I edit and review my closet every month because I like to know exactly what I have in my wardrobe, how it all works together, and how I feel about the items as my style evolves. Monthly closet reviews sound excessive, but this is my line of work so I’m extra motivated, engaged and organized about what is removed and added, and why I’ve made those decisions. I also like to keep my moderate wardrobe at about 150 pieces (for a four-season climate) because that’s the magical number for my wants and needs.
For context, I keep EVERYTHING apart from outerwear and wardrobe basics in a small walk-in wardrobe that I share with hubby, Greg. I keep coats in a separate coat closet, and basics and yoga wear in a chest of drawers. I don’t separate or swap out the seasons, although I do rearrange items within the closet space so that seasonal items are easily on hand.
I typically don’t pass on many items at a time, because I edit very frequently. If I did, there would be nothing left. But my last edit was substantial because I finally let go of many items I’d been holding on to for too long. As requested, I’m sharing the items and the reasons they exited my wardrobe.
I couldn’t bear parting with my eleven-year tan knee-high slouchy Prada boots until now because I bought them with Greg in Milan. But they’re very battered and the soles are worn through, I wore them that much. My cognac Prada boots are my most worn boots of all time. I’ve had them spruced up and fixed multiple times, and it’s time to retire the incredible workhorses. The colour-blocked wedges were bought in Tokyo six years ago, and are in pristine condition, but too high now that I wear flats almost exclusively. The seven-year Donald Pliner boots are too heavy and chunky for my current style preferences. The floral pumps are immaculate, but too high. The silver pumps and oxfords are battered, and I’m not into silver anymore. The pink sneakers are worn through.
The first three clutches have been around for years, worn till the cows come home, and are now awfully battered. The green snakeskin clutch was a sentimental item that no longer makes me happy, so it had to go. The silver clutch is in pristine condition, but I’m over silver and focussing on gold. The old radio clutch is adorable but is too small for my gigantic phone. The gold satchel is a glorious shade of gold and in good nick, but the multiple pockets were driving me batty, making me feel utterly disorganized and messy.
I hung on to the very old tomato red skirt skirt for years, because it’s the most perfect shade of tomato red. For years I would try it on, but take it right it off because although it looked good and fit well, I’m so over classic pencil skirts. I don’t like the way they feel and this one looks too short. The old black flared skirt is lovely, flirty and fun, but also feels too short. It’s a pity that the red and orange pants had to go because they pilled, and the orange ones stretch out terribly. The burgundy pants also stretch out too much after a day’s wear. The red lace pants are a year old and gorgeous. But I’ve learned the hard way that I’m awfully uncomfortable in a high-rise elastic waist. It rides up my hips and causes crotch discomfort. Lesson learned.
The first very old pullovers pilled, but lasted quite a while. The purple pullover was immaculate and about ten years old. I hung on to it because the quality was sensational. But it doesn’t layer well under anything. I demoted it to at home only, but in the end the colour didn’t make me happy. The oatmeal multi-media pullover ripped. The peach pullover got scratchier and scratchier on the neckline. The floral pullover was immaculate, but too grey despite the pretty blue flowers. The old navy shirt had a great run, but had started to fade. The old navy and black pullover stretched on the neckline and didn’t look sufficiently polished anymore. And the gorgeous old navy open-weave turtleneck has sleeves that won’t stay put when they scrunch. They used to, but over the years, the sleeves have lost their elasticity.
I passed on these dresses because I don’t want to showcase my knees anymore, not even with hosiery. Some dresses I wore over cropped straights and flares as tunics, which was fun and covered. But their time has passed too. Most of these dresses are either old or very old, apart from the burgundy dress which is from last season.
The old blush leather jacket was worn into the ground and stained permanently on the sleeves. The twelve-year-old black satin moto was one of my most worn jackets ever. It fit and travelled like a dream, but had ripped, pilled and worn through. The old tuxedo jacket was looking shabby. The old black moto coat — although in pristine condition which is why I held on to it for years — feels too hard-edged, black and tough for my style. I tried to soften it, but now more than ever it’s wrong for the “pretty, dainty & soft” integrity I like to showcase in my outfits.
Items have been passed on in several ways. Some went to friends, some to clothing drop-off points, and many to the Seattle Dress for Success.
Going forward, there are items I want to replace like the red and orange pairs of pants, some toppers, and the knitwear. I’d love to find a pair of knee-high tan boots too. All in good time.