Hi there! And welcome to Dressed for My Day. Today we’re continuing with this year’s style series, Building a Wardrobe that Works for You. Before you we can build that hard working, versatile wardrobe, we’ll need to clean out our closets and start fresh.
It’s not necessarily a fun place to start. I’d much rather go shopping! But because part of our goal is to streamline our wardrobe, it’s best to begin with a clean slate…um, closet.
I tackled my closet yesterday and changed out my winter clothes for my spring and summer wardrobe at the same time. I exchange my wardrobe like this every spring and fall, but I think this is the first time I completely cleaned out my closet. I highly recommend it.
I took absolutely everything out of my closet. I piled the contents into my bedroom and began sorting. I went through both my fall/winter clothing and my spring/summer pieces. And that’s where we begin today.
When you’re building a wardrobe that works for you it’s best to begin by taking out 10 things that you don’t need.
10 Things to Take Out:
#1 – Sentimental Pieces
We might as well begin where it hurts some gals the most. It’s time to let go of those items you’re holding onto for purely sentimental reasons.
I discovered I still I had my bridal shoes from 31 years ago. Since the Smithsonian hasn’t called to ask for them, I decided it’s time to let them go. I plan to take them to a non-profit that helps provide formal clothing for women. Maybe someone can enjoy these vintage silk shoes that are in spotless condition.
Y’all, if I can let go of my bridal shoes, you can let go of your sentimental items, too. I also said goodbye to high school t-shirts, a t-shirt from my Appalachian Trail backpacking trip and another pair of formal shoes.
#2 – Gimme Tees
Speaking of t-shirts, do you have tees that you were given for running races, participating in charity events, etc.? Or maybe you’ve picked up t-shirts as you’ve traveled. I’m not advocating stripping your wardrobe of every single t-shirt, but I do suggest narrowing down the selection. I allowed myself to keep about three t-shirts from trips, but I let go of almost a dozen.
#3 – Worn Out Items
I tend to keep accessories longer than I should. My belts, shoes and handbags sometimes start looking worn and tired before I notice, I guess because I’m so attached to them.
I’ve absolutely loved wearing these pink flats for about five years, but I probably should have gotten rid of them before last summer. They’re more worn out than they even appear in the photo above. And they’re gone!
#4 – Items that Aren’t Your Colors
In this post on choosing the colors of your wardrobe, I suggested restricting your wardrobe to 3-4 signature colors and two neutrals, along with either white or off white. Now is the time to stick to those color choices.
I suggest letting go of anything that isn’t one of your signature colors or neutrals if you don’t just love it and wear it often. There’s no reason to throw out an item that’s in a color off your list if you’re really getting some mileage out of it and it looks great on you. But choose wisely.
I did let go of some orange, lavender and brown pieces because those are not my colors.
#5 – Items that Aren’t Your Style
In this post, 9 Keys to Building a Wardrobe that Works for You, I suggested you consider your approach to style. I recommend factoring in your lifestyle, life stage, personality, etc. to decide your personal style approach. You might also want to read this post about How to Dress for Your Personality.
These were some of the hardest pieces for me to let go of because I felt like I had spent good money on them and I should just wear them. But then I realized someone else can wear them and enjoy them more authentically than I can.
Mostly I found myself letting go of loud, colorful pieces that would be more appropriate for someone with a dramatic style essence. I’m a more classic gal.
#6 – Items You Don’t Wear
I also got rid of clothes, accessories and shoes that I just don’t wear. In several cases, I had kept these items in my closet for several years thinking that “this year I’ll wear it more.” But I never did. Often these aren’t “ugly” or poorly fitting clothes. They’re just pieces that don’t get worn. Maybe it has more to do with my life stage.
I’m taking all of the items I removed from my closet to a nearby community clothes closet. So I’m glad someone will actually wear them and they won’t just hang in my closet anymore.
#7 – Duplicates
Once again, I regret that I’ve spent money on clothing items I didn’t really need. But I decided to be ruthless. I let go of duplicate items unless it made sense to have them.
When I purchased these button-fly cropped jeans recently I had forgotten that I already had a similar pair of cropped jeans. Since the button-fly feature is trending, I kept these and let go of the others. These are great jeans. But someone else will get to enjoy them.
Likewise, I bought these blue and ivory striped d’orsay flats this year, so I let go of the blue and ivory striped ballet flats I’d purchased last year. These were hard decisions, but I’m determined to keep only what I can wear with regularity. So duplicates needed to go.
#8 – Poor Fit
I tried on every skirt and pair of pants or shorts I’d taken out of storage. I haven’t gained any weight nor has my body changed since last summer, but I knew I had kept clothing from the previous year, so I didn’t really recall what fit and what didn’t.
Again I was ruthless. If an item kinda fit, but didn’t flatter, I didn’t keep it. I have plenty of clothes. So I only kept those pieces that fit well and beautifully.
#9 – Outdated Items
Unlike items that we keep for purely sentimental reasons, we often keep items beyond their expiration date because we truly, truly love them. But these items, while they may still be in good shape, are not in style…at all.
For me, these are often dresses that look more like vintage relics than stylish fashion. If wearing it or using it will make you look antiquated, it’s time to let it go.
I decided it was time to let go of my Coach handbag. I don’t use it anymore, and I think it’s a little dated.
#10 – Items that Don’t Bring You Joy
Organizational guru Marie Kondo advocates keeping only those items that bring you joy. At first this seemed like quite a luxury to me. Surely not everything in my wardrobe could bring me joy. But, then again, why not?
That’s why I decided to let go of these double frayed ankle jeans I’d bought and worn last summer. When I tried them on I remembered that I felt “off” every time I wore them. They fit, but not great. They look okay, but not great. They just don’t make me feel great. And they don’t give me joy; they frustrate me. So I let them go.
After you take out the 10 things…
I gathered more than two huge laundry baskets of clothing, shoes and accessories to donate. Then I put away my fall and winter clothes and put my spring and summer selections in my closet.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build a wardrobe that works for you, I suggest you begin here. Also, if you’re a subscriber, you have access to my wardrobe essentials lists in the Freebies for Subscribers page. And if you’re not a subscriber, let’s take care of that today! You can subscribe and get the details here.
Blessed for My Day
Do you ever cry, “Woe is me?” Well, maybe not out loud, but in your mind? I certainly do. But honestly, I don’t suffer much in reality. And when I do face hardship I need to remember that God is working all things for good in my life.
What good can come of suffering? The most important benefit of suffering is that it gives us the opportunity to become more like Christ. We have the chance to learn from Him and to allow Him to shape us into His image. And, if we suffer well – remaining faithful to Him, leaning into Him for provision rather than pulling away in resentment and living in obedience – we have the opportunity to give others a glimpse of Jesus’ character, too.
For it has been given to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him. ~ Philippians 1:29