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How to declutter your wardrobe

How to declutter your wardrobe

Have you dared to look inside your wardrobe lately? Are there remnants of your pre-pandemic life lurking in the back – a smart blazer, pair of mules, or a midi dress you once saved for best, perhaps? Chances are, these items are now gathering dust, stuck in a time-warp from the days when getting dressed involved a little more thought than deciding which sweatpants you should wear for yet another day of working from home. 

While these pieces may be symbolic of the hope you’re desperately clinging onto for 2021, the truth is that you and your sartorial needs have probably changed a lot over the last year. Perhaps you now prioritise comfort. Maybe you prefer to buy less, but better. If that’s the case, then it may be worth assessing whether each item you currently own still serves you and your changing style. To do that, start by asking yourself the following questions.

Is it an essential, or a trend?

 When going through your clothes, consider whether each piece is a basic essential, like a plain tee or a pair of slim-fit jeans, a timeless classic like a denim shirt, or something that you bought to fit a trend. If that trend is something you no longer identify with and are unlikely to revive, then it’s taking up precious space in your wardrobe and there’s no need to hang on to it.

 Does it work with other pieces in your wardrobe?

 There are some items that will go with anything, like a neutral knit, black jeans, or lace-up leather boots, and then there are the pieces that we buy on a whim because we like the look of them, but ultimately never wear them because they don’t work with how we really dress. (It’s okay to have a style identity crisis every once in a while.) Be cut-throat when it comes to getting rid of these pieces. Just because you like them, doesn’t mean they’re worth keeping if they never get worn. 

 Does it still fit?

 The truth is, weight fluctuates, and so does the size on the label of your trousers. If you’ve been holding on to an old item for months thinking it will inspire you to shed a few pounds, it may be time to part ways with it. Try everything on. If it feels annoying or uncomfortable to wear, get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit right and isn’t worth getting altered or tailored, get rid of it. It’s time to start a clean slate, not hold onto old pieces in the hope they’ll look good one day.

 When did you last wear it?

 If the answer to that question exceeds a few months, then consider why you’re keeping it. Is it because you just haven’t had the right occasion to bring it back out, or is it because you once enjoyed wearing it but have since moved on? If it’s the latter, it’s time to let it go. It can be hard to part ways with things straight away, but if you’ve already replaced it and are waiting for a chance to wear old pieces again, it’s probably time to get rid. 

 This doesn’t always apply to occasion-wear or particularly sentimental pieces, which likely won’t be worn on a regular basis, but it’s still worth considering whether you’re lesser-worn formal pieces are still your style, and how much sentimentality your old favourites really hold.

 Does it represent who I want to be?

 If you’re guilty of buying clothes for a fantasy version of yourself, which keep getting pushed to the back of your wardrobe until you’re ready to make the transformation, then we’re sorry to break it to you, but they officially count as clutter.

 We assure you that getting rid of anything that doesn't work as part of your core look not only makes space in your wardrobe, but will also make it easier, and far less stressful, to put together outfits that suit you and who you really are today. 

 Once you’ve got through each item, separate those you longer need into separate piles for donating, recycling, and selling or consignment if you’d rather not part with them for free. Not only are these options all more sustainable than giving them over to landfill, but your new, clutter-free wardrobe will become a clean slate to help you to reconsider the way you shop for new clothing. Prepare yourself for some sparked joy.

 Looking to donate or recycle your old clothes? You can send us any pre-loved clothes in your Thread returns bag whenever you make an order. Just keep an eye out for more information in the insert included with your next Thread order.

Words: Ashlie Brombley, Ella White
Illustration: Haley Tippmann