Wardrobe Rehab Project Step 1: Culling
1st November 2010
DIY Wardrobe Cull
1. I tried EVERYTHING in my wardrobe on. I took a morning out and hauled all my clothes into the living room (I find it easier to do these things when watching the 400th re-run of friends) and tried them on in front of a mirror.
2. I sorted my clothes by type and tried them on in order (tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, short and pants) to make it easier.
3. I made five different piles in the living room (you can imagine the mess) one for clothes to keep, one for clothes to sell, one for clothes to give away, one for clothes for DIYing and a final one for clothes that needed altering in order to keep.
4. I was ruthless about every item’s wearability. I asked myself:
- When was the last time I wore this? If I hadn’t worn the item in the last 6 months (taking into account the season) I probably wasn’t going to wear it again. I let myself keep a small number of ‘sentimental’ items as well as expensive basics, but most things I hadn’t worn went out, particularly cheap items bought on a whim or on sale.
- Does this make me feel attractive? If you look at yourself in the mirror and what you’re trying on doesn’t make you feel your best (wrong shape, colour or style), maybe you should get rid of it? If it doesn’t make you feel good you’ll be much less likely to wear it.
- Does this fit properly? For each item I checked the fit by lifting my arms, sitting down, bending over etc. Bum crack or too much boobage is not a good look. I got rid of things if I had grown out of them, even if I liked them (oh the pain!). The likelihood of me being the same size I was when I am 16 again? Ummm slim to none. Perhaps you’re different and you fluctuate in size, in which case you could allow a bit more flexibility here.
- Is this item out of date? Some fashions and prints will date very quickly and if you haven’t worn it because it reflects a trend that has passed completely, you’ll not wear it again soon.
- Is this item worn out? If the item isn’t in good condition and is ripped, stained or stretched, don’t hang onto it unless you are committed to fixing the problem.
- Does this need altering? If something doesn’t sit or fit quite right but is well made and of good quality, see if you can get it altered or alter it yourself to make it more wearable.
5. Do the same for shoes, accessories and underwear. Anything you haven’t worn or used in a while or is in bad condition needs to go. Underwear needs to be comfortable and supportive (and cute) to be kept. Ditch any even slightly worn out tights and scruffy looking shoes.
Once you have done this properly, you should have left in one pile only things that look good, fit well and make you feel good. This is the basis from which you will develop a successful and gorgeous wardrobe.
What to do with the other piles you made?
Clothes to sell – for items that are of high quality and good condition, sell them on ebay, to your friends through facebook, take them to a clothes swap or sell them at a market or car boot sale.
Clothes to give away – for things that are a bit worn out and not worth investing your time in selling – bag them up and take them down to your local thrift shop or give to a friend/sibling. Try not to throw anything away in the bin because clothes can so easily be reused and not end up in land fill.
Clothes to DIY – I love having a bag of things that I can play around with and experiment various DIYs on. Make sure if you keep things that you have some idea of what you’re going to do with them (refer to the rest of my blog for ideas!) and make some time to do it, otherwise they’ll probably sit behind the couch collecting dust forever.
Clothes to alter – for those things that need a bit of tweaking to work perfectly, make time to get them to a dressmaker or to borrow a friend’s sewing machine. Again, make time to do this and if after a month or so it hasn’t happened – add these items to the selling or giving away basket.
I know it’s hard to get rid of clothes you like, but if they aren’t and won’t be worn its best to remove them from cluttering up your wardrobe. You can always give them to a friend or sibling if they are expensive – or put them in a box marked ‘to give to my daughter one day’. Don’t we all wish our mum had kept those amazing outfits she wore wear 30 years ago? I also kept a small number of items that shouldn’t have made the cut because they meant lots to me – including a red cape jacket, a printed maxi dress, and a gold and black fitted mini dress, all of which I loved to bits in their day and couldn’t part with.
I actually repeated these steps three weeks after the initial cull, because it was much harder than I thought to be unsentimental about items I hadn’t worn, and the second cull allowed me to be even more bold about what I would and wouldn’t wear.
Once you’ve done this all, congratulations, you have completed one of the hardest parts of the wardrobe rehab project and are well on your way to an effortlessly amazing wardrobe. I’ve included a few pics above of the chaos of the cull when I did it.