With a new season approaching, it's the perfect time to edit my closet and simplify my wardrobe. I tend to be a collector of things - if I find a tee that fits well, I buy it in three colors. What inevitably ends up happening is that I have a surplus of clothes and only wear about 10% of them regularly. I'm realizing more and more that I would rather spend a little more money on one top that is different from everything else that I own, than a little bit of money on three of the same. I'm in full closet-editing and season-transitioning mode, so I thought I'd share how I do it.
With each new season and closet transition, I like to go through and edit all of the clothes that I have. Since they will be stored for 3-6 months, I want to make sure that I'm holding on to them for a reason. Some things I know will transition easily, like a simple grey tee or a lace blouse, so they stay hanging. Other things, like dresses and lightweight camis go through my "list of questions" to see if they will make the cut.
Have I worn this in the last three months? If so, how many times?
The first question I always ask is if I've worn the item during the season it's meant for. If no, then it goes in the donate pile immediately. If yes, I think about how many times. If it was once, then I consider if I still like the style, fit, color, etc. If I wore it multiple times, it stays.
If I'm looking at special occasion items, like a dress for a wedding or event, and haven't worn them yet but still like them, they'll stay.
Do I still like this item?
Once I've determined how many times it's been worn, I look to see if I really like the item still. Do I like the color, the cut, the style? Does it fit in with the rest of my wardrobe, or is it something that I wouldn't normally wear? Is it something that I can transition easily into the next season, or will it be out-of-style in 6 months? If the answer to all of these is yes, then I go for the try-on test. If I fidget with it, try to adjust it, or feel the need to layer over it, it doesn't feel like it needs to be kept. I like fuss-free clothing that I feel comfortable in, so I want to get rid of anything that feels high-maintenance or not quite right. The real question is, "Do I feel good in this?" If there's any doubt, it goes.
Can I wear this in other seasons, or is it just a seasonal item?
If a top has passed the first two rounds, it's time to decide just how valuable it is. If it's something I can wear in multiple seasons, it's an automatic "stay". If it's something that I can only wear in the Summer or only in the winter, I have to decide if it's worth taking up space on a hanger or in storage. Is it something I could find again? Is it unique enough that it's worth holding onto?
How many ways can I wear it?
When I've pared it down to only things that fit well, make me feel good, and will last for more than one season, I like to assess how functional it will be. If it's something that can only be worn one way and for one occasion, I think about if it's really worth keeping. Will there be another scenario that will call for this, or am I just holding onto it, in case of the 5% chance I'll want it? Can I find something like it, if that occasion arises? If I can think of multiple ways to style it, it's made the final cut and can find it's resting place in storage (or still in my closet).
I don't just do this with clothes, either! Bags, purses, jackets, scarves - everything that is stored in my closet gets put through the test. That way, at the start of a new season, I have a simplified wardrobe that can be built on. It's inevitable that I'll want to add a couple things each season to my closet, so I like to have just my favorite, best-fitting pieces left, so that I have something to work from. If I'm shopping, I can think through what I already have and determine if the thing I'm looking at is really worth adding to my wardrobe. Will it fit in with my style? Will it pass my test in 3 months?
When I've purchased a new item, I like to bring it home and try it on a couple different ways - style it differently to see if it will really be worth keeping. If it's going to be one of those things that I wear once and end up donating in 3 months, then I return it. This whole process helps me to be a little more intentional when it comes to my closet, which is never a bad thing.