In my ongoing quest for a smaller, more functional wardrobe, as well as in preparation for our BIG MOVE TO TEXAS (yep, we’re headed to Texas!) I have gone through my entire wardrobe and ruthlessly culled anything that
a) doesn’t fit my Mama-body
b) doesn’t work for my lifestyle / I don’t need it
c) I just don’t like it, or I have to talk myself in to wearing it.
At the same time I was able to come up with some rules for myself when shopping for pieces in the future. Here’s how I did it:
I tried on anything that I haven’t worn in the last six months. I think this is a key to successful culling: either you rediscover a piece you forgot about, or, more likely, you realize why you haven’t worn it. Maybe it’s too snug in the shoulder; maybe it drapes in a weird way, or the color is off for you. Simple. If it doesn’t work and I’m not happy to get up and put it on in the morning, I put it in the giveaway pile.
Trying on everything was time-consuming, but revealing. For instance, I was able to make two groups of blouses: one group of those I like and wear often, and a group of those I don’t really like. Then I was able to look at each objectively and see what they had in common. I discovered that most of the blouses in the “don’t like” pile had gathering at either the neckline or the sleeve, and/or some embellishment on the chest or shoulder. So now I realize that I have a propensity to be drawn to and buy tops with these details, but I don’t actually like to see them on my body, and I can incorporate that into my shopping rules and avoid the mistake in the future.
At the same time, I realized that the tops I love tend to have great drape, 3/4 length sleeves, a graphic pattern, or a sleeker cut. I also rediscovered a couple of items I’d forgotten about but still love, and am putting them back in rotation.
I did this same exercise with all wardrobe categories: shoes, workout clothes, t-shirts, pants, skirts, underwear, jackets/outerwear, accessories. Sometimes I didn’t really want to get rid of an item, but knew I needed to; like a seriously hot cocktail-ish dress that I absolutely love, but can’t zip it over my Mama-bust, which got a new home at a friend’s house. And like this awesome tweed jacket, which I love, but is too snug in the shoulder and constricts my arms.
But mostly, once I tried the item on and identified why I didn’t like it/didn’t need it/shouldn’t keep it around, it was easy to let go.
Another bonus to going through this process is this: now that my wardrobe is smaller and only consists of pieces I love and that fit well, I have a much better idea of any holes in it that need to be filled. For instance, I realized that I had no black dress shoes. Not one pair. None at all. How dumb is that? No wonder it has been so hard to dress for church or an evening out. So, I invested in a super-comfy pair that I love and will last for years to come.
Moving is a great excuse to clean out, but I also think fall is a great time to do it. You’re most likely changing out your seasonal wardrobe anyway. How often do you go through, clean out, give away?