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Decluttering your wardrobe 101

Decluttering your wardrobe 101

Decluttering your wardrobe might seem like a gargantuan task, especially if you’ve been happily ignoring the 10-old white t-shirts, torn jeans, and stained hoodies festering at the back. But we promise a wardrobe clear-out is a cathartic exercise – one that brings personal, financial, and environmental benefits. Because sometimes, when it comes to clothing, less can actually be more, and if you are the one person on the planet who hasn’t yet worshipped at the altar of Marie Kondo, you’re due for a different type of retail therapy. 

We know that not everything you own can spark joy (how excited can you really be about another white work shirt?), but that’s not to say you can’t be ruthless when it comes to throwing out the pieces that no longer serve you. But where to begin? 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 check shirt, 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, rather than the idea of who you might like to be one day. 

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. 

Words: Ella White