• Annie Hutchings

From Shopaholic to Capsule Closet

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

I've always had a thing for clothes. Growing up, my Dad loved to take me shopping. He has expensive taste and loved buying me dresses. In fact some of my best memories are when he would always make a big deal about how beautiful I looked when I would get dolled up. He had an amazing appreciation for shoes, accessories and looking your best. My Mother, on the other hand, has an incredible gift for letting me be myself. Throughout my childhood I mixed and matched every strange combination of clothing you can imagine, rarely brushed my hair, 😂 and when I started wearing makeup in middle school, well lets just say I could have gone toe to toe with Krusty the Clown 🤡 .

Me age 5 with my Dad

Through each stage, however, I was never questioned, and so in turn, I never questioned myself. I was allowed this odd combination of absolute appreciation of pretty things and the freedom to wear them however felt awesome to me that day. I learned everything I know about style by just being myself. I grew up feeling confident and trusting my decisions, a gift I am so very grateful for to this day.

age 19 right before starting hair school

Throughout my teenage years my appreciation for clothing became a bit of an obsession. When I was hating life or being particularly dramatic (as teenagers do) I would turn to clothing. THAT I could control, and clothing made me feel better about myself, momentarily anyway. I spent every last penny I had and lots of my parents pennies on new clothing as often as I could make it happen. My Mom and Dad once counted over 100 pairs of jeans in my closet when I was in highschool 🙈😂. I even created a schedule each month to ensure I didn't wear the same thing twice, which wasn't hard to do considering the enormity of my selection.

After highschool, I decided, with the support of my Mom, to start cosmetology school. She sat me down to give me some advice: "Annie, I am so excited for you to start hair school and I know you'll be great at it, but I also want to remind you that everything you will be learning about, talking about and doing revolves around the way you look. You know thats not the most important thing and so I'm wondering if Will you promised me that you will try to do one kind thing for someone else everyday?" Bless my Mother for helping me stay grounded. I have never forgotten that conversation and still try to live up that promise as best I can.

Steve and I newlyweds

I married Steve after Graduation a few months before my 22nd Birthday. I landed a job working as a makeup artist at the MAC counter. I learned so much at that job. This was, of course, before the days of YouTube which has allowed everyone and their dog to contour and highlight like pros! 🙌🏼 I basically felt like a celebrity, at that job. I freaking loved it. I worked at the counter inside Nordstrom, so it was pretty much heaven for a shopaholic like myself. After my first baby was born, I stayed home with him and worked from my in home salon when he napped. We shopped a lot too, in case you were wondering 🙈 and Steve once showed me how much I spent on clothing in one year after he worked on taxes and lets just say it was disturbing 😳.

About 4 years ago I started to get really interested in personal development. I read (and still read) as many self help books as I could get my hands on. A really beautiful healing process started for me at that time. I really wanted to become the best possible version of myself so I began getting up early, writing in my journal again, saying affirmations, meditating, and using a vision board. I learned that everything in my outer world is subject to the state of my inner world and so my outer world began to change naturally because of all the work I was doing on the inside. Things that needed healing began to surface though this

process, one of which was my use of shopping to numb or distract from negative feelings. I attempted and completed a 100 day fast from buying anything I didn't need. It sucked. 🤣 It was basically like going on a crash diet. I binged like crazy when those 100 days were up. No lasting change.

I feel like I need to clarify: I don't believe clothes are evil. Good Heavens, NO! I still love clothing and getting dolled up and looking my best. I don't think people with a lot of clothing are bad people or that they need an intervention, but I KNOW that when we use something to numb ourselves or escape reality it's actually preventing us from living our happiest lives. When we are numb, were not just numbing pain, but joy as well. After the shopping fast, I started to become aware of some triggers I had around my self worth and the way I looked. When we become triggered by something (aka upset by it) its because of something unhealed within us. I started journaling every time I felt triggered about my self worth or my looks. Journaling is so dang amazing, but thats a post for another time. The short version is that I discovered much of my self worth was coming from the way I looked, which was upsetting to me because I knew as my Mom had said "its not the most important thing" but I had a deep belief system that in order to be worthy or of worth I needed to look a certain way. I made this discovery and filed it away under "let's keep working on that".

A few months later I was reading scriptures with my family. We came to a verse about all the worldly women with their costly apparel and their crisping pins and their tinkling ankles. It's a scripture I had heard many many times in my life before and hadn't given much thought to. in fact, I didn't give much thought to it that morning either, but the weirdest thing happened. The word "Crisping Pin" became stuck in my head for about a week. I kept giggling to myself because its kind of a funny word. Then I googled it, Its a highy ornamented handbag in case you're wondering. I mentioned it to Steve and we laughed about it, not realizing my subconscious was trying to tell me something. During this same time, I was in a bit of a rut with my clothes. You know when you walk into a closet FULL of clothes and yet you have nothing to wear? I was becoming frustrated when my subconcious chimed in again and I started thinking about capsule wardrobes. I honestly had no idea what a capsule wardrobe was other than I had heard a couple people mention in it passing. I became curious, looked it up on YouTube and was immediately converted. I loved the idea of a curated closet and I jumped in head first. If you want to learn more about what a capsule wardrobe is you can watch my Intro to the capsule wardrobe video here. I created my new wardrobe, sold and donated over 500 articles of clothing from my closet which paid for the 4 items I needed for the finishing touches on my new closet.

It wasn't until I sent this photo (right) to a friend that I realized that this whole experience was a final step in letting go of attaching my worth to vanity. The funny thing is, I never went into this with deep spiritual intentions. I literally just thought that a capsule wardrobe sounded cool, but truly came out the other side changed. I still love getting dolled up, and my wardrobe is anything but boring, but it's SIMPLIFIED, it's easy and it doesn't pull time, focus or money away from more important things.

( my current wardrobe)

I still firmly believe that it's important to feel beautiful, to take care of Myself and to get ready everyday, It's just way easier now. I've also noticed when I do take the time to look good, It helps me forget myself and connect with others. How many times have you lurked through the grocery store because you're not ready for the day and you don't want to run into someone you know? 😂 It really is important to feel good and look your best, but may I just suggest finding a way that makes sense for your head and for your heart?



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