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When your closet overflows

October 18, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer (apeterson@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

I'm going to level with you. I earn something below the median local income, and I'm always looking for a workable side hustle, applying for fellowships to support my writing lifestyle, and economizing wherever possible. But I wouldn't know who I was anymore if not E'ville Amy, and I have many opportunities and relationships I wouldn't have if I were not "Amy from the Paper." So I'm grateful to you all.

One thing that's a bit inconvenient with a downscale income is the fact that I'm kind of a clotheshorse; I get it from my mother. Even though she was only alive until just before I entered eleventh grade, I learned a lot from her about style, not so much fashion.

My daughter, Caitlyn, wrote a list in her journal a couple of years ago, which she shared on Instagram, called, "Things my mother taught me." She included the advantage of having a classic sense of style and, "a white tee shirt and good jeans goes with anything." And the thing I most like to see Caitlyn in is a white shirt and jeans with her black motorcycle jacket and kicks or nice boots. But that won't really work most days in east Texas, where she now lives.

I'm really tall and hard to fit, so I can't just walk into a store and walk out with something in my size. This is a blessing, because then I can't go nuts at the mall, and I don't think there's much that's long enough or has enough room in the chest area for me at StyleLoft, so I don't go in there despite the beautiful things I see in their window. I also rarely find anything that would work at the second hand or consignment stores. In fact, living in Estherville is saving me a lot of money over living other places.

I do support my habit with eBay, purchasing items that would cost upwards of $100 for $15-20, sometimes even less, a few special things I plan to have for 10 years or more (like a trench coat or boots) somewhat more expensive.

Why am I sharing this fascinating fashion flow with you? Because I just came across an amazing, call-to-action blog called Project 333. You can find the introduction at www.bemorewithless.com/project-333/

Fact Box

In addition to the shareable economy, doing good, education, family, meditation, relationships, and holistic health, I'm exploring minimalism going into the last half of the year, and hope you will have fun looking at simplicity with me.

The point of the project is that for three months you wear only 33 items of clothing: this includes accessories, outerwear and shoes.

These items are not counted as part of the 33 items wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleepwear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing for workouts).

Minimalist fashion, a capsule wardrobe, whatever you call it, you can pare down to the things you love the most, which work with the most other things you own.

I've done some of the closet cleaning: some things that I simply don't wear anymore, or never were quite long enough, but are in wonderful shape, I washed and put in a tote for my birth mom, whom I call Betsy, who looks just like me but 15 years older and not quite as tall. I hope she can use them. I hope further to get to Sioux City before all 50 or so pieces in the tote are hopelessly outdated. Unless she likes vintage fashion.

Fall and winter clothes, I took out of my closet and dresser and put into a box. That way when cooler weather rolls around, I can shop already purchased items and see what fits the best. I'll polish my riding boots and put them away until at least September, too, so that when jeans and boots are back, they'll be kind of like new.

Here are questions to ask when paring down.

n Does this serve me well?

n Do I feel good when I'm wearing it?

n Does it fit well within the small collection of 33 pieces?

n Am I holding onto this because I am afraid I might need it or because it serves the past or future and not the right now?

In addition to the shareable economy, doing good, education, family, meditation, relationships, and holistic health, I'm exploring minimalism going into the last half of the year, and hope you will have fun looking at simplicity with me.

 
 
 

 

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