super small wardrobe





Do I dare talk about small wardrobes?  I mean I've exhausted the subject here,  here, and here.  But living up here in Utah I am operating on the smallest wardrobe ever and I don't have a lot else to talk about.  Back in May when we came up here I packed for cold weather because it was cold, duh. And also because I wasn't sure how long we'd be staying.

I packed 3 pairs of jeans, 4 sweaters, my favorite sweatshirt from Everlane, my Double RL thermal and plaid shirt and the workhorse of my wardrobe, my J. Crew Chambray.  This worked for all of May and almost all of June.  Then we got hit with a heat wave.  Summer's here are normally quite mild with temps hovering around 70-75 degrees.  But with the heat wave and nothing to wear I ordered these shorts from TargetThey fit so well and cover a lot of cellulite. Also, this boatneck tshirt that does the same thing.   And then last week this maxi dress from Walmart.  Now all the cellulite is covered and my total wardrobe including 3 pair of shoes, one red vintage bandana and a vintage silk scarf is 24.

I miss nothing from my closet at home which is weird because I really love my clothes there.  Here all I really do is eat, sleep and hike.  That's a lie because I do grocery shop.

So I don't know if this would be doable at home but I would like to think so.  The pressure to always be in something new or up-to-date if you are meeting friends or just going out is much greater than it is here so there is that.  Do I have the guts to keep this going at home?   Forgive me for all the links but I know some of you like the specifics.  x

44 comments

  1. Thank you for the heads up for the maxi dress. I happened to be at a shopping center with a WalMart so I ran in and purchased the maxi in a light gray & white stripe. It's perfect for summer bbq's and the farmers markets, and it has quite a nice fit and feel.

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  2. Janet you have the perfect small wardrobe going on. We're both wearing the JCrew chambray like heck I see. :) The thing about small wardrobes is that they fit right in with considerate consumption theory, I mean of course you'll wear each item at least 30 times because it's what you have. Helps to have your style though and put it all together so well.
    Hope things are fine with you XO

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  3. love the idea so much. what peace to use a small wardrobe! dont know if i have what it takes to do it but im thinking about it. love your posts, kay

    ps, one day you and your husband will be so happy you did this for his father. im sure you already are glad , but later you will be for sure.

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  4. Gosh, people pay a fortune to stay in a home and environment as beautiful as your father-in-law's! Nontheless, I can understand your cabin fever. How about outlining the book your followers are hoping and praying you will write? (nudge-nudge) - Jan-Leanne

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    1. Yes! The book! A perfect time.to begin something towards this. The book was always meant to be.....so many people waiting for it.

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  5. I have a small walk in closet I share with the ITALIAN HUSBAND.............never enough space.I would imagine I could do with LESS but I do not want too.............I have to hand it to you I would have gone NUTS by now.It is a good time to read and write.............YOU ARE GOOD PEOPLE.ARE you on Instagram?I wrote a Post today you might enjoy......XX

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  6. Well, super small but super neat and tidy.

    I bunked on a sailboat once, for a very brief time, and learned to live with few items and conveniences on a daily basis. It was about swimming, touring; long talks; sunning/sleeping/eating/listening. A very basic existence but rich with experience and sensation. I don't need photos to remember it; I can still FEEL it, 35 years later. I inhaled it; I absorbed it. (I can somewhat relate to your forest bathing.)

    Less is more. It's been said 10,000 times, and by scholarly people. Your post and tiny closet is a good reminder. I stray; I go to Goodwill sometimes. When I don't need to. I generally don't come out of there empty-handed although I've learned to severely edit myself. There's this man who is almost always there when I go; a customer. It became very noticeable to me. I'm back and forth quite a lot on that street during the week and now I see that his car is there in the parking lot constantly. It's like he can't stay away. I watched him when I was eating in a nearby cafe. He'd go in, return to his car, wait awhile, then go back in. Obviously some kind of sad addiction. I think he's there day and night. What is he looking for? What is his need? What life doesn't he have, that he needs to be in Goodwill so much? I don't want to be that man.

    I have storage units in an offsite facility that could have gotten destroyed in a fire last week; fire stopped just short of the buildings. I was prepared to be told all my stuff was burned up. I looked at the inventory list and realized I could live without it. It was very telling. We're remodeling, which is why I have the units, but now I don't want all that back in my house.

    Fewer things, like clothes or decor, are less work. Cleaning is easier. Being organized and orderly is easier. Less burden of responsibility, and an ease for the eye, which then doesn't have to dart around so many different objects. It allows you to clear the mind and be calm...and have something fill up the empty spaces other than material objects. Not every space has to be filled.

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    1. Vicki,
      Just a thought that came to mind, but he could be looking for certain things to sell for more money on Ebay. I've had a few tag sales over the years, and people would come and buy things that they said they planned on selling on Ebay.

