Working in the fashion industry, my wardrobe has been on the exact opposite of the minimalist spectrum for as long as I can remember. I was a slave to trends, mindlessly buying things that were in one season and out the next.
When I moved to Milan, my style consciousness – and budget – grew a little, so I started collecting designer pieces, too. Not quite ready to spend crazy sums on a single piece, I’d buy mostly on sale and in designer outlets.
This meant that my selection was very limited – last season’s trends and pieces that weren’t appealing to the main audience anymore. While I did manage to find a few treasures on such occasions, it was rather uncommon.
Last year, when I bought my own apartment, I decided to treat myself to a huge closet. For the first time, I was finally able to see all of my proud possessions – and exactly how many of them I wasn’t wearing.
That gala-ready tuxedo jacket and the sky-high heels that were way too uncomfortable to walk in – all of these pieces were taking away the space, without adding any value to my style or life for that matter.
Over the months, I managed to sell most of my never-worn designer pieces and some of the high-street purchases that I didn’t truly love and wear often enough. Initially, I was sceptical – afraid even. Wouldn’t I miss them?
I was singlehandedly dismantling the collection I spent years – and thousands of euro – building. And guess what? I was feeling lighter, happier and endlessly more satisfied with the items I was left with.
It wasn’t always an easy process: some pieces had an emotional value attached to them, some were simply beautiful and thus difficult to part with – even though I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to wear them anytime soon.
I also had to accept the fact that I’d lose most of the money I’d initially spent. High-fashion devalues very quickly, so that must-have shoe I paid for a lot one season is quickly replaced by a newer one, only months later.
I still haven’t reached the point where I’m completely satisfied with the result – there are still plenty of pieces I’m not 100% sure I want to keep. I haven’t established the end goal, either. How do I want my wardrobe to look like?
While I’m very attracted to the idea of a capsule closet, I don’t feel ready to be limited by a number. I want to experiment and see how far I feel comfortable getting. I want to create my own tailored-made solution.
In the meantime, I’m reaping all the benefits of a simpler, smaller closer: less decision fatigue and more time to spend on what truly matters. Who’s with me?