Getting The Most Out of Your Wardrobe

There are all kinds of wardrobes to suit our needs. But what works for one person’s lifestyle, may not for another. So it’s important to remember that fashion is personal, a reflection of how we view ourselves and the world around us, as well as the times (and climates) in which we live.

Though styles change seasonally or with economic swings, you don’t need to run out and buy new clothes every season, a common approach in America and Asia. We can take a page out of our European neighbors’ fashion handbook and wear less, but better, ultimately resulting in a more sustainable way of thinking about fashion.

Too often we buy clothes on a whim because the sale was just “too good” to pass up or because it looked good when we tried it on in the store but didn’t give its wearability enough consideration. Are you saving your clothes for “one day,” but they somehow keep accumulating and you can’t remember the last time you wore them? Or, perhaps, you do remember, but you’re unwilling to part with an item because of sentimental attachment? How many times have you worn an item of clothing that you bought because you found them on deep-sale, but they didn’t quite fit and you’ve never bothered getting them tailored?

This doesn’t mean you have to give up on trends. After all, some become classics over time while other trends reimagine classics. But, you may discover that you can get more wear out of your wardrobe by creating a classic foundation and mixing in high and low pieces.

  1. Clean out your wardrobe

According to Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, in her book, You Are What You Wear, the majority of people only wear 20% of their wardrobe about 80% of the time. At some point, you’ll run out of closet space, and it’s time to figure out not only what you have, but what you’d like to keep and why.

  • There are several questions to ask yourself as you detox your wardrobe. Don’t hang on to clothes that no longer fit you. Unless you’re healing postpartum, you likely aren’t wearing most of your clothes that don’t again. In the event of being postpartum, wait a year to one and a half years before detoxing most of your wardrobe so that you don’t have to buy all of your basics again unless they no longer fit your new normal. If this isn’t true for you, don’t be afraid to be ruthless. If a garment is stained and you’ve sent it to the dry cleaner several times and it’s still not gone, get rid of the garment. If items are still in good shape, gift or donate your clothes. If you’re safe at home at the moment, give your partner or kids a fashion-show,asking them to be loving and truthful, and edit from
  • there.
  • Take inventory of your wardrobe. Another strategy here is to lay out all of your clothes by type – dresses with dresses, pants with pants. What still fits? Does it fit well? What do you love? Do you need it? Will you ever tailor it so it does fit?
  • One-in / One-out Strategy. Thinking of buying something new? Then consider getting rid of (a.k.a. donating or gifting) a piece that no longer serves you. This way you can buy what you need without adding to your clutter and practice more thoughtful consumerism.
  • And if you’re the type of person that loves new clothes all of the time, consider rental fashion, or exchanging clothes with your friends on occasion.