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Discussion Starter #1
I am starting to think that the notion of "separates" is what destroys the modern wardrobe, closet, and morning.<br><br>
To wit: I have started dressing DD only in outfits. In other words, even if her flowered onesie would go with different pants or whatever, it doesn't matter because she *only* wears it with the red sweatsuit. Rather than having shirt drawer, pants drawer, etc, I have started putting her clothes away in outfit form- right down to the socks. (But not including jackets and shoes, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> .) It is awesome! Such a streamlined process.<br><br>
This works so well that I'm starting to do it to my clothes, which has been a longer, more difficult process, admittedly (partially due to my weight in flux). But the thing is, there is no more thinking "Hmm, what to wear... I could wear this top with those jeans, but they're in the dryer... dum dum dee dee..."<br><br>
I know the conventional wisdom on this topic is different- more like everything in your closet should go with everything else in your closet. And I guess this works if you are Johnny Cash or Ian Malcolm. But for us out in the real world, who want to look reasonably stylish and presentable and <i>different</i> from day to day, I think this is preferable.<br><br>
I know that the idea is that this is more expensive, but I'm not sure that's the case. If I buy my clothes at Vinnie's or the consignment shop, I think the cost difference is marginal. Not only that, let's say I have ten casual outfits- complete outfits, from tank top to socks, each one all on it's own hanger. That doesn't take up much room in my closet, and since I feel good in each outfit, I'm not compelled to go looking for more clothes, since you always "need another top to be worn with jeans", yk?<br><br>
I think clothes shopping is as much emotional as anything, especially for women, and if you are in charge of your closet, you'll be less likely to crave new stuff.<br><br>
I think this would even work in the professional world. Lets say you had to have 20 suits. It sounds like a lot, sure, but if you knew you were looking for suits only, you could keep your eyes peeled at consignment shops, for good sales, and on eBay. Then once you got all your suits, it would be easier to buy blouses for all of them and a smaller stable of shoes. And that would be so many work outfits! You wouldn't wear the same thing for a month of work days.<br><br>
Am I nuts? Am I doomed to go broke thinking in "complete outfits only" terms? Or am I onto something, realizing that if that T-shirt doesn't have a bottom mate, it should go?
 

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I put away my DD's clothes by outfits too. It is so much easier that way. Then if I want her to wear a white onesie under it, its already there.<br><br>
I should do it for my clothes too. I like a lot of blue shirts, but some match these jeans and some match others. You know, like the blues clash or something when paired with the wrong jeans. Or if I need a cream colored tank top with an outfit, then I don't have to go search through the laundry to wash it real quick! This system would be ideal, except for I wear my jeans for more than one day, but not shirts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But couldn't you hang the one pair of jeans with two shirts that match them up on a single hanger? I do this, too, so now I'm bouncing ideas off you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leta</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7917216"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But couldn't you hang the one pair of jeans with two shirts that match them up on a single hanger? I do this, too, so now I'm bouncing ideas off you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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I actually do this with dd's outfits, because she always needs a shirt change about midday, but her pants are usually okay. I hadn't thought about doing it for myself. I think I would have to buy a lot of clothes to be able to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, I've spent hours on this today, and so far it's gone really well. Here's what I've done so far.<br><br>
-Taken everything out, and instead of putting back by category (Tshirts, sweat pants, etc.), I've started putting stuff back as outfits. Because so much more stuff is hanging up, I've really condensed a lot of prime closet/dresser real estate.<br><br>
-Thrown a bunch of stuff away. I've been hanging on to too many holey/stained/worn things because they went so well with thing X. Well, no more! Now I have many cute, readymade outfits, so I'm less attached to the stuff that's worn out. I also have a good idea of what to look for by way of replacements.<br><br>
- Learned that I had too many socks, too many undies, too many Tshirts, not enough sports or regular bras, not enough tank tops. This system has made it REALLY easy to ascertain my needs and identify my excesses.<br><br>
-Taken pictures of items that I like but are not part of an outfit. I put these in a box in the bottom of our closet. I printed off one sheet of pictures of the "orphans" and stuck it in my wallet. Now I know what clothes I'm looking to mate up.<br><br>
Bascially, this idea has allowed me to get really organized (well, more organized than I ever have been before, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) in a pretty brief span of time. I suppose someone else who is less organizationally challenged could do this differently, but I need something that works for me.<br><br>
And, here's best part: everything is streamlined. I decided *once* what goes with my green sweater, my brown linen pants, whatever. There's no more deciding under pressure, or mulling things over day after day. It's all done. And I have a feeling it's going to be way easier to put laundry away.
 

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I really like your concept! I think this idea would save me time getting myself dressed, clear room in my closet, and help me get rid of stuff my girls don't/can't (because it doesn't match w/anything) wear.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leta</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920623"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">-Taken pictures of items that I like but are not part of an outfit. I put these in a box in the bottom of our closet. I printed off one sheet of pictures of the "orphans" and stuck it in my wallet. Now I know what clothes I'm looking to mate up.</div>
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That is a fabulous idea!<br><br>
I think I'm going to start gutting my closet this week. And then do a little shopping once I know where the "holes" are in my wardrobe.<br><br>
Jill
 

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I like your concept and will probably start doing it with the kids' clothes. Me? I mostly wear black so all my stuff goes together anyway. I have no fashion sense <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I started doing this for the boys' clothes a couple of months ago and it has made my life so much easier. I'm not sure how it would work for my clothes, or Marc's, but it works great for the kids' clothes!
 

