My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

As I wrote about in my last post, I recently completed a closet reorganization. I separated out my summer tops into three distinct sections: “standalone” tops, tops that I only feel comfortable wearing with an accompanying topper, and tops that are designated as workout or lounge wear only. My goal is to eventually eliminate the second category by means of attrition, as well as no longer purchasing tops that I don’t want to wear on their own. Additionally, I’d like the majority of the tops I buy from this point forward to be “crossover” pieces that can be worn for a variety of occasions.

Rearranging my closet alerted me to another wardrobe issue beyond my owning too many tops that I’m only comfortable wearing with a sweater or jacket over them. In today’s post, I’ll share what that issue is, why I think it happened, and what I plan to do about it. I never thought I’d learn so much from a simple closet reorganization, but I hope my lessons will also be helpful to some of you.

My Love Affair with Black Clothing

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I love to wear black clothing. Not only is black versatile and slimming, it also suits my cool complexion and my personal style aesthetic. Black pieces are often in line with my style guideposts of “dramatic, polished, and elegant,” and they also add a bit of “edge” to my outfits.


I love to wear black, but there CAN be too much of a good thing… 

Those are all good points in favor of my owning a lot of black items. But no matter how much I love black, there can be too much of a good thing. Rearranging my tops really highlighted the fact that there are just too many black ones in the mix. While this can also be said about my black pants and black toppers, I’m only going to focus on my warm weather tops today to keep things simple – and also because this topic follows on nicely from my last post. I’ll likely dedicate future essays to those other sections of my wardrobe.

Too Many Plain Black Tops

My overabundance of black tops is mostly confined to short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, as my collection of black long-sleeved tops is fairly minimal, as shown below:


My collection of long-sleeved black tops is very small.

I don’t believe there’s redundancy with the above tops, as one is V-neck and ruched, one is a space-dyed crewneck, and the third is a plain black crewneck. However, I have quite a few plain black short-sleeved tees and tanks, and they’re all quite similar. Yes, they have different necklines, fabrics, and sleeve lengths (short-sleeved vs. sleeveless), but it feels like overkill at this point. I mean, do I really need nine plain black tees and tank tops (as shown below)?


I own a lot of similar PLAIN black short-sleeved tees and tanks. 

Before my recent closet reorganization, I didn’t realize that I had this many similar black tops, as they used to be fairly evenly distributed between my at-home and out-and-about closet sections. However, the bulk of them are now part of my Category 1 section (standalone tops), and I can clearly see the duplication! I have three plain black crewneck tees, three plain black V-neck tees, and three plain black scoop-neck tees/tanks. Only one of the above tops is in Category 2 (tops that I only wear with toppers), but the others can all be comfortably worn on their own, so that’s one positive element to this duplicate area of my wardrobe.

Another positive is that I ended up returning two black tops after noticing the high degree of duplication following my closet restructuring. Below are the two tops that I returned, both from Athleta. I own these tops in other colors, but I thought that I could benefit from also buying them in black. Fortunately, I decided that I didn’t really need these tops while I was still within the return window.

black tops returned

I returned these two black tops after reorganizing my closet. 

“Detailed” Black Tops and Black Tops for Skirts

In addition to my plain black tees and tanks, I also have eight additional black tops that include some type of special details, including neckline details, gathers/ties, buttons, sequins, and color-blocking. These tops are easier to wear than the plain black tees and tanks shown above because they don’t require much accessorizing in order to create a complete look. They pair well with many of my pants, and at least half of them even look nice with plain black trousers.


These black tops all include some type of “special details.”

Finally, I have two black tops – a tank and a tee – that I wear only with skirts. These tops are shorter in length, so their proportions work well when worn untucked with a skirt (I’m not a tucker because I’m very short-waisted). However, these tops haven’t seen much wear in recent years, as I have purged the bulk of my skirt collection. I currently own only three skirts, and two of them are solid black. Both of the above tops are at least five years old, but they’re still in good shape and fit well, so held on to them. They don’t take up much space, and I’m hoping to purchase a black printed skirt this summer that would pair nicely with these solid black tops.


