What We Learned From the #WearYourCloset Challenge

April 11, 2018

We created the #WearYourCloset challenge to force ourselves to take a look at the pieces in our closets that we’re not quite willing to part with, but still never wear.

We decided to take at least 7 pieces of clothing (one for each day of the week) and challenge ourselves to create an outfit that we truly love and will wear.

The best part? If we couldn’t find a way to wear it that makes us happy, it goes. You either declutter your closet, or you find a piece of clothing you love to wear again. Over 400 people joined us on the first #WearYourCloset challenge in early 2018.

Below are three accounts, from three different women inside Encircled, on their experience with the #WearYourCloset Challenge.

What’s the current state of your closet

Kristi: Pretty minimalist. I tend to stick to a fairly neutral palette, and have gone through many closet ‘cleanses’ (thanks to working at Encircled, and testing our minimalist wardrobe workbook several times!). I do still have a handful of pieces I know I’m not wearing, and honestly, feel really bad about!


What were the 7 items you challenged yourself to wear?

  1. A Heathered Oatmeal Wool Cashmere Sweater
  2. A Black Striped high-low split hem top
  3. Boyfriend Jeans (ripped)
  4. A plaid button up shirt
  5. A layered sweater with back cut out
  6. A Black sequinned blazer
  7. A sequinned Blue Jays tee

 

Which outfit did you find difficult and which outfit did you love?

Kristi: I found the Sequined blazer the most difficult to style, especially for daytime. It didn’t feel like my style - too dressy. And even on a night out, it felt like it wasn’t me.

The outfit I loved was my VINCE heathered oatmeal sweater! I layered with our Light Heathered Grey Nomadic V-Neck, and loved the combo. Layering helped it feel not as short (it’s a hi-lo top too), and neutralized the yellow tones in the sweater.

 

What were your thoughts and expectations before starting the challenge?

Kristi: Before I started the challenge, I was worried firstly, that I’d remember to put together the outfits, but I found the emails at night helpful to remind me that the challenge was on! Second, I was worried that I’d give away everything at the end of it, and not find any gems - I was wrong.

 

What did you learn about yourself through the process?

Kristi: I learned that I wear leggings way too much to work! Many of the tops I had in the 7 pieces, look perfectly fine when styled with ‘real pants’. Also, I did learn that even though I like flowy tops, that I don’t love ‘breezy’ tops. There’s a difference! I also learned that sometimes we have perceptions of what looks good on us. Seeing a few of the pieces on camera, I saw them in a new light and actually started to like them again. Others, not so much!

 

Do you have any advice for someone doing the #WearYourCloset challenge?

Kristi: Yes, definitely do the challenge! If you missed the challenge with us, we’ll run another one in summer to reignite your closet. It’s a great way to make yourself take action and streamline your closet.

Don’t be hard on yourself during the challenge. And take some time to pre-plan your outfits. If you’re not a stylista (and I’m not), you’ll find the pre-planning helpful to bring new life to an item you’re not wearing that often.

 

What’s the current state of your closet?

Nina: I’ve been pretty active in trying to clean out my closet this year. It’s been easier to get rid of winter items since I could tell what I was and wasn’t wearing anymore. So, currently I have lots of key winter items that I love, and a big rack of spring and summer items that I’m not quite sure about. Hopefully, as the weather gets warmer that will change.


What were the 7 items you challenged yourself to wear?

  1. A light blue silk dress
  2. A striped boyfriend cut button down
  3. A light pink silk blouse
  4. Brown winter boots
  5. A gauzy sleeveless button down
  6. Blue denim overalls
  7. A pair of grey paper bag pants

I loved the idea of all of these items but they never made it into my weekly rotation of clothing. I figured this was a good opportunity to see if I really loved them as much as I thought I did!

 

Which outfit did you find difficult and which outfit did you love?

Nina: I found it was tough to make the light blue dress to work at first. It feels a little dressy for our workplace, and with the cold spring, we are having it was too light. I ended up using it as a long layering piece under a sweater. I was really surprised how much I liked it! I wore this with the brown boots, which looked cute and were warm, but unfortunately were very uncomfortable. I have had them for a couple of years and I still can’t wear them longer than a couple of hours, even after I broke them in wandering downtown Quebec city in them. This challenge encouraged me to finally let them go. Comfort over cuteness is definitely key.

