The wardrobe is usually the first place I go when I feel the urge to declutter, yet this past year has shown me that either I was a rubbish declutterer or my wardrobe was of colossal proportions. I suspect there is truth in both. So last year I gutted my wardrobe, my scarves, my jumpers, my shirts, my shoes, my jewellery, I gutted everything. Bags and bags went the charity shops, my daughters picked a few items but the house must have sighed with relief from the excess weight it had been carrying.
Then a couple of days ago I came across this blog, Recovering Shopaholic. Debbie did a full analysis of what she wore, bought or dispatched over a year. I knew that was what I needed to do, but first I had to make an inventory of everything I owned. Good Grief! Even after the Massive Purge of 2013, the inventory is not short. But it has been an interesting process. I have learned several things.
- I have very few pairs of trousers, which is good as a rarely wear them.
- On the other hand the few I have are almost all linen. No winter trousers.
- I have far too many jackets. My lifestyle has changed and I rarely need smart jackets anymore but as they still fit, look good and I like them I haven’t purged them. I should.
- I have only a handful of shirts, but lots of tunics, jersey tops etc. That seems to match my lifestyle.
- I have FAR FAR too many scarves. I gutted them on the spot.
- I love cashmere!
- I do not need 4 pairs of black suede court shoes
- I still have plenty of high heels. I almost never wear high heels.
- I have six black hats, but only ever wear one of them.
As you can see I still have quite a long way to go. It wasn’t until I wrote down every single item in my wardrobe that I could see where I needed to put the work in. I thought I had done quite well, and I had, but some areas (notably jackets) I thought I was doing the right thing because individually they ticked all the boxes (a) Fit me – yes; (b) I like them – yes; (c) in good condition – yes. But collectively they were a disaster.
Following Debbie’s advice I am now keeping a record of everything I wear. Now I have my inventory I can see at a glance what I have without having to open the wardrobe door. There is no excuse for me to say “oh I forgot I had that” and convince myself that is why I didn’t wear it. By the end of each month I will be able to see at a glance which items I love, and which I am avoiding.
This morning I planned to wear a cream cashmere crew neck that I had “forgotten” I put it on and ripped it off immediately, I looked like a raw sausage, that was the reason I hadn’t worn it in ages. So why was I giving it houseroom?
Update on my progress in February. In the meantime I also took Debbie’s advice to join the 40+ style challenge. You can find it here And this is my 10 piece capsule wardrobe. I had to take the actual items from Polyvore. But they are all similar to ones in my wardrobe. Seven outfits, 10 items including shoes and bag. It can be done 🙂