Henrietta Easton spent time 'decluttering' her wardrobe ready for spring and shares her ideas and methods with us.
When your clothes drawers are so rammed that opening them involves extreme muscle strength and the patience to sift through everything before you find that one top, it is probably time to have what I like to call a ‘wardrobe cleansing session’. The current state of my chest of drawers is atrocious (my mum would not be pleased if she saw how terribly everything is folded) and the drawers are so difficult to open I have resorted to just placing the things I actually want on my ‘clothes chair’ to which I dip into every morning.
Now what does that say about my clothes and me? That I have too many? Probably. That I regularly wear less than 50% of the clothes I own? Definitely.
There is something to be said of the benefits of having a smaller, more refined wardrobe in which every piece has a place and is regularly used. Having a ‘capsule’ style wardrobe can help clear both space and your mind and make it so much easier to choose what you wear every morning. It means that you do not forget about clothes or over-wear others. If everything works with each other you actually have a lot more choice than just a miss-match of completely random styles, colours and cuts.
With the hope of creating my own capsule wardrobe I have devised a list of three questions for deciding which clothes to keep and which to give away. I hope that my wardrobe will become much more efficient and not the level of chaos and confusion that it currently is.
1. Have you worn it in the last two months?
Obviously this should be adjusted according to the season so don’t start throwing away summer clothes just because you have not worn them for two months, but if you have a jumper that you genuinely have not worn all winter then maybe it is time to say goodbye. This is actually an extremely eye-opening exercise because often you do not realise the dependency you have on certain clothes. You do however have to be brutal, and if you find a piece and think ‘ooohhh but I love this’, if you genuinely haven’t worn it for three months there must be a reason for that.
2. Does it go with at least two other things that you own?
This question also applies when buying clothes and really is quite fundamental. Chances are if it only goes with that one pair of trousers or that specific black top then you are not going to be wearing it very often. Asking this question also helps to stop impulse purchases that end up getting worn once. If you are spending money surely it would be better to buy something that is so versatile you could honestly wear it all the time.
3. Does it still fit the way that it should?
This question applies to both the clothes changing shape and also to you. I have a pencil skirt, for example, that I bought about four years ago and got a lot of use out of at the time but I haven’t worn it in about two years because it now strangely flicks up at the hem and it cannot be ironed down. I should get rid of it because that problem isn’t going to go away no matter how many times I try to flatten it. This also applies if you personally have changed shape since you bought a piece. It is so much better to wear clothes that are the right size and fit your body how they are designed too; they will be so much more flattering this way!
I hope these three questions can help with the ‘decluttering’ process or at least give an idea of how to think about starting that process. It is quite a scary thing to have to do when you love all of your clothes, but honestly once you start it becomes a little addictive and the feeling afterwards is one of relief and completely cleansing. It also makes it so much easier to close your drawers, which is a definite bonus.