My favourite outfit featured my grey paper bag pants. I have had them for years and used to wear them a lot, they are very fashionable looking. They are a little short for winter, but I paired them with ankle boots and a white t-shirt which was a great combination for spring. I felt like the pants made my outfit look cool and trendy, but I felt really comfortable in the t-shirt and boots that I wear all the time.

 

What were your thoughts and expectations before starting the challenge?

Nina: I really expected to end up donating most of these items. I was surprised at how much I liked them with a little bit of creativity, and now I have what feels like brand new clothes to wear in my weekly rotations!

 

What did you learn about yourself through the process?

Nina: I learned that I tend to stick to a “uniform”, something I was completely unaware of before. Now when I feel like I have nothing to wear, I might take a second and wonder if maybe I just need to get a little more creative.

 

Do you have any advice for someone doing the #WearYourCloset challenge?

Nina: I would say don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with the clothing currently in your closet and mix those items with things you are comfortable in. Items that I was worried were going to look ridiculous actually ended up being really cute with some of my closet staples, and I received a lot of compliments. It was a good confidence booster!

What’s the current state of your closet?

Ashley: Currently, my closet is still packed, but this challenge inspired me to continue to try items I haven’t worn in a while and figure out what I do and don’t need to hold onto. After completing this challenge I have decided to donate all of my items, except for the dress. I also cleared out more items from my drawers, and plan to reevaluate my closet this weekend! I know there will be more to donate. It feels good to let go of items and declutter.



What were the 7 items you challenged yourself to wear?

  1. A patterned dress
  2. Mom jeans
  3. A camo print t-shirt
  4. A graphic tee featuring a giant cat
  5. A race car inspired long sleeve crop top
  6. A long lace vest
  7. A floral blazer

     

    Which outfit did you find difficult and which outfit did you love?

    Ashley: I found the race car crop top to be the most challenging. It was shorter than I thought, and something I would typically never wear. I only had it because I got it for free when working a sample sale last year. I had never worn it before, but couldn’t let it go for some reason. This challenge taught me that I HATE it and it needs to GO!

    The green patterned dress was my favourite thing to wear, and the easiest for me to style. It was comfortable, warm (because we’re still experiencing winter here in Toronto), and I love wearing green!

     

    What were your thoughts and expectations before starting the challenge?

    Ashley: I was under the impression that the challenge would be easy. I figured I was holding onto these items because I loved them and that they worked for me when I bought them, so they should still look great. This wasn’t the case. I came to the conclusion that if you stop wearing something, there’s a reason for it, and you shouldn’t hold onto that item.

     

    What did you learn about yourself through the process?

    Ashley: I learned that I need to let go of items more, and not be so attached. I have a lot of clothing that I don’t wear, and all it does is take up room in my drawers and closet, collect dust, and make me feel disorganized.

     

    Do you have any advice for someone doing the #WearYourCloset challenge?

    Ashley: I definitely recommend trying the challenge. It’s a great way to reassess your style and understand that what worked on your body before, doesn’t necessarily work now. Why hold onto things that you’ll never wear again? The challenge is a great way to declutter and let go of the past a bit.

    Take your time working through your wardrobe and really question why it is you’re keeping certain pieces. If you can’t think of a good reason, wear the piece for the day, then you’ll be able to tell whether it’s necessary to keep or donate.

     

    If you completed the challenge, or you’re just on a mission to do more with less, check out our Fashion Lifecycle page for resources on how to responsibly recycle your old textiles.

     

    All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images. 

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    Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

     





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    Encircled Size Charts
    Please scroll down to find the size chart for each design. If you have any questions on sizing, please try out our online size recommender or click here to contact us with questions prior to ordering. Size charts are in alphabetical order based on design name.
    If you're on our product page viewing the size chart, click anywhere outside of the pop-up (or on the X in the top right corner) to close the size charts, or click here to surf back to our main collection page.

