Beginning Clothes Organization...

The change of seasons brings about the inevitable changing of the wardrobe. I'm forever trying to come up with some organizational model for reining in the amount of clothing in my closet. About a decade ago, I first formulated the plan known as the Seven-Dress wardrobe, (also known as Liturgical Dressing) which worked well - for a while! But I confess I found it hard to maintain such a minimalist approach to dressing, and age took its toll on both my figure and my ability to regularly sew myself a new wardrobe.

Now, some ten years after writing the above article, I'm back to my old standby: thrift store dressing, and for some reason, keeping up with the fashion scene has become more important to me as I age. But when you shop constantly at thrift stores and through bags of hand-me-downs, wardrobes have a way of ballooning out of proportion just as much the closets of those who hit the mall every Saturday. I still find myself in need of a template, a directive for how much is enough, and how much is ... too much.

So the field experiment in simple dressing goes on with variations and missteps, and I thought I'd post an update. I don't think I have any terribly new insights, but I thought I'd share my struggle in these next few posts, which at the very least should be entertaining: ongoing posts in the battle to find beauty and order in the modern realm of fashion...


Nicole Bradica said…
This definitely gives me some food for thought. I have been pondering as of late what to do about my wardrobe. Needing some newer items to update, some more classic pieces that are a better size, and some items that fit my liturgical lifestyle. Looking forward to more thoughts!
Kristyn Hall said…
I concur... the thrift stores can be a real threat to trying to live simply. When you can buy a skirt for $1, why not buy five (or six or...)? Another related subject is the "changing of the guard" for the rest of the family. We have 5 children so far, and I dread, dread, dread, changing out the unseasonal clothes for the seasonal. Every year I put it off, my children are either freezing or sweating, and I feel grouchy knowing I must do it but just can't get up the moxie to get it over with. It is October 2, and here I am again. I wonder if some supermom has come up with a creative solution for this...?
MarieC said…
Oh my've captured my thoughts. I've got the dreaded change over chore slated for later this week. I'm hopeful all my "pre-pondering" will help but I'll also be looking forward to your thoughts!
MOm said…
There are lists on line that suggest a reasonable number of clothes for children, but are there any for us?
Like you, Regina, I find myself becoming more interested in moving closer to mainstream fashion as I age. A real change for someone who's spend about 40 years in jeans!
My starting point for clothes organization is the size of my closet. I have a reasonably sized closet (about 6 feet of clothes rod and 12 feet of shelving.) All my clothes fit in there - sweaters on one shelf, socks, underwear, t-shirts in baskets on the others. Shoes and purses on a rack on the floor.
Once it starts looking stuffed and messy, it's either time to do a seasonal-sort or dig deep and pass on the things I haven't worn or thought of for a year.
regina doman said…
Pam wrote but couldn't post (Thanks Pam!):

Here's something I am considering as I am always trying to pare down as well. I find my clothes much harder to pare down than the children's!

I recently picked up a 1950s home economics textbook called "Family Clothing" (for $1 at the library book sale!). It is not about how to sew clothing but rather how to select and shop for clothing--a truly useful home economy skill.

It has detailed lists of recommended items for each age, from baby to businessman. The list for teenagers was most eyeopening; nothing to do with jeans, but rather reflective of making a graceful transition from child to adult, more simply cut adult's clothing really.

There's also a section on clothing for the older woman. The pictures remind me of all my older relatives' family wedding photos! My husband rolls his eyes when I bring home this kind of book, but I think it's fascinating.
Rebekka said…
One solution I've seen to switching out your kid's clothes every half a year is to have two chests of drawers. One of my childhood friends had this (in my family we were messy and didn't switch clothes). She had her winter clothes in one and her summer clothes in the other and instead of emptying everything and replacing it with the new season's clothes, she just went to the other chest of drawers for warmer/cooler clothing.

You can color-code the clothes by backstitching in the neckline with embroidery thread so you know which clothes go wear. (I do this with my clothes that don't go in the dryer so that my husband doesn't wreck my clothes when he tries to help with the laundry.)

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