I try to seriously organize and clean my closet out once a year. Truth be told, I should follow my friend’s advice and give something away every time I acquire something new (but I don’t do that!).
So here’s a few tips that I use when I try to clean out my closet.
I’ll tell you right now that I don’t follow the “haven’t worn in a year” rule. I’ve mentioned it before, but I am working to get back into some clothes that don’t fit right now and they will certainly be modern and work appropriate if (when!) I get back into them.
These rules disregard the time wearing rule and the size of the label and focus on a few key issues that plague every closet.
1. The fabric should go. There’s a few reasons the fabric in a piece of clothing requires you to eliminate it.
If it’s worn or faded looking it should go into the trash or a second-hand shop.
If the fabric is poor quality (see this black and white shirt) and detracts from the overall sophistication of the outfit by cheapening it. (This doesn’t have to do with cost but some fabric, regardless of cost, looks cheap and you missed that fact when making an impulse buy.)
Finally, if the fabric doesn’t wear well you should let go of the clothing. These pants pictured are a great example. They were super crumply linen khaki trousers and I always looked disheveled when I wore them so they needed to go.
2. The top, bottom, or outfit has a pesky quirk.
You may pass over an otherwise lovely wardrobe item because of a weird tick it has – it lays crooked on your neckline, it always folds in an awkward place, or as in the case of this gorgeous pink blouse (y’all, I loved this fabric so much) the buttons will not stay buttoned no matter what I tried. If the outfit won’t work well no matter how much you love the color or fabric, you’re not going to wear it or you will fidget while you wear it and undercut your confidence, so release it to the land of secondhand clothing.
3. It’s seen its fashion peak and is now beyond its prime.
I don’t know if you get sentimental about clothes, I mean they do have a story to tell, but it may be time to rely on the photos and let it go. An old sorority
enemy sweet friend posted a #TBT picture yesterday featuring a lovely yellow and black shorts/vest/tie ensemble I was wearing in my early ’90s college days, and it was glaringly dated and donated many a moons ago. But some items are a little less obvious. These are two suits I donated because the pinstripe was too visibly prominent making it look super matchy-matchy. The days of the uber matchy suit has gone and while a subtle navy pinstripe suit will always be a classic, these are past their prime.
It may help to bring a third person in to give you some perspective – make sure it’s a friend who will be brutally honest with them and give them yummy snacks or wine for their service in the name of fashion. Everyone needs a friend who will give you honest opinions. You don’t have to take all their recommendations, but at least then you’ll more objectively consider what should go.
Where should you donate those things that can be repurposed like these items I cleaned out? In Houston (and many metropolitan regions) you have so many good options. For work clothes, I generally bypass Goodwill and donate to Dress for Success or The Women’s Home. So do a little good and make some space in your wardrobe – you know it’s time!