We love this time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is holiday parties! We look forward to any opportunity to pull out our fancy duds and put our party shoes on!
But the truth of the matter is that many of things we think we’ll wear, we never do. It’s always the classic LBD, the sparkly, yet comfortable heels and the handbag that magically goes with everything.
Pretty much everything else seems to belong in a fantasy world where we imagine ourselves dancing the night away when, in reality, we’re in bed by 9pm exhausted from a day of work and family obligations.
If this sounds like you, we have some tips on how to declutter your closet and create a wardrobe that has only the things you love and actually wear.
***If you need help with more than just your closet, our Love Your Home Again course has everything you need to get your entire space working like a well oiled machine! From an efficient kitchen to an orderly dresser, we can teach you how to create lasting systems that will free up your time to do the things you love!***
Pull Everything Out
If you’ve ever decluttered with us before, you know the first step is to pull absolutely everything out. In this case, you don’t need to empty out your entire wardrobe, just anything that you consider to be special, fancy or formal wear. This includes dresses, pantsuits, blazers, shoes, coats, etc. Anything that falls out of the category of everyday wear should be included.
Now, try everything on. We know you don’t really want to, but better now than an hour before you have to head out the door and find out nothing fits.
If you own a dress that doesn’t fit and you haven’t worn it in years, donate! Maybe it cost a ton and you’re kicking yourself for wasting so much money in the first place, but keeping it hidden away in your closet isn’t going to recoup your cost. Same goes for those amazing heels you figured would get more comfortable as time went on – we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but those beauties are going to give you blisters every time you wear them.
Especially in the case of formal wear, it’s much better to let go of something while it’s still in style. If you want to try to sell to a company like ThredUp, you’ll have much better luck if the item isn’t dated. But even in the case of donations, sooner is better. If you’re having a hard time parting with a particular item, imagine how happy another woman will be when she spots your beautiful dress in a thrift store. Just know you’re doing a good thing and your instinct to hang on to something when you won’t wear it isn’t serving you in any way.
Don’t Live In A Fantasy World
Now that you’ve tried everything on and you’re only left with the things that fit, it’s time to get real. Does that spectacular tailored blazer really have a place in your life? Yes, it probably does because it’s a classic. You can wear it to work or dress it up for a night out and it looks brand new because you invested in it to begin with. Not everything you own has to go! Keep the things that make you feel amazing and you know for sure you’ll wear, even if you haven’t recently (thanks Covid).
But be realistic.
Just because something fits doesn’t mean it belongs in the keep pile. If you used to go out and party every weekend but now you’re married with kids and haven’t dressed up in ages, you likely don’t need all the evening wear you own. How many different dresses do you need? How many will you truly, actually wear?
Stay rooted in the life you’re living, not the life you imagined you’d be living.
Use this process with your clothes, your shoes and your accessories. The goal is to be left with only things you are going to wear, 100%. Not the “maybe one days” or the “I’ll decide laters”.
Protect Your Investments
Once you’ve pared down your wardrobe, it’s time to take care of those things you love! We all know that the best parties can get messy 😉 Tons of conversation, good food and drink and maybe even a little dancing can lead to clothes that need some TLC.
The first and most important (and obvious) rule of thumb is to never put something away that isn’t clean. Check the cleaning instructions and take care of it right away. You want to make sure that any stains or odors aren’t left to sit and find a permanent home in your beloved silk blouse. Even if you only wore it for an hour or two and you think it might be ok, err on the side of caution. Clothes that are worn infrequently can get ruined if they’re stored improperly.
For all the clothes that had to be dry cleaned, we recommend removing them from the plastic bags when you get them home. Plastic doesn’t allow your clothes to breath and fresh air is better for prolonging the life of your item. If you still want additional protection, we’d suggest linen garment bags.
If you do find a stain, try the Stain Solution from the Laundress. We love all of their products and the stain solution combined with their soft bristled brush can do wonders on a stubborn red wine mark. (This isn’t a paid endorsement, we really just do love their entire line of laundry care!)
When it comes to your favorite heels, think ahead! Heel protectors are a great product, particularly if you’re going to walking around outside. They not only protect your shoes from dirt and wear, but they can protect you from falls and slips.
Hopefully these tips and products will help you create a functional wardrobe you absolutely love and will allow you to walk out the door with confidence and style!