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April 11, 2018
We created the #WearYourCloset challenge to force ourselves to take a look at the pieces in our closets that we’re not quite willing to part with, but still never wear.
We decided to take at least 7 pieces of clothing (one for each day of the week) and challenge ourselves to create an outfit that we truly love and will wear.
The best part? If we couldn’t find a way to wear it that makes us happy, it goes. You either declutter your closet, or you find a piece of clothing you love to wear again. Over 400 people joined us on the first #WearYourCloset challenge in early 2018.
Below are three accounts, from three different women inside Encircled, on their experience with the #WearYourCloset Challenge.
What’s the current state of your closet
Kristi: Pretty minimalist. I tend to stick to a fairly neutral palette, and have gone through many closet ‘cleanses’ (thanks to working at Encircled, and testing our minimalist wardrobe workbook several times!). I do still have a handful of pieces I know I’m not wearing, and honestly, feel really bad about!
Which outfit did you find difficult and which outfit did you love?
Kristi: I found the Sequined blazer the most difficult to style, especially for daytime. It didn’t feel like my style - too dressy. And even on a night out, it felt like it wasn’t me.
The outfit I loved was my VINCE heathered oatmeal sweater! I layered with our Light Heathered Grey Nomadic V-Neck, and loved the combo. Layering helped it feel not as short (it’s a hi-lo top too), and neutralized the yellow tones in the sweater.
What were your thoughts and expectations before starting the challenge?
Kristi: Before I started the challenge, I was worried firstly, that I’d remember to put together the outfits, but I found the emails at night helpful to remind me that the challenge was on! Second, I was worried that I’d give away everything at the end of it, and not find any gems - I was wrong.
What did you learn about yourself through the process?
Kristi: I learned that I wear leggings way too much to work! Many of the tops I had in the 7 pieces, look perfectly fine when styled with ‘real pants’. Also, I did learn that even though I like flowy tops, that I don’t love ‘breezy’ tops. There’s a difference! I also learned that sometimes we have perceptions of what looks good on us. Seeing a few of the pieces on camera, I saw them in a new light and actually started to like them again. Others, not so much!
Do you have any advice for someone doing the #WearYourCloset challenge?
Kristi: Yes, definitely do the challenge! If you missed the challenge with us, we’ll run another one in summer to reignite your closet. It’s a great way to make yourself take action and streamline your closet.
Don’t be hard on yourself during the challenge. And take some time to pre-plan your outfits. If you’re not a stylista (and I’m not), you’ll find the pre-planning helpful to bring new life to an item you’re not wearing that often.
What’s the current state of your closet?
Nina: I’ve been pretty active in trying to clean out my closet this year. It’s been easier to get rid of winter items since I could tell what I was and wasn’t wearing anymore. So, currently I have lots of key winter items that I love, and a big rack of spring and summer items that I’m not quite sure about. Hopefully, as the weather gets warmer that will change.
What were the 7 items you challenged yourself to wear?
Nina: I found it was tough to make the light blue dress to work at first. It feels a little dressy for our workplace, and with the cold spring, we are having it was too light. I ended up using it as a long layering piece under a sweater. I was really surprised how much I liked it! I wore this with the brown boots, which looked cute and were warm, but unfortunately were very uncomfortable. I have had them for a couple of years and I still can’t wear them longer than a couple of hours, even after I broke them in wandering downtown Quebec city in them. This challenge encouraged me to finally let them go. Comfort over cuteness is definitely key.
My favourite outfit featured my grey paper bag pants. I have had them for years and used to wear them a lot, they are very fashionable looking. They are a little short for winter, but I paired them with ankle boots and a white t-shirt which was a great combination for spring. I felt like the pants made my outfit look cool and trendy, but I felt really comfortable in the t-shirt and boots that I wear all the time.
Nina: I really expected to end up donating most of these items. I was surprised at how much I liked them with a little bit of creativity, and now I have what feels like brand new clothes to wear in my weekly rotations!
Nina: I learned that I tend to stick to a “uniform”, something I was completely unaware of before. Now when I feel like I have nothing to wear, I might take a second and wonder if maybe I just need to get a little more creative.
Nina: I would say don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with the clothing currently in your closet and mix those items with things you are comfortable in. Items that I was worried were going to look ridiculous actually ended up being really cute with some of my closet staples, and I received a lot of compliments. It was a good confidence booster!
Ashley: Currently, my closet is still packed, but this challenge inspired me to continue to try items I haven’t worn in a while and figure out what I do and don’t need to hold onto. After completing this challenge I have decided to donate all of my items, except for the dress. I also cleared out more items from my drawers, and plan to reevaluate my closet this weekend! I know there will be more to donate. It feels good to let go of items and declutter.
Ashley: I found the race car crop top to be the most challenging. It was shorter than I thought, and something I would typically never wear. I only had it because I got it for free when working a sample sale last year. I had never worn it before, but couldn’t let it go for some reason. This challenge taught me that I HATE it and it needs to GO!
The green patterned dress was my favourite thing to wear, and the easiest for me to style. It was comfortable, warm (because we’re still experiencing winter here in Toronto), and I love wearing green!
Ashley: I was under the impression that the challenge would be easy. I figured I was holding onto these items because I loved them and that they worked for me when I bought them, so they should still look great. This wasn’t the case. I came to the conclusion that if you stop wearing something, there’s a reason for it, and you shouldn’t hold onto that item.
What did you learn about yourself through the process?
Ashley: I learned that I need to let go of items more, and not be so attached. I have a lot of clothing that I don’t wear, and all it does is take up room in my drawers and closet, collect dust, and make me feel disorganized.
Ashley: I definitely recommend trying the challenge. It’s a great way to reassess your style and understand that what worked on your body before, doesn’t necessarily work now. Why hold onto things that you’ll never wear again? The challenge is a great way to declutter and let go of the past a bit.
Take your time working through your wardrobe and really question why it is you’re keeping certain pieces. If you can’t think of a good reason, wear the piece for the day, then you’ll be able to tell whether it’s necessary to keep or donate.
If you completed the challenge, or you’re just on a mission to do more with less, check out our Fashion Lifecycle page for resources on how to responsibly recycle your old textiles.
All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images.
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