I wear these two black tops only with skirts. 

Why the Duplication?

I’m not too worried about the detailed black tops or the ones designated for wearing with skirts, as I don’t see much redundancy there. I’m happy wearing a lot of black, and the tops are all different enough to add visual interest to my ensembles, even monochromatic ones. The plain tops, however, are a different story. They’re taking up a lot of space in my closet, and while I wear some of them regularly, others have rarely been worn.

You may wonder how I ended up with such a large collection of plain black tops. I can think of a few key reasons:

REASON ONE:  I believed that I needed at least several basic black tees for both my at-home and out-and-about wardrobes to make sure I always had one available to wear.

REASON TWO:  I’ve fallen prey to a “more is more” attitude when it comes to wardrobe basics, so if I found a “good black top” on sale, I picked it up.

REASON THREE:  In a few instances, I had also purchased a particular style of tee in a different color and justified also adding one in black since black is my key neutral.

REASON FOUR:  Some of the tees were “just okay,” which had me continuing to look for other options that might be better.

All of the above reasons played a role in my black tee duplication (and with my duplication in other wardrobe areas as well), but reason number four was probably the biggest culprit. Of course, we can’t always know from the get-go whether or not there will be issues with a particular garment. Sometimes pieces can be “fussy” or they might not wash well. It’s a shame when that happens and we may just have to cut our losses, but there are also times when we simply settle for a “less than” garment when we shouldn’t have.

A Few Examples…

Case in point… The scoop-neck tee at the left in the image below is cut too low and that was obvious from the start. I kept it because the retailer (Old Navy) no longer offered the V-neck version that I preferred (on the right). I liked the fit and fabric of both tops, but the scoop neckline is too bare for my personal preferences (it looks more low-cut on me than on the model). I should have returned the top to the store, but I justified keeping it because it was inexpensive. I don’t wear it very often and usually only at home.

black scoop vs. V-neck tees

I much prefer the neckline of the top on the right. 

I also should have refrained from purchasing the two tops below or I should have returned them. Both tees are low quality and don’t hold their shape well. Although I probably couldn’t have foreseen the latter issue at the time of purchase, I think the lower quality level was fairly evident. But I let myself be dazzled by low prices and a perceived need for lots of basic black tees. I didn’t spend all that much money on these two tees, but I now have the problem of owning too many similar options, which I could have avoided with smarter and more restrained shopping.

Caslon and Target black tees

These two black tees are of questionable quality. 

What to Do Now?

My overabundance of black tees is definitely a “first world problem” and not too troubling in the grand scheme of things, but I’d like to address it and avoid a reoccurrence. I’m not going to get rid of any tops unless they’re definitely not serving me, so I plan to give all of my black tees and tanks a fair chance. I already know that a few of them are favorites that I wear regularly, but I’m unsure about the rest of the group. My plan is to wear all of them within the next month and evaluate their workability for my wardrobe.

If I find that a particular tee is “fussy” but it’s still in good shape, I may choose to downgrade it to sleepwear, as the fussiness factor is much less annoying when I’m asleep (obviously). I may also reclassify one or two tops as Category 3 garments, those pieces that I only use as lounge or workout wear. I’ve already decided to do that for the scoop-neck tee due to the lower neckline, and the Caslon and Target tees may meet the same fate after evaluation. Just because most of my black tees could be comfortably worn without a topper, it doesn’t mean that they all belong in my out-and-about wardrobe.

I’ve always found that the best way to decide on the fate of a wardrobe item is to take it for a “test drive.” Simply trying something on and looking in the mirror isn’t always sufficient, as a piece can look and feel good when standing still but be extremely annoying when we’re going about our lives. I like to wear a questionable item for at least an hour or two to see whether or not it will work for my day-to-day life. I’m conducting these test drives for my Category 2 tops (those that I only feel comfortable wearing with a topper), so I’ll add in the black tees and tanks as part of my pre-summer evaluation process.


