As part of my sartorial goal to “Buy Less, Choose Well”, I’ve done a lot of closet purges in the past year. By now, I’ve likely gotten rid of nearly 50% of my closet and surprisingly – I don’t feel like I have any less to wear. After years of shopping on impulse and giving in fast fashion, I’d gotten tired of feeling like getting dressed in the morning was a headache – there was just too much junk to sift through. Additionally, my clothes could be of better use in someone else’s closet. I’ve gotten to be pretty ruthless with these closet cleans and to not hang on to anything that isn’t adding value to my wardrobe. So, how do I wisely choose what to keep and what to sell/donate? Here are some questions I ask in the process…
- If I saw this while shopping today, would it catch my eye? Basically, I think this comes down to asking if it it still suits my style, which I think has evolved over the years. For instance, I would have been all over a lace skirt and polka dot cardigan several years ago, but these days those pieces no longer appeal to me.
- Have I worn it in the past year? This one is simple: the things sitting in the back of my closet are just taking up space and collecting dust. There’s no point in keeping them there! Of course, there is the odd chance that I may one day want it again, but if I haven’t worn it in the last year – chances are I most likely won’t.
- Does it fit? I mean – does it really fit? There’s no point in a closet full ill fitting garments. Perhaps one day I will lose the 5lbs to fit into those slightly too small trousers, but for now I’ll probably avoid wearing them, and even if I put them on…
- Do I feel great in it? For me, this is key to building a closet of quality. I want pieces that make me feel good when I put them on, and for me that comes down to fit, fabric quality, and colour (for my skin tone).
- If it went missing, would I even notice? I need to be honest with myself – would I? It can admittedly be fun to remember something I had completely forgotten about in my closet, but I’ve found that those are rare cases. Most of the time, when I find something years later, I realize I haven’t missed it at all.
- Is it an investment/vintage/very special piece? I am not at all sentimental with the things in my closet – they are, after all, just things. But once in a while, I come across a piece that is so special and unique that it’s almost like a piece of art. There are also things that I’ve saved up for, and ones will always be classics. In cases like that, I’m a full supporter of keeping the piece in my closet.
How often do you purge your closet? How do you decide if something stays or goes?