Hello loves! Today you'll be hearing from the beautiful and wardrobe-wise Caitlin Skidmore, who blogs over at Greater Than Rubies. When I knew I was going to be writing about simplifying your closet, I immediately wanted to have her guest post! I love that she incorporated our spiritual lives as well, and the connection Jesus has to our closet. Her blog is full of practical ways to remix your wardrobe and how to build a wardrobe that can serve different purposes. I highly encourage you to poke around her blog, because you'll walk away inspired to start simplifying your own wardrobe!
Hi Our Yellow Door readers! My name is Caitlin, and I blog over at Greater Than Rubies about turning what we have into something greater. I'm so excited to be here with you today. Jesus and simplicity are two of my biggest passions, so I was honored when Rachel asked me to be part of the Simplified Series. Her heart for Jesus is beautiful and her gift for breaking simplicity down into attainable steps is both encouraging and life-giving.
Today, we're going chat about creating a simple, hard working wardrobe.
If I had to guess, I would say every single one of us has stood in our closet at some point and uttered the words, "I have nothing to wear!"
Although I've had more of those days than I care to remember, I can't recall a time I didn't love picking out my outfits. My mom has a picture of my 6-year-old-self sleeping peacefully with my outfit for the next day laid out beside my bed (think very end-of-times-rapture-like positioning).
My love of shopping grew along with me, and I remember funneling all my spending money toward new items so I wouldn't have to wear exactly the same outfit twice. The trouble was (well, there's a lot of trouble within that statement) but I had the mindset that "this outfit can only go with what I bought it to go with." The result? I purchased trendy, poor quality items that didn't mix or match, and the buying continued.
All kinds of things can keep us preoccupied from seeking His Kingdom and righteousness, and clothing is no exception. It is a powerful tool, and it can work for us or against us. It can bring us closer to Jesus or push us further away. It can even affect our emotions, how we care for our homes, what we eat, and how we spend our time.
If you would have pressed me, I would have had to admit that I felt guilty about my consumerism, but people don't talk about those things, so I tried to ignore that feeling. I never looked close enough to see that my closet and the desire to look good was taking the place in my heart that only has room for Christ.
All that came to a head a few years ago, and at the challenge of our pastor to trade something good for something eternal, I pledged to give up shopping for a year. I had no idea if I could do it or not, but I had several end goals in mind: one, break my idol of shopping, two, give the money that would have ended up hanging in my closet to someone who needed it more, and three (least you think I'm feeling holier than thou), stop the bleeding and learn how to make my closet work for me instead of being its slave.
I knew it wasn't simple or encouraging me in my relationship with Christ, but I needed someone to challenge me on it before I took action.
My question for you today is, "What is your relationship with your closet and how is it affecting your relationship with Him?" Is your wardrobe encouraging and life giving? Or does it leave you with frustration that bleeds into the rest of your life?
I really hope it's the former! But if it's not, here are a few ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Disclaimer: I've been working on creating a simple, hard-working, God glorifying closet for a couple of years now. It's a process, so don't feel like you've got to get it all together right this very second or you're doomed. It's important to act on the information, but one small step will lead to more. Set yourself up for success and pick one (seriously, just one!) step to implement today.
1. Choose to view your closet through a lens of thankfulness.
Pretend you are someone else and look with fresh eyes at the pieces you have. Giving thanks puts things into perspective, and often precedes a miracle. Similar to when Jesus gave thanks and used a little boy's lunch to provide for a crowd, when I started being thankful for and using what I had, it became enough for me with extras to go around for others. There's something about thankfulness that softens your heart and prepares it for what God has in store.
2. Remember that clothing does not define you.
Our society has mastered emphasizing the new, the trendy, and the must-haves in a tantalizingly subtle way. We often don't even realize we've allowed our clothing to define us. Before you buy, stop. Breathe. Think. Do you even like the trend? Does it fit your lifestyle? Your body? Remember that having more sometimes boasts an end it cannot deliver (i.e.: happiness, completion, the perfect closet). It can be convincing, but call it what it is. Don't let things distract you from loving God and loving people. Even on a bad outfit day!
3. Determine to care more about fit than size and quality over quantity.
Wait! Don't roll your eyes - stick with me. We all know this is important, but we tend to dismiss it quickly rather than act on it. Beware the peril of overlooking the simple in favor of the flashy. If your clothing fits well, you look and feel better.
4. "Have nothing in your closet that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - The Caitlinized version of William Morris' quote that Rachel referenced in this post!
Eye your closet through the lens of Pareto's law. 80% brings 20% of the result. What 20% of your closet do you wear 80% of the time? Focus on adding pieces that mix and match well with those and have similar qualities. If the other 80% isn't useful (maternity items, out of season clothing, etc.) get rid of it. Less pieces = fewer items to care for, and not as much time wasted trying to figure out what you have to wear in the first place.
Take the time to consider your closet and make it work for you. The benefits will spill into your thoughts, home, and even your relationship with Christ.
Thanks so much for allowing me to share a part of my heart with you today! I hope you'll stop by sometime and share what you're learning from the process of creating a simple, hardworking wardrobe. Thanks again for having me, Rachel!
Thank you so much, Caitlin! I am just as excited to have you on Our Yellow Door as I am to put your advice to good use in simplifying my own closet!
Other posts in the Simplified Series...
Your Simplified Challenge: give away three items of clothing that don't fit you quite right, but could be a blessing to someone else.
How can your closet work for YOU?