A Parisienne helped me de-clutter my wardrobe?
Fast forward to one year later, I still didn't really grasp that 'sense of style'. But I start to pay more attention to what other ladies wear at work.
One late afternoon when the office is quiet (it was a half day), I caught a Belgian lady (mind you, her sense of style is impeccable - same as the French lady I wrote about in the previous post!) having lunch at the pantry alone.
I walked to her, hesitated but decided to just go and ask, ‘I really like how you dress. Which brands do you usually buy?’
I can’t remember exactly how she responded, but I do remember she did not mention any particular brand. Instead, what stuck with me is that she had watched a Ted talk a long time ago on a ‘10-item wardrobe’. She said, ‘I was so inspired by that video and gradually throw away all my clothes and only keep the simple and high quality ones. That was when my people start complimenting my sense of style.’
I mentioned my messy closet. I have a piece of everything, different colours, different textures, different price points. But still, I have nothing to wear.
The thought of clearing my closet, after watching the Ted talk and also relevant books around a capsule wardrobe, remains mostly a ‘thought’. It would be such a tiring task to do! I have no time for that.
But one night, I decided that today is the day. I was so sick of my wardrobe. It was so full, so redundant, so messy. It has everything but it’s nothing.
I spent 2 hours clearing every item using criteria below. I was totally egocentric - I only selected pieces that I like to wear and looks good on me.
- I have not worn it for 6 months.
- I honestly had no clue what I bought it.
- I hate the colour.
- I hate the fit.
- I hate the texture.
- It doesn’t fit me anymore.
- I might wear it in the future, but I have no idea when.
- It doesn’t make me feel comfortable.
Very quickly, I’ve got rid of 200+ pieces of clothing. (The scene was pretty horrifying when my grandma sees the pile of shit on the sofa.) What remains in my closet was like my very own curation of outfits. It feels like my own personal wardrobe - one that is selected by a personal stylist.
You will be able to see there is a:
- specific range of colours that remains
- patterns that complements you
- textures that you personally love
- things that fit you and make you feel comfortable
- things that you actually wear
It’s a lot more than that.
Less is more.
True sense of style (allow me to be a little bit braggy here - I most certainly don’t have a world class fashionista style, but who cares? What matters is you have your personal style and no one can wear the exact same clothing in the way you do) does not come with price tags (cheap or expensive, it doesn’t matter - but as you will read on in my later posts, don’t get too cheap because, well, cheap is cheap. I can show you how to identify quality pieces even with a cheap price tag) nor brand names. It comes with a sophisticated understanding of what works well with your body proportions, your skintone (& undertone!), your lifestyle, and your budget.
(Read on to see more on where to start. First step, fabrics. Remember, I’m no expert and we are learning this together!)