30 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 bags
You might have noticed that my wardrobe size has decreased again. My tagline now reads 30 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 bags. Recently I removed eight items of clothing and one bag from my wardrobe. I also added three new items of clothing, which I will discuss in a future post.
There is a general consensus on how to declutter. Most minimalists advise to take everything out of your wardrobe, and divide it into three piles: keep, unsure, discard. When I first started downsizing my wardrobe, I basically followed this technique. With time, as my wardrobe has gotten smaller, this kind of method has become superfluous. When you have fewer items of clothing, you know what you wear and what you don’t wear. When I declutter now, I analyse my items based on their function and style.
Function: For me personally, an item is functional if it fits well, is comfortable, and can be worn in a number of different circumstances.
Style: Aesthetically, what I’m trying to be conscious about when I shop is my authentic style, work appropriateness, and dressing for my future self.
Earlier in the year, when I monitored my outfits for three weeks, I noticed that there were still items of clothing that were getting neglected in my wardrobe. I decided it was time to remove these pieces as their inefficiency was frustrating me. These items clearly lacked functionality or style.
I thought it would be worth going over my reasoning for discarding these items, in case you wanted to see inside the mind of a madman. If you are someone who is trying to declutter your own wardrobe but you feel stuck or are unsure where to start, this analysis could help inspire you to discard some clothing.
Items 1-2: These items fit in the ‘casual summer’ category, and they really had no other purpose in my wardrobe. When on summer holidays earlier this year, I barely wore them. It is clear now that unless I am able to wear an item in a number of different situations (especially work), it has no longevity in my wardrobe.
Items 2-4: I got these tops for work, but they were not well considered purchases, and really don’t suit my style. I was shopping for these out of anxiety that I would not have enough clothing to wear over the summer and I was not considering my long term wardrobe goals. The grey top is now in my leisure wear drawer and I sleep in it. I got rid of some older worn out sleeping tops to make space for it.
Item 5: This top was not of good quality, and even though I followed the care instructions, it warped in the wash. It is also in my leisure wear drawer now.
Item 6: This knit was not the right cut or colour and as a result did not get a lot of wear. It is also in my leisure drawer now. I will love wearing it around the house in winter and not worrying about pilling or getting cat fur on it. This means that my six winter knits can be kept in better condition.
Item 7: This knit was old, stretched out, and not the best quality. It was too bulky to layer under my favourite leather jacket.
Item 8: White jeans are not a long term investment in terms of my style. I don’t feel comfortable when I wear them because they don’t feel especially flattering.
I had barely used this bag, and I’ve had it for years. All three of my bags were clutches, and I had very little desire to use this one. I really only used it when I forced myself to use it. It was a gift and that made it slightly more difficult to donate.
I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that some of the items I have removed from my wardrobe are things I purchased last year, after I completed my seven month shopping fast, implemented my shopping rules, and thought I knew how to shop better. None of the discarded items were on my shopping wish list, which is a lesson to us all. I purchased some of the items in the months leading up to summer, concerned that I would have nothing to wear to work as it warmed up. Rushing to cross items off my wish list in a short amount of time was the culprit of this wardrobe crime. Had I been more moderate in my purchases, I probably would have realised I did not need these pieces. This has been a really important lesson for this year, and I have spaced out my purchases and considered each one more thoroughly as a result. I have also made sure that each item bought has been special or unique in some way, to avoid buying ‘filler’ pieces for my wardrobe. I should know by now that these are the kinds of items I have discarded the most in the past.