Common refrain right? Most people feel like they hate their wardrobe, so they go out and either buy more items, or just stand in front of their closet blankly, staring at what they want to wear.
Talk it through
WHY do you hate 90% of your closet?
For many people it can be any of these reasons:
- Nothing fits any more – I gained/lost weight
- Everything feels old/outdated
- Can’t seem to make an outfit
Nothing fits – I gained/lost weight
If you gain/lose the weight, and fit back into the clothes, would you want to keep them and wear them again?
If yes, don’t despair. Keep it for a year, even two years, and see how it goes. This sounds like going against the traditional minimalist grain of salt like: “GET RID OF ALL THE THINGS THAT NO LONGER FIT!!!”… but I have gotten rid of things when I gained/lost weight and deeply regretted those special pieces.
If no, then maybe you need to either see them in a new light, DIY them somehow (paint splatters on shirts have been my new obsession as a possible wardrobe refresh project), or to pass them along by selling or donating.
Everything feels old/outdated
If you’re staring at a closet full of fast fashion, I can see why.
Trends come and go so quickly. Maybe what you need to do is consider focusing on spending more on quality basics that can help bring those items together. Things that are TRULY outdated (and always will be for me, personally) are large jackets with massive shoulder pads or exaggerated shoulders. *shudder* I hope they never come back in style.
Also, things are not ‘trends’ or out of style if YOU rock them and love them. Wide-legged pants anyone? They went out of style years ago and then came back. Nothing is old. Nothing is new.
If you’re staring at a closet of literally old, pilled, dull, unflattering clothes, then yes, perhaps you are in need of a wardrobe refresh.
Maybe you don’t need to toss it all, just add a few interesting pieces in a new colour or pattern, or maybe a new accessory will help tie in all of your clothes.
Can’t seem to make an outfit
You very likely have many orphan pieces that don’t talk to each other or make sense without a base to bring it together.
A great printed jacket and a fantastically bright skirt, needs a neutral top to tie it together. You need quality basics that can ground a look that you can build upon.
If you’re always buying one-off pieces with no idea of how it is going to work in your existing wardrobe except for ONE LOOK, then maybe you better think twice before buying it.
In contrast, a wardrobe full of only neutrals and basics makes me comatose. Who wants to wear a white top and jeans forever with no colour, print or style pizazz!?
Just like with budgets and eating healthy, you need a balance. You need a serving of vegetables along with a serving of protein (animal or not), and a grain.
With closets, you need a serving of basic pieces that ground your wardrobe (a magenta skirt can do that you know), along with a serving of items that are interesting & unique, and a sprinkle of accessories.
If nothing jumps out and makes you happy, you need to go through each piece and ask WHY.
If there is something that needs to be repaired, REPAIR IT.
If there is something beyond repair, then turn it into rags or try and find a second life for it.
If it is just something you don’t want to / cannot wear any more, donate or sell it.
If it is something you never really reach for, then donate or sell it too. What’s the point of it taking up space in your closet?
If it is something in between your sizes (you’re too big/small), but you still love it, then set it aside at the back of your closet.
Now create a Mini Capsule
Take out a selection of clothes you want to wear and feel excited about and move them to the front of your closet.
Look at your mini capsule and see how many looks you can get out of it, and write down what you are missing.
I did this in my little Capsule Wardrobe with 18 Pieces experiment, and I realized that I could have done without a few items, and needed more base neutrals.
Try it! It’s actually a surprising amount of fun especially if you have a full-length mirror and don’t need to take photos of every outfit you wear… 😉
Just a new belt, or layering pieces made new outfits out of what I owned, and surprised me in so many ways. I had no idea how versatile these items could be.