The Purge Has Begun!


I wrote a couple of months ago about a new phase in my wardrobe: a winnowing of pieces down to more quality and less quantity. I said that I was emerging from an accumulative phase (lots of thrifting and experimenting) to a more pared-down phase.

Well, I am in the winnowing process now, and I’m finding it quite exciting. The change of seasons is of course a great catalyst. Gray and navy sweaters don’t look interesting now, and even my hair is reaching out in new, unexpected ways (humidity!).

Having studied some of my favorite blogs and style books, I came up with simple criteria, and applied them to every piece in my closet. I didn’t try everything on, as many books suggest, because I wear almost everything regularly. I just put my hand on the hanger, and talked to my clothing like this:

  1. Are you good quality?
  2. Do I want to wear you right away?
  3. Do you flatter me when I glance in a mirror?
  4. Are you easy to take care of?
  5. Are you the style personality I am feeling now (feminine, casual, a little funky), or a true Classic piece?

Many items have flunked the test/s and were taken to various charity shops this past week. Some worn-looking tees, knee-length shorts, denim skirts, two pairs of dated shoes and two inexpensive rayon dresses were out. A few nicer pieces were given to my sisters. I also gave away some costume jewelry that didn’t pass muster, and streamlined my scarf drawer.

There’s still work to be done, but I’m feeling optimistic. I’ll write next week about the pieces I’ve been eyeballing, to fill in the holes.

Are you doing any seasonal edits? Feeling an urge to purge a part of your closet?

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  1. I purge at least twice a year, but a lot of things just get put in the attic because I've made the mistake of getting rid of things and then wishing I hadn't! I also update my closet seasonally to keep it fresh and exciting. Have fun with your new look!

  2. Patti, I did this recently and the best part about it is that I can find things now.  I love hearing about your progress.  Dawn suitcase vignettes xo  I still have more to do….

  3. I am on a constant purge. I am not the one to make the quickest decision so for me its an entire process. i want to make sure i will never want the item again so I think about it a lot before i let go. I am like that in many aspects of life, so indecisive !
    But when I do get rid of something its just liberating. So i totally feel you.

  4. Good luck with this project, Patti! I think I edit quite a bit on an ongoing basis, plus I don't acquire new things very quickly. But there are always a few things that I'm not wearing but, for some reason, am reluctant to give up. I will often pack them away, temporarily, allowing myself the option to unpack if I really want them!

  5. You are a brave woman. I have a spare bedroom that has become a closet for my "stuff". I don't need that much stuff. I only wear about 5% of my clothes 95% of the time ( I schelp around in work clothes a LOT.) Thanks for inspiring me to take the plunge and start purging.

  6. Heh. This is exactly how I plan on spending most of Easter Sunday and/or Easter Sunday. Maybe it's the time of year, but right NOW feels right, you know?

  7. Interesting Patti. I've been doing the opposite. Buying a lot of clothes really cheap! I've created a little brights capsule and will show one of the pieces tomorrow and the whole capsule on Tuesday. It's been an interesting process and I may go back to only buying high quality items. But it's amazing how many more outfits you can create with cheaper clothes for the same price as one dress would cost! I think the trick will be to do a bit of both and mix the expansive with the cheaper items.

  8. I always seem to have five or six bags of discards headed to the Goodwill or Savers. I just can't figure out where it all keeps coming from, if I'm donating all the time. Shouldn't I run out at some point? LOL
    I recently got rid of a bunch of unflattering khaki pants and polo shirts that I'd been saving for years for "work clothes".  Time to be realistic: I'm not going to do that kind of work, so get rid of it!

  9. I am definitely feeling an urge to purge right now. It's that whole spring cleaning mindset. There's a charity bin near my home so I'll be feeding it soon. You have a good list of criteria.

  10. I loved reading this post! Iam doing this same purge on Monday. I will use very similar criteria to yours! Thanks!

  11. I've been thinking about this, although first I have to tackle my at-home office . . . makes me look like a candidate for Hoarders . . . 

  12. Paring down my wardrobe was one reason why I started my blog — to figure out what looked good on me, what I liked, and so on. Instead of paring it down, I've done the opposite. groan. I'm overwhelmed.

  13. I have been doing an edit, mostly because I've run out of hangers–which is always my clue that it is time to do this.  Your guiding questions are good ones.

  14.  Most to charity shops, some to family. A few are fit only for the recycle bin  : >

  15. I try to do this often. A little bit at a time. We have a pick-up service who donates and get some money for people in need and they call approx. once a month and I have a pile that I toss when I am standing in the closet, that I feel I do not wear or what have you. So, although I would love to do a huge purge I do a small one very regularly! 🙂

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