As if you didn’t already know this, but September is traditionally fashion month. (Because I know “fashion month” is at the top of your priority list…) New York Fashion Week always happens in September and the “September issue” of Vogue is always the thickest and glossiest issue of all. It’s also back-to-school month, which stirs up nostalgia for picking out that first day of school look. Do you remember what you wore to the first day of seventh grade? I do. A black a-line skirt dotted with tiny colorful flowers paired with a black, short sleeved mock-neck sweater from The Limited (and probably low cut sneakers.) I would 100% wear that outfit today.
This September, I’ve decided to route some of my creative energy to my wardrobe. My goals are to 1.) figure out what pieces I don’t wear (or hesitate to wear) and 2.) get more creative with the pieces that I do wear. Here I’m sharing the custom method that I’m crafting as I go along (feel free to implement one or all of these suggestions to your closet!)
Taking a cue from Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society, I’m using her #stylemeseptember style calendar (below) as a jumping-off point of inspiration, but oh no– I’m not leaving it at that. As I wear each piece, after washing it (if it needs it), I’ll place it at the back of my closet in an effort to not reach for it again. By doing this, it forces me to see the things that I usually look over out of habit, because they are literally pushed to the front of the closet and my line of sight.
I’m also doing a bit of the (albeit slightly Buddhist) KonMarie method as I go, which is to say, if I don’t feel the “spark” of joy about a piece, I’ll set it aside for later revision. This pile of non-joyful pieces will stay in my closet for a month or so, long enough to give me time to figure out how I really feel about them (and side note: while I’m all about fashion essentialism and streamlining getting dressed, this is my only beef with the KonMarie method…sometimes we just don’t have a good handle on how we really feel about something. If you hold a shirt and don’t feel the “spark” of joy or whatever, give it a little time before donating/giving it away. I’ve prematurely gotten rid of things in the past that I SO wish I still owned, perhaps because I was feeling things about my life but taking it out on my poor closet? Just a gentle warning of reason.) Generally speaking, I don’t KonMarie special occasion pieces like the black funeral dress, the small collection of winter/camping gear, the bathing suit coverup, etc.
So far, I’m enjoying this method. It’s like a progressive editing session for my wardrobe, but a fun one because I get to wear (almost) everything.
I also keep thinking about the words that a friend shared recently. She said that when she was younger and wanting to go shopping, or wanting a bigger/better house, but the finances weren’t there (early stages of marriage and lots of young kids at home, sound familiar to anyone?), she felt a nudging by the Spirit to “take care of what you have.” I found this so profound and beautiful in its simplicity. This was good and timely advice for me and it confirmed that I do want to take care of what I have– to literally care for my clothing in a way to preserve them, but also to expand this to my larger life. If we take the time to take care of what we have we’ll likely spend less time being envious of what other people have and more time enjoying what is right in front of us.
Sounds good, right?