We left off a while ago... the back-to-school round-up and other related shenanigans tend to make a good part of September a total write-off when it comes to trying to get one's own self sorted out. It's okay though - it's a process - you can't get yourself completely kitted out in one week. Nor should you.
Anyway, in most places it's still really warm outside, and we're not ready to break out all the woollen things, with tights, tall boots, and scarf-like accessories. Let's start by putting our shorts away first. (But I'm still wearing mine.)
Last time we talked about having a look at images on the web or in print to get a sense of what you'd like your wardrobe to look like. What attracts you? What's your lifestyle about? Do you wear skirts, or do you only wish you did? Is it because you don't have the footwear to go with? Do you work at home, or in an office? What do you WANT to wear?
I've been asking this of my friend Julie - because of said back-to-school-ness, absent husbands, and impending holidays on the calendar, we've not yet been able to make the time to meet, but we're still chatting remotely.
She has purged, yo! Three bags of stuff to swap with her friends, and one bag to donate. I say, BRAVA!! Sadly, she says she's now down to only one pair of jeans, and she's been wearing them every day, but this is indicative of Things To Buy First. Especially since she often wears them to work. In her case, I'd find the best fit possible, and buy two pairs to start... but shopping comes after the purge - it will force you to acquire some new things, and you'll be less inclined to still hold onto your old stuff once the new stuff comes home.
I suggest SORTING your stuff first. See how many pairs of jeans you have. How many t-shirts are there? Turtlenecks. Leggings. Blouses. Sweaters... think about what you can let go of (like the super-old stuff, and maybe that reindeer sweater?) and think about the gaps in your wardrobe. What will you need to get to complete all the looks you want to create this season? What doesn't suit?
Now, there's no crying in extreme purging, okay? Keep a stiff upper lip - you'll be glad when it's over.
Start by having a good look at the stuff in your closet. If you haven't been wearing an item, ask yourself why not. Here's where HONESTY becomes your best ally.
Wrong size: This is often a problem. Maybe you've just had a baby and are waiting until you can fit back into your stuff. Or maybe that baby you just had is turning six or seven this year, and you need to just get honest about the size you are, and start clothing the body you have now. It's really okay - the goal is to look and feel as awesome as possible. Think about the kinds of ways you want to dress, and toss anything that doesn't suit. (Don't wear sweatpants every day - it's bad for your bum.) Besides, if you're holding onto stuff that hasn't fit for seven years, I'll bet it's dated as hell, and needs pitching anyway. Just do it.
That said, if you're in a motivated "get fit" kind of place in your life, I'm not suggesting you pitch your entire wardrobe, but you could put some things away that don't fit right now, just so they won't be hanging there taunting you, making you hate your closet and your life. That's terrible. Getting dressed should be fun! Just store them someplace else for a while.
Old, Faded and Hole-y: Stuff wears after a thousand washes, and not always in the good way. If it's in bad repair, just get rid of it - unless it's really dear to you, you probably won't spend the time or money having it refurbished or mended, so just toss it. Yes, I know you can probably sew up that little hole in the armpit yourself, but be truthful - will you do it? Will you replace all the buttons on that jacket that you still kinda-sorta like, that you'd maybe wear if only they were only navy and not brass? I wouldn't either. Unless you're taking that garment to the dry-cleaners for them to do it for you? Put it in the heap - it's taking up precious real estate inside your closet.
Of course, it's always better to have a little nip or tuck done on better garments to lengthen the wear. See if someone can get that stain out. Have the strap repaired. Get the shoe guy to put new lifts on the clackedy-clacking pumps that have seen better days. It's just if you're not really going to, then rid yourself of your "to-do" chores and move on with your life. (I hate chores. I don't want a pile of stuff sitting in a corner, nagging me, for weeks and weeks... do it, or don't. Just DECIDE.)
Itchy/constricting/uncomfortable stuff: This goes without saying, doesn't it? I don't care how much it cost. I don't care who gave it to you, or knit it for you, or whatever. You hate to wear it because it bunches/it chokes you/it gives you a rash? Get rid of it.
Just plain... bad: How do you know if it's just bad? You know, deep down. You just do. You know because for whatever reason, every time you put it on, you pull it right off again, because you feel wrong. Or you feel silly. Or you feel like it's just not you. Maybe you got caught up in a trend. Fads wane over time... it happens - move on. Maybe high-waisted pants look terrible on you. Pleated pants look terrible on just about everyone these days, so get rid of those for sure. You probably shouldn't have holes in the ass of your jeans anymore... don't be all hoochie - just get them out of your closet. If you're not sure, ask a friend you trust. (Not a nice friend - get the bitchy kind that will help you be ruthless.) If you think the colour is bad on you, it probably is. You know when you look good... so trust that.
At the end of the day, it's YOU who wears the stuff, so get rid of anything that doesn't make you smile when you put it on. And the same rules apply for socks, underwear and pajamas - don't be a hobo under your clothes for goodness sake.
And don't feel guilty about monies already spent, or clothes unworn. JUST GET THEM OUT OF YOUR CLOSET and your guilt will be gone, I promise. Take all those items that are still in good repair, and give them away to friends, or hold a swap-meet (people do that, I hear) or just donate the goods - there's somebody out there that can use the stuff. For realz.
Next time, we work on finding the right fit, for both your body, and for your life. Mkaaaaaay?