With a little smart pruning of your wardrobe to weed out the unworn/barely worn items, you’ll never scream: I HAVE NOTHING DECENT TO WEAR! on Mondays as you are digging frantically through your wardrobe to find something decent.
Ask yourself this checklist of 10 questions:
- Do I want to keep it?
- Do I wear it regularly?
- Why am I holding on to it?
- Does it fit perfectly?
- Can I tailor it instead, and what’s the cost versus a new item?
- Is it worth anything?
- What kind of shape is it in?
- Can I afford to replace it, and do I need to?
- Do I want to replace it with an updated version?
- Are there other substitutes in my wardrobe that I could reach for?
Do I want to keep it?
You will know if you want to keep something or not. If you pull it out and you think: “meh” instead of “yes!”, then it should be put into the Maybe-It-Should-Go pile.
Do I wear it regularly?
If you have a lot of choices like me (especially in dresses), regularly means at least once every 2-3 weeks, not daily.
If you DO reach for it (or don’t) depending on what the other alternatives are, you will know immediately if you wear it or not.
I will admit that lately, I’ve noticed I’m a fabric snob.
I now avoid Polyester, I tend to go for Rayon, Cotton, or Silk (even the blends), and that has started to make a huge impact on my wardrobe in terms of not buying items that will just sit in my wardrobe, rarely worn because of its fabric.
Why I am holding on to it?
If it’s for sentimental reasons, or because someone gave it to you, let it go.
Does it fit perfectly?
This is where I struggle. I waffle between 2-4-6 sizes, and when something becomes WAY too loose, I have to consider getting rid of it.
If something becomes way too tight, then I have to think if this is just a temporary situation or if I’ll stay this size.
Either way, I have to think about what can fit all those sizes.
Can I tailor it instead, and what’s the cost versus a new item?
If it’s from H&M and you rarely wear it, don’t bother spending money on tailoring it.
If it’s a really expensive, amazing suit (like my Jacob 3-piece suit), then I am more inclined to keep it and tailor it because I really love the fabric.
Is it worth anything?
Good mid-range brands & designer labels can be consigned, and you can make SOME money back out of it.
Labels from Target, Wal-Mart, H&M or Forever 21 are less likely to sell but higher end items from places like Holt Renfrew (a high-end retailer in Canada a lot like Saks Fifth Avenue or Bergdorf Goodman), have a better chance of going.
What kind of shape is it in?
I have a shirt that I wore to DEATH, and it started to pill and look really unattractive. I had to get rid of it, and buy a new one.
Can I afford to replace it, and do I need to?
If it’s a party dress, and you don’t really need it urgently, then don’t spend the money replacing it.
Do I want to replace it with an updated version?
Maybe it’s perfectly fine, but it just isn’t in the right fabric or colours for you any more.
I used to own items that were too green-yellow for me, rather than buttercup yellow and it just wasn’t flattering on me any longer.
Are there any other substitutes in my wardrobe that I could reach for?
If you don’t wear it because you always reach for another one instead, then let it go.
If it’s just a plain white T-shirt but you reach for it only because you have nothing left to sleep in, let it go.
You should now only have good items that you want to wear and keep in your wardrobe.
You will also have made a list as you were going through to figure out the “Essential Basics” you’re missing. Maybe it’s a tweed jacket that you just wear over a white T-shirt with jeans, or a leather jacket.
Either way, you should know what you need to pull your wardrobe together, because you keep thinking: I need black pants to wear with this!