Scroll to the end to see my fall capsule look book. 

This is a big week in all things that don't really matter, but I seem to care about.

  1. Google changed it's logo
  2. I cleaned out my closet

Remember being 18, and being totally cool with moving into a tiny dorm because it meant FREEDOM? It's not as cute at 26. 

Daniel and I are going back to school to get our Masters of Divinity (Jesus kind, not wizarding kind) and we have downsized to the cutest and tiniest 2 bedroom house, which I've named the Little White House, nestled in a quaint wood across the street from the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. Now go get you stalker on. Just kidding. 

My closet in Nashville was historic. I could literally sit in there and hang out with friends, which of course, I did. I prayed in there, journaled, hid from Daniel and the boys when I needed some alone time, and even took a smallish nap or two in there. It had 4 enormous sections for hanging clothes, and entire floor to ceiling built in drawers. When Daniel and I were looking for a rental in Nashville, before we viewed our townhouse, I said I wouldn't go for it unless there was chocolate pouring out of the walls. It was when I saw that glorious closet that I turned to him and said, "chocolate is pouring out of the walls". Can we just have a moment of silence for my old closet?

Moving to Nashville was dangerous for me. We moved to Nashville from a farm where the closest gas station was 30 minutes away. Suddenly, I was within a 20 minute drive from Anthropologie, Target, H&M, Altar'd State, and Forever 21 (or what I call The Big Five). Throw in Hobby Lobby and I'm DONE. Every ounce of my shopping-addiction came out in full swing. I FILLED my closet. Glory. 

So we moved, and my closet couldn't move with us. Most of the apartment bedrooms we were looking at were the size of my former clothing sanctuary, so before leaving Nashville I enlisted the help of my no-nonsense pals, Whitney, Christina, and Kenyah, to help me in what I initially thought was the Great Purge. I got rid of some of my clothes, dating back to MIDDLE SCHOOL. Again, I'm 26 people. That's a decades worth of nonsense. After securing the deposit for the Little White House, I knew I would have to purge again. Then again. It was traumatic. 

Finally, one night I just had this epiphany. I wanted to get rid of all my clothes. YES. I, Sherei Lopez Jackson, was going to get rid of 80% of her wardrobe. There were several reasons for this:

  • JESUS PROBLEMS

It's always been a conviction in my heart that it's thoroughly ridiculous for me to own such a big closet when I literally have friends in the Dominican Republic whose entire home could fit in my big fat American closet. I think about Jesus' call to leave everything, follow him, and have seriously wondered about my love of possessions. It's been a long time coming, but I just think my love for fashion was becoming unhealthy.  

  • BIG GIRL PROBLEMS

As of this morning, I am 175 lbs. I average a size 14-15. When I married Daniel 4 years ago, I was 142 lbs and a size 2-4. I'm not meant to be super thin; my Puerto Rican frame just doesn't get down with that, and I personally love being full figured. But jumping 10 sizes in 4 years means my closet is full - full - of tons of clothes I don't wear because they don't fit. I literally had every single size from 2 up to 16. And if you're a fellow full figured gal, you know what a bummer it can be to keep seeing your smaller stuff in your closet, holding onto it thinking it'll be so fun to one day fit back into it. I'm not saying that I've given up on getting healthier - I'm just saying if I lose 30 lbs it'll be a lot more fun to go replenish my wardrobe as a treat than wear my circa 2011 garb.  

  • MINIMALIST'S GAINS

I've been really digging the nordic/scandinavian/minimalist vibe, although I'm in no way a minimalist. I love decorating my walls from floor to ceiling, and tend to go big or go home. Nonetheless, I am getting into simplifying. It's a great feeling - keeping what you really need and moving on. I feel like a huge weight has come off my shoulders the more I have let go of material possessions. 

SO, I GOT RID OF ALL MY CLOTHES. I had this insane idea to literally keep just what I needed, and started making a raw list of how many items I thought a person reasonably needed to have. Here's the first breakdown of my Reality List:

  • 7 casual dresses
  • 7 dressy dresses
  • 3 nice pants
  • 4 colored pants
  • 4 jeans
  • 3 jackets
  • 3 coats
  • 7 casual tops
  • 7 tanks
  • 7 fancy tops
  • 6 sweaters
  • 5 sentimental items
  • 3 nonsense items
  • 10 scarves
  • 5 belts
  • 15 undies
  • 3 sports bras
  • 1 strapless bra
  • 6 t-shirt bras
  • 5 socks
  • 5 leggings
  • 2 shorts
  • 5 workout shorts
  • 3 nice shorts
  • 5 tshirts
  • 1 sweat pant
  • 5 hats/hair wraps
  • 5 beanies

I did a little research on downsizing and found this super fascinating concept:

The Capsule Wardrobe

I was sold. I didn't create a separate capsule for each season, because so many of my clothes transition to the entire year (I love to layer summer dresses with sweaters and tights, and I love putting my tank tops with sweaters, etc). The key to an effective capsule wardrobe is that you know and understand all of the different ways to combo your outfits so it feels like you have endless possibilities. I wanted a way to be able to keep up with my clothing choices, and that's when I found the Stylebook App. The app was a game changer. Remember that moment in Clueless when she uses a computer program to find her white top. THIS IS FINALLY REAL LIFE PEOPLE. For the sexy price of $3.99 I can have the computerized personal stylist I've dreamed of since 1995. No brainer. Yes please.

