Are your wardrobes bursting but you still find yourself regularly saying “I have nothing to wear”? A wardrobe detox (also called wardrobe weeding) could be the answer to your problems! Before we talk about updating our wardrobes for SS17, we need to talk about decluttering our closets.
Now I have to admit, I am not very good at parting with my clothes and keep telling myself “I’ll definitely wear it again”. But as a serial shopper I’ve had to teach myself to let go of the items that no longer work in my wardrobe. For me this is essential for many reasons. First, living in a “compact” city centre apartment means my wardrobe space is limited. Second, I eternally have nothing to wear and often end up forgetting I own certain items because I can’t clearly see all of my clothes. Now, I try to do a full wardrobe detox at least once a year (I was aiming for twice a year but being a terrible hoarder that’s probably a bit ambitious!). So where do you start??!
Be ruthless (but not too ruthless!)
Ask yourself the following questions when starting your wardrobe detox:
- Does it fit? If it’s too small, don’t keep it. Simples.
- When was the last time I wore it? If the answer to this is more than 8-10 months ago then get rid of it. There’s a reason why you haven’t worn it and you’re unlikely to start wearing it again. Now there’s some exceptions to this one… if you have key seasonal pieces like coats or boots the 6 month rule doesn’t apply. Also, if you’re pregnant you’re unlikely to be back in your regular clothes for up to a year.
- Is it damaged? If there are any rips, holes or stains that can’t be repaired then it’s time to discard. The same goes if the colours have washed out or your whites are now a shade of dirty dishwater.
- Does it fit with my lifestyle? Think of your daily lifestyle and the types of clothing that work for that.
- Does it go with at least 3 other items in your wardrobe? We all have that one item that we fell in love with in the store then got it home and it goes with nothing in our closet. Having pieces like this in your wardrobe is pointless and stressful!
- Does it make you feel good? This is possibly the most important one. The point of fashion is to make you feel fabulous, if an item makes you feel less than that then say buhbye!
There may be some items in your wardrobe that could be tweaked to create an updated look by simply changing the hemline or altering the sleeves, for example. Alterations places like The Zip Yard are excellent at breathing new life into old garments. Sometimes, pairing a garment with something you wouldn’t normally wear it with can also bring it back to life. So throw out the rule book and get creative with your styling!
It is also important not to go too OTT with the detox and throw away items that you will later regret. Recognise the classics in your wardrobe such as a good coat, properly fitting jeans, a tailored shirt or an LBD. These are the pieces that form the basis of a capsule wardrobe.
So now you’ve decided what you are keeping and what you are saying see ya later to. What next?
Divide and conquer
There will be perfectly lovely items that you have decided to get rid of that someone else would love. Likewise there will be items that are only fit for the bin. Separate the items you have decided to discard into different piles.
- Charity shop – most of the items I get rid of have only been worn a couple of times and I like to bring them to a local charity shop so other people can enjoy them.
- Bin – items like old underwear or damaged clothing should go straight into the bin.
- Friends and family – no doubt you have beautiful items in your closet that someone else will love so give friends and family first refusal on any pieces you are discarding.
- Resell – if you have a good piece that may never have been worn or may have been expensive you can always resell on sites like Depop.
Once you’ve cleared your wardrobe of all the items you no longer need or want, you can then get organised. Find a system that works for you; it might be colour coded or by garment type. Whatever the system you use, it is important to put some order on your wardrobe so you can clearly, at a glance, see what items you own. IKEA is a great place for simple and inexpensive storage solutions from transparent plastic boxes to drawer dividers (really handy for underwear and socks!).
Once you have organised your clothes you can then quickly assess what pieces you are missing in your wardrobe and hopefully avoid buying the wrong things (or worse still…buying something you already own! I’ve done this before!!).
I hope this post has inspired you to declutter your closet!