I began this process in the fall, editing my wardrobe to fit into my newly miniscule closet, and found it liberating to have less. As I age my goal is to invest in fewer pieces, of higher quality; things I love. I did a lot of shopping during college thanks to generous scholarships (which I now wish I had spent on something else) but had a fluctuating body and am proud to say I am now nearly 70 pounds lighter than I was at the height of my shopping binges so all those clothes haven’t fit in a while. Working out has changed my body in other ways, so even more recent purchases no longer fit well now that I’ve added vigorous exercise and strength/toning to my former walking routine. My goal for today is to be brutally honest about what I like, looks good, and deserves a space in my wardrobe. To stay, a piece must:
1.) Fit well (must look hot!)
2.) Be in good condition (no holes, stains, etc)
3.) Be liked (no point in having a bunch of clothes you hate to wear)
4.) Be used (if I haven’t worn it in more than a year, it’s going to come up for serious review. Items that are too small will be placed on a short waitlist. If I haven’t re-lost the pounds by this summer, they have to go.)
I’m also going to be creating a shopping list as I go (something I already got a head start on). Let’s face it, that’s the real reason I am doing this ; ). Pieces that need to be replaced are at the top of the list, followed be pieces I’d like to invest in that will possibly replace a couple of no-longer-appropriate options. For instance, I’d love a beautiful leather tote. It will last for years, provide a valuable function, and also replace a few worn-out bags including a briefcase from high school with a broken handle.
When I cleaned out my closet last fall, I was able to cull a number of items to resell on ebay. Selling the pieces that don’t work for you but are still in good condition can make the transition a little easier. Ebay, consignment shops, or even a good old fashioned garage sale are all excellent ways to make a little money off of your old wardrobe. I’ve always wanted to try one of those fashion swap parties, too, where ladies each bring at least one nice item to trade with each other. Out with the old and in with the new!
If you are thinking of doing the same, I found these tips on Oprah’s website. (Yes, Oprah, groan). These are tips from Andrew Mellen that will help unclutter your life, closet first. Get rid of:
My clients have a lot of “someday” best. Someday I’m going to fit into these again. Someday this trend might return. Someday I’m going to wear this. The problem is, “someday” doesn’t exist; there’s only today. Here’s what to do with what’s being worn only by your hangers.
Clothes that don’t fit: If you’ve gained weight, keep the smaller-sized clothes that you’ll get the most use from and work on fitting into them again. If you’ve already lost weight, don’t keep a whole closetful of big clothes as though one day you’re going to suddenly be struck fat; donate them.
Trend items: If you’re waiting for something to come back in style, don’t. Even if it does return, it will look dated—and so will you.
Special occasion outfits: The rule that says “If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it” is a fine guide for when to say goodbye.
Sentimental pieces: You say, “I really loved this jacket.” I know you did. But if you haven’t worn it in ages and it doesn’t work with your other clothes, it’s time for it to go away.