Recently I came across Christine from My Private Stylist on a recommendation from Sue of Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. I love checking into Sue’s blog recommendations, and have come across many bloggers who are now enriching my life more than I could ever have expected.
But Christine’s post really struck home to me. Christine is an image consultant, and her post of Styling tips reminded me of how outdated my wardrobe is, when she suggested a wardrobe cull needed to be done, before a wardrobe update. I don’t mean that the clothes in my wardrobe were old fashioned, but more, that they no longer fit my lifestyle. I was still hanging onto corporate clothes from years ago, and more dressy clothes that I no longer need.
So I immediately set a date in my calendar to do a complete wardrobe cull and cleanout. A few days ago, having the day off work, that day arrived. It turned out to be an all day job.
To get started I took everything out of the wardrobe and tossed it on the bed. As I picked up each article I asked myself – Do I wear it? Do I love it? Do I need it? If the answer was no, it went on to the St. Vinnies pile.
There were piles for the rubbish bin, piles for St. Vinnies, and a quite small ‘to keep’ pile. I sort of took the cheat’s way out with a few undecided pieces, that I really wasn’t ready to turf out. I put them in a bag, actually three bags, and put them under the bed until the end of the year. Anything still there by then, will go out, no discussion entered into. Really, I probably should bypass the ‘under the bed’ plan and send them to the op shop immediately. But I do feel a bit uneasy about tossing out these things that have hardly been worn, so this will be the transition. From wardrobe to under the bed, to St. Vinnies.
In my previous houses, I have had large wardrobes, and I can see how that has encouraged me to keep filling them. In this house, the wardrobe isn’t nearly as big, even though it’s not tiny either. But the thing that most got to me in this clean out, was how how everything was shoved and squashed in. It was no wonder that I could never find anything to wear. This exercise showed me that I have always had plenty of choices for an outfit, but that it was impossible to find anything in the disorganised chaos that was my wardrobe. I also had pieces that didn’t match with anything, so they hadn’t been worn.
There were brightly coloured and flowery shirts that I would never wear. Even though they looked great in the shop, I just don’t feel comfortable in bright colours and patterns. I really have no idea why I ever bought them. I came across a bottle green brand name maxi length knit skirt and matching jacket, that I do remember had a very high price tag. I’m ashamed to say, I bought them ten years ago, and have worn them once only. The skirt was sent to St. Vinnies, but I’m fairly sure I could still get away with wearing the jacket.
There is also a huge pile of exercise gear that I probably won’t wear again. I do still wear exercise gear, but my body shape and tastes have changed in the past couple of years. Cycling lycra? I tend to wear normal exercise gear or casual gear for cycling these days. But the lycra went under the bed, just in case I get myself back on the road bike and decide to revive it. I have until the end of the year.
Job done, and the wardrobe looks very neat and very tidy. As soon as the door is opened, I can see what I’m looking for. I love it. Today I wore a pair of fairly new jeans that had been ‘lost’ and a classic style shirt that I’d forgotten I had.
I have now vowed to only buy articles of clothing that mix and match from now on, and not bright colours that will go out of date quickly. Except red. I do like red, and I think it’s timeless. The other thing I’ve vowed to do, is to plan my clothing shopping, to know exactly what I need. And also to be wary of impulse buying.
If you’re thinking of a wardrobe cull, but feeling overwhelmed by it, check out Marie Kondo and her Kon Mari Method. Her book The Lifetime Magic of Tidying took the world by storm a few years ago. I had applied her principals of tidying to the underwear drawers but had never got around to the wardrobe.
Heres a peek at Marie in action: