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SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE

When you think about green fashion what comes to mind? Perhaps, organic cotton, hemp or bamboo fabric clothes, low impact dyes and responsible manufacturing practices. Or, maybe, purchasing things second hand or locally made. These are all good choices to make on the road to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Reading labels is important. But arguably even more important is taming the consumer beast within. By virtue of our membership in this modern society in which we find ourselves living during this early part of the twenty-first century, almost all of us over consume apparel. We can minimize our environmental impact as we dress each day by creating and maintaining a simple, purposeful wardrobe that is attractive, comfortable, rich in function, long lasting and well made. Creating a wardrobe pared down to its perfect essence can be done easily if you discipline yourself to look for certain essential characteristics of each apparel piece you buy. But first you need to decide if creating a Simple Style Wardrobe makes sense for you.

Why Choose a Simple Style Wardrobe?

Simplifying your wardrobe has several personal benefits. And since most of us are much more motivated by direct personal benefit than we are by benefiting the common good (even if we are do-gooders) this is happy news. Letís take a look at some of the positive effects of a pared down and simplified wardrobe.

You reduce stress and discord in your life

Have you ever fretted away precious minutes in the morning trying to find something to wear to work in your overstuffed and underperforming closet? Have you ever felt out of sorts at a function because you had not been able to come up with something satisfactory to wear from the choices in your closet? Once you get rid of the clutter in your dressing area and populate it exclusively with garments that are attractive, comfortable, multi-functional, coordinating and well made, you will waste none of your precious time figuring out what to wear and you will love how you look wherever life takes you each day.

Your converted simple style wardrobe consists only of choices that work for you perfectly now. Once something does not meet one of the criteria of Simple Style (beautiful, comfortable, multi-functional, coordinating and well made) it is unceremoniously booted from your closet. You no longer have pants that donít fit, outfits that are blah and tops that go with nothing you own. Instead, you do have garments that look right for every occasion.

You save time

Who doesnít want more time to do things you enjoy but just canít get to? You save time two ways by embracing Simple Style: time getting dressed and time shopping.

Time getting dressed. When your dressing area contains only things that work for you perfectly and that you want to wear now, you will spend a fraction of the time dressing for the day or for an occasion than you do now.

Time shopping. Once you decide what a complete Simple Style wardrobe means to you, you will shop only for those things that meet your very specific criteria. You will breeze through racks in a fraction of the time you now spend. If you love to shop, do not despair, I have suggestions for how you can get your fix and still keep your closet under control. But, for those of you who can think of dozens of things you would rather do instead of looking for clothes, you will free up time by streamlining your shopping.

You save money

Your closet will be lighter and roomier because you will have fewer items in it. Less stuff means fewer dollars leaving your purse. But be aware that the monetary savings may not appear instantly. This is because a pared down, simplified wardrobe is not necessarily a cheap wardrobe. You may decide to pay more for items that will last, that are classic, and that you absolutely love. Over time, you will save cash by NOT purchasing the impulse items that do not last, that are not classic and that do not fit in your existing wardrobe.

You look great every day

When you choose to create a Simple Style wardrobe, you may limit yourself to fewer pieces but each of those pieces will be something you love to wear and that makes you look terrific. In the Simple Style world you have created for yourself, you have the perfect thing to wear whenever you step out the door. The result is you look great, you feel great, you have more confidence and are nicer to everyone around you. (Iím just guessing on that last bit.) But really, looking good in your chosen daily costume is a big deal. We want to present well to the others out there in the world and a Simple Style wardrobe lets you do so hassle free. You promote sustainability

Last and certainly not least, choosing a Simple Style wardrobe has multiple benefits to your fellow humans and to the planet on which we all live. Apparel manufacturing creates a large amount of material waste. Buying less means less waste will be created in the production process. You also create less waste as a consumer because you are no longer throwing out or donating your poorly made, cheap, fast fashion wardrobe pieces.

The opportunity to purchase your clothing from companies that use ethical manufacturing practices has increased enormously over the last several years. Also, many more designers now create collections using sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or wool and use low impact dyes for color. It is now happily possible to purchase your beautiful Simple Style wardrobe from companies that practice environmental and social responsibility.

