Lisa, this is impressive! And really so helpful. I’m just wondering how much coffee you consumed during this process? I need to do this exact edit and want to make sure I have enough on hand.

I think periodic assessments are useful and will help propel you to more happiness with your closet once you can fill in a few holes.

I've got the jean situation going on over here as well. I am planning on packing away the tighter pairs for now, because my weight does fluctuate so who knows, I may be able to wear them again. In the meantime, I want the dang space back. The ones I'd be tucking away are duplicates -- I have multiple sizes of same thing. Not out of style. Just, different size.

Otherwise (having done a lot of massive decluttering the past two years) my biggest category at the moment is items that fit just fine, but I'm bored or "off" of them .....and have been for awhile. These are items like silk-ish long sleeve button downs for work. I've been lately in a "topper" mode and I don't like how the collar sits under a jacket. (I am in topper mode because since officially hitting menopause I am running COLD, not hot, now!! Argh).

But mostly, I've got to admit, I've just been shopping a lot lately!!! After going through 18 months of renovation living with just two suitcases of clothes, there was so much pent up desire, and it's been unleashed since!

I do keep a large bag in my closet and I'm constantly adding donate items to it, items I've had for years, loved for years, still fit, are still classic enough (not out of style).... I am just bored with the items (and found something I like better).

It's really hard to give up those button down blouses because as soon as I do, flutter, bell, and other fussy sleeves are going to go out of style.

Oh -- and about the boots!!

I barely wore my tall boots this year, but the winter was fairly mild and/or I missed the worst parts as I was traveling to warmer climes.

For that reason I'm still keeping them. Never know what we'll get next year. (Then again I'm so hard to fit with tall boots... I have pairs that are 20 years old).

Similarly I am loathe to cull my heavier sweaters at this time. I did finally say goodbye to a white puffer coat that had turned irreversibly yellow while packed away in storage during the reno. RIP, white puffer.

Yet meanwhile my collection of flats including sneakers is GROWING. I've have officially reached the tipping point where I finally own more flats than heels. Makes hubby super happy, as I'm not complaining about my feet hurting.

Lisa, this is pretty impressive. I can imagine how much work it was. It took me until this year to come up with a style moniker and Angie gave it to me. I would never have been able to do it myself. Style statements, etc. have helped me a lot when I go shopping but I still make mistakes. It does provide a focus for me when I shop. I have a journal that I keep field notes in. Yes, I am a bit OCD.
I can relate to trying to squeeze into the smallest size jean possible. Many times I have hopped around the change room trying to pull up a pair of jeans and then done squats hoping the jeans will stretch.

Style Moniker:

  • Moody Sophisticate
  • Eclectic Sophisticate
  • Relaxed Elegance
  • Obedient Mischief (you like a certain amount of tension in your outfit)
  • Trendy Classic (again - there is tension between the two words)

Adjectives to Consider: Chic, Dramatic, Unexpected, Streamlined, Sophisticated, Feminine, Pretty, Sharp, Adorned, Modern, Polished, Elegant, Relaxed, Sporty, Alluring (I can hear you chuckle....), Playful, Mischievous, Tense, Neutral, Hard Edge.

Since we have a have a similar style sensibility, I'm recapping my own Style Moniker and adjectives for reference:

Style Moniker: Urban Polish

Modern because I enjoy including a few carefully chosen hot-off-the-press trends into my seasonal look. That keeps my style evolving and injects excitement into my wardrobe.

Crisp because I love wearing shades of white, and have a strong need to create a polished and tidy appearance. I am the polar opposite of “rough around the edges” or “RATE.”

Retro because of my fondness for fashion from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, but remixing their sensibilities with a good dose of current. I am also a sentimental person, so thinking back to these eras makes me smile.

Soft because I do not like wearing hard-edged looks or lots of black. My outfit can be bold and very bright, but it’s not hard-edged.

Dressy because super casual does not make me happy. I always wear make-up, do my hair, and sport a dressy bag. I do not wear T-shirts, and Athleisure is not my thing. I happily walk our Yorkie Sam wearing pearls, a pretty blouse, Burberry scarf, and sneakers.

Lisa p, you have finally done what I have been suggesting you do for years - I AM GIDDY ABOUT IT. WELL DONE.

I'm not lamenting anything that you have passed on. I vote get rid of it all - and feel FREE and unburdened. Start again. CAREFULLY.

Now. You desperately need Summer bottoms and jeans. That's where your shopping starts. Come shopping with me

Angie :

OK I know I desperately need summer bottoms. I need to do some serious looking to figure out what it is I want, and what's available. Pants are too tricky to fit to start ordering on-line. White jeans to start with.

