Think that you need a billion outfits? Most of us know by now that that’s not true. In fact, by the time your 30, if your closet is full of Forever 21, you probably look like a hot mess. A good wardrobe is a part of looking put together with a few staple pieces. The truth is that no one is going to notice if you wear the same thing twice a week, most of all when you style it differently.
But that’s not what this post is about. No, before you get to making a grown-up capsule wardrobe that makes you look like a full grown woman (Or man) you have to wade through all of that shit you have in your closet that is making you look well, like a college student.
If that isn’t enough of a reason for you to simplify your wardrobe and clean out those old threads, consider this:
Decision fatigue is a real thing. People from Barak Obama to Mark Zuckerburg (Regardless of how you feel about either of them), talk in interviews about how having a simple gray and a black wardrobe that all pairs with each other so that they don’t have to worry about one more decision during the day. It seems like such a small thing but in the end not having to go through a bunch of meaningless or ill-fitting pieces to try and find something to look nice can add time to a day and take one more decision off.
But none of that can happen until you tackle the sometimes seemingly overwhelming task of cleaning out your closet. It can seem like a big job! Even to someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of clothes by girl standards.
Step One: Commit
Make the commitment that you are going to do this. Make sure that you know why so that you don’t fall back into bad habits or give up when you feel overwhelmed. Acknowledge that there are going to be things that are hard to let go of. Be honest with yourself and admit that some things you thought were cute…really don’t fit you. Or that you are never going to sew those pants. This is about the now. Not the then. Commit to not buying anything new for a month, minimum!
Step Two: The Easy Part
This is the easy part. The first pass at your clothing should be fast. Go through and find anything that is unwearable?
- Is it stained?
- Have holes in it?
- Is made of cheap material?
- Is it missing a partner?
You are not going to clean it if you put it back in your closet like that. Be honest.
Step Three: Would You Buy It Now If You Saw It?
This is the step that is a bit harder. You’ve gone through most of your torn, stained and things that you aren’t going to wear. Moving on, this is stuff that is wearable. But you don’t like it or wouldn’t buy it now. Try things on.
- If you saw it in the store now would you buy it?
- Do you feel good in it?
- Does it fall/fit properly?
- Do you feel confident in it?
It is important to remember to live in the present with this. Not hoping for that 10 pounds you ‘plan’ to lose. If it doesn’t fit its time to send it out into the universe to someone that will wear it and feel like a princess/prince in it. Find a place that you can donate these items too. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Homeless Shelters are all good places.
Step Four: Turning Around
By now you should have a pretty healthy pile of things you want to donate, throw out…and one scary pile of stuff you aren’t sure about. Here is a great trick a friend told me:
Take all of your clothing and turn the hangers around in the way you normally wouldn’t have them face. When you wear them, you put them away from the right way. After a month, go back and see what clothing you didn’t wear. These are also items you should also donate because obviously, you aren’t wearing them.
So you’ve gone a month without buying anything (Perk of being a minimalist) and now you know what you have in your closet, what you like and what you don’t. It’s time for my favorite part! I like analysis.
- What styles do you gravitate to?
- What fabrics last the longest?
- What colors do you like?
Use what you have learned in your future purchases (If you are going to make them). Find the color palette that you like. You can use this to create a capsule wardrobe later on. More than that you can know what not to buy. I know that I buy way too many graphic t-shirts that make me look like a little boy. Now I know that, I steer away from them and make a conscious decision to make sure the things I buy are flattering.
Other Places You Can Do This
- Desk and pens
- Bathroom (Earrings, hair accessories, jewelry)
- Linen Closet