Really interesting thread. I suspect none of us are ever really truly finished with wardrobe building and evolution. That's the fun of it. And I doubt many people have 100% satisfaction with every piece - and that's fine too.

The whole size thing is complex because some people do well with a large closet (and maybe holding zone etc) and others don't - it's a mix of mindset, style, space etc

My less satisfactory pieces have still survived edits because either they aren't worth replacing from a cost/environmental perspective (eg I don't love my black ankle boots but they form a very useful function and are currently not essential to my style) or there is something I still like about the piece.

I really like your analysis of which less successful pieces you tend to keep, Sally. I will have to think on that. In my own case, I think they are usually either essentials (so I have to wear them, like it or not, and eventually I will replace) or they are completers that aren't worn often but are really useful when they are worn.

I always enjoy reading these posts. Some of my wardrobe is in Finds, and I also keep a notebook.
For the first that I can remember, I am happy with the state of my closet. There are missing pieces, but I like what I have. It took a lot of agonizing thought to get to this point.

I think I would have to say I am happi-ER with my wardrobe rather than totally happy. I am getting much more use out of things overall since I have dialed back the purchasing in 2020 and 2021. Unlike many of you very little WFH for me since as an essential health worker I have been at work even if much more is virtual from there. Now another issue is arising, that of just getting tired of some stuff which is still perfectly good, just worn rather a lot. I have put a lot in the holding zone to discuss with my daughters one of whom does clothes swaps with her friends and says some of my clothes may not be too un-cool to even appeal to some of her friends! Yeah! I mean they’re all in their late 20s… I was a bit astonished she said this!
Might respond more tomorrow. It’s nearly bedtime.

Jenni, ouch, right?! But yeah, I can totally see how a 20-something would want something different from those of us in middle age.

I also took a little time yesterday to do a pass through my closet after reading this thread. I bagged up quite a few items, because really the only issue with them is that I’m tired of them. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with passing that stuff along when we have other things we are excited to wear!

When I looked at the pile after pulling each item out, I realized they were things that I’d had for years but had not been reaching for much in the last couple of years, and when I asked myself if I loved it or would buy it now, the answer was no. One item I was keeping was a top, only because it matches a jacket that is also potentially on the chopping block (it’s in the holding zone, a pricier piece that deserves a bit more thought). It’s ten years old and has been loved and used in the past enough that I don’t feel like it owes me any more.
It’s still in fine shape and someone else may love it, so off it goes to the charity shop! Same for some nice old boots that just don’t feel totally me anymore. A couple of scarves, a hat, a knit poncho… all fun while they lasted but I wouldn’t buy them now.

My holding zone is mostly things that are a size too small at the moment but not outside the realm of possibility, a couple of sentimental pieces, and a handful of not-sures that I don’t want to be hasty about.

I mostly love my wardrobe but it’s constant work in progress!

Jenni, fun that your daughter thinks her friends might like some of your stuff. But it does make sense. Lots of what’s been cool in recent years—normcore & Prairie styles come to mind—is based on staid “grownup” clothing worn with a twist. And then there are trends coming back, reviving what was cool 20 years ago. Might feel tired to those of us who lived it the first time, but those are classic vintage looks, like the 60s & 70s are to some of us, to your daughter's friends.

That’s what I tell myself when I pull out things from a couple decades ago anyway. Wearing them differently and getting creative with them can be a challenge, because at first glance, I often have a hard time seeing them apart from their previous context. I can’t see ditching something just because I don’t feel like it anymore—the financial ability to keep buying is a privilege that’s relatively easy for me to let go of.

Thank you Janet and Stag Fash! I feel OK that the friends might like even some of the stuff.
I am not a fickle dresser, on the whole I buy things because I like them, but for some of these things they have really been worn a great deal ( say a 2016 top with 60 wears) and I am sort of tired of seeing that on me. It’s in the holding zone to just be sure that I won’t miss it next winter if I give it away. I think probably not, it’s not special to keep like my 40th dress that I grew out of.
Thank you Irina for this thread. Your thread and Nomad’s are very helpful to keep me both sustainable and happy!