I’m sorry it took me so long to finish and publish this follow-on essay to my closet reorganization post (some very difficult life stuff got in the way), but I hope you found my insights interesting and helpful. Many of us have areas of duplication in our wardrobes that we might not be aware of until our focus is shifted in some way. While for me that focus shift resulted from reorganizing my closet, packing for travel or preparing for a move may lead to your personal “aha moment.” Regardless of how we become aware of a closet challenge, our awareness presents us with an opportunity to make changes that can improve our wardrobes.

As summer approaches, I plan to continue working on getting my wardrobe in order for the warmer weather. I find it more challenging to dress for hot days, and those times are when I’m more likely to be unhappy in what I’m wearing. The two-part series that I wrote about “third pieces” last fall (see HERE and HERE) got the ball rolling, and my last post and this one are furthering my effort to be more satisfied with my summer ensembles.

I know that I’ll continue to wear a lot of black all year round, as I still love the color and it suits my personal aesthetic. But hopefully I’ll get to the point where I have more “special tops” and fewer similar black tees that don’t do much to expand my wardrobe versatility, especially when I also wear a lot of black bottoms and toppers. I’ll get to those other closet areas soon, but for now I’m happy to be gradually getting my tops in order. One step at a time…

Your Thoughts?

Now it’s time for you to weigh in, if you choose to do so. While I welcome your feedback about any of the content of today’s post, I’d especially like to learn about your wardrobe challenges. Here are a few questions to help you gather your thoughts:

  • What types of items do you tend to duplicate in your closet?
  • At what point do you consider that you have too many like pieces?
  • What reasons have you identified for accumulating a lot of similar items?
  • What tips do you have for those of us who tend to purchase too many duplicates?
  • What lessons have you learned from the following activities: reorganizing your closet, packing for travel, or preparing for a move?
  • What are your goals around dressing for summer this year (or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere)?

Thank you for supporting my blog. I look forward to reading your insights!

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31 thoughts on “Too Much of a Good Thing

  1. Jelena says:

    I missed your posts, hope nothing bad happened.
    I’m with you in often wearing black, even in summer. I also have cool and dark colouring, so it looks good on me.
    I have many dark tops, black and navy, both short and long sleeved. However, I prefer an inner column of colour for it’s slimming effects. With that in mind, I think it’s not too many dark tops. I add variety and interest with accessories.
    I’ve recently found two pairs of summer pants in navy, but I don’t know why I bought them. I must have been looking for a better fit and then kept both. I’ve also purged a green top. I wear very little green and it’s mostly teal or sometimes forest. I’ve also recently reorganized my closet, moving summer and winter clothes around.
    I often have issues with lighter colours. I make more mistakes with colour being on a warmer side or feeling naked and needing an additional layer. Darker colours are a safe bet for me. Thankfully, there are lighter fabrics in dark colours.
    When I was younger, I was often told to avoid black and should wear lighter colours. I was even told I would get to hate black as mourning was taken quite seriously. Elderly women would end up wearing it for the rest of their lives. Things have changed with time, but I was sometimes told I wore too much black. So I tried to wear it less, but it didn’t work. I’ve finally accepted, after a struggle, that I like black, it works for me and there’s nothing wrong with wearing it.
    I think I don’t really have an issue with duplicates. I know I need different shoes and tops for different bottoms. Besides, having slightly more clothes makes them last longer as they wash less. My husband’s recently complained how his tees look washed out and mine don’t.
    Hope it wasn’t too long. Hugs from Serbia 🙂

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for sharing, Jelena, and no it wasn’t too long! I like to wear an inner column of color, too, but sometimes I struggle when it gets warm and I need to remove my topper. I sometimes feel like the resulting outfit (without the topper) is boring, although I like the effect WITH the topper. I think I need to work more on the accessory part of the equation so the outfit looks good both ways.

