What items should women shop for to create more joy and less overwhelm in their closets?
Tip 1: Shop for pieces that you'll wear.
Brooklyn-based stylist, Hilary Rushford advised to invest on clothes that will get the most wear. These are pieces that will fit your aesthetics, work, and lifestyle; ones that could easily pair up with most of the existing items in your wardrobe.
Rushford shared that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe while the other 80% lie dormant in their closet. Thus, look for something that will become a natural part of your favorite pieces and perhaps even pair-up with some items from your 80%, thus giving those clothes more wear time.
Tip 2: Accessorize
If you want to splurge on something, invest on practical accessories that will either pair nicely with most of your clothing or increase the star power of an outfit. Examples could include a statement necklace that can immediately raise the visual impact of your dress, a pair of nude sandals that go nicely with your summer clothes, or a buttery soft leather purse that will fit your stuff during the non-laptop weekend strolls around town.
Tip 3: Fill the gaps in your wardrobe.
Identify the gaps in your closet, create a wish list, and purchase an item that will balance-out the pieces that you already have.
If your closet is full of neutral and classic pieces, why not spice it up with some color? On the other hand, if your closet screams of patterns and color, getting a more neutral item will provide balance to the outfits that you can create.
While walking pass my open closet, my husband Steve commented, “You have a lot of black clothes,” that help me realize that 2/3 of my closet had a black, white, grey, or navy color scheme. Thus, I went to a clothing auction and intentionally bought items with either color or pattern. The clothing auction movement in Beijing has given me the avenue to sustainably experiment with my style and choose items that filled the gap in my closet.
Tip 4: Buy the “special occasion clothing” from the Beijing Clothing Auction Network
Speaking of auctions, why spend time and money on something that will just hang and occupy space in your wardrobe but rarely gets worn? Thus, try to get the clothes that you will only wear once in a while – for a party, an event, a job interview, or a friend’s bachelorette party – from a clothing auction.
This blue dress for example that I wore to a Winter Party was from the auction. I bid on it on a downtown auction but lost the bidding war to Violet, another attendee. A couple of days after, Violet messaged me and shared that the dress didn't fit her. She then offered to mail it to me as an advance Christmas present! I paired it with nude sandals that I purchased from a garage sale for five dollars and accessorized the outfit with crystal chandelier earrings that I wore to my wedding.
Similarly, Kristina, an expat executive from Sony and a self-confessed auction addict, bought a cobalt blue gown from the auction, wore it to the Vienna ball, then brought it back for another lady to enjoy. Taozi yoga studio owner, Theresa bid on the dress and won it.
Meeting inspirational and like-minded women and having a story to accompany your purchase is another benefit in coming to these bi-monthly city and Shunyi events.
Tip 5: Buy something that will spark joy
If you need to buy a dress, get something that brings you joy. Mari Kondo, an organization specialist, recommends holding an item in your hand and feeling if it sparks joy.
I bought a navy blue polka dotted jumpsuit with a vintage feel from Winners, a discount brand store in Woodstock, Ontario. I paired it with a statement necklace with a beaded circular pendant that my friend, Leanne, got from Ethiopa. The necklace played on the geometric shapes in the dress. I also belted the cinched waist to highlight my shape.
I wore the outfit to a Beijing Mother’s Guild event at the East Hotel where the group's founder, Pauline, was a guest chef at the Feast Brunch. The jumpsuit felt spacious enough to enjoy the sumptuous meals and comfortable enough to run after my two girls who joined our ladies day out. It gave me joy.
Interested to join the Beijing Clothing Auction network, add me at we chat: Hannah_Northcott or message Rebecca.
The network will have a Christmas Charity Auction on Dec. 8 where you can practice the tips shared on this blog.
Hi! I’m Hannah.