Use It Up, Wear It Out: My New Fashion and Beauty Mantra
Last year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It is an inspiring little book with a simple message: keep only those things that spark joy. If you have not read this book, definitely check it out. You can find it on Amazon here.
Like many others, I instantly fell in love with the Konmari method of organizing, simplifying, and filling my space with only the finest of prized possessions. It is an idea that makes perfect sense to me...on a philosophical level.
However, in actuality, the idea of throwing out lots of my stuff sparks a mild sense of terror rather than joy. I like to feel like I have many options, and the idea of getting rid of things I paid for and may not even have used seems wasteful and imprudent.
While I aspire to a minimalist Konmari closet just like those beautiful You-tubers with their capsule wardrobe on a single rack and perfectly folded socks, my mind state is just not quite there yet.
For the time being, I have decided not to attempt the Konmari method. Instead, my goal is to use the clothes and beauty products that I already have. My mantra at the moment is, "use it up, wear it out."
So, I thought I'd share a few tips on how get the most use out of the things you already have.
Shop your own closet: Instead of rushing out to buy that trendy new piece or recreate an outfit you saw on your favorite blogger, shop your own closet first. See if you can use things you already own to get the same feel. For instance, you might not have the ultra-trendy shape/color of striped tee you wish you had, but chances are that you have something similar you can wear without a trip to the mall.
Use inspiration to be creative: If you are bored with your current wardrobe, look for some fashion inspiration in order to find novel ways to wear your items. I'm always on the lookout for styling options I never thought of. I find inspiration everywhere: Lookbook, blogs, magazines, outfit of the week videos, friends, stylish people on the street...you name it!
Step up your game: I find that a lot of times I go towards safe and lazy choices when getting dressed, so those cute dresses and adorable shoes get pushed to the side in favor of the more comfortable option. Lately, I have been making more effort to wear the flashier items I own, when appropriate. Not only am I making better use of the things I own, but I look nicer overall.
This goes for beauty products as well. Take a few minutes to apply lotion that you usually skip, or experiment with color rather than going for your everyday neutral makeup look. Give that hair product you only used a few times another go.
Obviously, you bought these things because you wanted the look or beauty benefit that they provide. A little effort goes a long way.
Take on those DIY projects: I think we all have a few odd repair projects in our closets. You know: the pretty top you wore once that lost a button...the jeans you need to shorten...The dress you need to find the right bra for before you can wear it... Carpe diem, girls! Stop procrastinating and just do it, so you can make use of those things again.
Accessorize: I sometimes forget about my accessories, but they are a great way to add variety. Mix in the scarves, jewelry, bags, and shoes you already own.
If you must buy something new, adding accessories gives you a lot of bang for your buck. A necklace that only costs a couple dollars can update your whole outfit.
Let go of things that are no longer useful: Sometimes I have trouble letting go of things that have outlived their usefulness. Many times it is not even conscious. That top I loved has been slowly shrinking and now has a weird shape, or my go-to boots are really scuffed, yet, I keep wearing them out of habit. While I want to get the most use out of my things, it's really important to know when it's time to let go.
Make sure to weed out things that do not fit, are worn out, stained, scuffed, or have holes that cannot be repaired. Let go of things that are old and out of style or no longer fit your lifestyle.
So, what is your fashion mantra? Have you tried the Konmari method? What thoughts guide the way you buy or use your belongings?