I have been editing on and off for a few years; it's simply taken me this long to finally purge everything that doesn't fit. I had hoped I would lose weight and drop back down to what was my "normal" size, but it hasn't happened. I'm ready to move on. I actually desperately need summer clothes, period, but want to be very careful and not start buying a bunch of junk just to wear.

And I like your suggestion to pay attention to tension in mixing pieces. That's bang on . Thank you SO much for your contribution here - and I SO wish I could go shopping with you ! When I win the lottery

LISA- well done woman!
Please don’t beat yourself up for doing what needed to be done. Purges are painful but also enlightening if we learn where we are going and how we will get there.
You have a plan so clearly you are on your way- woohoo!
And you are ahead of me-
I need to purge some work clothes that can’t be shifted to casual. I have been retired for a year and a half now. I need to find a dress for success near me. Then my purge will be completed.
Oh- no fires please.
And it was an awesome overtime game even if you weren’t happy with outcome. Onward!

Lisa, I am doing my cheerleader jumps and hoping I don’t land on the floor. Well done! You have done a very thoughtful and thorough edit. It can be a huge, often frustrating and you did it! Your conclusions are great and will guide you well. Good luck with the shopping. I hope you find perfect summer pants in abundance.

Lisa - wow so impressed. If it makes you feel better I have purchased many things that I just loved and had to have because I love them on others. The dark side of YLF. I think you've done an amazing job discerning what makes you happy fashion-wise. What is authentic and why something doesn't work for you. I do urge you to find that fashion moniker. I know it sounds inane but the power pause of deciding "does a P-POD wear this?" Is actually really helpful to me. When I am caught in the magnetism of someone elses style it's the only question that can pull me back. On the boots, from what you said let them go (maybe keep your favorite pair) same with the jeans. Clean slate. You have a small curated list. Once the stuff is out you can't default to less optimal. Make the perfect new a priority. And try on some EF pants if you can, I don't own them but they got fantastic reviews. I think adding the items you listed that fit and flatter would make you so much happier with your wardrobe. You are doing an amazing job! Letting go is the hardest part and now you begin the next part of your journey!! Kudos and hugs!!

I am in awe, WELL DONE!!


Not going in” too deep” with too many duplicates or near- duplicates in any one category is important, I think because it give more flexibility. Not minimalism but to allow for changes in body, taste, styles, moods. You noted that for boots and jeans.

Lisa- so glad my comment was helpful to you. I am so impressed. Kudos to you. Great analysis of the results.

Oh boy can I emphasize with your frustration. We all have our issues, well maybe not Angie. I need to make some rules for myself on a couple of mine- no plain tee shirts, no non-neutral pants, don't accept just OK. I have a large pile of jeans that "fit" but aren't right in some way too.

Regarding style monikers and style words I really dragged my feet in coming up with them. BUT the process ended up being quite helpful. It helped me clarify some nuances in my style. For instance I love ethnic fabrics and artisan clothing but most boho styles are not me, I am not a ruffles girl, nor are a lot of the art to wear clothing as they seem too much somehow. So I used artisan but I added sophisticated to indicate that I prefer a certain level of refinement in these garments.

I guess what I am saying is if you choose to do this process I recommend taking your time and try to be really nuanced about the words and what they mean to you.

Lisa I am sooo impressed you did the whole wardrobe instead of just the seasonal stuff. I need to do this too and have been putting it off because it feels a little overwhelming to start. I should just do it.

I'd be inclined to hold onto the boots until next season and reassess. then. Could the white loafers be stretched?

Those style descriptors are actually helpful, even if a bit of a pain to come up with. I have trouble narrowing my style stuff down to just a few words so I did more of a word cloud to cover all the kinds of things I want. I don't necessarily need them ALL in EVERY outfit but hitting a few at a time usually results in happy outfits. And after using them for a while they're easier to refine and narrow down.

Re jeans I think for those of us with weight fluctuations it's really helpful to have pairs that will work on the bigger days AND the smaller days, usually that means one or two stretchier pairs and one or two larger band pairs. I keep both kinds in my closet, even though it takes more room than just one would, and it's absolutely worth it. For now, if there are pairs you still like, at least until you find replacements it might be worth keeping one or two at both the smaller and larger end of your range (but be honest though!).

GOOD needs list. Totally reasonable. You can do it! *cheers*

I am commenting before reading the comments so I don't lose track of what I thought :/ . Sell the boots on consignment at the beginning of boot season - use the proceeds to buy the one perfect boot that you would normally consider out of your range. Jeans - the best jeans accommodate weight fluctuations. Since it is impossible to predict I say but two perfect jeans that fit you right now - comfortably. One white, one mid-wash denim. No fancy tricks, rips or pearls. Remember that some feet swell in the summer before you buy shoes. I will now read the wisdom upthread!

