断捨離 - a japanese term meaning to reduce the number of unnecessary things in one’s life to bring harmony.
For the last quarter of 2013, I was stuck in a rut fashion-wise. My funds were low, my clothing stale and about 3/4 of my wardrobe did not fit due to some weight loss. It was also around this time that I was in the midst of moving and relocating - and this is where 断捨離 came in.
Packing up my closet required a number of boxes and bags. I spent a whole Saturday filling bags with an obscene amount of blazers, shoes and pants in all colours of the rainbow.
But what baffled me was that with all these pieces in my wardrobe, I was literally wearing the same thing everyday; a looser fit button front shirt in a neutral colour and black skinnies. If I basically had an everyday “uniform” and I have to wear the same suit for work on a daily basis, why the need for all the excess?
This question I couldn’t answer and there, my 断捨離 began (clothing-wise). I got rid of my whole wardrobe and started fresh - back to basics.
It was similar to what Erin Wasson experimented with when she sold all of her designer clothing for -$100 in a garage sale back in 2009.
"If I’m working all day and I have a dinner or something, I’ll go from jeans and T-shirt to maybe a simple black dress. Same heels. Same hair and makeup. I really like the idea of being utilitarian. My dream is to edit down my wardrobe and be very Japanese, where you have one rolling rack and it’s like your four T-shirts, your five dresses, your two pairs of jeans. That’s so not the case right now. I have so much crap in my closets. I love the idea of being super edited."
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wears different variations of the same thing everyday. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who wears things so often that that one piece becomes a key identifying feature when trying to be spotted in a crowd. Britney Spears had her uggs, J Lo had her tracksuits and I have my Vancouver Grizzlies hat (secret: I stole it from my brother and I actually know nothing about them).
Does it get stale? You would think but I’m more of a ‘Jil’ than a ‘Donatella’ anyways.
These are the pieces that I’ve been basically rotating between since the beginning of the year:
[Zara Man: here]
[Zara Woman: here]
[Club Monaco: now on sale here]
[my brother’s/mine now: here]
If not wearing any of these, you’ll find me usually in this:
Of course, this isn’t my entire wardrobe and that’s not to say that I have stopped perusing the racks of clothing in stores or that I don’t navigate through online shops once in a while. Now, I’m just a little more privy to debating with myself; “needs vs wants”.
But when you truly want something, it finds a way to manifest itself into a need.