Is it too late to talk about resolutions for 2015? February is fast approaching. You haven’t given up on them yet, have you?
This is the first time I took active steps to planning out the year ahead and coming up with an actual, detailed plan… but that was for my life and business.
I figured my closet needed plans of its own; I didn’t want it to feel left out.
You may assume that because I created Effortless Gent, I have the most lean, badass, organized closet, ever. Sadly, that’s not the case, and I’m far from perfect, at least in that aspect.
When it comes to wardrobes, clothing, style, and the Lean approach, I’m constantly reframing and refining what I think works best, and what is most important to me personally. (I encourage you to do the same, since tastes change as we grow and are exposed to new ideas and styles.)
So here’s what I have planned for my closet in 2015.
(After reading mine, I’d love to hear about your closet and wardrobe resolutions for this year. Make sure to tell me in the comments.)
Lean down further
Regardless of how much I try to lean out my closet, the clothes slowly pile up again.
I get lots of samples sent over (#stylewriterproblems I guess) and I also tend to pick up stuff I like when I find them on sale, which is a bad habit from my early days of personal style discovery.
I’m getting better about this, and now I only buy things I’ve wanted for months and months.
I have a private Pinterest board where I pin things I think I want—mostly classic stuff mixed with some fun pieces and accessories—and I refer back to it many times over several months before actually taking the plunge.
And typically, by that time, I find it on sale. Some things never get discounted, and in those instances, I just buy them anyway because several months later, I still want them.
(By the way, you should follow EG on Pinterest!)
The nice thing about this Pinterest board approach I’ve found is that, sometimes, I see items I pinned a few months ago, and I no longer want them. Good thing I never bought it!
And, of course, concessions are made to certain things that are seasonally necessary.
When I moved to NYC, my warmest coat was a basic peacoat, which was (mostly) fine during the day, but when I was walking around at night, I was freezing, even if I had multiple layers on.
Even though I wanted to hold out, I was miserable, so I made the decision to invest in a great winter parka built for this ridiculous east coast weather.
THE best wardrobe investment I’ve made in recent memory. Now I can go out at night without hating life.
The point of all this? Lean down aggressively, but buy things you’re absolutely certain you’ll love and / or need. Practice delayed gratification with Pinterest to make it easy on yourself.
Hibernate half my wardrobe
I’m originally from California, so with our temperate climate, the majority of stuff in my closet works practically all year.
Here in NYC, I’ve noticed it doesn’t work that way. And with limited closet space, it doesn’t make sense to keep unused clothes front and center for half the year.
Takeaway: An obvious solution? Space Bags!
I Space Bag’d most of my fall / spring jackets as well as other shirts I’m not currently wearing, yet don’t want to get rid of. These vacuum-sealed packs are easily tucked away under a bed until spring rolls around again.
Curating the daily experience
This is more of a long-term project that, interestingly enough, takes a bit of diligence and patience.
For the longest time, I’ve been a budget buyer, meaning I think first about price. Quality, durability, personal experience… all that stuff comes secondary.
(You may relate to this way of thinking. As I get older and learn more, I don’t think this is the best mindset, but that’s a different story all together.)
But, to be honest, I’m tired of cheap shit. Stuff I don’t enjoy using, even though I have to. Stuff that only does half the job, or only manages to work for a limited amount of time before crapping out on me.
Ideally, everything I touch and interact with in my home would give me the best possible experience. I want more quality, long-lasting goods, especially if they are items I use on a regular basis.
Of course, this isn’t instantly achievable (nor inexpensive), but I’m committed to building and curating slowly over the years.
Your takeaway: If you’re considering this as well, focus on things you touch and use regularly, if not every day. This will help you figure out what’s most important. Invest in that.
Some examples from my world: A nice, warm parka, a great watch, stuff within my office space, a soft, luxurious set of sheets, good cookware.
If an item’s price makes you swallow hard, consider the (relatively) high cost of said good, and divide out the number of years you plan on using it.
Also, keep in mind the limited life of a cheaper alternative, and the number of times you would have to replace it over the same amount of years.
This doesn’t even take into account the experience factor, or the feeling you get when using it every day… All intangibles, stuff you can’t put a dollar value on, that make you happy regardless.
When you look at it in this light, that initial cost is a mere triviality.
Of course, you don’t want to go in debt for these things, so save up cash for it. There’s no shame in curating over a long period of time, so wait until you can easily afford to buy your more refined things.
Get a navy suit
I know. Crazy, right? I preach about the importance of having one basic navy suit, yet I don’t have one (that fits me well, and that I like).
Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of suits and sport coats, but I’m skipping over a basic staple here, so I plan on getting one in 2015.
I had a casual cotton bright navy suit at one time, but I’m talking about an all-season, wool, single-breasted, double-vented navy suit.
Your takeaway: Are you looking for one, too? Here’s a nice one from SuitSupply. All their navy and blue suits are here. J.Crew’s Crosby line is another option. You could always go custom, made-to-measure, as well.
Tailoring: Mo’ suits, mo’ problems
Speaking of suiting, I have several suits in my closet that need to be altered.
I don’t wear them because they need these basic tweaks, but life gets in the way, and I get lazy to walk two doors down to the tailor.
I plan on having at least three suits fixed up this year, plus a few other custom made-to-measure ones I’ve acquired.
The latter I’ll be writing articles about, so you can have a better idea of your online custom / made-to-measure choices.
What’s the takeaway? Little tasks can be a pain in the ass to schedule, but setting the intention to do them and giving yourself a hard date makes it easier.
Taking the emotion out of your task (e.g. “I’m so lazy,” “I don’t feel like doing it,” “waaa boohoo”), and instead, viewing it as something you have to knock out should make life easier.
Lift things up and put them down
This is not directly wardrobe- or closet-related, but close enough, considering that how we look and feel naked affects how we look and feel clothed.
I had a great strength training routine this time last year which I followed for months, but once it came time to travel and move this past summer, I didn’t maintain my habit, which is unfortunate.
I’m lucky to live in Manhattan, where walking is a great form of entertainment for me and my wife. It’s not uncommon for us to walk 40-60+ blocks in an afternoon, from the Upper East Side down to SoHo and the Villages.
I get my cardio in, that’s for sure. But all cardio and no strength training equals a weaker, flabbier man.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer muscle tone and definition over that skinny fat look, plus I like being able to lift and move heavy things easily.
Also, lifting, to me, is a great form of meditation, since I work alone and am in a clear and focused headspace, listening to music and focusing solely on the thing I’m lifting and the movements required to do so safely and effectively.
Takeaway: If you haven’t focused on weight training before but want to get into it, a basic Big 3 program is a good place to start. Super simple, not much to think about, and you get to focus on the basic, yet most beneficial compound lifts.
There’s a lot of fitness-related information out there, but as far as general improvement of strength and health, it all comes down to eating less crap, moving more, and lifting heavy things.
What are your closet and wardrobe resolutions for 2015? Name at least ONE in the comments below.