Some of the items on your list are so familiar to me.

T-shirts. I told my husband to remind me not to do it every time I try to buy a t-shirt, because I am constantly seduced by graphic tees as travel souvenirs. They never look as good when I get home, but I don't want to get rid of them because of the memories. I'm just not doing it anymore.

Summer Scarves. I gave away a whole pile last year for the same reasons you mention. Why did I have so many? I think it's because they're an inexpensive "fix." In the feeding an addiction sense.

I like your idea of nailing down some style descriptors and then literally carrying them around with you. I need mine to appear as a popup before I press confirm on online orders, I think.

Lisa, you are my hero. I am so impressed! I did let go of a whole pile of jeans which fit, but I want a higher rise now. I also learned doing the 30X30 challenge that I I don't need as many. Variety is more important for me.
Next winter may be colder and wetter and you will probably want those tall boots.

Ok, jus’ sayin’ here, I like the idea of ‘Moody Classic’ as a composite from Angie’s analysis.

A really good go-through. You really looked at stuff (that’s my downfall... I just lean in to the closet and say I’ve gone through it...)

Fascinating and inspiring. It makes me want to do a real purge, like a try-everything-on purge, ASAP, and it's giving me food for thought on phasing in other shirt options besides my beloved tees (I mean, I have a work-from-home, pick-up-the-kids, walk-the-dog kind of life, ie, a real tee shirt kind of life, but damn, if I think about it, it's not the most flattering option).

lisa p....very late to this thread.....i saw it yesterday, read it quickly, but didn't have time to comment....
1st....congratulations on going thru everything....and more power to you that you did it on your own! if the oldies challege ttaught me anything, it's that i have a hoarder mentality when it comes to clothing and i need to tame it, but it would be soooo much easier to do with someone pushing me love love that you have made a list of needs...good to practice PPP with that list, but....sometimes finding what's on the list can overwhelm and become depressing (as in, "nothing is working, what wrong with me...") and it maybe helpful to walk away...

This is actually really good work you've done! It can be so hard to edit our closet, for so many reasons. Kudos to you for getting really honest with yourself.

Lisap, try these white jeans. I bought them based on Angie's recommendation and love them.

Congrats on all of the work and results you've accomplished!!

I have hardly worn jeans for the past few years, and, after buying a pair of high rise Levi's Wedgie crops for Spring/Summer needs, I now know why...

I hated mid-rise jeans. No matter the size, I was always needing to pull them up!! These new high rise jeans require zero fussing to wear...yay...donating the few pairs of jeans I had left in my closet.

I bought a pair of Khaki pants last summer that were comfy and appropriate for everything except work.

I find that I am liking woven tops more than T-shirts for my casual needs as well as work needs. And the length is critical, not too short, not too long. I did buy a couple of shorter length boxy fit T-shirts for summer, and these will be worn on weekends and will be looking very worn by the end of summer, while the woven shirts last for more seasons of wear.

I am attaching some of my wardrobe basics..hmm...what would my style moniker be? Simple, neutral, easy!

I'm loving all of your thoughts and ideas. And to everyone who still says " don't be so hard on yourself" ..... stop! .This is my sense of humour. Self-deprecating and not taking myself so seriously. Poking a bit of fun at my silly shopping habits. I am not lying awake at night berating myself for tossing out 4 filets. I have more important stuff to worry about

Cheryl - man I wish I had your wardrobe! Where are those 3 tops from ?

Suzanimal - thanks for the recommendation; sadly, they are completely sold out.

What are you wearing instead of t-shirts? Obviously I missed Angie's lesson that they are inherently unflattering, and difficult to wear; I just bought another one. And it's gray! T-shirts are just so easy to wear for my super casual lifestyle...if I need to run out I throw on a topper for polish.

Colette - I better amend my comment about t-shirts: Angie didn't say they were unflattering , period, and hard to wear for everyone. It is her personal experience with them. And I agree...
I wear them every weekend and for walks, yard work, etc etc because what else do you wear?? But for more polished casual and work wear, they aren't a good piece for me, I now realize. I can look a little dumpy in them because I'm not thin enough to wear them body-con styles, or to be able to tuck them in ....thus creating a blobby, unpolished look. On me

Thanks for clarifying Lisa! I'm going to take a harder look at my stash of t-shirts and evaluate the way they fit me. I don't have a moniker, yet, but I'm sure blobby and unpolished will not be part of it.

I have to say, Lisa, that this thoughtful analysis is inspiring. I think you will feel liberated without all that wardrobe detritus, I really do. Even though you have a daunting task in front of you to replenish (well, I'd find it fun, but I'm not everyone. I have the heart of a scavenger hunter). Angie and the others have given you all the advice you need, so just a hearty "Brava!" from me.