It makes sense that I started my minimalist journey in the closet. My entire life had been spent building up a wardrobe that I felt like I could be proud of. So, I suppose it makes the most sense to think that the closet just might be where I would also lose myself. You see, I have come to realize that our clutter, specifically the areas where we struggle the most, is often a way for us to cover up or disguise our truest self. The funny thing is, more often than not, we are disgusting our true self from…ourselves. Let’s dive into that for a minute and talk about how we can often find who we are the second we start to downsize our wardrobes
If you want to do a mini therapy session while you declutter your closet, you can grab my totally FREE guidebook that goes along with this post. As you eliminate, you can do the self-work that helps you uncover why you might have been hanging onto these things in the first place. Click here to snag the free guide.
Even though I went through a 3 year period where I didn’t buy any clothes, I currently, I have a white blazer sitting in my closet. I got it on clearance at a high-quality woman’s store and I’m not too ashamed to admit that as soon as I purchased it, I thought it would turn my entire life around.
“This is how I will finally be able to be taken seriously.”
“This is what I need to feel legit in my career.”
“I will wear this and I will be a whole new woman.”
I still haven’t worn it. Not for longer than 5 minutes at a time.
The truth is, I knew better when I purchased it. I knew it wasn’t my style. Hadn’t I been through this little dance enough times to know better?
We often buy into the myth that we will wear something someday and if we pay close enough attention, we will realize that we buy into this belief because a part of us desires to be who we imagine we will be when we slip into this particular item of clothing.
And if let ourselves dig even further, we just might find that in desiring to be this make-believe person, what we are really telling ourselves is that we are not good enough currently as we are.
Just like we might hang onto things that we deep down know aren’t really who we are, there might also be items that we keep because we know they really are who we are, but we just don’t want to step fully into that person just yet.
Have you ever tried on a dress or a pair of jeans and you instantly feel soooo good! This item hugs your curves just right, you feel comfortable, confident, and sexy so you bring it to the register and buy it!
Then as you get this item back to your home, in the mix with all of the items in your closet that tell the story of who you think you should be, you start to doubt the confidence you had in that fitting room. So this new, empowering item sits in the closet front and center silently begging to be worn. Learn more about creating a minimalist wardrobe.
You tell yourself things like:
“People will think I look silly.”
“This is too stylish for someone my age.”
“I can’t wear this in front of people I don’t know well.”
“What if people think I’m trying to show off?”
More often than not of these things beliefs translate to something along the lines of, “I will make someone else feel smaller if I allow myself to take up space in a way that makes me feel confident and good about myself.”
As silly as it sounds, we live in a society where it is more acceptable to body-shame or dislike yourself than it is to actually like who you are and what you wear.
So what is that item? Maybe you haven’t bought it yet. Maybe you keep eyeballing it, saving outfits for it on Pinterest, and wondering what it would feel like if you allowed yourself to be exactly who you want to be.
This item right here…this will be the changing point for your entire existence. Maybe not quite that dramatic…but this was the realization that allowed me to begin to uncover my true, authentic style which in turn began to guide me to my true, authentic self.
What item(s) do you look at in your closet and as you reach for it, or feel called to wear it, something’s your head stops you and says, “No…I wear that too much,” or “I just wore this last week. I can’t wear it again!”
The next time that voice pops up, I want you to get a little sassy and shoot back with, “WHY NOT?”
Chances are when you ask this question you will discover one of 2 answers:
What you might find, however, is that the reason you continue to reach for this item is that it makes you feel “safe” but not necessarily alive.
Maybe it’s that shirt that covers your arms because you hate your arms. It could be that pair of pants that lets you tuck in your tummy more, even though they are super uncomfortable.
However, if these are items you reach for because you find comfort and confidence when you put them on, then let me be the first to tell you that these are items you are allowed to put on your body more and more. In fact, I say, go buy more items just like these!
Recommended read: 7 Thing I Learned While Wearing the Same Dress for 100 Consecutive Days
When you start to find those items that fill you up with the most confidence, I want you to start doing a little detective work.
Ask yourself questions like, “What is it about this shirt that I like so much?’
“How are all of these items similar?”
“What don’t I like about this one?”
As you begin to dissect these items, you will start to find your own Confidence Code. Your unique style. The items that make you feel like the real you.
The next time you go shopping, you can use this knowledge that you’ve hacked away at to stop wasting your time and money because you will already know what items you love the most. No need to convince yourself to style it down or play it small.
That shirt that you know you’ll never wear? Don’t waste your time.
The bright new pattern that everyone is wearing when you know you’re more of a neutral color gal? Pass.
As you work your way through your closet, remember you can use the free guidebook to help you out, you can begin to connect more to yourself, your style, and how you want to show up.