While those days of staring at my closet full of clothes and thinking 'I have nothing to wear' happen far less frequently now than they did a year ago, with spring fast-approaching, this is the perfect time to reassess what I own, and delete from my wardrobe anything that doesn't 'spark joy'.
My new fashion mantra is 'keep what you love, leave what you don't', with the aim of finding the perfect balance of practicality and wearability - keeping lockdown and post-lockdown life in mind, of course. I'm also a firm believer that your wardrobe should reflect your personality, lifestyle, and also see you through many seasons. For example, in my ideal world, my wardrobe would mirror that of Tracee Ellis Ross - a magical Narnia of prints, bold colours, feathers and frills. While there are a few limitations (like not being rich and famous), it's still my goal. But to get there, I need to first spring clean my existing clothes collection.
Whether your wardrobe clear out leaves you with eight items or 28, here are the five questions I always ask myself (and answer honestly) when deciding what clothes to purge and keep.
1. Does it still fit?
The easiest way to kick this off is by first asking 'does this item of clothing fit?' We can all relate to holding onto an item of clothing in the hope we might fit into it once again - whether it's a 'goal' pair of jeans or dress from 2005. While I believe in keeping things that either have sentimental value or you look forward to rewearing, there comes a time when you should also free yourself of it. And that doesn't mean just put it in a suitcase and hide it in your loft or garage; it means to transform into Elsa and sing loudly and proudly, 'let it go!'
2. Are there any stains?
We all have that one piece of clothing that's incredibly comfortable but has, unfortunately, reached its limit of stains. While you may never dream of wearing said clothing out and about, sometimes you also need to call it on the 'wear around the house' front. Especially with many of us spending more time indoors, loungewear should be something comfy that also perks up your mood (see my cute Curve edit here) so why wear something past its use-by date?
3. Will I wear this more than once?
You know that sequin dress you brought two years ago for a cocktail party and haven't worn since? Yep. Does it still live in your wardrobe? If so, it's probably time to look at it with fresh eyes.
Asking myself this question also serves as a reminder to be more intentional with my purchases. While it's fun to buy pieces that work for a specific special occasion, the amount of money and space lost by holding onto items that you've only worn once isn't as fun or practical.
4. Can I wear this item next season?
We all love a trend piece, and I won't act like I'm not the first in line (virtually) to buy the latest trends; but are you still reaching for that technicolour spring/summer 2018 blouse three years on? Of course, I think you should wear whatever you want instead of being limited by whatever is 'trending' each season, but the important thing to note is that you should wear whatever makes you feel good. If it no longer makes you feel confident, or you stopped reaching for it a long itme ago, it's time to go. Donate those pieces to your local charity.
5. Is it versatile?
This year, one of my missions is creating a capsule wardrobe. Instead of having a closet full of clothes that don't really go together, I'm working to ensure that each piece in my wardrobe can be worn several ways. So, asking myself the question 'is this versatile?' is kind of a big one. Can I transform this skirt from day to night, or casual to dressy? If not, I might need to rethink its place in my closet, or even what I need to ensure I can make the piece versatile.
After you've spring cleaned your wardrobe
Once you've narrowed down your clothes to your favourite pieces, check out our top tips for organising your new wardrobe.
I also love to using any fashion clear out as an opportunity to make a bit of extra cash through reselling pieces on Depop or eBay. It's super quick and easy, plus, way more sustainable than just throwing items out.
If you're really in the zone for spring cleaning now, here is our expert's guide to decluttering for even more genius hacks.
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