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I've been doing this with the kids' clothes for a couple of years now. I actually got the idea from the Martha Stewart website. She suggested folding an outfit and tucking it inside the co-ordinating sweater, with the arms of the sweater pulled over and tucked into eachother to keep the closet nice and clean looking. Of course, mine aren't in QUITE the nice tidy little packages that she has on her website, but they serve their purpose well.<br><br>
The only snag I've come across is when people buy clothing for them as gifts. A single t-shirt, for example. Sometimes I take that opportunity to replace one of the t-shirts that has a small stain, or is getting a bit snug. But more often than not, it goes into its own little cubby in the closet - an orphan among the neat little outfits. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
For my own clothing, I've downsized my wardrobe so much that I'd really only be able to create 5 or 6 "outfits." What I do instead is organize the clothing by color, so that it's easy to grab a co-ordinating outfit in the morning. And I can mix up the outfits a bit so that people at work don't think I only have 2 or 3 things to wear. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I used to have all of my clothes organized by outfit. If there were multiples of a shirt to go with some pants, I just hung both shirts by the pants, same goes if there were multiple pants or skirts to go with one shirt. Nowadays, however, I mostly wear jean shorts or jeans and tops, so it would be pretty silly to organize it that way.<br><br>
However, I still have a few dressy clothes, and I do need to go through and make sure I have something to match each one.<br><br>
I think it's probably too late to do this with DD's stuff. She has the whole "matching" concept down, and would be disappointed to not be able to play at matching something to the shorts or shirt she picked out for the day.
 

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This is really interesting. I wear jeans most of the time (skirts and capris in summer), but if I actually pair them with something so I don't have to think, well that might be really cool.<br><br>
I think it's about time to purge the closet again. My t-shirt drawers is overflowing and I don't wear half of what's in there.
 

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Don't the shirts get dirty faster than the pants and underwear faster than either? At least, my shirts need washing a lot more frequently than my pants.<br><br>
Mind you, I also only do one load of laundry a week, since I don't bother sorting (I'll start sorting again when I've got a child in diapers.)
 

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I used to do this with dd's clothes and should probably get back to it. I find that the kids usually make a mess of themselves so the whole outfit needs to be washed after each wearing. (maybe my kids are just really messy?)<br><br>
For me and dh I find that we can wear the same pants several times before washing but the shirts tend to get dirty faster. We both tend to have pretty basic bottoms that will go with most of our tops and we have fewer bottoms then tops.
 

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I have a friend who's dd was having huge anxiety over what to wear each morning. She started packing up complete outfits in individual gallon zip-loc bags right down to the socks and hair ribbons and it made the world of difference for their mornings. Now, it does take some time but it also took lots of time dealing with a freaked out 5yo each morning. The packing up time is much less stressful.
 

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I do this for the girls. I need to gut my closet, but I am in desperate need of clothes, I couldnt do it with my clothes. I have 2 pairs of jeans that are slightly too big, 2 pairs of jeans that are slightly too small, and about 6-7 shirts that I wear. I love the idea of carrying pictures of the orphan clothes when shopping though! This would be very useful when thrifting for the girls clothes. I often buy a shirt for them just because its a good brand, or I think it would be easy to match up with something, and then it pretty much just takes up space among the perfectly matched outfits.
 

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I just had to post to say how cool it is that someone used the phrase "to wit" in a post! I love it!<br><br>
As for my wardrobe, I've gone the other route. Almost everything is black, white or pink. Saves time and effort getting ready for work. Day wear is denim and earth tones, again so everything matches. It's like Garanimals but better.<br><br>
What a great idea, though! I did it with my DC when they were small but somehow got away from it. I may do it again, at least for DS. He's just starting to try and dress himself and this may be the thing to put him over the edge.
 

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Bringin' this thread back because it works so well with my DDs clothes. It helped me see how much she had. I separate the drawers by shorts outfits (and play dresses), jeans outfits, and capris outfits. Then, depending on the weather I pick from the appropriate drawer.<br><br>
It also helped me find matches at garage sales. I knew she needed more white shirts to go with patterned shorts or pants. I focused on that instead of just buying stuff because it was cute.<br><br>
Now I just need to get rid of the stuff that has no match.<br><br>
So much easier!! Plus it will be easy for Daddy to dress DD.<br><br>
FWIW, I am getting closer to doing this to my wardrobe as well. I was able to find some really cute capris on ebay, so now I have more than 2 pairs of pants.
 

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I usually hang DD's clothes up in a bunch of outfits. Then when I'm almost out of outfits, I pull things out and make up more, often not the same things. So I mix and match them, but only every week or two. If I notice an item not getting put into the outfits, and DD not pulling it out because she likes it, it goes away.
 

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I guess my family is too messy for this. My toddler can go through up to 4 shirts a day and only one pair of pants. My 5 yr old easily kills one pair of pants every 2 weeks. Meanwhile I live in Jeans and will wear the same jeans 2-3 days and a different top per day. I can totally see this working if I had a job outside the home. And I do keep the "dress outfits" together and up out of the kids reach.
 
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