Fit. Feel. Flatter. My Wardrobe Simplifiers

posted by Andrea | 09/16/2016
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fit feel flatter

Over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to regularly purge my own closet of anything that doesn’t fit, anything I don’t feel great wearing, and anything that doesn’t flatter my figure — a pretty tall order for someone who has gained and lost about 100 pounds of pregnancy weight over the past 5 years, worn maternity clothing for 3 different seasons, and changed clothing style preferences a couple times!

Obviously, I didn’t purge all my clothing every time I got pregnant, but I was fairly ruthless about purging it after the baby was born. I gave myself a few months to figure out what my “new normal” weight and size would be, and then I got to work purging the clothing that no longer fit, felt great, or flattered me.

It has not always been easy or fun to purge my clothing. 

I’ve definitely struggled with the “but it’s in perfect condition” and the “but it cost good money” excuses… and there’s always that “what if I need it again?” feeling I talked about last week. However, as I think back over all the clothing I’ve purged in my life, I truly can’t think of anything I regret getting rid of.

For me, the idea of having fewer pieces of clothing that fit well, feel great, and flatter me is SO much better than having a closet full of clothing with “nothing to wear” (raise your hand if you can relate to that feeling!)

Plus, by only focusing on FIT, FEEL, and FLATTER, it’s significantly easier for me to remove any sort of emotional, sentimental, or monetary attachment to a particular item of clothing. 

Think about it… if you simply stand in front of your mirror, try on your clothing, and evaluate it based on the fit, how it feels, and if it flatters you, you won’t need to worry about how much you paid for it, if it’s still in great condition or not, if you could potentially wear it once you “lose your last 10 pounds”, if your grandma or best friend gave it to you, etc. etc.

If it doesn’t fit, it’s gone — EVEN if it still has the tags on

If you don’t feel great wearing it, it’s gone — EVEN if you paid good money for it

If it doesn’t flatter you, it’s gone — EVEN if it was a gift from your mother-in-law 🙂

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Of course, it most likely will not be this black and white once you’re actually standing in your closet… but these 3 factors have often helped me to realize when I’m hanging onto an item out of guilt and/or sentiment, or if I actually like the item and will wear it on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind that this type of organization and purging is forever a work in progress (at least for me). There are always, and probably will always be, things in my closet that aren’t my favorite but I still wear, things that don’t fit me perfectly but are good enough, things that don’t feel great but I need them anyway, and things that don’t flatter me but I’m too cheap to buy a replacement.

For example:

  • The red long-sleeve shirt that is too tight for my preference, but it’s the only red shirt I have and I only wear it a couple of times around Christmas (usually under a cardigan or sweater) so it doesn’t pay to get something new or purge the one I have.
  • The jean skirt that’s a little big but it’s super cute and it works if I have a shirt tucked in.
  • The super thick wool socks that are also super ugly, but I wear them a few times every winter when it’s really really cold and I’m outside playing with the kids.
  • ALL nylons and tights… I hate the feeling but I need a couple pairs to wear with skirts and dresses in the winter!

I certainly don’t want you to toss out your entire wardrobe (although I have thought about how freeing it would feel to totally start over again!) but instead, just start really thinking about how your clothing fits, how you feel when you wear it, if it flatters your figure, or if you are simply holding onto it out of guilt, or emotions, or sentimentality.

If you can’t answer “yes” to my Fit, Feel, and Flatter tests, then it might be time to purge!

This might mean purging an item that is fairly new, something you THOUGHT you’d wear more often, or something that used to be your favorite before you __________ (had a baby, lost weight, gained weight, changed your style, etc.)

If you’re not 100% convinced you can live without a certain item, I’d encourage you to put everything in a couple boxes or bags and completely remove them from your bedroom. Then, make a note in your planner or set a reminder on your phone for 4-6 months. If you still haven’t touched the items in that period of time, I’m almost certain you’ll be able to live without them!

What about you… what items will you purge first!

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10 comments

  1. Pat Harris

    09/29/2016

    Over the last 2 years I’ve lost 50 pounds. Obviously some of my clothes no longer fit. Some things I’ve hung onto for the last 20 years fit again! Yeah! I have needed to purge regularly. I have a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe. There is some overlap but not a whole lot. So every fall I go through my winter clothes as I get them out and my summer clothes as I put them away. Then the bags go to charity so I can’t save them in case I regain a few pounds. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my closet!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — congrats on the weight loss! That’s impressive! And yay for purging. I’m sure you’ll love the extra space in your closet.

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  2. Lois

    09/17/2016

    oh so timely now that the weather is turning and I am about to “bring the tubs down” of new season’s clothes. I too, have listened to your blog and purged quite a bit this year. But the idea of trying on fall clothes and doing the same is such a big overwhelming thought for me. I have to just do it, vs saying I will at the end of the season. I have a big wardrobe and dresser that now have empty drawers! Maybe, elimination of the tubs can happen and all seasons fit in one? Ahhh the challenge. Love your blogs. xxxooo

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Lois! Wouldn’t it be so great if you could fit everything into your closet with no clothing in storage! Fingers crossed that you can get rid of your tubs!!

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  3. Debbie

    09/16/2016

    I’m so glad you said that it’s a work in progress because I realized that something I’m not able to let go now eventually I can let go in a couple of months or less. The fit, feel, and flatter is what I’ve been keeping in mind every time I try to purge things out of my closet and drawers. I also appreciate that you do keep some items even though they don’t fit or flatter quite well because they’re still cute when worn with other pieces.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! Always a work in progress… always!
    And yes, there are things I keep because the work and I use them… but they aren’t necessarily my favorite (I think every frugal closet has a few of those pieces!)

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  4. Beatriz

    09/16/2016

    I have been going through my house and purging quite a bit this year. Right now there are several sentimental garments hanging in my closet as we speak garments I know I need to be rid of but just can’t let go. They definitely do not fit into your rule but I have been loathe to get rid of them but I know this will be the year I get rid of them.

    I have also taken some things out of my kitchen and I felt so proud of myself! Yesterday alone I sold a Magic Bullet that I had received as a gift but for which I had no real use. The Bullet had too many parts and not enough of what I wanted, especially as I had only used it a handful of times; I freed up a whole shelf!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yay for less clutter in the kitchen!! I’m sure that feels great!
    And good luck with your clothing purge 🙂

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  5. Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life

    09/16/2016

    Those are the question I ask too! Why would I want to keep something that doesn’t fit well, that I don’t feel confident in, or what doesn’t make me look good? I’ve been pretty ruthless in cutting back our clothing and it is so much easier to get dressed now.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, it’s harder for me after having kids because my size has changed so dramatically SO many times over the past 5 years… but now that I’m “evened out” a bit, I’m ready to purge even more!!

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