This is a great thread! I'm more of a list maker/journal keeper, but I'm gradually working on getting everything into Finds, even though I'm not a very visual thinker. I'm starting to understand how being able to see everything in one place can help identify patterns, themes, holes, new combinations...

I think "Do I love it?" is a good criteria for judging new additions; if I don't feel excited about something when it's new, I probably never will. But when it comes to culls, my question is "Does it work?" I say goodbye to things when there's a clear design/fabrication issue that's deterring me from wearing the item: lint-prone or pill-prone fabrics, materials that stretch/bag out over the course of a day, anything itchy, socks and underpinnings that slide down/ride up, bad pockets or zippers, wonky seams/hems, etc. And if I notice myself letting go of lots of pieces from a specific brand, I make a mental note to myself to stop shopping there!

I know that I fall out of love with certain things and back in love with them later -- sometimes years later -- so culling just on the basis of joy-sparking would be risky for me. And you know? Sometimes I have pieces that I love (or think I love) but don't ever wear -- because it's itchy or the zipper won't stay put or whatever -- and I'm learning that it's okay to let go of those things!

Sometimes I have pieces that I love (or think I love) but don't ever wear -- because it's itchy or the zipper won't stay put or whatever -- and I'm learning that it's okay to let go of those things!

Now *that* is the high wire. Bravissimo!

DD and I used a modified Kondo method when sorting her clothing before she moved across the country, to address some of the drawbacks mentioned here by LaPed. In our first step, I held up each item in her wardrobe. I watched the immediate expression on her face. Sometimes she wanted to touch the item and I watched her face as she did this as well. I created three piles…..obvious like, hesitant, and giveaway. We reviewed the obvious like pile to make sure DD could meet her functional wardrobe needs, (ie. Create outfits for anticipated situations and climate). We had to retrieve a few items from the hesitant pile, but not many. With this method, I suspect the items that LaPed says she loves but finds itchy, or have fussy features would have landed in the hesitant pile not the obvious like. DD found homes among her friends for many of the hesitant and giveaway pile items before donating the rest.

Using a modified Kondo method is cumbersome on a larger wardrobe like yours and mine because it requires looking at everything all at once to complete the functional analysis at the end. The use of a visual planner or wardrobe tracker app for this purpose would be helpful. I admire every person on this forum who tracks wears and purchases, yet I have not had the wherewithal or persistence (discipline?) to do so myself. I edit my wardrobe by category or by storage location. I do not know what percent of my wardrobe is perfect vs. would end up in the “hesitant” category, although I do have essential and basic pieces that I love and wear on repeat. They are not stylish on their own, but they form a smooth canvas upon which the other pieces rely.

I do not worry about giving my clothing away. If I do not keep something, I usually find a friend of someone who will use it. First dibs on my clothes go to DD and her best friend. They both wear the same size clothing as me. DD’s friend seems to have a similar foot shape and size and she often takes shoes and boots I give away. In the past, any outgrown children’s clothing that was not too damaged or stained from wear was donated to the donation closets in the school buildings where I work. If you have children, you may want to check to see if your school district accepts these items. In our school, items most requested include socks, underwear, belts, towels, shoes, coats, hats, gloves, boots, jeans. I donate the rest of my clothing to local charities.

I do too - that’s why I’m so attracted to Pinterest .

I too have clothes I’m no longer interested in from a style standpoint , but feel I have to wear them even if they aren’t my first choice . I don’t know what the solution is - when I don’t want to turn over my wardrobe so quickly . I don’t think it’s a fad-chasing issue as much as it’s an age and lifestyle issue .

LaPed, the zipper comment made me chuckle a little. I just put a pair of old Prana hiking pants in the donate bin because they zipper doesn’t stay closed all the way and the waist cinching strap doesn’t stay put when I tighten it. I think I’ve had those pants for nearly a decade so they owe me exactly nothing. When I wore them for the last time, I was like “why do I keep these when they drive me slightly nuts every time I wear them??” I have enough other hiking pants that I don’t need them. Byeeee! LOL Why did it take me so long?