how to edit and build your wardrobe step 2: edit with purpose


you need: full length mirror, large bags or boxes, marker, pad and pencil, and digital camera.
If you have a friend who understands the image you’re trying to project, will be honest about how you look, and is knowledgeable about tailoring (bonus), invite them to help you through the process. If you don’t, then do it on your own.
Go through your closet, piece by piece and ask yourself in the following order:
  • Does this fit my desired image? If yes, continue
  • Does this fit my lifestyle? If yes, continue
  • If no: Can it be styled in a new way to fit my desired image and lifestyle?
  • How do I feel in this? If positive, continue
  • Does this fit, or can it be altered? If yes, it’s a keeper

  • Pull Everything out at once. Go thru piece by piece pulling anything out that you know you want to sell, donate, recycle, or bring to the dry cleaner or tailor, leaving the keeps and maybes in the closet.
  • Feel bad about wanting to dress better. You deserve to feel and look your best.
  • Let guilt make you keep something based on the amount of money you’ve paid for it, or because of who gave it to you.
  • Keep anything that you don’t feel comfortable wearing.
  • Rush the process. If you are unsure about something keep it until you can decide for sure, once it’s gone, it’s gone. This is a process that can take time. It’s ok!
  • Make immediate decisions first. Get rid of anything you know without a doubt you don’t love first, leaving anything you’re unsure about in the closet and keep moving.
  • Try everything on!! Your body changes over time, something that may not have fit properly the last time you wore it may fit nicely now (and vice-versa). Why you haven’t worn something is more important than how long it’s been since you’ve worn it. You’ll learn more about this in step 3.
  • Downgrade. work shirt is now for whatever reason, not appropriate for work anymore but still fits and you feel good in it. Designate it for weekend or to wear around the house.
  • Have something tailored or altered in a way to make it wearable. Shortening a hem or having sleeves shortened to 3/4 length, or having a dress made into a top or skirt.
  • Separate out sentimental pieces that you’re keeping but won’t wear again. These pieces need to be properly stored away, not taking up valuable space in your closet.
  • Keep in mind that not every piece of clothing needs be worn all the time. Those special pieces that you love but only wear once a year or two years can be kept.
Take inventory of what’s left. Go back to what’s in the closet (keepers and maybes) and organize by category (shirts, skirts, pants) in color order light to dark. Put a colorful wardrobe in rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. You can also break it up further separating work, casual, and dressy. The purpose is to make it easy to see what you have and what you may need. Once it’s in order, go thru the process again, trying things on to see how things look and fit and can be styled in a way that works for your lifestyle and desired look.
Go through bags, shoes, accessories, and undergarments last. Anything that doesn’t fit, has holes or stains should be discarded. Some things can be repurposed; cotton socks are great for polishing or as rags for general cleaning.
Find the holes in your wardrobe. Look to your inspiration file to help you experiment combining colors and pieces you may haven’t in the past. Take pictures of the outfits you put together – believe me, you will forget. Write a detailed list of anything that will supplement what you have left. Example: “This outfit would be great if I had a light cropped fitted black cardigan.”
Before you go shopping, you must learn from the previous mistakes you’ve made… That’s Step #3… 


3 responses

  1. good advice order obsessed- I like to think of my wardrobe as packing for a trip, bring only what you need and one back-up in case of an emergency. accessories have more than purpose.

  2. taking pictures really really helps me to understand what I look like and what others see. most of the time I find that I don’t look a thing like what I thought I did. My husband helps me by taking pictures of me from every direction so as to create a 360 mirror – Yes he has a lot of patience!I love your advice orderly obsessed! Trying my best to implement it each day.