Life, Love

Love through Fashion

January 11, 2016
How to love yourself through your fashion choices

Right after I came back from Hong Kong, I emptied out my closet. Beginning of the year, why not do a purge? So I began, and the conversation with myself sort of went like this:

“Oh I haven’t worn this in a year”

“- but but, I loved it so much.. sigh”

“Maybe I should keep it.”

“It’s so pretty”

“It’s just a little snug”

“I’ll still fit into it…

And the internal battle went on… but eventually I sucked it up (so to speak. heh)

Some things were easier to let go of than others, but once I got into the rhythm of it, it became easier and easier. I had a simple checklist.

  1. No longer fits.
  2. Hasn’t been worn in a year (and is not a very special occasion outfit)
  3. Makes me feel fat/awkward/’unpretty’.
  4. Isn’t my style any more
  5. Could be of better use to someone else.

It went fast, very soon I realised I had a closet full of clothes that no longer fit, made me feel terrible or were just plain ugly-to me. It was a relief to see all the bags packed up and ready to be donated. Someone was going to be happy with all those clothes (note- try to only give out clothes that are good enough to wear, not super worn out, torn or stained).

I also thought of it as some sort of radical self love, here I am committing to letting my clothes become more of an ally and not the enemy. I think if you’ve ever struggled with weight, getting dressed can be a battle ground, you love some clothes and they just don’t love you back. You keep some clothes in the hope that one day, they’ll be your size again. You might even buy some clothes as a form of motivation. Whatever floats your boat… but I choose now. So to all that  say, let it go.

Felt like a really good way to start the year and at the same time honour my body. This present body, the body I have now, not the one I had yesterday nor the one I want to have next month. Now. Getting dressed would become easier and I would be rid of all this stuff cluttering my space and by extension my life.

Also felt good to be able to do more with less, a sort of minimalism. I really didn’t shop last year, I bought 2 pairs of shoes and a handful of clothes, so I’m going to extend some of my rules to shopping, only if it ‘sparks joy’, makes you feel good, is your size and style.

p.s. On January 1st  I bought a pair of jeans that fit like a dream, from the most unexpected store- M&S!

So here is to less “stuff”, feeling good from the inside out, and showing ourselves some radical self love!

Love always,


p.s do you have any body goals (that do not involve beating yourself up about numbers on a scale) I’d love to hear them.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Ire January 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Body Goals – Strength. I want to be able to run faster, jump higher and lift heavier. Shameless plug for my coach @CapoeiraPanda – He has been very helpful.

    I really need to clean out my closet but, I’m not sure I can afford new, useful stuff now. Ah well.

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Yaaay strength and double yaay to your coach!

      Hmmm cleaning out your closet isn’t so you can bring more stuff in oh. If you genuinely dislike or have no use for something anymore, let it go, I promise you’ll make it work, think of it as a challenge of sorts, new ways to wear old things.

  • Reply Afoma January 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I love this post! I’m such a fan of minimalism especially when it relates to clothes and shoes and STUFF in general. Moving a lot has definitely taught me to keep only what I absolutely LOVE. It’s life changing. I’m pleased you’re keeping all that makes you feel good.

    And about body goals, I really want to feel healthier so I’m making better food choices and realizing how much of a difference what we eat makes. So yes, it’s about to be the feel good lifestyle over here. I’m still struggling to keep up a proper work out routine but we’ll see 🙂

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      It truly is life changing!
      Yes good fresh natural whole food is life!!
      Good luck with the work outs :*

    • Reply I Renette January 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Afoma, you are so on point. I moved quite a bit over the past few years and that turned me minimalist so fast I was shocked when I finally realised it.
      I’m happy with my weight (even with its fluctuations), but what I’m really after is better sleep and better eating. Especially better sleep, since I don’t do makeup….

  • Reply An Afrikan Butterfly January 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    “Sparks joy” <- Did you read The Magical Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo?
    I did this last year, sometime in April. It wasn't easy but I let go of a lot of stuff. About 50kg, I think, if not more.
    Here I am months after that overhaul and it seems I still have more letting go to do.
    Maybe I fear doing it will leave me with an empty closet and I can't really afford to properly shop, right now.
    It's quite a process, and I agree it can be a radical expression of, or exercise in self-love, if you let it. 🙂

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      I didn’t read it oh, I read so many excerpts and blogs about it I might as well have. Still intend to.
      You can take your time, also shop slowly, one or two basics here and there and before you know it, a working closet you love.

  • Reply An Afrikan Butterfly January 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Body goals? I want to just eat healthier, and be more active.
    Tests and stuff say I’m fine, but I really do not feel well.
    I’m not 100. At the last Naturals in The City meetup, I heard a lot about how eating better, cleaner, more organic stuff could help me feel great. Less tired, with more energy. I don’t have a plan yet, but I need to try this and see what happens.

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      I’m so with you on this,
      I truly enjoy fresh, natural and whole foods and trying to incorporate more into my diet

  • Reply Amina O S January 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Hmm body goals…be more flexible, fresher and healthier. Started 21 days of Yoga with Yogahermit for flexibility, cook meals from scratch using produce from the market (for healthier meals), and drink more water.

