help! my wardrobe is bigger than my ego

I have way too many clothes. Well, maybe not according to most people’s standards, but certainly mine. And I keep getting more. It’s like when I’m out shopping I black out and forget my huge, overflowing closet back home.

I used to think the more stuff the better, but now the sum of it irks me. What Not to Wear shed new light on what a complete wardrobe means to me. First off, this show is great. They give fashionably challenged trainwrecks a complete style makeover and it changes lives. They throw out every piece of clothing and pair of shoes they own. It’s addicting, and inspiring and I’m stuck to the couch anytime there’s a marathon. But at the end, they give you a look at their new wardrobe and it’s made up of like  5 tops, 2 pants, 1 pair of jeans, and a dress. Maybe I exaggerate but it doesn’t look like much! So the point is to mix and match – 20 items of clothing = 100 outfits. But wouldn’t people at work notice you wearing the same dress 3 different ways every week?

Anyway, this does make me realize that each and every one of us are clothes hoarders. The thought of having a million things in your closet can be blissful, but also backfire. Here’s why:

1. It’s overwhelming. When you look in your closet to pick something out you have no idea where to start.

2. Think about it. You only wear 20% of what you own. This morning, I am about to put on a shirt that I think I wore last weekend, when I have a million other tops that I haven’t seen daylight in months. I have at least 15 pairs of jeans but currently rotate 3 or 4.

3. Your closet gives you anxiety. It’s messy. It’s unkempt. It’s down right overwhelming to look at. Who needs closet stress on top of all the other things we deal with?

So what do we do? Set aside a cold or rainy afternoon on a weekend to go through EVERYTHING. Take everything out of that closet and dresser, put it on the floor in the living room and sort into 3 piles: Keep, Donate, Consign. Don’t spend more than 10 seconds deciding on any item. If you find pieces you’re unsure of, put them aside and go back to them later. You’ll be surprised at how your attitude can change as you go through the process.

All of the things you have with stains, holes, rips, or that are just plain wornout should be donated. Find one of those donation bins on the side of the road. It will feel invigorating and I promise you won’t even remember those things you weren’t quite sure about tossing. Think about all that new room in your life!

You should only keep items that really get you excited. I mean the tops that you wear all the time, jeans that make you feel amazing, work clothes that you find yourself rotating every week, etc. Everything else that’s not being donated you should consider consigning. Consignment is the easiest way to make a couple hundred extra bucks a year. Google your local consignment store, they are usually all over the place and cover every budget point. If you have designer items in great condition, find a shop that specializes in selling high end, gently used clothing. If your wardrobe is a bit all over the place like mine (from H&M to Ann Taylor to BCBG and everything in between), consider selling at an average shop. They will love you for your higher-end picks and also be willing to get rid of that basic Gap tee that you can’t get yourself to donate.

Finally, you’re left with a wardrobe filled with only the items that make you feel glorious. And stuff you actually love to look at! Sort of like Forbes 100 of your closet.

I like to do this at least once a year. I still have problems with clothes hoarding but this is the only way to address it. My consignment shop starts taking Spring items soon so I better go get started!


One Comment on “help! my wardrobe is bigger than my ego”

  1. Tara says:

    Give your donations to me, the shelter I work at is always looking for clothes. Especially work clothes. The ladies need good stuff to wear to their interviews!

    I’m loving your blog! Can’t wait for more!

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