Last month, I started a new series here on The Pleb Life: monthly closet updates. I’m hoping that this will keep me accountable with following my guidelines for mindful consumption and with updating my closet inventory every month. I’m also hoping that in being more transparent about my minimalism journey that it will help others be gentle with themselves as they embark or continue on journeys of their own. Minimalism is a hard (but fulfilling) journey to be on: not only are you trying to rewire a lifetime of old habits, but you also have to go against a society that encourages you to consume quickly and constantly. I have a feeling that these are going to either be my most favorite posts or my most gut-wrenching to publish each month.
July’s Closet Update was very eye-opening to see how much I ended up spending on clothes. After writing that post early in the month, I was determined to toe the line and do my best to not falter.
Spoiler alert: I did falter just a bit (but not as much as last month).
– NEW ADDITIONS –
| note: thank you for supporting pleb life with the affiliate links below |
Madewell Barcelona Sun Graphic Tee ($10) bought on 08/01/18 — This was 100% an impulse purhcase brought on by Madewell cheekily sending a $25 credit (upon a condition of spending at least $26 of course). I received two of these since apparently two of my emails are subscribed to their newsletter (I’ve unsubscribed to one of them to avoid this conundrum again). I had been eyeing this tee so that I could wear it with my beloved wide leg pants (like in this outfit), but didn’t think it would be versatile enough. In the excitement of potentially getting this tee for only $10, I bought it without much thought. (I ended up giving the other credit to a friend so that I didn’t have another excuse to make another impulse buy.) You can see how I styled it here in this post.
Suunday Gauze Dolman Top in Parchment ($58) bought on 08/02/18 — After completing the Summer 10×10 Challenge, I knew I wanted to add in some white blouses to brighten up my mostly black wardrobe. I had been eying things from Suunday for months, particularly this top and debated on getting it in white or in their mustard yellow. I settled on the white because I wanted to stick to my approved shopping list. I also knew that the color mustard yellow doesn’t last too long in my wardrobe and often ends up being purged from not being worn enough.
c/o Loyale Studio No. 2 in Black ($0) received on 08/24/18 — I’m so lucky to be a partner with Loyale this season. They’ve sent me their tunic tee to style and I can’t wait to see how it works out in my wardrobe! My Everlane Box Tee dress might just have some stiff competition.
Thrifted Zara Black Striped pants ($15) bought on 08/26/18 — After I purged a bit of my wardrobe, we went to Crossroads Trading to try and sell our loot. While we were waiting, I came across a pair of striped wide-leg pants from Zara and I couldn’t say no to them! They reminded me of this pair from Madewell that I’ve been eyeing.
Free People Heartbreaker Jumper in Black ($88) & We The Free The One Tee in Olive ($40) bought on 08/26/18 — Like I said in a previous blog post, Free People (and Madewell) is my weakness when it comes to un-ethical brands. I’ve been hunting for a cozy perfect-for-me jumpsuit for years. I have one from Mien that I finally got hemmed this Summer but still am just not brave enough to wear it (I’m foreseeing it in the Fall/Winter with a cardigan or jacket over it). But this one from Free People was just perfect and I didn’t need to hem it! The tee was what I used to try it on in the dressing room as I wore a dress that day, and I ended up loving it with the jumpsuit and can see it with my other high-waisted pants. I ended up wearing this ensemble on the first day of school and I loved every minute of it!
TOTAL MONEY SPENT: $196 // TOTAL NUMBER OF ITEMS: +6
– WHAT I LET GO –
After my month-long stay at a lovely house in Los Feliz, I was anxious to get back home to my own bed and my own wardrobe. The guest room I was staying in did not have a wardrobe available (they used it as the linen closet) so Brandon and I were literally living out of a suitcase for a month. Absence did make my heart go fonder for some items, but also there were a lot of items that once they were out of my sight, they were also out of mind. I think getting some distance from my wardrobe did me some good, and I was actually excited to declutter my wardrobe. Starting the month with the 10×10 challenge and also not living in our home for the majority of the month brought a whole new meaning to the minimalist’s saying that fewer is better. Fewer really did end up being better this month, and I realized that even though I’ve gotten rid of 70% of my closet in one year, that I could get rid of even more. And so I did…
Here’s the list of what I let go:
–Striped Tee from Project Social Tee
–Striped Tee from Who What Wear
–Black Polka Dot Pants from Urban Outfitters
–Gingham Set: Skirt & Top from Madewell
–Lush Polka Dot Wrap Dress
–Muji Linen Dress
–Current Elliot Black Sundress
–Current Elliot More Love Graphic Tee (moved to loungewear/work out capsule)
–Free People Floral Dress
–Dolce Vita Tan Ankle Boots
—Black Everlane Square Tee
–Muji Black Cotton Dress
–And Other Stories Black Midi Dress
TOTAL NUMBER OF ITEMS: -10, SOLD: +$70.14
OVERALL: -4 ITEMS, -$125.86
– WHAT I LEARNED –
The few weeks following me starting this series on the blog (08/04/18), I was pretty afraid to shop again. I didn’t want to even think about it, let alone tempt myself by going into stores or browsing online. The decluttering of my email subscriptions and social media helped keep me on track. Conveniently also, I was also pretty busy with the school year starting up again and clearing out Brandon’s storage unit so luckily, I just didn’t have time to shop much this month. However, I can’t always rely on work or life to keep me from consuming. I really do need to learn self-control and to be better about being intentional with what I do buy.
That being said, I think there also needs to be a balance between abstinence and excess. While I don’t ever want to go back to how excessively I was consuming before, I also don’t think I’ll ever be the minimalist who can only shop when an article of clothing falls apart after years of use. I like clothes and I like to have fun with my clothes. I’m sure that this maintaining this balance is going to be a constant battle for me for the rest of my life (you can read about this struggle here). I’ve worn the hell out of my two new tops this month and am looking forward to wearing them far into the future.
I’ve also noticed that my style has evolved a bit as I’ve started embracing minimalism. I’ve been gravitating towards clean lines and simple silhouettes. Patterns don’t seem to be too popular in my wardrobe nowadays. I was shocked that I was able to let go of some striped tees after they’ve been such a staple in my wardrobe for so long. Polka dots and gingham are also patterns that I can probably say goodbye to for a long while (maybe forever) as I’ve noticed that they tend to only last a season or two at most. After getting that jumpsuit from Free People though at the end of the month, I’m looking to add a few more jumpsuits to my wardrobe so expect those to be on my September’s closet update. Until then!