Friday, July 31, 2015

How WeightWatchers Changed How I Manage My Closet

Years ago, I did Weight Watchers to lose the pounds I had gained in graduate school from poor eating and exercise. (This post isn't about that.) One day, a girl hit her goal weight and the leader asked if there was anything she wanted to share about what she'd learned, experienced, whatever. 

She thought for a moment and told the story of how she'd was going to watch a movie with her boyfriend, and they stopped at the store for some snacks. She wanted chocolate, and like all of us watching our weight, she was reading nutrition labels. The first instinct is oftentimes to go for the lightest option - whatever low fat, lower sugar, "lean" option is there. However, she found that she wasn't satisfied with those "cheaper" options, and found herself eating more of it to try to reach satisfaction. She'd realized that she was better off truly treating herself with good quality chocolate. She was satisfied, felt totally indulged, and ended up eating less than the "diet" options.

Her story resonated with me with food, of course, but it also really works when I started looking at my closet. I had approached my wardrobe like diet food - if I purchased cheaper clothes, I could purchase more. I felt like I had more options, a better closet. But really what I ended up with was racks and drawers full of cheap clothing that didn't fit right and rarely satisfied me. I never put something on and felt good about it. Loose threads and popped buttons were common. I never felt like I was dressed nicely. I just never felt satisfied.

I remembered that girl in Weight Watchers, and how I'd agreed with her take on chocolate. Quality over quantity. And so I tackled my drawers and closet. The very first thing I did was take all maternity clothes and put them into vacuum seal bags from Dollar Tree. (The bulk of my pregnancy clothes are winter clothes, so they wouldn't work well for post-partum anyway.) Then I started clearing things out. Old leggings, cheap shirts, things that don't fit (some that possibly never did), ugly patterns, shirts from 5 years ago, stuff that I keep thinking I'll get back into but won't... it all went into bags and donated to Goodwill or thrown away. Then I got down to restocking and rebuilding a quality wardrobe I could love.

I bought one good pair of leggings. I purchased good quality shoes that offer support and are a variety of colors. I waited for a JCrew sale and ordered shorts, a skirt, and several shirts. I went to H&M and picked up basic tees in black, white, blue, cream and some new camis for underneath. I used an online coupon for Old Navy and ordered a couple shirts, a pair of black pants, and a summer dress. All of these were purchased in my current size, which is 2 sizes larger than I was before, but they fit and flatter, and that's most important. I didn't spend a ton of money and now my closet has a lot more room and you know what? I feel like I have WAY more things to wear than I did before.

I joined Stitch Fix and am only keeping one skirt from this round. It isn't like anything else I own, and my son smiled and squealed when I put it on, so I'm keeping it. The rest? Meh... so I'm sending them back. If they're not satisfying now, they'll just take up resources (space, money) from getting something that truly DOES satisfy me. So that's what I'm doing. Holding out for what I really like... and no settling for poor substitutions! Like the chocolate, sometimes splurging on one good piece of apparel is way more satisfying (and cheaper!) than a bunch of cheap substitutions that never satisfy.

Have you done any closet cleaning recently? How do you determine what goes in there and what gets tossed?