      I sometimes buy too many similar pieces because I’m not truly satisfied with the first items and am not confident that I’ll be able to find something better. This is especially true when it comes to pants, so I get it about your navy pants. Like with you, darker colors are a safer bet for me, and I feel more like myself in darker colors, too. I’ve never gone through a period of trying not to wear black, but I did worry that it might wash me out when I got older. I don’t think that’s true now, but I’m going to keep wearing it no matter what.

      It’s good that you don’t have an issue with duplicates, as that can be something challenging to deal with. It’s true that our clothes last longer if we don’t wear and wash them as often. That’s one positive about having a lot of clothes 😉

      1. Jelena says:

        You’re welcome 🙂
        I know an inner column might look boring without a topper, but you still keep an unbroken vertical line. That’s very important to me. I have a prominent nose which looks less so with large earrings and I often wear them. I find them very useful in summer as they don’t add heat.
        I regret trying to avoid black as I know it wouldn’t look good on me forever. I’m not getting grey yet and don’t know what I’d do when signs of aging become more visible.
        I tried to avoid black as for a while I believed I was warm and dyed my hair in an unflattering colour. Also, there was a pressure from my family, my looks were often policed. Unfortunately, I succumbed more often than I’m happy to admit 😦
        Sorry to bother you 😒

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          No bother at all, Jelena! Thanks for replying and sharing more of your thoughts. I get what you mean about having an unbroken vertical line. I like to do that, too.

          Looks were policed in my family, too, so I understand your struggles there. I look back at some of my old pictures and I really don’t like the color I dyed my hair. It started to skew too red after a while and I didn’t see at the time that it wasn’t all that flattering on me. Deciding to stop dyeing my hair was difficult and the grow-out process was arduous (as I documented in several blog posts), but I’m now glad to be on the other side of that. It’s a very personal decision… You’ll know if/when the time is right for you.

          Aging is definitely challenging! The past years have been especially hard for me in that regard, with lots of ups and downs. I’m still working to make peace with it, but it’s not easy. You’re not alone!

  2. sewtypical says:

    “I hope you found my insights interesting and helpful.” YES! Very much so. I appreciate your thoughtful analysis and I had some AHA! moments reading it.

    I do a closet re-org about every 3 months, and I’m due for another one in a couple of weeks. I live on the Central Coast of California, so a lot of my wardrobe does go from season to season. But, as you point out, summer dressing is a category that can be tough! Especially, as I try to hide my upper arms without boiling to death on those 80+ degree days.

    So, I’ve been gravitating to loose elbow length sleeves. I sew and have been using a pattern that I modified to fit me well.

    Last time I reorganized, I used the 4×4 Capsule wardrobe method, to get a better handle on my outfits (from The Vivienne Files.) Well, guess what! I had SO many black items, that it made me realize I don’t need any more for a while, even though they’re very useful and I love them.

    Love your blog and appreciate your well organized and thought out posts!

    🙂 Chris

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you found this post interesting and helpful, Chris. That’s great that you do closet re-orgs every three months. It’s usually twice a year for me, but I can see the value of doing it more often. How wonderful that you sew and found a pattern for a top that helps you feel comfortable hiding your upper arms while still staying relatively cool in the summer.

      I started writing a post using the 4×4 capsule method, but I got sidetracked. I think I will revisit and modify it to post shortly, as I like the method and feel it can teach us a lot. I used a lot of black in my sample capsule, which isn’t surprising. I certainly don’t need MORE black pieces, but I agree that they’re useful. I’m definitely going to keep wearing a lot of black, but I’ll stick with what I have for now.