How to Choose Pieces for Your Simple Style Wardrobe

Choose beauty

There are many benefits of Simple Style so now letís look at some tips that will help you create your own version of the perfectly pared down wardrobe.

First and most importantly, you must love, love, love how you look in everything you buy. Loving the color is not enough, loving the price is not enough and loving the fabric is not enough. You have to be unequivocally enthusiastic about the entire package, everything about it because a Simple Style wardrobe does not have room for a blouse that is a sublime color but is in a style that doesnít suit your figure. Every piece in your Simple Style wardrobe will be worn often. And what we wear often are clothes that make us feel attractive.

Choose comfort

Second, each article you put in your closet to create your Simple Style wardrobe must feel comfortable on you. Skip fabrics that do not feel good on your skin even if the color or style is perfect for you. Ditto with pieces that are too tight or binding. Buy for your present weight so you can enjoy your purchase now. Live in the present! If you have a weight loss goal wait until you reach it to buy clothes in that size. Resist the urge to pre-buy no matter how good the deal is. Otherwise, you will end up with unwanted closet clutter.

Choose garments that are multifunctional, coordinating and trans-seasonal

Third, choose multifunctional and coordinating pieces whenever possible. There is no better way to simplify your wardrobe then to choose clothing that works for multiple activities and with many items in your existing wardrobe. To reach a trifecta in this area also look for pieces that are trans-seasonal, that you can wear for more than one season.

Pass on a specialty piece you find unless you know when and where you will wear it. For instance, if you find an attractive top for a dressy evening out but you rarely go out anywhere that calls for that type of look, leave it in the dressing room. Bringing it home to your closet will only make you sad thinking how you never get to wear it. Instead choose a top that has dressy enough elements to wear to a formal function should one arise in your life but will also work for your more usual career or social activities.

One easy test to ask yourself when you try something on is: Where will I wear this? If you cannot quickly think of at least two different places you regularly or occasionally go that the garment is suitable for leave it at the store for someone else to enjoy.

A second great question to ask yourself is with what other pieces in my wardrobe will this item work. If you develop a clothing collection of pieces that pair easily with neighbors in the closet, mornings will be easier, your suitcase will be lighter when you travel and you will look more put together wherever you go. Creating a coordinating wardrobe of pieces that do double or triple duty, gives you more space in your closet, helps you look better and feel more confident.

Choose quality

Fourth, look for clothes that are well made and durable. Once you decide to create a wardrobe of pieces that are beautiful, comfortable, multi-functional and coordinating, you will want it to last! The Simple Style philosophy of less is more works best when what you choose is of the highest quality you can afford. Since you will be buying fewer pieces to create your look, you will be able to pay more for them. For instance, if you own a well constructed pair of trousers that is cut to perfection, exhibits fine detailing and is made of fabric that flows beautifully you will want to wear them all the time and will not need to have a several other choices tucked in the back of your closet.

Buying quality clothing makes it easier to buy fewer pieces because well constructed garments are pleasing to wear. And if your well made garment is also attractive, comfortable, multi-functional and coordinating youíll want to wear nothing else. More quality in your wardrobe means less clutter in your closet.

Join the Slow Fashion Movement with Your Simple Style Wardrobe

Creating your version of a Simple Style wardrobe is an ideal way to participate in the Slow Fashion movement. Slow Fashion like Slow Food before it is beginning to take hold in the consumer consciousness.

The Slow Fashion Movement calls for consumers to purchase apparel that is of high quality and meant to last. It is the antithesis of Fast Fashion which has been in vogue for the last decade. Fast Fashion adherents buy cheap shoddily made clothes that are the ďitĒ fad for the season and quickly discard them after the season or even just a few times wearing them.

Slowing down and thoughtfully purchasing a quality long lasting wardrobe has many benefits to you and everyone with whom you share the world. Remember though, like many other parts of life, creating the wardrobe is a process, not an event. It may take you several seasons for your closet to evolve into a pared down receptacle for a few well chosen pieces you love wearing every day and everywhere you go. But it wonít happen at all unless you get started.

Begin experiencing the Simple Style benefits of more time, more money and more satisfaction with your look. Take the Slow Fashion challenge now and start creating your Simple Style wardrobe this season.

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