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    2. Okay, I can get that but, whoa, what a full-time job. I'd figured he was 'mental' but I shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

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    3. i know when i go to estate sales and to a lesser extent, thrift shops i do see the "regulars." i'm one of them too. and it's interesting that we are all looking for specific things. and also, they are almost always men. they really love to collect books in my experience.

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  7. All you need is what you need. :)

    Jane x

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  8. Enjoy your boredom, if that is possible. It's a good thing you are doing. :) (And might be the perfect time to learn something new - to play the guitar, knit, a foreign language, or whatever has always interested you?)

    I look at your closet and wardrobe, and its almost like you "decorated" in there as with so few pieces they all must mix and match, I assume. It almost looks as if you have made the perfect "looking" closet too. Fun! I love the colors. Now, I think I might need that boat neck. Looks so comfy. Hang in there.

    Lor

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  9. I hear you girl! That whole looking perfect has got the best of me, I want to throw on some worn out jeans, a v-neck t-shirt a deniem shirt or loose man tailored blazer, and I am set to go ...oh an over sized Ralph Lauren tote and I could wear this every day....you think there is something wrong with this?
    Also... My bra strap length dark hair, well I want it all silver white grey, like a J.Jill model now that would be freedom.

    The small closet is really sweet, such a freeing up on ones spirit that's trapped to the material things of this life, and yet one more great find is excusable because we can't live without it :)
    I would love to find a smaller cottage like yours at home, and I thought mine was small enough. Those mini homes are starting to look sweeter and sweeter to me. You have your father-in laws guest room fixed up so cozy cute, you must feel like Heidi visiting GrandFathers mountain ?

    Love seeing your post, even if they are about the same thing, you have this way of tweaking things in new eye opening ways that make us think, " How much does one need anyways? "

    See you soon...
    PS. I found a great rayon blouse in white at Walmart, in the clearance for just a few dollars and really is a smart fun edgy look!

    Xx
    Dore

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  10. I'm smiling because today I put on my black & white stripe boatneck from Target - so comfortable! It hits the right mix of stylish and business casual for me and combats the chill of the office AC but I don't overheat going outside. Love your Utah wardrobe!

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  11. If you are looking for another activity can I suggest a GREAT new book I actually listened too on audible? Station Eleven. For some reason I think you would like it! I am trying to live more simply and embrace more of what matters in my day to day and less of what does not (agonizing about what to wear, constant shopping, worrying about what others think of me). I credit that a lot to you. Can't wait to see your spread in Country Living!

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    1. thanks for the suggestion ava, i will check it out. i'm reading crime and punishment right now which is riveting.

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  12. That tiny, beautiful wardrobe is so inspirational, Janet!

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  13. Hi Janet, Funny thing that you mentioned cellulite...I've never really had a problem with that but see it in my arms now on top of the skin getting a little looser. Ugh. I've always had great arms and it's really at the point where I don't want to wear sleeveless tops when I go out. Doing weights helps only a little. Guess it's something most women have to deal with at our age at one point or another. :/

    Some great choices that you added to your little wardrobe. You should see the stuff I wear when I'm just hanging around the house, the same shorts and tanks in the summer and hardly any makeup. I'm always glad when I don't have to go anywhere because I can skip the whole getting ready thing. One of the things that slows me down (besides makeup) is deciding what to wear. So there is something to be said about having a small wardrobe!

    Linda
    xo



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  14. When I'm in India I'm happy with four dresses, a couple of skirts and a handful of tops - its great having a holiday away frrom my wardrobe. Being at home is different though, I like choice! xxx

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  15. Don't know where the my comment went, so here we go again LOL Once again, I am inspired!!! I am purging my clothes this week. It if doesn't make me happy, out it goes. I am going to the beach in a few weeks for 5 days and all I am taking fits into a small rolling carry on and I am sharing it with my son. I am embracing simple living even more now and I love it!! Last year, I travelled to New England for 15 days. Before we left, whatever I did not wear, I left with my sister. Such freedom!!!

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  16. Hello Janet,
    How long are you staying up there? I need to seriously take apart my wardrobe. I have so many unused clothes! YIKES?
    Is there any thrift stores or antique stores you can shop at? xoxo

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    1. i don't really know how long we will be here but for awhile. all of that is up in the air. :)

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  17. I'm (kinda) reasonable about not bringing too many clothes. It's all the other stuff that gets me in trouble. How anyone travels without a stand mixer is beyond my comprehension. Your answer seems more sensible than mine. You bring less--I--bought a bigger car! Whatever works, right? It's a good thing I hate to fly. And yet I'm fascinated by this discipline people like you have for thoughtfully maximizing every item brought along.

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  18. Janet, I was reading back through some older posts of yours and you mentioned changing careers from caterer to esthetician. Could you do a post on this? Only reason I ask is I am 40 and making a complete 180 change on my career and it's fabulously scary and exhilarating at the same time. Thanks in advance.

