Our wardrobes can get the best of us. The telltale signs: you have nothing to wear with a closet full of options, digging through piles of clothes to find that one t-shirt you wear everyday that might smell a little ‘worn – but that’s ok’, constantly shopping and returning (or just not wearing). It’s time to turn the tables. We should be wearing our clothes, not letting our clothes wear us.
With a strong wardrobe, you’ll save time, money, stress, and the environment. You’ll never not have anything to wear. We’ve put together a few of our favorite wardrobe rules to help eliminate, simplify, and establish your lineup.
We’re firm believers that less is more when it comes to your wardrobe. To start the paring down process, empty your closet and drawers onto your bed. Get everything out. Because though we’ll be refilling with old trustworthy pieces, the blank canvas of your ‘new’ closet helps you make more honest decisions about what you put back in.
Pick up every piece and put it in the keep pile (your closet) or get rid of it. This might sound overwhelming and time consuming. But just consider how much time we spend in our clothing, and possibly how much time we spend deciding what to wear. It will be worth it. It’s also helpful to get tactile with your textiles. Touching everything can help you understand the quality of the clothes that you wear more frequently. This is also a great time to notice the difference in feel of natural and unnatural fibers.
Before you put something back in your brand new wardrobe, ask these questions:
- do I wear this?
- would I buy this in the store if I saw it today?
- does this have an odor I can never seem to get rid of?
- does this item bring me happiness or do I look forward to wearing it?
- do I feel confident in this – or do I end up wishing I were wearing something else by the end of the day?
- why am I keeping this?
- do I have something to wear this with?
divide & conquer
As you’re putting all of the keepers back into your closet and drawers, organize. Dividing your clothing in whichever way is best for you (tops vs bottoms, work clothes vs play clothes, colors, etc.) will not only give you a pristine closet at the end of all of this, but also help you identify your closet’s strengths and weaknesses. You might find yourself putting the fifth long sleeve black t-shirt on a hanger or that you only have two non-holey pairs of undies.
At the end of this process, you’ll have a nice and clean view of your condensed options.
now for the other pile…
Unfortunately, getting rid of something is easier said than done. Especially in the age of synthetic materials. Many of the clothes we have now will be around for hundreds of years. So, what’s the best thing to do with that pile in the corner. (For a more in depth explanation, check out our full post on the topic.)
Reuse is always a good option. Clothes swaps with friends or repurposing old t-shirts into rags and filling for dog beds is always a safe low waste choice.
Donation on the surface level looks great and there can be some very wonderful causes. Unfortunately, many donation collections end up sending a large portion of their haul to landfills and developing areas. So just be aware of what you’re giving and to whom, or your pile may end up in a harmful pile. You can find some great places to donate to here.
Recycling – there are a number of textile recycling collection drops at retail stores near you. Check out where to find them and an explanation of the recycling services.
Composting is a great option for any natural clothing! Textile made of natural fiber will break down in your backyard.
maintaining your balance
Your closet is streamlined and your castoffs are out of your hands. Now all you have to do is maintain the beautiful balance.
Keep all of your clothes visible in the same space. This helps you keep a more complete visualization of your options and understand the quantity of your wardrobe.
Invest in pieces that you love and are of good quality, and your closet will love you back. Having clothes you can’t wait to put on, rather than those you can’t wait to take off, will boost your confidence, cut down on impulse spending, and lessen your overall footprint.
Use the hanger trick if you feel that your closet is getting out of hand again. Turn all of the hangers of your clothes in one direction. As you a wear an item, turn the hanger around the other way. After a few weeks, take note of which items are turned around, and which you haven’t touched.
Buy for your body, not for the latest trend. Something that is flattering and of lasting quality is always in style. Reliable pieces that you can appreciate over time will help you value your clothing more, and spend on flash trends less.