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Yes yes yes!! We have the same plan 🙂

  • Reply Moyin January 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I’m so happy another person is singing the praises of M&S jeans. I bought a pair last year that I absolutely adore.
    One of my favorite accounts on Instagram is doing a series on minimalism- mytinytribe is her account, I’m sure you’ll love it.
    Could not agree more on only keeping clothes that fit well, the ones that don’t fit or we’re hoping will fit at some point only serve as a reminder of insecurities.
    One thing I’ve realised lately is I comfort buy things at the Grocery store- fabric softener, toilet roll, stuff like that- not necessarily food. I wonder if there’s a place for minimalism with that as well.
    Body goals, I just want to able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      How odd is that I discovered M&S Jeans in Hong Kong? I love them!
      I will check out the account! thank you 🙂
      Hmmmm, yes I think Minimalism does fit in there, are those things immediate needs?
      I don’t think I can run for 10minutes without dying so atta girl!

      • Reply Moyin January 11, 2016 at 6:13 pm

        They’re not really immediate needs, just things I think will bring comfort at some point.
        I guess my goal this year will be to be more minimalist in that area.
        About running, I think I can do about 3 minutes at the moment, so this is a big goal.

  • Reply Rotimi January 11, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Great post! It’s also been a struggle for me to get rid of old clothes, electronics and stuff generally(thanks naija upbringing!). But I’m resolving to do better this year(minus books that is, I love the memories evoked by seeing old books).

    Fitness goals for this year are to a) Yoga at least once a week b) Meditate thrice a week c) Get back in segzy soccer shape d) Break my addiction to rice IJN lol

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you Rotimi!
      You’re so right about Naija upbringing making us ‘hoarders’ lol! I didn’t consider that angle.
      Amen to all those fitness goals, that rice addiction is the real giant.

  • Reply Deola Adebiyi January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I try and do a wardrobe cleanse every month cos my style changes from time to time. One day I’m into a skirt and the next day, I don’t like it anymore. I’m so fickle, its annoying.

    I don’t have body goals per say, I just want to maintain the weight I am at right now.

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Wow! every month, that’s crazy, I love the things I love just a little too much! lol

  • Reply Chioma January 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I have no real body goals. I don’t want to make any because I lack the will power to see them through. I’m really considering working one-on-one with a trainer for 3 months but I don’t want anyone to try and force cardio on me. Quickest way to make me carry my kaya and go. Just want to lift heavy things tbh.

    On wardrobe overhauls; sometime last year, I randomly came across Jennifer L. Scott on youtube. She talks about the 10 item wardrobe among other things. My friend graciously gifted me one of her books which acted as a catalyst for The Great Purge last year. I will hold my hand up and admit that I didn’t throw everything out. If I reeeeeeaaaaallllly liked it and it was in good nick but did not fit, I put it in my sister’s side of the wardrobe O.O She doesn’t live at home so it’s alright. LOL.

    The fall out of this is that I have to do laundry every week without fail or else I’m left with a very limited selection. I hate doing laundry. I’ve had to resist buying ALL the things, focusing instead on the gaps in my wardrobe – party/casual wear.

    Having to get over the need for a varied wardrobe is another one. You know how people get funny about re-rocking. I’ve always had a relatively small wardrobe but in the beginning, this one pass my power, I can’t lie. I got over it sharply sha. No biggie.

    All that to say, my focus this year will be transitioning my wardrobe to dresses. They are more flattering for my build.

    *ends epistle*

    • Reply Sabirah January 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      I don’t think I get completely get over my need for a varied wardrobe simply because I like colour too much then things wouldn’t go together…

      I loooooove dresses, my favourite for everything. I too have a bigggg gap in the party department, so far been winging it with trad but it won’t work for much longer.

      I love your epistles!

  • Reply Maria January 11, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Loved this post. I recently gained a lot of weight and lost some of it too, but I have held on to the clothes I had before I gained weight as if they will magically fit one day. I definitely think it’ll be a great act of self love if I got rid of some of them (or most). Like my way of saying to myself “Hello new body, I might not love you just yet but I’m comfortable with you”. Never thought of it this way. Thanks

    Also, body goals mmm I think eating mindfully is something I’d like to try. I always eat watching TV or scrolling on my phone. I think I’d like to practice just being present and eating the food in front of me when it’s there. Sorry this is such a long comment.

    • Reply Sabirah January 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      I love reading long comments so please don’t apologise. And yes to eating mindfully, here for it.

  • Reply Alma January 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I have a mother that takes declustering my wardrobe into her own hands, if SHE feels it doesn’t fit or she hasn’t seen me wear it in a while, it gets packed and given away (I’m hoping one day she’ll actually ask for permission) so I guess I don’t have to worry much about cleaning out myself. Lol
    As for body goals, I’m pretty content with my current weight but my abs need more work and my bum needs more squats 🙂

  • Reply Edgothboy January 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    This year I’m resolving to wear looser clothing and buy Nigerian as much as I can. I started designing as a side hustle last year and I appreciate even more the effort it takes to produce high quality clothes here in Nigeria. I want to support the people who commit to doing that.

    • Reply Sabirah January 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      That’s amazing – designing I mean, I cannot begin to imagine the challenges!

  • Reply Tega January 15, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    When I moved to PA I left 4 huge trash bags of clothes and shoes behind to be donated, and it felt great! At the end of last year I realized my lower body has gotten larger and none of my pants/jeans/bottom fit anymore. So 2 days ago I cleared them all out and I complained a bit, but it felt great. I’ve had such an attachment to clothes that now, being able to purge regulars makes me feel like I’m no longer prioritizing the unnecessary. I am still missing some “basics” though. I need money ? . Body goals: get stronger, more flexible and more aware of and in touch with my body.

  • Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  • Reply Thursday Tidbits – SabirahO January 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    […] you catch my post on Monday? The comments are good, thank […]

  • Reply Building a closet you love – SabirahO May 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    […] in fact I’ve written about it before, how it’s a form of radical self love, read here. When you clear out the stuff you don’t like or need, you make room for new and better […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.