I’ve gone through my wardrobe and purged a two large garbage bags worth. One bag is going straight to Goodwill, and the other is now marked “Discard Mar/09”. This bag contains all clothes that I love but that I no longer fit into. I couldn’t quite bring myself to purge them, but I did set limits on my keeping them:
1. Only items of clothing that currently fit me can remain in a drawer or closet.
2. Of the clothes that don’t currently fit, I could keep only what would fit in one standard size blue bag – no more than that – in the hope that I shed these extra pounds this year. I’ll keep the bag tied shut in the basement.
3. Any clothes left in the bag that still don’t fit in one year (cycle of seasons) are going out. I won’t even re-open the bag.
After I’d pulled out all my discards, I could really see space open up in the closet and dressers – I actually emptied two sweater cubbies and an entire dresser drawer!
(WARNING: the following story contains graphic descriptions of anal retentive, super-geek behaviour)
Then, I listed each garment in one column of a spreadsheet, followed by columns for category, colour, style, season, and purpose (work, casual, at home, exercise, or dress up). I know this sounds ridiculous, but I have NEVER put together a wardrobe, and I really don’t know where else to begin but to look carefully at what I have, and from that draw out what I need to purchase in order to complete a bunch of different coordinated outfits.
Anal though it may be, this exercise revealed some interesting trends in my existing wardrobe:
- 80% of my long-sleeve tops are t-shirt style/fabric (not work appropriate and therefore of too little use to make up such a large proportion of tops)
- I have NO spring or summer foot wear (made a list of what exactly to look for when shoe shopping)
- I have a ton of clothes I don’t wear because I have nothing to match them with (this led to another list, of course)
Because I find the whole business of shopping for/trying on clothing and trying to look appropriate and fashionable extremely daunting, I am really pleased to now be armed with a pretty specific list of items that I need to complete several spring outfits, and particularly for work and my summer placement. I believe this plan will save me money, because it incorporates everything I already own into the wardrobe I’m trying to build, and because I’ll be less likely to buy garments that I like but that I can’t match to anything. Plus, it’ll save shopping time and frustration – I don’t mind a little browsing, but before long I’m just eager to find what I need and get home.
I’m looking to discard more than some old clothes here. I’m trying to discard an old habit born of lack of confidence, laziness and frustration. Exit the ragamuffin; enter the … hmm… guess that remains to be seen! 5 years ago