      Thank you so so much for your sweet words about the blog, Alex! I’m glad you enjoy stopping by. Have a great weekend!! xx.

  6. Frances says:

    I’m in the process of downsizing right now and I definitely get the whole “buying because it was cheap” idea, haha. I’ve always tried to keep to a minimum wardrobe budget but now I’m starting to really consider what I need and what I’ll wear. Thanks for sharing this; I’ll definitely be taking a look at your resources!

    • breanna says:

      I feel like we’re in the same boat. :) I didn’t put MUCH thought into what I was buying before, so often times – if it was cheap enough and I “liked it enough,” I would buy it. Just not the right way to go about it anymore, I think!

  7. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been doing this too Breanna, but I’m being a bit slow about it. I’ve been seeing what I wear by turning the hanger around the other way once they’re hanging back up; that way I can see what I’m actually wearing. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m only wearing about 1/3 of my stuff too so I guess I have to get tough with myself this weekend ;) Thanks for the inspiration and resources!

    • breanna says:

      The hanger idea is AWESOME. I will definitely keep that in mind, as there are still some items in my closet that I’m unsure about. Thanks lady!

  8. jessie says:

    dang, i need to do this soooo bad. maybe that will be my goal during the next snow storm!

  9. Quyen says:

    My co-worker told me about a style consultant that goes through your wardrobe and helps you style with what you already have and tells you which pieces you can add (or remove) to make it a versatile wardrobe. I think this is such a good idea and investment.
    http://liveitinerantly.com/

    • breanna says:

      That definitely sounds like a good investment. I think I’m going to see how I manage on my own first – but you never know … ;)

  10. Stephanie says:

    I am definitely in a closet editing phase, too. I usually go through my closet every 2-3 years and donate whatever I’m not longer wearing/using. But I haven’t done that in a while and I’ve had a big career change during the last 3 years, which means I’m no longer wearing suits/business casual to the office. In fact, I don’t even go to an office anymore (love self-employment) so there’s no need for at least 50% of my wardrobe. I’m thinking this is the perfect time for a little closet spring cleaning.

    Off to check out your Pinterest board. I have a feeling I might need some inspiration… !

    • breanna says:

      That definitely sounds like you are in the right place to do a little closet editing / investing!! Congrats on the self-employment, that’s awesome. :)

  11. Caitlin Liz says:

    First of all, LOVE the pieces you have shown. I definitely need to do a closet re-vamp…pretty sure I still have some shirts in there from freshman year of college (yikes!). I was actually just talking about this with a friend last night….she signed up for Stich Fix and was RAVING about it. I had heard of it before, but quickly dismissed the idea and now I’m thinking I might sign up because shopping is a stressful process for me and this is an awesome solution to try a couple pieces as you need them (once per month in your case): https://www.stitchfix.com/

    • breanna says:

      THANK YOU for sharing that website! I feel like I’m going to give shopping myself a go first, before paying money for others to do it … but this is such a great resource. :)

  12. I really, really need to do this! I feel like I’ve never had a set ‘personal style’ and want to change that. I love your idea of buying one new piece a month. That feels very doable even on my current budget.

    • breanna says:

      Totally! When I first thought about reinvesting in new pieces, the amount of $$ really scared me. But if you break it down to just 1-2 pieces / months, it’s not all that bad!

  13. Brianna says:

    Way to go! I loved clearing out my closet – it makes it much easier to get dressed in the morning and makes my style feel more cohesive. As for sweaters I wear my BDG Fall For Cable-Knit sweater (from UO) probably once a week if not more. Super warm for snowy Colorado, it’s never shrunk when I mistakenly put it in the dryer, and I love the very slight bagginess of it. It’s also the perfect lounge sweater for nights in on the couch.

  14. I cleared out my closet a long time ago, now I only have clothes in it, that I like and wear at least all in one year.
    What you really need to do before you start buying again is looking which colours suit you & what looks best on your body shape. Don’t buy something just because it looked cute at that certain moment or because it was on sale, if it’s not going to look good on you.

  15. I went on a wardrobe editing spree last year and have not regretted it one bit :) My closet is more curated and I can always find something to wear these days. I’m also investing in better purchases. I think you’ll be really happy after you edit your wardrobe! It’s so worth it :) Makes life easier!

  16. Helena says:

    Oh, I’m definitely in the same boat!! And as lots of others said before me, I find it so hard to actually get rid of the clothes I don’t wear anymore. Even if I know I haven’t been wearing them for a long time.
    And Pinterest has been SO helpful in finding my own style and figuring out what actually feel rights. Looking back at when I first started my board, I can definitely see how my style and aesthetics have changed. And then became more consistent over time.
    You made me feel motivated and ambitious about giving the wardrobe editing another go ;)

  17. Wow! Love your idea. And I just wanted to generally compliment on your blog. Such a chic and clean layout. Awesome writing and great topics! Love it! <3

    http://tinydesigncorner.blogspot.de/

  18. kaylee says:

    I started doing this last month! It’s such a refreshing feeling to get rid of all those things crowding my closet. I realized I needed to change something about my wardrobe when it was taking me 20 minutes to pick an outfit and I still didn’t feel good about myself. Recently invested in some Everlane tees and JCrew essentials and already feel so much better. :)

  19. KT says:

    I need to do that. I’m the “quick, frugal” buying type!
    -KT

  20. I did a major closet edit a little while ago too, after being so inspired by this amazing blog – http://into-mind.com. It felt so liberating!!! As far as shopping goes, it’s been hard to transition into the “shop with a purpose” state of mind, as I was such an impulse buyer before, but baby steps! :)

  21. Sarah Rose says:

    This is exactly what I need! It has been a goal for me this year to depart from the cheap buys and invest in quality pieces. I’m definitely going to follow your Pinterest inspirations, I love the simple neutral style! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  22. kerry rose says:

    this is probably one of the most SATISFYING feelings of all feelings. whether you donate or toss the old clothes, it literally feels like you’ve shed a layer and are starting to grow. best of luck!