  3. NATALIE K says:

    Debbie, Don’t get rid of your black tops!! Your just doing big clost churn!! Please wear them!! As they slowly age then get rid of them!! Give yourself time to slowly adjust your wardrobe by replacing these tops with what you want.instad.!!! This is the only way you will come to terms with your clost!!! This is what I did and now things are coming to a end. It works, I promise!!!! You will stop buying so much !! You keep geting rid of clothing and then replacing!! Your in a regular cycle of doing this!!! Can’t you see?!! I’m trying to help you!!!

    1. Jessica says:

      What works for you, may not work for others. And telling people what to do, is not very helpful imo.
      I see no reason to keep an item that you don’t enjoy wearing, when you have others.

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you’ve found a way to approach your wardrobe that’s working well for you, Natalie. Yes, closet churn can be a big problem, and it has definitely been an issue for me and continues to be one. However, I agree with Jessica that we shouldn’t keep items that we don’t enjoy wearing. I don’t plan to get rid of any of my black tops hastily, which is why I said that I plan to wear them all and evaluate them in the near future. My habit has been to keep buying similar items while not necessarily wearing what I already have. That’s not a good way to go, but if we wear things and decide that we no longer like wearing them (or maybe never did), I don’t think we should force ourselves to keep and wear them. As my mom would say, two wrongs don’t make a right! 🙂

      I doubt I will get rid of many of my black tops, as there is often a way to repurpose them (like what I said about wearing fussier tops for sleep), but some of them may need to go and I’m okay with that. I will pass them on for others to use, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will go out and buy more similar pieces.

      I appreciate that you want to help, but Jessica is right that the same method doesn’t work for everyone. We all have to find our own way, which is what I’m trying to do, while also sharing my journey with others so they can take what they want/need from it. The same can be said for the comments that are shared on my posts. There is often a lot of wisdom there, which all of us can draw from as desired and in line of what most resonates for us.

  4. The approach you’re taking with these tops makes a lot of sense to me! I am fortunate that I don’t have TOO much duplication of very, very similar items like this, but it’s very easy to see how it could happen! And I do know Reason Four all too well. It’s great that your reorganization is giving you new insights into your wardrobe. Sorry to hear that life has been difficult…sending best wishes your way.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad that you don’t have too much duplication in your wardrobe, Sally. I suspect that a lot of people struggle with Reason 4 (settling for items that are just okay), especially those of us who tend to be perfectionists. I think that if I find myself continuing to look for a type of item that I have only recently purchased, that’s a sign that I should do a return. If we buy something we love and can’t wait to wear, we probably won’t keep looking for more such pieces. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good guideline to consider.

      Thank you so much for your best wishes. I appreciate whatever positive vibes people can send my way…

  5. Paula says:

    I have a lot of jeans, some of them fit well, others I keep even if they aren’t the best fitting because it’s hard to find a good pair of jeans that meets all the requirements. Although they are not all the same. Some are bootcut, straight, raw hem, different color, cropped, ankle, different length for different shoes, When did it get so complicated to get dress!! LOL.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I resonate with your struggles with jeans, Paula! I tend to hold on to jeans and other types of pants much longer than other clothing items just because it’s so hard to find good ones. Yes, jeans can be complicated, especially lately when there are so many varieties! It’s a lot easier for men. My husband has a few pairs of jeans that are in a similar cut, and he wears the same shoes with all of them. Ah, to be a man sometimes!

      1. Debbie and tall commenters, if you haven’t read Bridgette Raes recent post about building a capsule for a tall engineer client, you might find it an interesting read. The hard not to settle / keep pants appears to be a common struggle for tall women.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Thanks so much for this recommendation, Sally! I often check out Bridgette’s posts, but I hadn’t seen that one yet. I look forward to reading it! Yes, pants are a major struggle, and sometimes tall pants aren’t even long enough for me. The “cropped everything” trend that has been around for a while doesn’t help matters, either. Hopefully some of Bridgette’s suggestions will help me and other tall women.

        2. Katrina B says:

          Sally, wow, thank you for mentioning that Bridget Raes post. It might have changed my life! Long/tall pants are actually a bit easier to find now than they were back in the 60s and 70s when I started being tall, but even now it’s an ongoing struggle and I love that Bridget mentioned so many brands. Super helpful!

