Forum member Star recently posted about an interesting wardrobe editing question that she found on the blog, Full Life Reflections. When you’re unsure whether to keep or pass on a wardrobe item, ask yourself this question: “would I buy it now?”

If the answer is no, ask yourself why? If you’ve come up with compelling reasons that are no longer aligned with short and long-term style goals, pass it on, or pop it into a holding zone away from your other wardrobe items just in case you change your mind. If the answer is yes, hold onto the item a little longer. Like forum member Star, you might find this closet editing question more logical and easier to answer than, “does it spark joy?”

Personally, I find it useful to ask myself whether an item sparks joy when it’s on the closet editing chopping block. I usually have a definitive feeling one way or the other, and follow my emotions. I also really like “would I buy it now?” because it prompts reflection that is less emotional, and more logical. This will give you more information for wardrobe planning and lay the groundwork for further reflections about the evolution of your style.

You do need to be careful when asking this question if you are prone to over-editing your wardrobe, or if you are a particularly moody dresser. For example, an item you wouldn’t buy right now might fall back into favour relatively soon and gain a new lease of life. You don’t want to wish you had a great red jacket, only to realize that you passed on a fabulous one a few seasons ago because you weren’t in the mood for red.

I recently passed on two old Smythe blazers because I hadn’t worn them for years. One was twelve years old, and the other seven. Both were a shade of grey, very structured, and no longer sparked joy. I had held onto them because equestrian looks are close to my heart.

Asking “would I buy them now” just reinforced my decision. They were grey, which I don’t enjoy wearing. Their stiff, structured silhouettes aren’t a great fit for my active lifestyle. Instead, I was reaching for much more comfortable, playful and colourful Boden and Hobbs blazers.

A simple question can surface thoughts and emotions that make it easier to decide whether to keep an item or not. These two questions are complementary. “Does it spark joy?” for the heart, and “would I buy it now?” for the head. 

Over to you. What do you ask yourself when you’re evaluating an item in your wardrobe?