Can you Marie-Kondo your wardrobe?


I am soon to embark (and by soon I mean in 8 months) on a year-long adventure wherein I will upend my life and reupholster it in New Zealand. Please don’t think too much about that last sentence.

As this goes to press (haha) I am in the modest stages of mental-downsizing–an oft-overlooked but, I am sure, crucial step in the shot put event that is me heaving my brain over the concept of getting rid of my possessions. (In all honesty, it’s not a sentimental hurtle as much as it is a sheer lack of motivation when it comes to physically moving these belongings from one locale to another. Also, SO MANY TRACK-AND-FIELD METAPHORS, MY MY.) I have made a list of furniture to be sold, where I will store my bouncy-as-all-get-out mattress and who I will bequeath my Under-the-Tuscan-Sun-esque teal blue desk with the mismatching drawer knobs to; in my mind that was the bulk of the work.  But this morning I woke up to my clothing wall, which is literally a full wall in my room hung with clothes (because I live in an actual wardrobe–like a small moth!) Five pairs of overalls, numerous structured velvet jackets and 2 cubic feet of various garments that make up my ‘red section’ alone told me there was still work to be done.

My real fear here comes in thinking about the dreaded ‘capsule wardrobe’: ideally a suitcase worth of go-with-everything quality pieces, fashion’s antidote to maximalism always seems too reliant on the color beige and I am not comfortable with that. Enter the Marie Kondo wardrobe experiment: I will get rid of any and all clothing articles that do not bring me joy.

  1. Yellow sequined drapey cocoon dress that was probably intended for wear at an elegant museum gala? MAKE WAY, SUITCASE-DWELLERS, V.I.P (by which of course I mean very important piece-of-clothing-all-one-word) COMIN’ THROUGH.
  2. Fluffy yeti cardigan-jacket that could never in a million years be considered utilitarian? Jump in, my love!
  3. “Staple” sweaters and thin layering tee’s in an unflattering skin tone? No joy here. Off to Goodwill.
  4. The pair of low-cut skinny jeans I bought because I felt morally obligated? Uh-uhn.
  5. Boring work button downs and their boring black skirt counterparts? Do those sound like the physical adornments of a free-spirited adventurer living in Oceania to yooou?

So even if I have to wear an oriental silk blazer and faux-fur slippers (sans underwear, they don’t bring me joy) to the Auckland equivalent of 7-Eleven, my heart will be clothed with content as I traipse around in a capsule wardrobe specific to who I am as an individual.

Stay tuned for more on this case study as it progresses, in the name of science.