WTF Do I Wear in the Meantime?

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.

Empty Drawers

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:

  1. Launder. Wash and dry everything in the hamper.
  2. Setup. Clear off the bed, gather baskets and bags for sorting.
  3. Evaluate.  Consider every garment in the closet and dresser and ask myself (with try-ons, if need be):
    1. Does the shape make me happy?
    2. Does it fit?
    3. Is it in wearable condition?
    4. Does it have outfit companions?
  4. Sort. Based on the answers, put garments into one of 4 piles:
    • Donate
    • Mend / Alter / Refashion
    • Keep
    • Maybe

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).

Closet after purge

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?

9 thoughts on “WTF Do I Wear in the Meantime?

  1. I purge regularly — even before I started sewing, I got overwhelmed by having too many clothes. So anything worn out, in need of repair, or no longer my style, gets the boot pretty quickly. And when I have ‘nothing to wear’ it means my style has changed completely, so I go out and buy a whole new wardrobe!

    Now that I sew, I find the time it takes to make things means I regularly have new clothes added to my closet without it being an overwhelming flood. Also, I find that I shop RTW less, so I have fewer disappointments. I don’t feel much when purging because I do it so often, but I do get a terrible antsy feeling when my wardrobe has too much in it!

    Good luck filling those gaps — can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had similar pre-sewing wardrobe habits. Lots of purging and buying. For me, it was because nothing I bought every really fit (my body or my confused sartorial taste). But, sewing has changed all that!

      I get that too much in my closet feeling, too.. but usually it’s at the end of the season when it’s time to purge anyway. It’s like I get fidgety for the change in layers. Lately, I’m just fidgety to sew everything to fill up my closet with Najah-mades. I have some fantasy that once I do, that feeling will go away.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow! You are so organized! I have a tiny, overstuffed closet and I love everything in it but I keep sewing so it keeps getting more and more stuffed. A couple of times a year I have the intention to do an absolutely ruthless closet cleaning but rarely manage to part with more than half a dozen items at a time and usually not even that many.


    • Thanks, Lynn. I’m only this organized because I’m not terribly happy with my wardrobe at the moment (or ever really). As I sew more things I like, things that fit, I’ll be satisfied with a jam packed space of awesome like yours.


  3. My wardrobe and drawers are usually in an awful state of disarray so I have to do joint tidying/purging sessions. I usually get a friend to help as it keeps me motivated and if there’s something I’m eh about that said friend wants, it helps me to get rid of it – with the added bonus that I can borrow it if I decide I really want it!


    • Friend support is awesome for closet clean outs! Especially because they are ready to snatch up what I let go. But, none of my friends sew, so their views on fit are a more lenient. Since I’m like the soup nazi about ill fitting clothes, I tend to purge solo and send in the calvary to raid the goodbye pile when I’m done.

      Oh, and the borrow-back rule is the best part of the whole experience! I gave up a gorgeous velvet blazer to my best friend once and it found its way back into my closet 2 years later when my tastes swung back around.

      Thanks for sharing.


  4. Pingback: Winter Blooms (on Me!) | Wanna Be Sewing Something

  5. I was also ruthless with my Wardrobe Architect closet clean-out, for the same reasons you were. I also probably only have about a weeks worth of outfits now, that I just keep wearing over and over again. Ha! I figure it will motivate me to get sewing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having barely anything to wear is TOTALLY motivating! My sewing pace has definitely picked up since the closet clean out. Strangely, I haven’t felt compelled to shop for anything I’m missing. I just wish I could make faster!


Comments are closed.