Since the start of 2018, Aukje (also one of our changemaker-of-the-month), does a shopping detox meaning she does not buy new clothes, shoes or accessories. In her first vlog Aukje showed us her wardrobe full of clothes ready to be worn again after she had been pregnant. 4 months later it is time for an update to see how Aukje is doing.
In March I stumbled upon the Netflix documentary “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. It got me thinking, would this be something for me? Wouldn’t my life be much easier and more peaceful if I owned less? I am already taking a detox from shopping, but now also set myself the challenge of decluttering my wardrobe and leave in only 50 pieces. One, two, three garbage bags full of clothes… I filled them up really easy. I was surprised by how easy this was. Items that were in my closet for the wrong reasons like “ I might wear this some day “ or “ it still fits me “ are not so hard to get rid of. Apparently, a lot of clothes I had, I didn’t love so much, and if I felt it would be difficult to get rid of them, they might be one of the 50 that would survive the cut.
Bags number four and five took more of an afford. So I started to wonder, what is the right way of doing this and how do I know which items to keep without feeling sorry for pieces I’ve thrown out? I figured the kind of silhouette I liked to wear most is a lose top as I am never comfortable in a tight top. Still I had a lot of tight tops in my closet, just because I did like how they looked but I just never felt comfortable wearing them all day long. So I got rid of them: bag number four.
Also, I figured out that I like it when my waistline is accentuated, rather it is with a high waist tight pants or a high waist skirt or loose but high waist pants. I still had some ‘boyfriend fit’ kind of jeans in my closet but decided this will do my figure no good and started to throw them out, bag number five.
At this point I had 70 pieces left, still twenty to much. How could I make this last cut? This is where I stand now… I have a little pile of clothes that have to prove me that I will wear them. I made up the rule that if I will not wear them in the next 90 days, I will get rid of them. Doesn’t matter how lovely, expensive or beautiful they are.
Most of the clothes I decided not to keep, I sold and I brought a bunch of them to the Leger des Heils. Also, I made a list of ‘key-items’ that I will look for to complete my minimalistic capsule-wardrobe. This list includes things like a dressed up jacket for occasions or business meetings, a well fitting pair of shorts for the summer and a nice sleeveless top for an upcoming wedding that also needs to be able to worn daily.
So yes, I will be buying stuff again. However I will not give up on my buying- detox challenge. These ‘essentials’ I will search for in second hand shops and/or clothing swaps first. Only if I cannot find the items there I allow myself to take a look at fair fashion brands.
This whole experience, getting rid of 80% of my wardrobe and slowly adapt to this minimalistic lifestyle, has changed my mindset. Before every purchase I really ask myself the question, do I need this, does this add something to my wardrobe as it is and will I feel happy and confident when I wear it? Most of the time the answer will be either ‘no’, ‘it is not worth spending money on’ or ‘it will not make me happier’. Looking at my 50 main clothing items I do see the benefits of investing in good quality clothes that fit you well and give you a good feeling, rather it is because they shape you well or because you know they are fair. The funny thing is, every morning when I open my closet doors, I am happy with everything inside and I know what I want to wear. In contradiction to before when I could stand there for ten minutes contemplating about what to wear that day.
I know I am not there yet and maybe I never will be. But this made me see my own consuming behavior and it changed my view on the world. Last Kingsday I strolled across the flea-markets and was amazed by how much stuff people sold, how much clothes. It made me feel sad, because I know they will stand there next year, again, selling so much stuff again.
I don’t want that for myself.
That idea makes me happier and more confident about my new capsule-wardrobe and I am persistent to adjust to this lifestyle in my everyday life, step by step.