    The Chrysalis Cardi

    Size
    Garment Length (Laid Flat) Garment Width (Laid Flat) Bust 
    (inches)
    Waist 
    (inches)
    Hip 
    (inches)
    Height 

    Regular

    (xs - xxl)

    38" 39.5" 32"-41" 25"-34" 35"-44" 5'2"-6'0"

    Petite

    (xxs - m)

    35" 34.5" 27"-35" 23"-28" 30"-38" <5'4"

    Maxi

    (xl - xxxl)

    43" 41.5" 41"-52" 33"-45" 44"-56" <6'0"

    Fit Advice: The Regular Chrysalis Cardi is a one size fits most garment ranging from sizes XS-XXL or 2-14. It can be easily belted in multiple ways, however the Regular is not recommended for petite or shorter woman due to the volume of fabric - See Petite Cardi. The Regular is also not recommended for curvier/taller women due to fabric pulling around the bust or bottom - See Maxi Cardi.

    We recommend watching the how-to wear videos to see how much fabric drape and length you would like in your finished garment. If you are in between sizes, it is best to size up and the garment can always be tailored shorter to better suit your look - you cannot add more fabric, unfortunately!

    The Petite is best suited for women 5'4" and under with a smaller frame, although it will also work on women above this height (depending on preferred length when styled). 

    The Maxi is best suited for all women under 6’0” with a curvier shape to eliminate any uncomfortable fabric pulling, although it will also work on women who are a bit less curvy (depending on preferred length when styled).

    *If you have any questions on sizing, please contact us - Remember it is best to provide us with your height and size range of garments that you already own! 

     

    The Dressy Sweatpant

    WHEN WORN AT NATURAL WAIST

    Worn higher up to sit at your natural waist - straight leg tapers from the hip to ankle opening.

    Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) XXL (18-20)
    Waist (inches)
    23" - 25"
    25" - 28"
    28" - 32"
    32" - 34"
    34" - 37"
    37-39"
    Hip (inches)
    32" - 34"
    35" - 38"
    38" - 41"
    41" - 44"
    44" - 47"
    47-50"
    Inseam (inches) 26.5"

    Fit Advice: We recommend staying with your usual size if you are in-between sizes. The cut on The Dressy Sweatpants is more generous and the fit is meant to be drapey and slightly loose. 

     

    The Essential Long Sleeve Top + The Essential Short Sleeve Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14-16 (XXL)
    Bust 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 33 - 36" 36 - 39" 39 - 42"
    42 - 45"
    Waist 23 - 25" 25 - 27" 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 34 - 36"
    36 - 38"
    Hips 30 - 32" 33 - 36" 36 - 38" 38 - 41" 41 - 44"
    44 - 47"
    Front Length / Back Length 24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"

    Fit Advice: The Essential Long Sleeve Top fits a bit larger than our usual tees. We suggest to order true to your normal size, however since the styling is more flowy than our other Encircled tees, it is suggested to size down if you prefer a tighter look. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Evolve Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS)
    4-6 (S)
    8-10 (M)
    12-14 (L)
    16-18 (XL)
    20 (XXL)
    Bust
    30.5-32.5"
    33.5-35.5"
    36.5-38.5"
    39.5-41.5"
    42.5-44"
    45-47"
    Waist
    25-26"
    27-29"
    30-31"
    32-34"
    35-37"
    38-40"
    Hips
    33-36"
    37-39"
    40-42"
    43-45"
    46-48"
    49-52"
    Fit Advice: The fit of The Evolve top is drapey but tapers towards the hip and tends to fit large. We recommend for you to size down from your normal size if you are unsure. The fabric on The Evolve top has a natural stretch that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

    The Flipside Legging 

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
    Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
    Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
    Inseam 28" 28"
    28"
    28"
    28"

    Fit Advice: We recommend sizing up if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The modal fabric on The Flipside Leggings is not as 'taut' as synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you prefer a snugger fit in the waist area for your leggings, size down. The Flipside Leggings are pre-shrunk. 

     

     The Minimalist Legging + The Minimalist Crop Legging

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
    Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
    Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
    Inseam

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The bamboo fabric on The Minimalist Leggings is tighter than the Flipside Leggings. The Minimalist Leggings are pre-shrunk.

