Change is Good

I’ve decided to make some changes in my life.

Some of them will be easy. Other changes will be hard.  All of them will result in some much-needed positivity in my life.

The biggest change I’m making, and the one that impacts things the most, thus driving other change, is that I’ve decided to stop modeling.  I’ve been modeling as a hobby since May 2006, though I suppose it started before that with doing some modeling at car shows for my husband as early as 2002 or so (I think).  I’ve enjoyed it, and the creative outlet it’s given me.  I’ve also met some interesting people and made some friends that will no doubt stay in my life.  But largely, it’s drained me, especially for the past year, in multiple ways.  But I’ll spare you the drama that comes with being a model, and talk instead about what it’s done to my closet (and my wallet).

Because I was a hobbyist, and did not meet agency standards in multiple ways, I was often responsible for my own wardrobe, hair, and makeup.  I quickly learned the value of a quality hair stylist and makeup artist, but always did my own wardrobe styling.  That meant that I bought a lot of clothes, shoes, and accessories to suit the needs of whatever it was I was shooting.  Since I’m anti-wear-and-return, I was loading my closet up with stuff that I didn’t need and sometimes couldn’t be worn to work.  Most of what I bought was cheap because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I wasn’t going to be wearing regularly.

Oy.  So here I was, spending lots of money on cheap shit (because even when it’s cheap, it adds up) I didn’t need and couldn’t always wear, and filling up my closet with it because I won’t wear something and return it, and because I hung onto a lot of random stuff because “who knows, I might shoot in it again”.

Here’s the part where I hang my head in shame.

Look at this. It’s not only what’s in my closet, but some of the crap I hung on to for years, for no reason whatsoever.

So during the 21 Day Challenge, be thankful none of these gems came out on Day 10, which was “wear a closet orphan” day.

Yup.  Stripper heels, goth boots, and 80’s-era white leather fringe boots have been hanging out in my closet among pleather shorts that have never fit me right, a cheerleader-esque skirt, and a slew of other stuff that just sat, poorly-fitting, ugly, or just plain stupid purchases.  What’s more?  Some of that stuff I never even shot in!  So I acquired it (either by spending money on it, or by being given it, as was the case with the goth boots), and then it sat to collect dust and take up valuable closet space.  But I hung on to it “just in case”, because I thought the second I got rid of it, I’d suddenly have a shoot come up that I needed it for, and didn’t want to have to buy it again.

Don’t even ask me what I was thinking. I can’t answer that.

So, change.  Yes.

I’ve begun the process of cleaning out my closet and purging it of all the stuff I don’t need to hang on to “just in case” any more.  This will be another big change for me, as for the past 6 years I hoarded hung on to nearly everything I bought.  Sure, I did the occasional clean-out, but very rarely got rid of more than 2 garbage bags of stuff.  So this time around, I’m really getting rid of stuff.  I’m expecting empty hangers abound, and for my over 80 pairs of shoes to be cut down to something more reasonable, like over 50–I can’t help it, I always have been and will always be a shoe addict.  I’m looking forward to having some empty space in my drawers, and to getting rid of cheap jewelry I’ll never wear.

What’s more?  I’m going to stop buying stuff I don’t need.  Cutting back on purchases was one of my New Year’s Resolutions, which I’m moving along on fairly nicely.  But with feeling like I needed to purchase stuff for shoots, I was still buying clothing, shoes and accessories, justifying the purchases with statements like “I can use this for more than one shoot” or “I can wear this to work too”.  I need to stop.  Entirely. I have way too many clothes, and even when I’m done cleaning out the bedroom that is my closet, I will have enough clothes to get me through every possible scenario life could throw at me.

So, thus begins my quest to wear what I have, and purchase nothing.

This is one of those changes that’s going to be hard. Very hard.

For quite a long time, shopping has been like therapy to me.  I love shopping alone and can spend hours walking around the mall, trying on stuff and buying things.  I can justify almost any purchase with statements like, “I can shoot in it”, “I can wear it to work”, “I don’t have anything like this”, “I have something just like this and wear it all the time”, “It’s on sale and only a few bucks, so I’ll offset it by bringing lunch to work tomorrow”… you get the idea.  Bottom line?  I need to stop shopping.

Now, I did buy 3 things just this past weekend.  I feel a little guilty about it, but 2 things were items I’ll get a lot of wear out of.  I got a pair of beautiful, leather, grey T-strap heels like nothing in my closet.  They were on sale at the store for 60% off, which brought them down to $24.99.  I used a $20 DSW giftcard I had from my birthday and only had to pay a little under $7 for them after tax.  I also got a dress by GAP for $4.99 at Goodwill.  It’s a work-friendly dress that I can wear year-round, and since I’m wearing more dresses, I figured this was a good buy.  I also got a cute bra top from Forever21 that I paid $6 for, and polished off the rest of a giftcard with.

The prospect of having a manageable closet excites me in a way I can’t begin to explain. But I know it’s going to be hard to change how I think about what’s in my closet.  At least at first.  But I know I have more than I need to be able to create tons of different looks for work and play, and don’t need any more stuff in my closet.

Speaking of stuff, I have a pile of it that needs to be DIY’d. It was one of my New Year’s Resolutions that I was going to DIY more too, and I have 2 suits to refashion, a men’s shirt to play with, and a handful of other items that I need to alter, paint, or whatever.  I don’t need to buy new stuff… I need to refashion the ones I have and make them wearable.

To help me along, I’ll be starting 2 style challenges soon.

One is similar to the 21 Day Challenge. I’m working on coming up with a specific list of rules for a set amount of time.  It’s going to be fun and interesting, and when I’m done figuring out how I want to do it, I’ll share.

The other involves wearing “closet orphans”. You know, those things you have in your closet but don’t wear very often for one reason or another, but can never seem to part with when you’re cleaning out?  Yea… I’ve got a fair amount of them, and I’ve decided that I’m going to try and style them.  And if I can’t do it in a set amount of time, then they’re going to be gotten rid of.  The exception being, of course, things like formal dresses.  But everything else is fair game.  With my not modeling anymore, I have no reason to hang on to clothes, shoes, and accessories that I’m not wearing any more.

I’ll be tracking my progress with all of it.

But I need all the help I can get. I know for some time these changes are going to be tough, and I can use all the support I can get!  So, please feel free to ask me about how I’m doing and help me along.

Let’s get social!

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You can always email me at suburbanstylechallenge@gmail.com

10 comments for “Change is Good

  1. July 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Rachel,
    Change is hard and doing it alone doesn’t make it easier. Good for you for finding creative ways to accomplish it and for putting it out here for support.

    Make you a deal, you can hold me accountable to making improved and healthy choices with drinking water and getting more active and I’ll ask how the restyling is going. How does that sound?

    Be well,
    Kina

  2. July 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I am right there with you sista!!! If you need an accountability partner, just let me know!!!

  3. July 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    GREAT idea…wearing what we have…lol, not so much fun…but usually what we have is at least as good as what we don’t. ~Cathy

    • July 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Exactly! Plus, by pledging to wear stuff that normally doesn’t get worn, it gives the well-worn favorites some rest and helps us be creative when it comes to making what we have work 🙂

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