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My wardrobe hasn’t been intentional since…high school, possibly?

For the last few years (I refuse to count), the uniform has been jeans, a hoodie or half-zip, and shoes I don’t need any hands to put on.

I’ll go back as far as I can remember. Picture a grad student in a sweatshirt by day, barista in black by night. Then, my wardrobe turned professional for a minute and a half before it shifted to maternity business casual. Onto postpartum in-between business casual, then stay-at-home mom in yoga pants. Two more cycles of maternity and post-partum in-between, and here we are.

I describe the current state as not pregnant, not in-between, likely true-to-size, and not a walking milk-barf, drool and grape jelly canvas. And at this stage, somehow nothing works. Time to start building a wardrobe, a real one.

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But first, a mega-purge

Oh, the stains. The wrong sizes, a few leftover maternity pieces, dresses I’d never wear, and plenty of professional clothing for a job I don’t have. Sound familiar, ladies? Because I know I’m not the only one.

Yes, I did the KonMari thing once. But I wasn’t being honest about what my life looks like when I decided to keep so much.

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That picture is an affiliate link, which means I’ll receive a small commission from purchases made through this link. Purchasing decisions are yours to make.

In other words, it was time to clear out and get some clothes. After pitching the obvious – everything that was either ruined, ill-fitting or irrelevant – my closet was pretty bare. I’m not exaggerating. It was a symptom of years of just not paying attention to that sort of thing.

Onto the needs assessment

Okay, here is where I decide which pieces I need.

Pieces. That’s funny. I’m building an entire wardrobe, minus a few camisoles for layering. You have no idea – it was so, so bad.

Historically, this would be the part where we go to Target and get one t-shirt in every color and call it done.

Not this time. I’m frustrated with things that wear out, and it’s time I look a little more together when Mister and I bump into one of his colleagues or clients. I wanted some nicer things that would last.

To Pinterest I went, looking for a capsule wardrobe how-to or just a list of things I should have in my closet. Finding minimalist wardrobe lists discouraged me – these would be more clothes than I’d ever owned and way more than I felt I needed. But, they were good places to start building a wardrobe. I used what I found as a basis and created this checklist to pare things down to the bare necessities.

Next, time to shop!

This is the part where we get excited, right? We’re female, so we should get all giddy about skipping through the malls, all care-free?


Nope. I don’t like it.

I don’t expect I’ll ever get excited about clothing, but for now, we’re getting somewhere. Purging was huge, and it’ll force me to go get some things and choose them intentionally.

Next time we talk wardrobe here at Intentionalish, I’ll tell you how I survived the shopping part of building a wardrobe and (gasp!) enjoyed the process.

Have you been rocking the late-for-finals look since 2005, too?

Good, because you can do this with me.

Your steps this week:

  • Throw out the obvious. Stains, holes, funky colors, clothes that no longer fit your situation, clothes that you don’t feel great in. Pitch ’em. You can even thank them if you’re tossing KonMari style.
  • Take an inventory. Find yourself a list of what you need, and check off what you already have. It’ll give your shopping some direction, especially if you’re out of your element like I am. I created a checklist you can use as-is or adapt for your own needs.

Getting dressed should be effortless, error-free and always result in a got-it-together-ish presentation. You with me?


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