Use the transition between winter and summer wardrobes to cut down on excess items
Dresses from 14 years ago (It can’t be that long ago, surely) mix with 2-seasons-ago Primani, bought for a short trip to the sun. T-shirts that covered my belly last year seem to have mysteriously ridden up and somehow shrunk. And of course, a few gems that a) still fit and b) still look good.
I knowwwww. It’s clear-out time, isn’t it.
I have a confession. At the beginning of the year I tried to clear out my whole wardrobe and finally embrace the minimal closet that I’ve coveted for years. A few key pieces, capsule colours, less washing, less stress, less mess. But the thought of buying nothing for the whole of this year stopped me from taking the bull by the horns. I was gripped by a huge case of the ‘what-ifs’ and just couldn’t face throwing stuff out that I might need later on in the year.
Now in the UK, summer lasts approximately 2 weeks. And those 2 weeks aren’t always necessarily concurrent with each other. We might get a sweltering day followed by a freezing torrential downpour. Sometimes this even happens in the space of an afternoon! So the concept of a ‘summer wardrobe’ isn’t as widespread over here as it may be in the rest of the world. One day we’re in shorts and tees and Factor 50, the next we’re in 7 jumpers, joggers and thermal tights, shivering into our hot chocolate and frowning suspiciously at the skies as the newspapers salivate over the demise of yet another Great British Summer.
Summer clothes are sometimes just winter clothes with one less scarf!
I deliberated having just one wardrobe and stuffing everything into it at once, shutting the door on the mess, and heading out for a coffee instead. But I knew how frustrated with myself I’d feel if I put off, yet again, what I’d really been trying to do since January.
So I tipped the huge vac bag out onto the floor and started to sort.
What I recycled: tired looking undies and bras, a few t-shirts with crinkly logos, 2 bobbly cardigans, jeans with thigh holes and 2 pairs of flats with worn out soles (I’m classy, right).
What I donated: my Summer Ball dress from the 1st year of Uni, some barely worn work dresses form my last job, office trousers, a sadly-too-small ‘night out’ dress, small jeans and everything else I wouldn’t buy again right now.
What I kept: A few designer pieces I love, 3 pairs of nice fitting charity shop bargain jeans, a decent sized selection of t-shirts, all my work clothes (I’m a PT so that’s a neon rainbow of workout leggings, sports bras and muscle tees), a couple of hoodies.
-Back in the winter bag: woolly jumpers, fluffy hooded top, thermals
-Out into the summer wardrobe: 3 summer dresses, 2 skirts, 5 basic t-shirts.
I felt a lot better after finally tackling this project! It took a few months to realise that I could realistically clear out everything I was keeping ‘just in case’ and make myself a few new guidelines for my clothing. There are loads of minimal closet sites on the web. I really love Brooke McAlary’s ‘Inside my Minimalist Wardrobe’ and Joshua Becker’s ‘Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes’.
I really enjoyed sorting out my clothes once I got into the swing of it. After reading around, I don’t want to keep items that don’t make me feel good. I will donate or recycle any older-looking clothes or things I haven’t worn in a while.
It’s nice to realise that although I’m not going to be replacing any items this year, I can still continue on my journey to pare down any unnecessary things from my life, keeping only what I truly love.