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    1. there really wasn't much to it heather. :)

      i switched from catering to esthetician because my back was killing me and then i found out that esthetician work is hard on the back too! not the smartest of moves but i really do love being an estheti. but i also adore coooking...so there is that. i also remember that one of the main motivations was a steady paycheck instead of the sporadic catering jobs. i don't remember being scared but i do remember being excited!

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  19. I like a simple wardrobe and an organized closet...living out of a carry on for three weeks I Paris with 15 pieces made me realize that my minimal wardrobe could be pared down further....but I have been home for almost two months and have done nothing to reduce the size of my closet!
    BTW...I am glad that you have time to post on your blog. Eat, sleep, hike and grocery shop...the basics and some retail therapy which you needed.

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  20. Interesting. Almost like starting from scratch and choosing what you need and what suits your current taste/lifestyle/body image. 24 items looks neat!

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  21. No, you haven't exhausted the subject yet....you keep re-inspiring us. :) I've been house/dog sitting for my mother for the past 11 days and have honestly only worn half of the clothes I brought. I don't even think I'm going to hang the others up when I get back home.

    You're doing a wonderful thing up there. ♥

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  22. I literally gasped when I saw this picture, then I remembered you were in Utah and my heart slowed down.

    You can come on vacation with me if you stop by first and help me clean out my closet.

    Deal?

    xo J

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  23. We really need so little! I find so much of my now quite small wardrobe consists of "in case I..." - go sailing, go camping, need to wear a skirt/dress, will be in a different environment with a different dress code, go dog-walking, am babysitting, at the beach house, off skiing or whatever activities are in my life both regularly or irregularly. I've done the 6-item challenge a couple of times (6 items, 6 weeks) with no trouble and yet, I keep all this other stuff, too, which I would still miss if I didn't!! Can't wait for the time we just go sailing for 3 mths and won't be taking much, I can assure you...
    You are very inspirational!!

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  24. laughing at the cellulite comment! Your discipline knows no bounds.

    A limited wardrobe isn't for me and neither is social isolation but you know I support you 100% xxx

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  25. Thanks for the reminder post of just how little we need. Inspiring!

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  26. your wardrobe makes it easy to choose! i'm not a fan of following society's expectations of something new. that mindset arrived after a process of choosing to be simple. they say {whoever "they" are .. i read it on the internet so it must be true} we wear 10% of our wardrobe. that said, every month or two i sift through my clothing and give away/donate. it's about that time to do it again .. isn't it interesting that our clothing seems to reproduce? like rabbits. hm.

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  27. Did anyone see this? Inspirational!
    http://www.thisstylishlife.com/1-year-1-outfit-365-days-all-done/

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  28. No courage to shoot what I'm wearing these days. Had to get cowboy boots for timber rattlers, need my stetson for field of vision while keeping sun off, and most days my ralph lauren navy linen shirt dress that hits mid thigh. temps up to 100f and needing to take things to dump or good will or humane society or get a few things at grocer, and zero time/energy to change from my 'outfit'. dirt and sweat covering all.

    love our new home/property, didn't realize it would change everything in life.

    on the hunt for lite weight jeans to tuck into cowboy boots. since menopause hate wearing anything so confining yet the snakes have my attention.

    majority of my clothes are in boxes. will be interesting to unpack in a few months....and see what stays and what goes to goodwill.....

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

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  29. Always inspiring to read, and I love how you write about your minimalism in a way that is true to your feelings without denigrating anyone else. I've recently drastically reduced my wardrobe and belongings in general, and it feels really good for me. Ironically, we recently moved to a new, larger house than we were living in before (larger being about 1300 sq feet as opposed to 750 sq ft, so still not huge by US standards!) and we have so much empty storage space now! My next step is to try to delete my Pinterest board.

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  30. Isn't it amazing how little we really need?

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  31. I'm not over 50 (under) but love your style...goes to show you it's classy and youthful without being trendy and looking like you shop in the Juniors department. Thank you for your lovely blog!! I have the same Target boatnecks this year and am living in them!

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  32. Last year when my dad died, I spend one month at home in Germany and had literally 5 min to pack... not knowing how long I would be there.. so for one month I had 1 jacket, 2 pairs of skinny jeans, 2 cardigans, 1 tank top, 1 striped longsleeve top, 1 Chambray Shirt and 2 pairs of shoes.... and I didn't really miss anything... you might say I had different things on my mind but still it always makes me feel better to be dressed in my favorite things... but it is amazing to see how little we really need.

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  33. For many of us, space is at a premium. If you live in a tiny house or apartment and have a small closet to match, you have to use collapsible space saver hangers to pack as many things in as possible. Janet, You give many tips for us who have small closets and how effectively use them. Glad i found your article.

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kindness is never out of style.

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