I’ve spent a lot of time this summer watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I don’t know why but for some reason I got the urge to start on the very first episode and work my way through. I’ve made it to season 8 where Kim is pregnant with little North. Because I’ve dedicated so many hours of my life to watching the family and their transition from typical Hollywood princesses with little true class and/or knowledge of actual runway fashion to fashion industry fixtures, I’ve been paying more attention to Kim in the episodes and her style. What she wears chronicles her place in the world. As soon as she met Kanye West, she became a real star in the fashion sense. Out with the old, tacky outfits and in came Kanye’s high fashion makeover. That’s not to say all of the looks work for her, but it is an improvement on her old style, even though it doesn’t seem entirely true to her character. Of course, 2013 Kim Kardashian is a very different person than the 2017 edition – stylistically and characteristically. What struck me the hardest was when, in one season 7 episode, Kanye brought in his stylist Renelou Padora to clean out Kim’s closet. They were ruthless, going through all of Kim’s possessions and leaving her with very little (according to the show anyway). Rows of shoes lined up her hallways and piles and piles of clothes were donated to charity. In comes Kanye with racks of designer clothing in various shades of neutrals. This marks the new era for Kim. Of course, it wouldn’t be KUWTK without a little drama so Khloe comes round and gets upset by what Kim is getting rid of, taking it as an insult to her style as she has so many similar items too. Looking back at this episode in 2017, it’s funny because all of the sisters dress so differently now and have definitely had the Kanye West makeover. Kim’s submissiveness throughout the closet ravaging was strange to me. She allowed herself to be completely changed by Kanye. She was like his little Barbie doll to play dress-up with, a new project. In losing her typical mid-2000s Hollywood style, she lost a bit of herself.
Clearing out your closet doesn’t have to herald a change of identity for a person though. I find myself scouring through my belongings on a trimonthly basis. During my clear-outs I tend to get rid of anything that I haven’t worn for a while or that doesn’t fit me any longer. I think doing the process continuously and gradually means you won’t wake up one morning and start with a whole new wardrobe. You can introduce new styles without it seeming so dramatic and you can phase out things you no longer like without feeling like you are changing yourself.
I’ve had a couple of clear-outs over the past few months for various reasons. Firstly, I am moving so I am trying to make it that I have as little stuff as possible to take with me. I wear very similar things on a daily basis anyway so there is no point in me hanging onto items that I haven’t worn once since landing in the United States. The new rule is if it hasn’t been worn since coming here, it isn’t staying. I think that is pretty fair. I don’t think my style has changed too much in the past year besides the fact that I wear black skinny jeans on a near daily basis in the winter – something that I didn’t do before. I also don’t wear long skirts as frequently nowadays. I used to work in a corporate-style office where pencil skirts were the norm. Now that I’m working in a fashion office the dress code is nowhere near as strict and I fortunately can dress in a way that feels more true to me. Besides work, I’m a college student which means I have had to force myself to dress more casual. Whilst you will never catch me in leggings or sweatpants outside of the house, mini-skirts and slip dresses are back in my regular rotation.
I have started to think of inventive ways to get rid of my things. I have listed a few items on Depop – @evegardiner – but have ended up doing more buying than selling. I have donated some stuff to Goodwill. I have sold things at Buffalo Exchange (although not a lot because their buyers tend to be kind of rude) and Beacon’s Closet (which is my favorite because their staff are great and they give you fair prices for your items). Finally, I sent a bag to Thred-Up. Basically, with Thred-Up they send you a huge postage paid bag for you to fill with clothes and you mail it back to them. Anything that they can sell, they will list on their website and you will get a percentage of the sale price. Anything that is not in sellable condition will be recycled for you. It makes clearing out so easy and gives you the chance to earn a little cash on top of it all. The only downside to this service is the processing time. I sent my items back in mid-July and received an email saying that they wouldn’t get to going through my bag until August 8th. I waited until August 28th before I got any word from them and the payout was rather tiny, but I’m I’m just happy that my unwanted items aren’t in my apartment anymore. I’d say that Thred-Up is a great service because it is totally hassle free, but if you want to make cash quickly I’d gravitate towards Beacon’s Closet or a similar store where you can get money same-day.
As I have been clearing out, I’ve found myself adding more things to my closet too. I have been a sucker for a good sale recently and have topped up my wardrobe with some summer pieces. This is my first real summer in the city and I didn’t realize how underprepared I was for the heat. I quickly realized that my regular summer attire wouldn’t cut it in 30 degree celsius temperatures. Going forward into the Fall season, I already have a rough idea of a few pieces I’d like to pick up. I want a new black overcoat, quite a masculine style perhaps with some military inspired trims. I’d also like some flat black leather boots with lots of buckles. Topshop already have a great pair but they’re eye-wateringly expensive in USD. Finally, I’m looking for a really cool hat. I can see a great look already so I’m trying to figure out how to execute it. It’s likely that I have until at least October until the temperatures drop low enough to try it out. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the summer heat and the newfound style it has afforded me.