It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion that with a full closet, we have a wardrobe that is brimming with possibilities. However, most closets are stuffed with items that you don’t need, shouldn’t be wearing, or don’t even get around to wearing. The objective is to create a wardrobe that is fluid and consists of pieces that are easy to combine. This does not just refer to clothing, but to shoes and accessories as well.

The first step to creating a wardrobe that works for you is to prune what you already have. You’ll need to re-evaluate your existing wardrobe one piece at a time. Be ruthless when you prune, because ultimately every stitch in your wardrobe should be flattering to your body and suit your lifestyle.

Ask yourself the following questions as you tackle each item:

  • Is this flattering for my body type?
  • Is it the correct size? (Remember to dress for the body that you’re in today)
  • Is alteration worth considering?
  • Is the garment outdated?
  • Is the piece still in good condition?
  • Is the colour right?
  • Is the pattern right?
  • Why do I never wear this item?
  • Is the garment comfortable? (If it looks good but feels awful – get rid of it.)
  • How many pairs of black pants, white collared shirts, black T’s and white T’s can I have? (You may find that you have many of each but none are perfect – weed them out.)
  • Have I outgrown this look?
  • Is the piece ”me”? (Everything is right about the garment but you feel that it’s just not right for you, which is why you don’t wear it – pass it on.)
  • Is this item style-enhancing?

Ideally, your wardrobe should consist of only the cherries. If you don’t love everything in your closet, re-evaluate it before you contemplate any more purchases. Pruning should happen at least twice a year. After years of doing this, I still regard cleaning out my closet to be an act of liberation!