How to pare down your wardrobe and only wear the things you love.
As I continue my journey towards becoming a more intentional person one thing I really wanted to do was go through all of my clothing. Clothing, shoes, and accessories are a main component of my possessions. The problem? I probably don't wear a significant portion of them.
Everyone has those pieces they're always holding on to. That one shirt that looks great on you but is so uncomfortable you're "waiting for the right time" to wear it. Or the dress your mother bought you that you've only worn once and then stuck into the darkest corner of your closet never to see the light of day again. Or all the clothes that used to fit that you keep saying you'll "get to wear again someday". These items and more can be weighing you down, filling you with stress and feelings of inadequacy. By going through your items with intention and really listening to what speaks to you, you can create a wardrobe that not only feels great and looks great, but also doesn't give you anxiety 6:30 in the morning before work.
Here are a few criteria I go through when deciding whether or not to keep something!
Have I worn this in a year? This question is probably the most common one, but it's common for a reason! If you know, definitively, that something has been hanging in your closet for over a year (or two or three) then it's probably safe to bet you won't wear it again. This category, however, doesn't include things like wedding dresses and suits, graduation regalia, or other very sentimental pieces that people are likely to keep no matter what.
Do I like wearing this? Do you? Do you wear it because it makes you happy or it's the softest shirt in your closet? If you wear something consistently (I'm talking every two weeks or basically every time you do the wash) then it's probably safe to say you'll wear it again. However, if you wear it not because you like it but because it "hides" the "bad" parts of your body then it might be something to consider taking away. Often times people will hide their bodies under ill-fitting clothes in order to feel more comfortable about themselves. You're body is beautiful and perfect just the way it is! Clothes are made in all sizes because people are made in all sizes. Don't be discouraged by what you see in the media!
Are there holes, pilling, or other signs of heavy wear? Yes, the rips in your jeans are cool and do not need to be removed but that hole in the armpit of that shirt? Yeah, no one wants to see that. People that dress well and maintain care of their clothes can often go farther than those that fail to maintain a hygienic appearance. If you can afford to buy clothes that are slow-fashion or well-made in the anticipation of wearing them often, you can end up saving money in the long run! Signs of heavy wear are good signs that it's time to let go! You can buy a new one to replace what you've lost or you can say goodbye while downsizing, either way, wear and tear is something to look out for.
Do I keep this because of someone else? This one is a doozy. Many, many, people have items in their lives that have come from loved ones or been purchased with heartfelt intentions. Items like these can be very hard to get rid of, especially if you don't actually like them but are too afraid to tell that person (and no, of course this has never happened to me). Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you keep this item because you love it or because you feel obligated to love it? When I was younger I had a tough time saying no to clothes even if I personally thought it wasn't really my style. Now I'm much more forward and usually ask to not receive clothes in the first place.
These four questions have really helped me pare down my wardrobe and accessories. I usually donate all of the items that I decide to remove from my life unless I can't (such as intimates and things that are too worn out. Be kind to those you donate to and try to only donate things that are acceptable.). Donating old items gives them new life with someone else and allows clothes to be reused, upcycled, or repurposed. I will also sell some items if they are on the nicer side. It can be a great way to make a few dollars while giving someone else a new piece to love! In the end, the only one who can make the decision is you. You have to feel comfortable enough with who you are as a person and what you like in order to get rid of the things that are holding you down. Good luck!