William Morris, artist, poet, and leader of the arts and crafts movement of the late 1800s, once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  When I heard this quote I couldn’t help but think how well it also applied to what we wear and put in our closets.  

Shopping is overwhelming, figuring out your style can be a labyrinth of confusion, and it can often feel downright impossible to create a wardrobe that you not only love but is functional.  In times like this, it’s often helpful to uncomplicate things and go back to the basics, like having nothing in your closet that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  This simple statement is a great litmus test.

Consider how much value so many women get from the simple phrase, “Does it spark joy?”  Closets were culled, shopping became more purposeful, and women developed better relationships with their clothing by cutting through all the fashion noise by asking themselves this simple question.  Sometimes, it’s a simple phrase that forces even the most complicated into focus.

BEAUTIFUL AND USEFUL: THE GOLDEN RULE OF WARDROBE MANAGEMENT

Let’s take this approach further to help you apply it to your wardrobe. 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL? DO YOU EVEN KNOW?

It seems like a straightforward question, right?  But when it comes to fashion, this can feel like a trickier maze to navigate.  I know this because this is my job to help a client traverse it.

But is it that hard or are you overthinking it?  Nobody is asking you to figure out your style or know how to shop for the right clothes.  All that is being asked of you is to pay attention to what you consider to be beautiful.  I would imagine finding beauty in other things isn’t a challenge. When it comes to fashion, however, it’s not uncommon to overthink this. I always say I have an easier time dressing others than dressing myself because when it comes to dressing others, I don’t have the same mental filter that I have with myself.  So it’s understandable if you get caught up when it comes to clothes.  

However, again, nobody is asking you to have it all figured out, start with what you find beautiful.  Where is your attention called?  What lingers?  Even if the style of another person isn’t realistic for you, consider it.  Discovering your style starts with one simple step, taking note of what you find beautiful.

IS IT USEFUL?

Becoming aware of what you find beautiful is only one step, the next is usefulness.  A lack of consideration of usefulness is what creates disorder and chaos in a closet.  Beauty alone isn’t enough.  Beauty is what sets you in the direction your wardrobe wants to go, usefulness is what helps you decide if it belongs there.  I have called this wishful wardrobing in the past which means to put clothing in your closet for a life you wished you had rather than the one you do.  Be realistic about what useful means for you.  

Usefulness goes beyond just whether or not you will wear it but also whether already have enough in your closet that already covers this need, or as I like to call it, splitting your wears.  Even if something you are considering is useful, if the need is already covered in your closet it’s not useful.

BE IT EDITING YOUR WARDROBE OR SHOPPING THIS GOLDEN RULE APPLIES

Beauty and usefulness is a simple golden rule you can follow to manage what you put in your closet and also choose to let go.  Whether you are trying to discover your style or figuring out what to put in your closet, have nothing in your closet that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.