I’m no stranger to closet purging. I do it religiously every season. But, now that my style standards have been solidified in my mind, I’m feeling ‘meh’ about 98% of my outfitting options and now I have a small NOTHING TO WEAR crisis to solve.
The Wardrobe Architect challenge encouraged me to figure out what I like to wear, and for this month’s exercise, we’re all evicting the rejects from our closets…but there’s no guidance for hard to fit, prodigal sewists who are now stuck with a closet of mostly random, lackluster ready-to-wear garments.
I started with these steps to clean out my closet:
- Launder. Wash and dry everything in the hamper.
- Setup. Clear off the bed, gather baskets and bags for sorting.
- Evaluate. Consider every garment in the closet and dresser and ask myself (with try-ons, if need be):
- Does the shape make me happy?
- Does it fit?
- Is it in wearable condition?
- Does it have outfit companions?
- Sort. Based on the answers, put garments into one of 4 piles:
- Mend / Alter / Refashion
The results were satisfying. Got warm weather stuff tucked in the right corner and current, cold-weather and season-less stuff in the main sections. Lots of empty space and naked hangers. The Maybe pile will get re-sorted in a couple of weeks, the pile of garments to repair or change was moved to my sewing room, and the Donateables are waiting in the trunk of my car for a trip to Goodwill.
I can actually shut the closet doors completely for the first time in weeks and my feng shui is at level 9 (a scale I made up).
After all of that… I can’t assemble 7 days worth of outfits! Figuring out my Monday through Friday outfitting options has always been a useful part of my quarterly closet clean out. The process doesn’t feel complete unless I have 5 season-less work-ready outfits, and 2 for the weekend. And, yoga pants and hoodies don’t count.
Starting with my Liberty dress (the recent star and pedestal of my wardrobe), I found two long cardigans to pair it with, but struck out on any cropped cardigans that coordinate. The same goes for RTW skirts and pants, most of them are missing tops.
So, before I start sewing all of the happy silhouettes I’ve chosen, I will sew outfit-completing garments to fill the gaps in my wardrobe and hopefully take it from ‘meh’ to functional. Once I have a week of outfit options, then, it will be time to transition things from functional to fabulous.
Do you feel invigorated or overwhelmed when you clean out your closet? What purging methods work best for you?