 

So I did it! I systematically purged all of my clothes.

Here are my steps and rules:

1. Make your own Reality List. I don't need more than 1 pair of sweatpants because I don't wear them that often. Do you? What do you wear a lot of? Create your own list of things that you think are reasonable. Don't do it off of what you own, do it off of what would be ideal for your lifestyle (without your present clothes in mind. Think with a clean slate). Ask yourself: What do you really need? What can you do without? What is just taking up space? I do laundry about once a week, so in reality I don't really need more than about a weeks worth of anything. It's unlikely that I'll wear 7 dresses in one week, so do I really need more than 3? Hard questions. Rewarding answers.

2. Immediately start a pile of every single item that doesn't fit anymore. You are only allowed to keep 3 (THAT IS IT) items that are too small as sentimental pieces. For example, I kept a dress from our honeymoon, my favorite pair of old jeans, and a swimsuit from our honeymoon. 

3. Start a 'maybe' pile. It's easier than painfully putting your not-favorite-but-still-loved stuff into the trash bin. 

4. Separate what's left into sections. Look at your reality list and start putting aside you're top picks for each section. The I-will-not-part-with-this list. Initially don't put anything more than your final number in the keep pile, and start a second "maybe's" pile. Keep in mind that you like the second "maybe's" pile more than the first, because they made it through the first round. 

5. Get your closet really organized. For me, this included matching hangers per section. White hangers for tops and dresses. Blue hangers for bottoms. I bought a closet sweater holder, and was able to fill it with all of my sweaters and jeans. I also bought an over-the-door shoe rack, and bins for the top of my closet, baskets for the bottom, and an under the bed slider. It's an initial investment, but worth it to have a clean, organized space. 

This is the size of my REAL closet! Because now I don't need more! Freedom!

This is the size of my REAL closet! Because now I don't need more! Freedom!

6. Start filling your closet with all of your keepers according to your list. For me, this included taking a photo inventory for my app! This took forever but now that I've done it I can plan out my clothes way in advance and take full advantage of the app. 

7. Take a look at your 2 piles of maybes. This was the most painful part for me. I did pull a few items back into my closet, but only if I could fit into them right now and they could be worn in multiple ways. 

8. Say goodbye to the maybes and add them to your sell or donate pile. Say goodbye. Look away. A treat is coming if you'll just say goodbye!

9. GOOD JOB! If you're like me than you literally just got rid of like 350 items of clothes. As a major treat, I wrote a list of items that I felt I needed to complete my capsole wardrobe and went shopping. This totally changed my shopping game. I knew exactly what I needed, and knew I didn't have room for more, so I only came home with the 7 items on my list. 

Here were my added capsule items. I came up with them from looking at my pinterest clothing board to see what I pinned a lot of but didn't already have or could 'improv' with my closet. Here's what I added.

  • A few casual tops. Most of my tops that fit are from my 'teacher style' clothes from working at LCA for 2 years. I wanted a few (2) tops that could go with my new, more casual grad school wardrobe.
  • Winter boots. I got rid of all but 1 pair of my winter boots because they were so gross, falling apart, and worn out. I blame carline for that. I realized I could style a short pair of military boots in a few different ways (with jeans, with a skirt and tights, with a dress and tights, with leggings), and I tend to live in a pair of tall brown boots during the fall and winter. Both of my picks came from JustFab.com
  • One plaid shirt. Again this can be styled under dresses, over dresses, with sweaters, tied around your waist, etc. I did have a plaid shirt but it was too small and it was one of those items I would never buy another of because I kept thinking I would fit into my too-small one. Time to upgrade!
  • One denim shirt. I was surprised to see how many times I had pinned a denim shirt. I'm a deal hunter when I shop, and so I have passed over this item again and again because I keep thinking I'll find a great one for like 10-15 bucks. I bought one for $26, and don't regret it one bit because I know I'll wear it during 3 seasons of my capsule.

And TADA! I didn't even end up needing to buy an extra Ikea wardrobe for storage! My closet is simple, clean, and I LOVE IT! 

And for your viewing pleasure, a few pieces from my fall capsule wardrobe:

I hope you enjoyed today's edition of "Mischief" and thanks so much for reading! Please let me know in the comment section if you'd like to see more stuff like this (clothes, hair, etc) and what you want to hear about. 

Grace and Peace

Sherei


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