     

    The Nomadic V-Neck

    Size
    XS (0-2) S (4-6) M (8-10)  L (12-14)  XL (16-18 XXL (20) 
    Bust 30-32 33-35 36-38 39-41 42-44
    45-47
    Waist 22-24 25-27 28-30 31-33 34-36
    37-39
    Hips 34-36 37-39 40-42 43-45 46-48
    49-51

    Fit Advice: The Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Retrograde Kimono Dress

    Size
    XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) 
    Bust (Inches)
    28 - 32.5"
    33" - 35.5"
    36 - 38.5"
    39 - 41.5"
    42 - 49"
    Hip (Inches)
    33" - 36"
    37" - 39"
    40" - 42"
    43" - 45"
    46" - 50"
    Length (Inches)
    At longest, 33"
    At longest, 34"
    At longest, 35"
    At longest, 36"
    At longest, 37"

    Fit Advice: The Retrograde Kimono Dress is our most "oversized" piece in the collection. We suggest to order true to your normal size to get the intended look. If you prefer a slimmer or tighter look, we suggest choosing a size down than your usual Encircled size.

     

    The Reversible Pencil Skirt

    Size
    XS (0-2)
    S (2-4)
    M (6-8)
    L (10-12)
    XL (14-16)

    Waist (inches)

    23" - 26"
    26" - 29"
    29" - 32"
    32" - 34"
    35" - 37"

    Hip (inches)

    32" - 34"
    35" - 38"
    38" - 41"
    41" - 44"
    45" - 47"

    Length Total (inches)

    20"
    21"
    22"
    23"
    24"

    Fit Advice: The Reversible Pencil Skirt fits true to size, but it's suggested to size up if you fall between sizes. The pencil skirt offers a smooth silhouette that slightly tapers from waist to hips and down through to the hem, hitting just at knee length. A pencil skirt should smoothly skim your curves, so to get a perfect fit, first identify your largest measurement then choose the size offering that range while still allowing for some stretch. The fabric on The Reversible Pencil skirt has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

     

    The Revolve Dress II + The Sleeveless Revolve Dress

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL) 20 (XXL)
    Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44" 45-47"
    Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37" 38-40"
    Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48" 49-52"
    Length (in inches) At longest, 34.5" adjustable At longest, 35.35" adjustable At longest, 36" adjustable  At longest, 36.75" adjustable At longest, 37.5" adjustable At longest, 38.25" adjustable

    Fit Advice: The Revolve Dress is designed to fit drapey that tapers towards the hip. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. If your hip measurements are above the guide, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. The fabric on The Revolve Dress has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

     

    The Wanderer Sleeveless T 

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
    Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
    42.5 - 44.5"
    Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
    35-37"
    Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
    45-47"
    Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
    28"

    Fit Advice: The Wanderer Sleeveless T fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Reversible Bandeau Bra  

    Size
    (XS/S) (M/L) (XL)
    Bust 30 - 33" 34 - 37" 38-41"

    Fit Advice: The Reversible Bandeau Bra fits true to size and the wide elastic band provides light to medium support. To ensure proper fit, measure your bust and check our size guide.

    The Everyday Twist Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL)
    Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44"
    Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37"
    Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48"
    Back Length (in inches) 24.5" 25" 25.5" 26" 26.5"

    Fit Advice: The Everyday Twist Top is designed to fit drapey. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. The fabric on The Everyday Twist Top has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

     

    The Men's Nomadic V-Neck  

    Size
    S M L XL XXL
    Chest 36-38" 38-40" 40-42" 42-44" 44-46"
    Back Length 27" 27.5" 28" 28.75" 29.5"
    Fit Advice: The Men’s Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. It features a straight fit, being more fitted in the shoulders and looser towards the waist. The fabric is 4-way stretch and it will fit within ~1-2" of the measurements. If you prefer a more relaxed fit, size up.

    The Minimalist Leggings II

    Size
    XS (0-2) S (4-6) M (8-10)  L (12-14)  XL (16-18)  XXL (20) 
    Bust 30-32 33-35 36-38 39-41 42-44
    45-47
    Waist 22-24 25-27 28-30 31-33 35-36
    37-39
    Hips 34-36 37-39 40-42 43-45 46-48
    49-51

    Fit Advice:  The Minimalist Legging II fits true to size. We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. 

    The Dressy Sweatshirt

    Size
    XS-S (0-6) M-L (8-14) XL (16-28)
    Bust 30-35 36-41 42-44
    Waist 22-27 28-33 34-36
    Hips 34-39 40-45 46-48

    Fit Advice:  The Dressy Sweatshirt fits loose throughout the body and arms, but snug at the wrist and hip bands. We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements.