I used to have so many clothes that my fall/winter wardrobe barely fit in my master closet, and my spring/summer clothes hung in the hall closet. Every season, I would physically switch them out, schlepping summer clothes into my closet and moving winter into the hall closet.
My clothes and shoes in the hall closet:
Then I decided 1. to get real about my style, and 2., I became a minimalist. After all, I am about to turn 40, and I didn’t wear most of my clothes anyway.
So I did a major clothes audit. Over the past year, I have sold most of my clothes at Fifi’s in Cameron Village.
But even after editing and editing, I still had way too many clothes. Plus, some just did not work for my 5′ tall, birthed-two-children frame. This was my closet after it had been cleaned out: #toomuch
Then the universe intervened, and I reconnected with Sheon Wilson, a.k.a. Sheon The Stylist. She and I had worked together at The News & Observer. I always loved her column, “Refresh Your Style.” Like me, she had started her own business.
We are now business partners, but I also hired her to style me. And, per my request, she gutted my closet and created a capsule wardrobe with the clothes that were left.
Now, everything fits with lots of breathing room. Here are my winter clothes, including my winter coats. That’s it:
I now have all basics — meaning very little print items, which are hard to match. I also have the right colors for my skin tone and the right shape for my petite size. (Sheon is also a color expert.)
People freak out when I show them my closet. After all, I only have 12 winter shirts, 2 dresses, 4 skirts and 10 pairs of pants, most of which are jeans. (I got rid of all my suits because I no longer work in an office.) But I have 10 pages of notes that list every piece of clothing and what I can wear with it. (Yes, I am OCD.) Because I have a capsule wardrobe, I have endless possibilities.
To prove it’s possible to be stylish with minimal clothing, I launched an Instagram project today that I call #shopinyourcloset.
In my weekly Instagram posts, I will capture an image of a cute outfit from the web or in a magazine, and I will recreate it using only what it is in my closet — absolutely no shopping allowed.
Here is a sneak peak: That @stylishpetite on the left and me on the right, using my clothes I already had in my closet.
Just a few things to keep in mind: I am not a professional model. I am 5′ tall. I eat food. And I have carried two children in my body. So don’t compare me to the professional models! Just tell me whether I nailed their outfits!
All outfits were styled by the amazing Sheon Wilson, and all photos were taken by the very talented Antonio Martez.
Photos will be on Instagram every Tuesday morning. So head on over to Instagram and start following Raleigh Green Gables.
I hope it will teach the world you can still be stylish with very few clothes. Here’s to minimalism! And see you Tuesday!