  6. Katrina B says:

    Debbie I really enjoy these analytical posts, and it’s always fun to see what things we have in common and where we’re very different. I do have a lot of duplication stemming from a combination of reasons one and three, plus my ingrained scarcity mentality (oh no! they might stop making this tee shirt in this color! I’d better stock up!). It’s not really out of control – as I’ve mentioned in the past I actually have winnowed down to a very small wardrobe – but it is quite amusing to analyze why I buy certain things.
    I hope you get lots of opportunities to test drive your black tops and get some answers. I can’t wait to read about your next wardrobe analysis!
    P.s. Sorry to hear of your difficult life stuff, I’ll be thinking of you and hoping for a good outcome.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you like my analytical posts, Katrina. I can definitely do navel-gazing with the best of them (lol). Scarcity mentality is another reason for overbuying that I didn’t call out specifically, but it’s basically part of Reason One (thinking I need a lot of black tees – or whatever other type of item). I wish I would have stocked up on the Old Navy V-neck tees because they DID stop making them, but I had no way of knowing that would happen. Plus, for every time that it ends up being a GOOD idea to “stock up,” there are usually at least a few times that it winds up being ill-advised.

      It’s gotten colder here again (“May Gray,” which will soon turn into “June Gloom”), so I haven’t had many opportunities to test drive the black tees yet, but I know I’ll be able to figure it all out. Thank you for your kind thoughts/wishes about my life stuff – much appreciated.

  7. Maggie says:

    Hi Debbie,
    Everyone gave me a lot to think about. For me, some of the closet “churn” is just sheer boredom. I just started reading the book “Atomic Habits” which I just found at Goodwill. It is very interesting. He says to focus on the “process” instead of the result and he talks about 1% improvement in key areas of the process compounding/building up over time to yield results I have been currently going through my costume jewelry and wearing a piece a day – even if I am just hanging around the house. Much of it doesn’t suit my current style/clothing, I don’t love it, and was bought very cheaply from a thrift store. If I decide to donate it, I put in in my donate basket which I empty once a week – usually Thursday when I go to the thrift stores. This is definitely easier for me to do than try to make a decision on my whole box at once. I am keeping an eye out on Etsy for a necklace or two that will go with my brightly colored spring/summer tops. (I am currently looking at 70s vintage necklaces for inspiration.)

    I will keep you posted on my progress.
    Best Regards.

    1. Maggie, I read that book too but didn’t think about it in terms of wardrobe management, so that’s an interesting angle. The “wear a piece of jewelry each day” plan is a great one for giving your pieces a real-life trial run and I think does help make a smarter decision. I agree that it’s hard to make a decision for a whole lot of items at once; decision fatigue sets in fast!

      1. Debbie Roes says:

        Decision fatigue can be a big problem, Sally! While I do still do bigger “closet audits” at times, I usually use a method similar to what Maggie described now. It’s far less overwhelming and works very well.

      2. RoseAG says:

        She’s lucky to have found it at Goodwill. My library has 48 copies and 104 people on the wait list!

        It can be hard not to make mistakes with retailers bombarding you with ads on your phone.
        If I see something on my phone I take a screen shot. If the item floats into my head again I look it up from my laptop. I make better decisions from websites when I have my laptop and can carefully consider all the information available – material (there is a lot of cheap material out there these days), measurements.
        When buying black things I like the ability to switch it to a different color. Sometimes details that don’t show up on black are more noticable on the white version. I can also read the review.

