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Are We Hoarders?

14 models in universal standard plus size elevated essentials


Once in a while I’m forced to stop and ask myself, “Am I a hoarder?” Not in a way that requires an intervention, but when my closet begins to overflow, and new purchases are forced to share hanger-space with printed blouses I haven’t worn since the early 2000s, it’s time to re-evaluate my buying habits. 

According this Forbes article, “in 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, that figure is 30 outfits - one for every day of the month.” That’s a pretty astonishing number to consider in the context of our current consumer culture flooded with fast fashion. And while I enjoy the accessibility of fulfilling any style whim with relative ease, I end up accumulating a lot of clothing that I don’t wear.

During my annual closet purge I come across the same sweater in roughly five iterations, tees with holes in them that I’ve refused to throw out, and tops that force me to ask the age-old question, “what was I thinking?” It’s a process we’re all too familiar with, and one that leads me to consider the potentially better alternative: pared down dressing. 

The concept of a “capsule” wardrobe is simple: a collection of carefully selected items that work together to meet your style needs for a given period of time. It’s a somewhat enlightened approach to shopping, and it has numerous benefits:


You’ll be reducing the amount of unworn, low-quality, and unwanted clothing taking up space in your closet. Think of the organizational possibilities!


If you’re like me, picking out your outfit can take way too long. Getting distracted by too many choices and moods adds unnecessary time to my morning routine. Time that can be spent on more important things - like coffee. 


Whenever I get rid of clothing I always pause on the items that still have tags on them and think of all the money I could have saved if I made more considered purchases. Money to put toward dinners out, movies, travel - the list goes on, and on, and on, and on… 

I tell myself that shopping shouldn’t be a compulsive activity, but one that contributes to my style and needs. Instead of staring at clothing that either no longer fits, or that we have no more use for, donate it and make room for clothing that adds value. There are plenty of resources on the internet for how to build a capsule wardrobe, and no wrong way to try pared down dressing. At Universal Standard, we thought it would be helpful to start off with our Starter Kit

We picked eight elevated essentials from the full collection, and came up with twenty different ways to combine them. These are pieces that can stand on their own, combine seamlessly together, and even click in with your favorite existing pieces. You can pick and choose the colors you like, in the size you need, completely refreshing your wardrobe in just a few clicks.

So join me in the exercise of letting go of the old, making room for the new, and trying pared down dressing in the pursuit of style, and a smaller, more curated closet. Your closet will thank you.

20 models in skirts jeans tops and dresses by universal standard