21 December 2011

Emptying the Old Wardrobe


When on the process to carefully build or rebuild one's wardrobe, getting rid of the old clothes is the most difficult part. First because we aren’t used to getting rid of all the objects surrounding us. Maybe also because we are afraid to make wrong choices and sell/donate something we end up wanting to wear again.

In my opinion, a perfectly fit wardrobe is composed only of pieces carefully chosen and cherished. But how to sort the old wardrobe, and choose the clothes to throw/donate/sell away and the ones to keep?

I am still in the process of restricting down my wardrobe, and here are a few tips that still help me a lot. In a nutshell:
  • Try everything on 
  • “I could use this one day” = let go of it 
  • The worn out favourite garment case 
  • Make the five outfits exercise 
  • Keep but put away the clothes if you have a doubt

And, of course, at the end, use the occasion to buy new hangers, clean and perfume your closet, iron and carefully fold the clothes you have selected to remain in your new wardrobe.

Try everything on

Before sorting anything, take a moment to pull all your clothes from your closet and divide them by category. It will help you picture how big your wardrobe is, and how it fits (or not) to your style.

Then, try each piece on. Maybe the size doesn't fit anymore, maybe there is a hole you never noticed, or maybe it fits better than you remembered...Sometimes, it is simply badly tailored or ill fitted to your morphology.

“I could use this one day” = let go of it

After having tried everything on, maybe some of the clothes will fit and pass this first test, but seem to stand out, or to be ill fitted to your current style. In most cases, with that kind of pieces, we think “OK, I don’t have a use for it, but I could use this one day”.

The It could be useful one day is a big excuse to keep tons of useless stuff. This day never comes, and when it does, we usually want to buy a new piece for the occasion instead.

The worn out favourite garment case

Sometimes, it is hard to let go of a piece of clothing because, although it is worn out, decoloured and holed, you like it so much. It happens quite often, as we tend to wear our favourite pieces more often, hence wearing them out more quickly.

Back about style, one of the basics of a stylish woman is that she is clean, well groomed, and so are her clothes. So worn out clothes, no matter how much you loved them, are out.

Make a game out of it: it needs to be replaced, so why not go for a hunt to find the perfect replacement, maybe of a better quality so it doesn’t wear out so quickly?

Make the five outfits exercise

With the 3 points above, you should already have slimmed down your wardrobe quite a bit. But do the remaining clothes really fit your style, and do they really have a place in your wardrobe?

For the style part, only you can answer. For the place in the wardrobe part, an easy exercise is to imagine five outfits, to check if they match perfectly with at least five other pieces of the wardrobe. It is the best way to see if you are actually going to wear it often.

If you have time, a nice thing to do is to try the garment on, and complete the outfit with clothes from the rest of your wardrobe. Do you easily find matches? Are there a lot of colours matching with this piece? Have you been able to easily create five different looks?

Keep but put away the clothes if you have a doubt

If you have used these tips, you might have found yourself doubting about a lot of pieces. It doesn’t match with my wardrobe but I bought it this year! It is worn out but I really like it! It is a little bit too small but I might shed a few pounds! I don’t like it anymore but I paid it 50€…

In that case, what I do is put all these pieces into a special box, and put them away in the cellar (or on top of a shelf, for example). I keep them there for about a year. If during the year, I feel like matching one of the pieces with an outfit, or happen to actually miss it, then I take it from the box and back to the wardrobe.If not, I get rid of it for good.

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