        With ON, which is a hit-or-miss retailer I see if it’s available for curbside pickup. That means the item is in-stock. I have an ON that’s close to a grocery store I go to. I can drop in there on the weekend and actually look at the item. They source things from so many different places, you can’t count on the top you loved last season having the same fit this season.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Wow, that’s quite a waitlist, Rose! Our libraries tend to have long waitlists, too. Thanks for sharing your method of dealing with temptation from ads. I agree that it’s a lot easier to see details on a computer screen and when looking at non-black versions of items. As someone who buys a lot of black pieces, I’ve learned to check out the other colors, too. Reviews can also be helpful in our decision-making process, although sometimes there is a lot of variability among the reviewers (e.g. some people say an item runs large while others indicate that it runs small – frustrating!).

          Great tip about Old Navy! We can definitely avoid buying mistakes when we’re able to see an item in person. It can be very hard to discern things like fabric feel and thickness from a picture. I didn’t know about ON sourcing things from a lot of different places, but that can definitely explain the variability in pieces that are supposed to be the same. Online shopping can be challenging, so your tips are appreciated!

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Maggie. I have the book “Atomic Habits,” but I’ve procrastinated about reading it. Maybe if I had better habits… I like the idea of 1% improvement. Small changes can end up making a big difference over time and because we’ll actually DO them, it’s often a better way to go. I use a similar methodology as you described for going through wardrobe items that I’m not sure about. Sometimes I’ll give questionable items a second chance or put them in my “holding zone” for a while and revisit them, but I rarely regret passing things on. Best wishes with finding the type of necklaces you’re looking for! I haven’t done much shopping on Etsy, but I know there are a lot of good items there.

      1. NATALIE K says:

        Uou rarly regrestt passing them on because you just go buy somehing else!! You don’t see your closet churn for what it is. Constnat getting rid of clothing and buying more. I know I made you mad mast time but I’m trying to really help!!!!

        1. Maggie says:

          Hi Natalie, Could you share how you shop for and maintain your wardrobe? Suggestions could be more informative than criticism – in my opinion.

        2. NATALIE K says:


  8. Catherine says:

    Debbie, thank you for focusing much of your blog these days to areas that relate to minimalism. As you know, the Minimalists podcast and 17 rules has changed my life. I do love fashion so I’ll probably never fully embrace their guidelines but your thoughts about black tops made my consider my own preferences and tendencies. This recent trend of the ruched (top) babydoll dresses drew me in: they are slimming as heck and seem to take at least 10 pounds off me. I bought four dresses with it since November. I realized, though, these will be out of style probably within a year or two and I”m disappointed that I overindulged. So, before they’re completely out of style, I’m taking two to a consignment shop. I will say this…I adopted (albeit) a revised Minimalists guideline and am doing one purchase in and three out (their guideline is 10 out!) It’s been hard but I’ve been successful since February! This is a long way of saying, use the Marie Kondo rule, if it brings you joy to wear, keep it. If not, it’s to Goodwill or Charity Guild!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I love The Minimalists, too, Catherine! As they often say, minimalism isn’t about having a certain number of items. It’s about owning only items that serve a purpose or give us joy. It isn’t always easy to determine what fits these criteria, but if we keep asking ourselves questions and looking within, we make progress. I know it can be tempting to “stock up” on trends that we like and/or that are flattering on us (why do you think I have so many black tops?!), but the fact that you’re noticing that you went a bit overboard will likely help you to stop earlier next time. Good idea to take two of the babydoll tops to a consignment shop, and good for you for modifying The Minimalists in/out guideline to something that works better for you. Congrats on sticking with “one in, three out” since February – that’s a great accomplishment! It sounds like you’re doing very well. I’m glad you enjoyed this post and my other ones that center about minimalism themes.

  9. Maggie says:

    Hi Debbie, I wondered if you had seen the article about the new clothing brand “Aday” on the CNN website under “Check this out” section at the bottom.
    (It is kind of a cross between Eileen Fisher and Athleta.)


    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing about this new brand, Maggie. A cross between Eileen Fisher and Athleta sounds like it’s right up my alley. I just did a quick perusal of their site and I see some interesting options there. Sadly, no tall sizing, but it’s a new brand, so maybe they will offer petites and talls down the line.

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