A Minimalist Wardrobe: The Conscious Closet Challenge

conscious closet challenge

One year ago, a major move from Texas to Italy forced me to create a minimalist wardrobe. The final tally included donating and/or selling nearly 60 pairs of shoes and about 90% of my clothing. Since moving into our Italian home (no closets…gasp), I’ve come to the realization that I needed to get rid of much more. The makeshift wardrobes and racks are full. Earlier in the week, Grechen from grechenscloset.com–one of my longtime favorite blogs–announced a Conscious Wardrobe Challenge. Grechen is very focused upon building a minimalist wardrobe with U.S.-made pieces. Living in the land of Italian fashion, buying American is nice but not a goal for the next couple of years. That being said, I would like to be a little more informed about where my clothing, shoes, and accessories originate. One thing I learned quickly while living here, a “made in Italy” label like we find so often on high-dollar goods in the U.S. doesn’t always mean you are getting a product sourced 100% from Italy. It has been very eye-opening.

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A Note on an Upcoming Series: Closet Cleaning


Gutting your closet can have some interesting and profound (yeah, not kidding about that one) effects on you. In preparation of our move to Vicenza, Italy, I’ve been drastically cutting and editing down my entire wardrobe since January. I’ve sent 75 pairs of shoes to Goodwill so far during this mad closet cleaning period, if that’s any indication of how brutal this has been. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve learned so much about my shopping habits and my own personal style in just the past few weeks.

A friend and I were discussing all this just days ago, and it actually prompted her to take a look at her own wardrobe and buying habits. In fact, she was the one who goaded me to actually begin a series here on my blog. After a little thought, I figured why not. I’m not an interior designer or psychology major (though I am one whopping class away from a minor) or some other type of specialist, but I can share my own thoughts that may help someone else.

So what will you find in this series? Rules? No, none, nada. There are plenty of people who talk about rules for organizing and determining your style. I find that very few rules are worth sticking to. I’m more of the mindset that there are some realizations you can make based upon what’s in your closet. Once you see the pattern (and I’m willing to bet my firstborn that there is a pattern in everyone’s closet), you can make changes, if need be. Topics to come include

  • Saving items past their expiration dates
  • Age-appropriate dressing
  • Caring about said age-appropriate dressing
  • Creating a do-not-buy list for yourself
  • Quality, brand, price, want, and how this should affect your purchase

If you’ve had any closet cleanout epiphanies, let me know. I would love to hear what you’ve learned about yourself. I just created a Facebook page for Case of Consumption. Come on over and let’s talk.