It’s 2016, and many of us are trying to streamline and organize our lives. A great place to start is in your closet. If you’re like most people, you are holding on to WAY too many old clothes (and buying too many clothes you don’t need — but we will get to that later).
There is a common misconception that because I am a fashion blogger I have a ton of clothes. Yes, I have a lot of clothes, but I have also been wearing a lot of the same sh*t since I started blogging my personal style in 2012 (OMG this blog is so old). Behold, this preppy blazer.
I got this blazer from Zara years ago. It was an investment for me at the time and has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. I wear it all the time. I have tons of other pieces that I style endlessly to make my wardrobe appear larger than it is (I wear one of my two chambray shirts at least twice a week). You don’t need tons of clothes to have a great closet. Here are some tips to streamline your wardrobe and maximize your clothing.
Don’t keep ‘fantasy clothes’: “I’m keeping that for a special occasion.”, “I will wear that again when I lose ten pounds.”, “I have no idea what to wear this with, but I’m keeping it because it’s so cute.”. We’ve ALL uttered phrases like this. Don’t keep clothes for made-up scenarios. Go through your closet and take no prisoners. If you don’t have a definitive, real-life plan to wear an item, or if a piece just doesn’t fit — add it to the Goodwill pile.
Purge your formalwear: I know lots of women who have held on to old homecoming and prom dresses. Usually the excuse is something like, ‘Maybe my daughter will want to wear it someday’.
Spoiler: Dream on, honey. No one wants to wear your old prom dress from DEB, least of all your daughter. Would you have worn your mom’s old 80’s dress to your prom? No. Your sassy seventeen-year-old self would have died a thousand deaths first. Throw out or donate your old formal dresses, girl. The same goes with old bridesmaids dresses. Those can go, too.
Critique your multiples: Once in college I opened my friend’s closet and she literally, I am not joking here, had thirty pairs of jeans folded beautifully in her wardrobe. I was immediately jealous so I said, “Girl I am so jealous of your jeans!” She said, “Oh, yea I only wear the same two pairs of jeans. None of those really fit me.”
Okay this is a problem. First, I now know you don’t ever need thirty pairs of jeans even if they all fit. Second, please see item one on this list.
I frequently need to purge black dresses. I acquire black dresses like crazy. They spawn in my closet, I swear. The issue is I never wear all the black dresses I acquire. To combat my own closet overpopulation problem, I have a strict 365 day rule. If an item sits unworn in my closet for a year, it must go. Note: This did not count last year when I was pregnant and only wore four things for six months.
Take It Is Easy On The Novelty Pieces: You only need one tulle skirt. You don’t need three sequin blazers. You don’t need four pairs of distressed boyfriend jeans. Don’t buy a ton of super trendy pieces that can only be worn once or twice a season. Instead, invest smartly in wearable pieces that you can wear again and again.
Ditch the Old and Dirty: Old t-shirts, socks with holes, random tote bags you got free with a cosmetics purchase. Throw. Them. Away.
I want to quickly revisit old t-shirts because this one is especially hard for me. I feel as though I need to keep every free t-shirt that has ever been given to me in my life. So now, I actively throw away or politely decline every t-shirt I’m offered. If you must accept a free tee for courtesy reasons the key is to give it away or ‘lose it’ before you get it to your house. Once the free tee finds its way into your home the game is over. It will stay there forever taking up valuable space in your closet.
Shop Smartly: I am part of the generation that used to buy a new $20 ‘going out’ dress from Forever 21 every week in college. I had enough flimsy polyester dresses to clothe a small Appalachian town, y’all. Old habits die hard and sometimes I still feel like I need something new for every upcoming occasion. The truth is, I don’t need to shop for every random cocktail party. What I DO need is quality pieces in my wardrobe that I can easily style and rewear frequently. Whenever you go shop really question your purchase. Are you just buying that because it’s on sale? Are you buying that skirt because you’re out with friends and feel like you need to buy something? Is this an impulse buy you’ll regret later? Do those jeans even fit correctly? Don’t bring anything home unless it’s perfect, and you can wear it at least five times.
Now grab a trash bag and get to purging. Your closet and your piece of mind will thank you!
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