First a picture that captures pretty much what I wore every day while in Spain:
My sunglasses are Cheap Monday, the scarf and t-shirt are Zara, the pants are American Apparel, and the shoes are Born. While it was definitely interesting living out of a suitcase, it's great to now be back home with all my clothes.
It was only a short reunion, because immediately after getting back to Portland, I had to start packing for college (making choices about which shoes to bring to college while jet lagged is NOT a good idea). While the packing was surprisingly painless (that's not saying that I'm the most organized packer), I quickly grew stressed-out over the sheer amount of stuff I have.
Despite packing three huge bags of clothes and shoes, there was still so much left in my closet. I wasn't necessarily stressed about having more clothes than I could bring (a major wardrobe change is only a two hour drive away), it was the fact that I was still bringing so much to school.
I was watching an episode of the "O.C." recently when Summer realizes that she can't bring her whole wardrobe backpacking through Italy on a romantic trip with her boyfriend. She then realizes that he isn't right for her (duh) and that she is still in love with Seth (duh).
Summer's privilege in this episode hit me straight home. I have been able to collect a pretty huge closet (partially because I spent a whole year working in a clothing store). This has lead to me having somewhat of a love hate relationship with my clothes. On one hand they provide comfort and safety. I know this sounds cheesy, but I really only feel comfortable when I'm wearing something I love.
At the same time, my closet weighs me down. It controls my ability to live in a way that is simple and minimalistic. I'm both proud and ashamed by the shoes that spill out all over the floor and the fact that I will never have enough hangers.
I always hear fashion lovers of an older crowd praise a wardrobe that focuses on a few, upscale basics compared to an overwhelming mix of the obscure. This is advice that used to seem silly to me. Now, though, I've begun to take this advice to heart. I've realized I don't need something just because its cheap.
My favorite buys are now always things that I obsess over, and then save up to actually have the money to buy it. Does that mean I still won't snatch up a faux-fur, multi-colored, $10 vintage coat? No. But it's one of the things that now sits in my closet as many of my more "boring" pieces make the cut to come to college with me.
I don't know where my closet will take me. Maybe one day it will be half the size it is now, but I will have spent more than my current average of $15 on everything in it. I know, though, that it will never be simple.