  23. I literally did the same thing this past year, and I love it. I only keep things in my closet that I actually wear. Same with you, mostly neutrals.

  24. Nnenna says:

    Yes- one of my big resolutions this year was to improve my wardrobe! Also, buying quality over quantity- after a long search, I splurged on a black leather bag last month for the first time ever. Although it was hard to see all that money go at once, I know that the investment will be worth it in the end. Good luck with your closet purge!

  25. Emma Irene says:

    I love this and may have to follow in your footsteps. In the next 4 weeks my fiance will be moving in and we will have a LOT more things to fit in our smallish apartment; I’ve been meaning to clean house, and this seems like a great place to start! I too, have been wanting to simplify my wardrobe, focusing on neutral pieces that can easily be mixed and matched, but I especially like your notes on researching investment items. Thank you for sharing both your methods as well as those of Maddy & Cuyana!

  26. Megan says:

    I recently did this too! Part of it was done out of necessity, I was moving across the country, but it was something that I’d been wanting to do for a while. I suppose I just needed a kick in the pants to finally get me to do it. It was quite liberating, and looking at the pieces that I kept, I don’t at all miss what I got rid of. In fact, a lot of them I don’t even remember.

  27. Ilenia says:

    I loved reading this post! I totally feel the same way. The few items of clothing I do really enjoy are the ones I researched for and really wanted. It’s hard for me to resist to the temptation to buy random things here and there though. I’ll have to work on that. And thank you for sharing! x

  28. yvonne says:

    definitely inspiring me to get a head start on my spring cleaning! i’ve been making more investment pieces myself lately too- i find that i don’t have as much buyer’s guilt as they’re things i’ve been dreaming about owning as opposed to cheap guilty pleasures. look forward to seeing what new pieces you add to your collection!

  29. Pooja says:

    I just did this, too! Here’s my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/linsiwolsie/inspiration-for-mama/.

  30. […] writing this post about editing down my closet a few weeks back, the lovely ladies over at Cuyana asked me to write […]

  31. eleanor says:

    I’m editing too. I love that this is a trend because like you said, less is more. I really like indigenous.com for my sweaters. An added bonus is that they’re fair trade and organic fabrics. I love the quality of everything I’ve purchased from them. Also, sign up for their email list because they have sales often that are 30%+ off so it’s a nice savings.
    xo
    Eleanor

  32. Kaye says:

    I used to be known for wearing crazy colors combinations but I feel myself shifting toward neutrals, too. Editing can be so much fun and so overwhelming, too!

    http://www.thefreckledblog.com

  33. cathryn says:

    I am in the midst of this which is funny as if you asked me 6 months to do this I would of broken out into a sweat. However I am sick of looking in my very full wardrobe and feeling like I have nothing to wear!! I have started to brutally cull and I feel SO much better for it. The funny thing is, having less clothing makes me be a bit more creative in how I wear my clothing…. I have more ‘looks’ with less!!

  34. […] To expand on the above, my wardrobe makeover has slowly been making progress! I received Cuyana’s Leather Saddle Bag in the mail last week […]

  35. Mette says:

    I did the exact same thing a year ago when I gave away more than half of my wardrobe and it’s the best I’ve ever done. I was a true bargain hunter and would buy things just because they were cheap and not because I needed them. Fast forward to now: I’ve planned out my purchases for the next five years:-). It may sound impossible and kind of crazy, but I really like my shopping calendar. It makes me picky about what I buy, I know I have it all covered and my closet won’t balloon again. Now, I don’t mind bargains, it just has to be the right ones. You can see my calendar and the thought process behind it here: http://theyogasticshoppingplanner.blogspot.dk/2014/04/the-ultimate-five-year-shopping-calendar.html. I’d be happy if you’d let me know your thoughts about it. I also do pinterest-boards on the things I’d like to get, do a lot of research and find things that will suit ME.

  36. I love that there is this massive toward questioning the systems we take for granted – clothing consumption being one of the chief ones. I would echo the push to research the companies behind your clothes, as encouraged by many of the blogs Jess referenced (and as championed by Emma on her blog). J.Crew and Madewell and Anthro and their ilk make some beautiful-looking and expensive clothing, but the quality is not always in line with the price, and the ethics behind the company can be quite difficult to suss out sometimes (for example, “made in” sometimes just means “finished in” with the life of the item begun in another country, sometimes under far-less-auspicious circumstances). Likewise, sometimes the “disposable” items in your current wardrobe have the legs to outlast something more expensive purchased new. I’m currently trying to be as careful about what I “throw away” as what I bring in to my closet, whether it came from Everlane or Target. :)

    As for handwashing – it seems so daunting, but for woolen and silk items, it’s kind of amazing, because you simply wash the item when it needs it and it’s ready to go again when you want to wear it next. (As compared to the massive laundry build-up that comes from a too-full wardrobe where you realize all your favorites are in the wash and everything you should have already donated is stuck in your closet, thus leaving you with the figurative, rather than literal, “nothing to wear”! I’ve been in both spots…)

  37. S says:

    Beautifully written! I am obsessed with the image of the blue shirt with the buttons in pairs. Any tips on where one can find one?

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