It is January, so while everyone is detoxify their bodies, I have been detoxify my wardrobe! Over Christmas I bought new clothes and shoes and I received gifts so my wardrobe is now overflowing, and I need to clear it out.
Clearing out a wardrobe can be a big undertaking, and even taking the first step can be overwhelming. I will talk you through the process that I usually use, and hopefully that will help you organise exactly what you should keep, and what needs to go.
I would also like to say that up until about 2 or 3 years ago I was a complete hoarder! I hated getting rid of ANYTHING, but after doing my first proper clear out, I felt cleansed and now I am hooked. I actually love to go through my wardrobe regularly and make piles to be sold on Depop and donated to charities.
Lets start with the smalls and build our way up:
- Underwear: You know your good underwear? Yeah, all of your underwear should be good!!!! Bras should be comfortable and supportive, so anything that pokes you, digs in or you need to adjust throughout the day should go. Any bras that no longer fit need to go! I like to keep a couple of styles but stick to the basic colors, nude and black are my everyday go to. Of course you can and should have some beautiful lingerie pieces that are not as practical or comfortable, but they are the only exception. Underpants should also feel and look good, if anything is uncomfortable and rides up or down while wearing, needs to go. For socks and tights/ stockings you need to throw away anything with a hole/ ladder, or that you are missing half of the pair. All underwear is the foundation to your dressing, and should be comfortable, supportive and in great condition.
- Holey pieces: not religious, pieces with actual holes in them (that are not part of the design) must go. I love my distressed jeans and tees but there’s shabby chic and there’s shabby shabby.
- Anything that is too small; we are all guilty of holding onto a pair of jeans/ a dress that is just too small. We think ‘one day I will wear it’ but we are punishing ourselves for no good reason. This is not good inspiration for ‘getting in shape’, you are making yourself feel bad over it and that is not ok. Get rid of any of those items and treat yourself to something that fits you perfectly. You will look good and feel even better.
- Sloppy fits: There is a big difference between a gorgeous oversized knit jumper and an ill-fitting piece of clothing. No matter what type of clothing it is, wearing something that looks too big can look sloppy. Invest in pieces that enhance your figure, rather than hiding it.
- Bad fabrics: Bad fabrics can ruin a great design, they are not worth it. If something clings in all of the wrong places and looks cheap, just get rid of it, you deserve to look better than that.
- Dated clothing: Your signature look on a Saturday may have been bright and multi colour mini dresses a couple of years ago (I know mine was, bandage dresses everywhere), but if your style has changed you may want to let go of the past. If you have dresses/ skirts/ shorts/ tops from years ago which you wouldn’t wear out this weekend, then you probably won’t wear them again. The same goes for Jeans, I know I kept a pile of bootcut jeans just incase they came back in style, but I have since realised that even if they did I would just buy new pairs! I did decide to cut up a pair of jeans and make a pair of shorts, which you can see here.
- Damaged clothing: If you are not willing to sit down with a needle and thread and re-attach a button, or sew up a hanging hem, then you probably don’t really want to wear that piece again. If something is seriously damaged, let it go, otherwise pay a tailor to repair it. If you are not willing to pay for a repair, then again, you probably won’t wear it again.
- Price tag pieces: If something is in your wardrobe for more than three months, and still has the price tag, you gotta let it go (unless it’s a special occasion purchase, like a dress for a wedding etc.). Usually when we buy something new we cannot wait to wear it, and when a couple of months go by, then that’s a strong sign that you don’t actually like it as much as you think.
- Shoes: question 1: do they fit? too big or too small have got to go, they can’t be comfortable! Question 2: Are they falling apart? If you have worn them to pieces then they hopefully did you well, but now it is time to say goodbye unless you can take them to a cobbler for repair. Question 3: do they go with anything? I will often buy shoes without even thinking whether or not I have anything to wear with them, and they usually stay in their box! Question 4: Can I walk in them? and I am not talking about dying to take your shoes off at the end of the night, but I mean actually walk, if you are in pain within the first hour of wearing them, or in risk of falling over, they have got to go!
- Bags: Do you ever wear it? I have so many clutches that I have collected over the years that just need to go! If you don’t wear it, it is taking up space. For everyday bags, it has to tick a couple of boxes for me: Is it big enough to carry everything I may need? Does it have a secure and easy to reach area to put my phone, wallet and keys? Does it go with a majority of my outfits? Your bags need to look good, but also perform as a super functional carrier. Obviously evening bags don’t need to be that practical, but if you have not taken it out in 6 months, then it is probably time to say goodbye.
- Jewellery: Anything that is green or turns your skin green has got to go. If you only have one earring, throw it away, anything damaged has got to go. OBVIOUSLY I am only talking about cheap costume jewellery, if you have gold/ diamond/ ruby/ sapphire pieces then DO NOT throw them away. In that case I would take damaged jewellery to a jeweller to be repurposed or repaired.
Ok so you have read the list and started to take some things out of your wardrobe but are already second guessing yourself, that’s ok. Here is one tip that my sister shared with me: Any pieces that you are unsure of should go in a bag. If a month passes and you do not search in the bag for any of the pieces then it is time to let them go.
So now you probably have a pile of clothes, shoes and bags that you have no idea what to do with.
Anything damaged beyond repair: Put it in a separate bag. Many charity shops will take clothing even if it cannot be worn again, as they can sell them for rags.
Depop: I regularly update my depop for selling my pre-worn/ pre loved items. It is easy to use and you only pay a commission to Depop when you actually sell something. You can check mine out here or search for WildeFashion.
Friends and family: I have two sister who always get first pick on anything I am getting rid of. Whatever they don’t want then gets offered to friends.
Consignment store: If you clothes are of a re-sellable value, especially if they are a name brand, then you could make some money bringing them to a consignment store. This is a great idea if you have items such a Deb dresses which have only been worn once but were expensive at the time of purchase.
There are so many great causes in Ireland and around the world which you can donate your old clothing to, which will help them immensely. A google search of your local area will help you identify charity shops and collection areas near by.
I hope that helps with your wardrobe detox. If this is your first time carrying out a large clear out, you might just find it addictive, I know I did. I will usually carry out a clear out every three to four months now, when only two years ago I was the biggest hoarder!
Thank you for reading, if you have any tips for clearing out clothes, shoes and bags please comment below.