How did you do with Week 1? It’s been so fun to see other participants sharing their intention for this 4-Week Challenge in our Facebook group.
Work at your own pace if our schedule doesn’t work with yours, but Sister take my advice and don’t skip any of the steps.
If you rush ahead in the process, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed and stop before you get your closet cleaned out. Booooo!
Your 1st Assignment: Map your lifestyle
Step 1 this week is like going back to 3rd grade! You’re gonna create a pie chart. Mmmmm….pie. 😋
I like to think about our lives and lifestyles as being in stages. And the stage that you’re in today should be reflected in your closet.
Sometimes, (often), I find that a woman’s closet is stuck in a previous stage of her life and is supposed to fit a different body than the one she has now.
See how this hits for you:
For a few years, you’re a fresh-out-of-college hot-shot living the dream, with tight skin and plenty of expendable income to blow on weekend shopping trips to Miami.
Next thing you know, you’re buying your sweaters at Costco off the display table conveniently located across the aisle from the only brand of yogurt your kid will eat.
It’s time to start re-building your grown-up ready-to-get-things-done wardrobe. For the you that you are today.
This easy exercise will help you define a starting point for your closet by mapping out the way that you spend your time.
We’re focusing on your activities in just the months January – March. You can easily repeat this in the spring if you want to go through it again for a new season.
- Print off this empty pie chart.
- On the right side, list out all of your activities and the percentage of time that you spend in those activities.
- All of the percentages should equal up to 100%.
- Make sure to think about everything that you’re doing, including professional business meetings or presentations, casual work days, work from home days, date night outfits, spring break trip, athletic clothes, etc.
- I found it was helpful to flip forward through my calendar to see what’s coming up.
- Draw in your pie slices to correspond with your list. Creativity is welcomed!
Now you can visually see how you spend your time.
Stylist Pro tip: For this challenge, I used Google sheets to create an easy pie chart. Feel free to do that if that’s how you roll!
Here is my pie chart:
When I looked at my lifestyle chart, I immedialy realized that I don’t have enough business casual wear. I’ve got a few outfits, but not as many as my lifestyle chart shows that I need.
Share your lifestyle chart and your Pinterest board share it in our Facebook group.
Your 2nd Assignment: Edit
“If it’s not a Hell yes, then it’s a Hell no.”
A client said that to me once during her fitting session and I loved it so much that I quote it to all of my style coaching clients now.
We’re going to do 2 easy edits in this part of the Wardrobe Challenge; edit your Pinterest board and a quick edit on your wardrobe.
And this is where we begin to get a peek at your personal style for this stage of your life.
Your style at this stage of your life might be different than your last stage, but it might have similar elements.
Let’s go back to your Pinterest board and look at it with fresh eyes.
What do you like, what do you love?
Decide which of your pins are definitely a “Hell yes!”.
The ones that you aren’t sure about, delete them from your board. Just say, “Hell no”.
Important to remember:
- Don’t worry about whether an outfit is in your ideal color palette. It’s the style details that you’re looking for.
- Don’t worry about whether something is right for you body shape. Any outfit can be adapted to fit any body shape.
Your style doesn’t have to have a label like preppy, boho, or rock and roll. Most of us wear mixtures of different styles.
It took me a long time to accept that my love of mixing glam pieces with denim is not, in fact, breaking an important style law. It’s just what I love.
And, I hate anything that’s scratchy or uncomfortable.
So if you ask me to explain my personal style, (at this stage of my life) I’d tell you it’s classic, while mixing high/low elements, and usually an element of comfort.
Knowing that helps me to think about how I put an outfit together, and what pieces I need in my wardrobe to make getting dressed easier and more fun.
Stylist Pro tip: You can think lots of different styles are cute, but you might not feel comfortable wearing them all.
Focusing on the ones you want to wear all the time and live in at this point in your life will help you feel more confident about the choices that you make.
It might help to take a sheet of paper and make a list of what you hate to wear and what you love to wear.
Here is the start of my list:
Now, look at your Pinterest board and notice if you see any trends.
This is where you might have a realization that surprises you.
- Have you pinned a lot of blazer looks, but don’t have any in your closet?
- Did you pin lots of dresses, but your closet is full of jeans?
- Look at the outfits you have pinned and notice the details. Do they have lots of accessories, like different types of jewelry or scarves, and you never wear things like that?
Anything you discover here is good information and a clue that you’re on the right track!
Quick Closet Edit
This is quick and dirty.
Don’t think about it too much, we’re just going for the first layer of stuff removal here.
(Plus, you might find a few Christmas presents that you bought in 2020, tucked away and forgot about.)
Grab a drink, put on the some music, and pull up your Pinterest inspiration board on your iPad.
We’re working to clear your visual and your brain space, so that it will be easier to see what you own that’s working for you now. We’ll do another edit next week, so don’t think too hard about these first decisions.
Pro- stylist tip: I keep a rolling rack like this one to have an easy place to move hanging clothes to when I’m moving them from a closet. The rack is simple to break down and store when you’re not using it.
With your Pinterest inspiration board as your guide, you’re going to remove things from your closet that aren’t serving you in this stage of your life.
1. Take out anything that is stained, ripped, or beyond repair.
a. Gather all of those items into a bag and donate them to a local charity that recycles clothes.
b. If you think you’re keeping it as a project, or yard work outfit, take it out of your closet and store it in another room.
2. Remove everything that doesn’t fit the body that you have today.
a. If it’s too small, and you’re planning on losing weight to get back into it, ask yourself if the style is one that fits into the vision you see on your style board.
i. If not? Put it on in a pile to donate it.
ii. If so, move it to another closet and out of your sight.
3. Remove anything that needs to be hemmed or mended.
a. Put it into a separate pile by your back door and commit to taking it to a tailor. (Admit it, you’re never going to get around to doing it yourself. Just pay the $25 to outsource the job and mark it off of your mental to-do list.)
4. Pull out anything that is taking up space in your closet only because it has sentimental value. Put it on the rolling rack.
5. Look at what you have left and decide what you love, and what’s just an “I’m not sure” piece.
a. Keep the LOVE pieces in your closet, everything else move to the rolling rack.
6. If you have the bandwidth, repeat the same 5 steps for your shoes, accessories, and the drawers in your dresser. Yes, including your underwear drawer.
Look at what you have left in your closet, compare it to your Pinterest inspiration board and notice what you see.
Does it feel cohesive?
Do you see themes that make you happy?
If you look at what’s hanging in your closet and it feels like you don’t have much to left to wear, pull a few pieces from the “just okay” rack and put them back so that you can at least get dressed tomorrow.
If you feel anxious or frustrated by this stage, give yourself some grace. Building a wardrobe that you love takes time. You will get there.
Understanding where you’re going with your wardrobe will help you to shop with more intention and stop wasting money on pieces that aren’t a “Hell yes!”.
But look at what you’ve done and pat yourself on the back! You’ve begun to understand your style and you’ve cleaned things out of your closet that you probably weren’t even wearing anyway.
You’ll benefit from hearing what Monika Nielsen known as Your Style Rehabist, has to say.
Join us in the Facebook group to hear from Monika about clothes + guilt, and share what you’ve discovered about your style this week.
If you’re just joining the Wardrobe Challenge, start with Week One, through the link below.
I’ll see you in our Facebook group on Friday at 3:00 pm for the live Q+A where we’ll talk through this week’s challenge and you can vent ALLL of your feelings.
Always cheering you on!