50 for 50 Project: Inspirations

*Cross-posted from Sunset Goddess Manila

This weekend, I was once again inspired to do a closet makeover---and this time, I was looking for a permanent solution to the constant struggle that I wage with my closet. As I've declared in my previous posts, I want to live the principle of quality over quantity when it comes to clothes and other material things in my life and to keep in mind the goal of investing in my wardrobe whenever I make purchases.

Mainly this resolution was brought about by the following reasons:

  • I've realized that I'm so tired of fixing my closet almost every weekend because the clothes inside are already overflowing.
  • I'm so tired of racking my brains for what to wear for the workweek, even when I have a closets full of clothes. Yes, closets. I have a main closet in my room and several little closets and pieces of "wardrobe storage" placed all over our apartment and in storage areas in our apartment next door. This means that I already have A LOT of clothes, and yet I don't get to maximize them since I don't get to see all of them and sometimes, even forget about the pieces that I already have.
  • And most of all, I'm so tired of constantly feeling that I need to buy new clothes, despite the fact that I already have lots of them.

I've realized that the way I have built up my wardrobe is not a sustainable way of living ---not for my time, and definitely not for my money.

The 50 for 50 Project

Before my weekend closet project came around, I searched for several sources of inspiration. And I found something quite interesting: The 30 for 30 challenge of fashion blogger Kendi Everyday. The challenge is simple:

  1. Take 30 items in your closet.
  2. Make 30 outfits. Remix the 30 items into 30 or more outfits.

I love the premise. I love her post on Less is More, and I feel that this challenge is really what wardrobe quality over quantity is all about, and I felt that this will really be a great tool for my goal of "shopping my closet" and making the most of what I already have.

So the weekend came along and I purged like a madwoman. I found myself in the midst of a sea of clothes and I told myself, "I can't live like this anymore!". I'm happy to report that I purged my closet of more than 2 garbage bags-full of clothes---and that's from my main closet alone. I stored them and I've made a pact to myself that I will not let this year end without me shipping out boxes of those clothes (and all other clothes wasting away in other closets) to the province, to be given out to people who need them more.

I was on a high from getting rid of about a third of my clothes (not yet including dresses, which are stored in another closet) and yet, I felt that limiting myself to just 30 pieces was too drastic for me and I might have withdrawal symptoms. So what I'm going to do is to work with 50 pieces. Thus, my very own 50 for 50 Project. In Kendi Everyday's 30 for 30 remix, shoes are also included in the count but NOT bags and accessories. I've decided I won't include shoes yet for this remix, as well as gym stuff and clothes for an upcoming beach trip.

50 pieces for 50 outfits. That's about eight weeks of workday clothes and weekend wear. I've got to admit that at first, it was hard for me to narrow down my wardrobe for the next two months to just 50 pieces, considering that I was coming from closets full of clothes. Then I realized that this was precisely the point---to work with a limited number of pieces, to be creative, and to realize that a well-edited wardrobe is the permanent fashion solution that I am looking for.

Oh, another key aspect is that there won't be any shopping for new clothes during the challenge. The idea is that there is no need to shop for anything since the 50 pieces is all I need (well, at least for the next two months---if i achieve this, then it will be a milestone for me because I don't think I've ever gone a month without buying at least one item).

I will feature the 50 pieces in a separate blog post and will give weekly updates of the outfit mixes. As of the date of this post, I'm already on my second outfit. One of my initial reactions is that it was simply so liberating to wake up on a Monday morning knowing that I only have a few pieces to choose from. Yes, I have to work with a limitation but at the same time, I find it also so liberating. I hope that makes sense!


More Inspirations

My 50 for 50 Project (and the goal of building the Perfect Wardrobe) is inspired not just by Kendi's 30 for 30 remix challenge, but mainly by the following sources. When you read them, you will understand why I've been so inspired:

1. Dead Fleurette

I have found so much inspiration from this girl from Norway. We have different styles but her minimalist approach to building the perfect wardrobe is something I'm aspiring for. She's inspired me to make minimalism and simplicity as the manner in which I want to invest in my wardrobe. What I am striving for is minimalism ---yes, minimalism---even if my style is feminine, classic, or "maximalist"; I want simplicity to be the system by which I wear my clothes and purchase the items that will go into my closet. Eventually, I want to pare down my closet only to clothes that I truly, truly love.

2. Assembled Hazardly {A Question of Finances}

3. Domestigeek {No New Clothes for 2012}

4. Manila Fashion Observer {The Art of Wardrobe Building} and {The Art of Wardrobe Building Part II: Top Ten Essentials}

5. Reluctant Stylista {A Guide to Shopping for Investment Pieces}

Growing up, I thought that it was all about acquiring more and more. As far as I can remember, I've always been a clotheshorse---in high school, I would save my allowance just to buy clothes. In college and in law school, I avoided repeating outfits as much as I can and I've always wanted to be in tune with the latest fashion trends. That means, a lot of money spent on clothes. What more when I became a lawyer and now have my own money at my disposal. I don't think I will ever lose my love for clothes and fashion, but I've just realized that there has got to be a point when all the shopping for new clothes has got to stop---especially for trendy but cheap stuff. Also, it didn't help that I was in a job and workplace where the stress was so high that it was constantly used as the ever-dependable excuse to treat oneself to the reward of more shopping and acquiring stuff.

I think that it's only at the moment the mindless acquisition of clothes stops (or bags or shoes or whatever) that the more important task of investing and building in a really great wardrobe can really begin.

But I know that going through those acquisition-centric fashion phases were necessary steps for me to find what works for me and for me to really appreciate what it means to have personal style.

The goal of my 50 for 50 Project is not really to come up with a list of the top 50 (or 30 or 10) items that a girl should have in her closet. That is something that is ultimately personal---if not the most subjective, sartorial decision that every girl has to make. My take on building the perfect wardrobe is that it's a process---it's not something that can be rushed and finished as soon as one acquires the 1 to 10 or the A-Z of fashion items from a list or style book. And more importantly, the process of building the perfect wardrobe and going through the 50 for 50 challenge are all tools to achieve, ultimately, the goal of great personal style.

I am a girl on a quest. Wish me luck! Or better yet, go on this style challenge with me :)



Judy (the Sunset Goddess herself) recently finished her 50 for 50 Project and you can read her finale post, together with a link to all of the 8 weeks, here.