Thursday, 1 March 2012

I attempt wardrobe rehab. Step one: cull.

I'm not really a wardrobe hoarder. I have a few clothes but in recent years I've been regularly giving away items to my favourite op shop - Endos Paddington. So what is left is generally in good nick and fits and isn't too ancient (with the exception of hand-me-downs from my Grandma, but that's different).

However, I definitely have wardrobe lethargy. I'm bored and dissatisfied with what lurks behind the doors and I stare at every morning trying to pick an outfit for the day. I have too many clothes that only go with certain other pieces, to many clothes I can't get rid of because there is no real justification for doing so and to be frank I am unhappy with a lot of my standard outfits. I want a wardrobe that is simple, stylish and attractive to which I can treat myself to a couple of purchases every year of vintage fabulousness or new modern classics.

One problem is that I am pretty much the same size I was 10 years ago, so I can't justify getting rid of old clothes because they don't fit.

Another sort of problem is that I love to vintage and op shop. I may come up with pretty dresses and interesting jackets but as to wardrobe staples and sensible purchases - those concepts don't necessarily mesh with trips to Box Vintage.

I read A Pair and a Spare's blog on Wardrobe Rehab last week and felt so inspired I couldn't wait to get started! And this weekend I did.

Step one: cull

Geneva at A Pair and a Spare had some great decision-making rules which I sort of followed but I added a few of my own.

Geneva’s rules, or rather questions to ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I wore this?
  • Does this make me feel attractive?
  • Does this fit properly?
  • Is this item out of date?
  • Is this item worn out?
  • Does this need altering?

My additional rules:

  1. Anything handed down from my mother or grandmother was allowed to stay no matter how rarely I wore it.
  2. Clothes kept for a special purpose such as travelling were allowed to stay.

My wardrobe prior to The Cull.

Once I got started it was invigorating and I found myself getting rid of a lot of clothes. That ESPRIT blouse I bought and tore but haven’t fixed in at least 3 years – a sign. Binned. Some clothes stayed but were put in to hibernation. My denim skirt for instance. Not always the most flattering article and certainly not Vogue right now but still in good nick and one day it will come around again.

Piles of clothes on the bed - throw, mend and sell.

I kept a fair few clothes that weren’t the best but were the best I had. For instance, a much loved white blazer that has seen better days but stays until I upgrade. White sandals I rarely wear but are the only pair of white flat sandals I own.

I could have been more brutal and when I do this again at the end of the year I plan to be. Anything that has not been worn between now and 31 December will go. I wasn’t as tough on my shoes as I should have been but that was inevitable. Make up got a good purging but jewellery stayed as it is – I’d cleared that drawer out at the end of last year.

As it is my wardrobe looks smaller and better organised. It’s not fabulous yet but I’m going to go through all the other steps from A Pair and a Spare’s wardrobe rehab and in a year or two I hope to have a beautiful pared down wardrobe full of clothes I love to wear.

My wardrobe post-cull. There are small but subtle differences. Hopefully in a couple of years it will look very different indeed.

Now I just need to decide what to do with the moundof reject clothes currently living on my dressing table. Endos? Ebay? Clothes swap?

Step 2: define your style.


  1. lol I can't see much of a cull there my dear :p.

  2. That's because I filled it up with clothes that had previously been folded because they couldn't fit in the wardrobe. There is quite a pile of clothes that are no longer sticking around. Plus I've binned some.


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