Over the course of my adult life, 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 roughly 180 pounds of pregnancy weight over the past 8 years, someone who has worn maternity clothing for 4 different seasons, someone who struggles with Diastasis Recti, and someone who shops almost exclusively at thrift stores or ThredUp!
Obviously, I didn’t purge all my clothing every time I got pregnant, but I was fairly ruthless about purging anything once it 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 “what if I need it again?” feeling that makes it so hard to purge. 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.
Let me be clear… I do NOT have a minimalist wardrobe!
However, I still prefer fewer pieces of clothing that fit well, feel great, and flatter me (and mix-and-match with each other) versus a closet full of things I don’t love.
Plus, only focusing on FIT, FEEL, and FLATTER makes it 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 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. 🙂
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 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.
- 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 pair of 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 don’t love them 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… 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!