Friends, the world is a heavy place right now. It seems a little frivolous to be penning an article about seasonal wardrobes, and even more so to spend mental energy thinking about the clothing in our closets and on our bodies, when there are so many other things weighing heavily.
We all have days when getting out of bed, let alone putting on clothing, feels burdensome. And while we’re off fighting the good fight, might I proffer a few suggestions on keeping some tasks as simple as possible so that you have the mental energy for more important things? It’s a weird time, but get dressed we must.
1. Know Thyself :: Get Familiar with Your “Uniform”
Call it a capsule, uniform dressing, or whatever you wish. I have found so much power in identifying typical outfit combinations and sticking to those general formulas. Take a moment to think about what you reach for over and over again, what shapes fit you best, and conversely, what you don’t like to wear.
It’s important to factor in your lifestyle, too. A mom who works outside of the home will have a wardrobe pretty different from one who does not, just as a mom who’s breastfeeding will have different needs than one who is not.
When you’ve identified what you feel most comfortable in, go at it with abandon. Even if it’s Old Navy tanks, drawstring shorts, and leggings — embrace it. During the summer weekdays, I have a few go-to formulas:
- Cute (but comfortable!) high-waisted shorts and a classic cotton T-shirt.
- A breezy casual dress.
- Jeans and a tank top.
I don’t wear a lot of skirts, and I don’t like super cropped shirts, so I stay far away from both. When it comes to weekend or special occasion events (which are likely to be few and far between for at least the time being), I like having one or two tops and one or two dresses I can rotate between. I’ve found more than that leads to decision fatigue, and I don’t mind wearing the same things over and over again if I love them.
2. Assess Your Dress(er) :: Work with What You’ve Got
I’m not immune to the rush of dopamine that floods my system when my closet gets a little more breathing room, but as I’ve started seeing how much waste gets toted out in those trash bags of donations, it makes my stomach hurt a little.
It makes sense to go through our wardrobes seasonally and weed out whatever isn’t serving us well anymore. If you haven’t worked in an office in several years, give yourself the freedom to say goodbye and send those items on to a new home. I’ve found having a pared-down wardrobe of pieces that can all be mixed and matched together is just the ticket to throwing on something and getting my day started.
However, there can be danger in purging just to re-accumulate just as much as you had before. There’s no reason to purge for purging sake. If I’m on the fence about certain pieces of clothing, I put them in a bag in my closet, and if I haven’t reached for them by the end of the season, out they go. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I find clothing ends up there for a reason.
3. Take It Slow :: Fill in the Holes
As a recovering (self-diagnosed) shopaholic, I’ve been on a five-year journey into creating a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe. And yet every time I log on Instagram or Pinterest, I have to fight the urge to buy whatever cute new piece some influencer is touting that day. But it remains easier still when I commit to stick to my uniform outfits and avoid the “must buy now” impulses of social media.
I used to do a capsule wardrobe planner at the beginning of each season but now that I have children, it’s not a feasible use of my time. Instead, I assess what I feel like I’m missing and create a little shopping list of no more than four to five items per season to fill the gap. A good rule of thumb: Make sure each item you bring in can go with at least three items you already own.
There’s no mom of little ones on the planet who would say her life isn’t busy or overwhelming at times. I hope these few tips take away some of the stress of getting dressed this summer so you can focus on staying safe — and sane.