The Great Purge

Material excess. That is a large part of the world we live in today. Fast fashion vs investment pieces. Instant gratification and impulse buys. Packed closets and overflowing dresser drawers.

Master Closet Reveal: Our His & Hers Closet
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Not everyone has these issues, I know, but I’ve come across more friends dealing with the overabundance versus the minimal. I wanted to write this post for a few reasons – 1. The Marie Kondo craze from the beginning of the year 2. So many stores are pushing big sales this summer 3. A few friends/family have asked for advice on cleaning out their shit.

I have said many times on here that I definitely have a shopping problem. My husband questions me all the time on whether an item is new or not. And I have a long running wish-list at multiple stores that I constantly talk myself out of buying.

With that in mind though, I have done a fantastic job in the past couple years with whittling down my closet to fit the vision I actually have for my style and curbing the fast fashion mentality of buying things that only last a season, are way too trendy, and/or just add to the mess instead of filling a hole. I’ve gotten so thorough with it that K has actually forbidden me from going through his stuff because he’s worried about what’s going to disappear.

closetHere are the rules/guidelines I sent one of my friends recently:

  1. Does the item fit?
    1. When was the last time it DID fit?
    2. If less than 1 year ago, are you actively doing something now to make it fit again?
  2. Are there any signs of wear & tear on the item?
    1. If yes, is it fixable AND are you actually going to fix it (holes, buttons, zippers, etc)?
  3. Does the item look good/flatter you?
    1. When you put the item on, how does it make you feel? If the answer isn’t GREAT, don’t keep it.
  4. Does the item fit into the vision you have for yourself?
  5. If the item fits and looks good, do you actually wear it?

Think about…

  • What you reach for regularly (outside of work)
  • Why you always reach for those items
  • What colors or styles you favor/flatter you

Pull EVERYTHING (but spread it out over a weekend, and do it by sections so you don’t feel overwhelmed) out and go through it one by one asking yourself those questions. Try it on, inspect it, then create piles [love, maybe, goodbye]. The maybe stuff you can put in a box and see if you think about those items or go back to them over the course of a few months. If you do, then add them back. If you don’t, then goodbye.

{I still think about and miss this gorgeous navy blue velvet blazer I had and got rid of. BUT it hasn’t fit me since I left graduate school and I didn’t even wear it in then because it just didn’t fit the atmosphere. I only got rid of it a few years ago so I ultimately held onto that thing for 4 years while never wearing it because I loved it. BUT I finally realized/accepted it was never going to fit again and I also never wear blazers. It’s just no longer my style.}

Point of that story, is sometimes you have to be hard and honest with yourself when going through your clothes or other items. Remove sentiment and be thorough! But also remember – it really is ok to keep something because you absolutely love it or it holds deep sentimental value. I keep all the race t-shirts and tournament shirts from all the things K and I do but I rarely wear that stuff. To me it’s another way to track all the things we do together and preserve the memories.

Clueless remakeOnce you’re done picking everything over, then you get to go through and see what your wardrobe is missing from the vision you created. The key (and this is the hard part for those of us who LOVE shopping) is to only buy what you actually NEED to fill those holes. One thing I like to do is create a list of items that I wish I had when creating an outfit. Then I try to pay attention to how much I wish I could reach for that item. From there I can figure out what items I may actually need versus buying yet another cream colored sweater because I like them.

The Nordstrom anniversary sale has been going on the past week or so, and I definitely dove in to see what was all there the day early access opened. BUT I went in with a list of what I was actually looking for and restricted myself from going crazy with other things. Ultimately I bought one thing (the SPANX faux leather leggings), and it was an item I wanted during last year’s sale but sold out and something I kept wishing I could reach for in my closet all winter.

There are a few bloggers/influencers that have taken the step of creating a capsule wardrobe, Jess Ann Kirby is the top one that comes to mind. I recommend checking out her tips once you’re at that stage in your great purge!


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