Less is more, unless of course we are talking money or laughter, but we aren't. We are talking fashion, and most people seem to have too much of this good thing. This begs the inevitable question: is your closet too small or is your wardrobe too big? Either way, you need to go through those clothes! Better to have a little bit of quality you can store comfortably then to struggle with a whole lot of crap. Sorting through your attire and discarding the excess is not as difficult as you think. The key is to answer the questions in the following categories with honesty, but first we need to be clear on one thing... you must try everything on.
I want you to start at the left side of your closet and try on every garment in your closet. Even if you wore it last week, try it on. Try on the sweaters on the shelf, the T-shirts in the drawers, and the coats in your entry hall closet. No garment will be left unworn and it is going to be a work out. Feel free to skip your spin class today.
Alright, you took the first item out of your closet and put it on your body. Stand in front of a full length mirror and ask yourself this question: "What is wrong with this garment?"
It is so easy to put on a garment and tell yourself, you love the color, the pleats are perfect, it's in great shape and so on. You do this because it is hard to let go, but mostly it is hard to admit you wasted money. Yes, wasting money is a travesty, but wasting space is an equally negative experience. Beyond the feng shui of clutter is the consequences of having a lot. The more you have, the less you wear. There is a fabulous top buried between five mediocre items. You don't wear it because you can't see it through the mass of choices. So, let's get ruthless. This is the few times in my life I will tell someone to look on the bad side. When purging your closet, try not to get caught up in the positive aspects of an item. Ask yourself, what's wrong with it?!
Construction & Wear Issues
Does it pucker at the left side seam? Does it ride up when you wear it? Stretches out too fast? Droops at the crotch? Is it uncomfortable? Toss it.
Does it look cheap? Is it obvious you got it at Charotte Russe, JC Penny's or Ross? You don't need to look a million bucks, but you should feel like it, and looking like ten dollars doesn't accomplish that feeling. You want to look priceless. Skip anything that cheapens your look.
Is this a good color on you? There is a right and wrong shade of every color for everyone. Make sure you have all the rights hues, which can be difficult. Sometimes the wrong shade happens to be beautiful. Yes, that nude color is gorgeous, but does it wash you out? Everyone can wear nude, but it needs to be at least three shades darker or lighter than your skin tone . Make sure your nude colored clothing qualify. Also, black is extremely over rated. Best to have a minimal amount of black tops and dresses.
Would you buy it again today? If the answer is no, then perhaps this is not your style anymore. You should dress for the person you are today. Not the person of your past. Pass on the past.
Stains & Details
If there are obvious stains and you have tried everything from home remedies to the dry cleaner, toss it. Is there a tear at the seam. If there is nothing else wrong with it, put this in the tailor pile. Are the buttons cheesy? This is easy for you or your tailor to switch out. If nothing else is wrong with the garment, head to the fabric store and pick out the appropriate size of more suitable buttons.
Is it too tight in the bust? Too big in general? Is it too short or too long? Bad fits are the worst and although some issues can be fixed, many cannot. If the sleeves or hem length is too long, take it to the tailor. As long as the garment is not too much bigger or longer on you, most garments can be tailored to your body. The shoulder area is the only real problem a tailor will have a hard time fixing. If nothing else is wrong with the item, fix it, and keep it. If it is too short, this cannot be remedied, so toss it. As for too tight, if you are absolutely sure you will get smaller soon and you adore the garment, keep it. In the case of keeping small clothing due to assured weight loss, box up the too-small clothing and store it elsewhere. Your closet does not need unwearable clothing hanging in it to mock you quietly. If are just hoping to get smaller with no real plan or ambition, toss it.
Is the garment's only problem a lack of partner? If you have the perfect tunic, but don't have a skinny jean or legging to go with it, pursue the missing piece. Create a shopping list. Every time you come across a garment that doesn't have an outfit. Add its missing components to the list. Does this top need a black lycra under tank. Does this dress need silver heels? Does this top need thicker leggings? Would grey slacks wake up your business casual tops? Add it to the shopping list and either go shopping with list in hand, or refer to the list when you happen upon a shopping excursion.
There is the occasional item that can be kept even if there is a problem. If you are big into Halloween or costume parties, that 70's dress can stay. That crazy fur stole your east coast Grandmother gave you, a woman who resides in Hawaii? You may never wear it, but go ahead and keep it if you adore it. Just make sure you at least wear it around your house every now and then.
The items in your giveaway bag should be filled with items you are not wearing or make you feel blah. I know it is hard to get rid of things, but it is even more difficult to miss rarely used mediocrity. Good riddance! Now, time to organize that closet.