30 Days, 35 pieces of clothing: a challenge known as a lifestyle to minimalists everywhere. BUT, for an over-the-top, pack for it all “just in case” type like myself, it was the challenge of a lifetime.
Spending the past three years of my life as an out-of-state college student, 12 hours away from home has created the biggest burden in transporting “looks” to Chicago from Atlanta. I spent most of my life “spoiled” in the sense that if I chose to pack 3+ bags to go anywhere at all, it would somehow fall into place for me. I chose to always be overprepared, paranoid over every possible outcome and not having the “choice” of what I’d wear next.
However, traveling solo has taught me far too much about the struggle of managing multiple bags and struggling through airports to not wear half of what I packed. This is what made me realize that this was not only a waste of time, but a waste of energy on my behalf.
So, I decided to buckle down and try out a “capsule wardrobe, “ a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces”
This past winter break lasted exactly four-weeks, 30 days on the dot and I decided to only pack 35 pieces of clothing (shoes included). While this at first was so nerve wracking, I was looking forward to the idea of traveling light.
This was the first way that living minimally helped me develop a better relationship with clothes, as I had to really dive deep into what I would wear color scheme wise and how often I’d wear particular pieces such as tops or jeans.
I put a lot of effort into only packing clothes that go with each other and also that corresponded with the stark difference in temperature from Atlanta to Chicago.
The staple of that wardrobe were endless turtle necks, crewnecks, and four pairs of jeans (two skinny jeans, one pair of mom jeans, and one pair of bootcut jeans).
Once I narrowed down the pieces I’d wear, it was easy to throw in cozier options such as as sweatsuits that allowed me to not wear jeans every time I left the house.
From that point, I picked out four pairs of shoes ranging from super casual gym shoes to heel booties that served a versatile purpose in the pieces I’d pull together.
Within all of that packing, I left school with one checked bag and one carry on (for the first time in my life!)
Throughout the break, I found that the amount of time I put into picking out outfits to wear downsized incredibly, everything I packed was so catered to my exact style that it was a simple task to get dressed on a day to day.
On top of that, I was amazed to see that I didn’t even wear every single item I packed! The amount of time I spent in the house lounging versus actually going out somewhere was equally proportionate, and living minimally made me learn it was easier to go without the options than I thought.
This month long experience completely changed my mindset on clothing, and made me realize that I hoard way too much clothing that I never wear in the name of fashion. I learned that I have a fairly specific style to cater to that I don’t put enough energy into.
Living minimally helped me develop a better relationship with clothes, by making me realize it's not about the quantity of clothing but the quality of what you have and how often you actually wear it.