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Detoxifying your wardrobe: 5 steps for a wardrobe in optimal shape

The beginning of the year is the time when we aim to detoxify our body and mind, reorganize our time, restore our (healthier) goals and habits.

Among all this, there is also the desire (or the need, as the case may be!) to put our wardrobe in order. In fact, to update it, to bring it closer to who we are in the new year. For many women, this means a sorting and reduction in the volume of clothes. For some, just arrange them by clothing categories and/or colors. For others, to build new outfits, check what they are missing, what condition their clothes are in, what needs adjusting and changing. Regardless of the form or name the action takes - removing items, editing, sorting - the goal and result are the same: quieter mornings, days with fewer clothing decisions, occasions with more outfit options, a wardrobe where the piece wanted is easily identified and found and, not to be neglected, well-chosen, quality and carefully planned future clothing purchases .

At the risk of giving you secrets "from home" and you will no longer call me for professional wardrobe cleaning sessions (just kidding, I'm sure you'll call me!), in today's article I detail a 5-step plan by which you can do the sorting and reorganization of the wardrobe yourself.

First of all, my recommendation is to do these wardrobe edits 2 times a year: once for the cold season wardrobe (around November or end of January), once more for the warm season (end of April-beginning of May).

Second, my invitation is to prepare yourself spiritually. Decide from the start that you will not make excuses not to remove certain pieces. Those to which you have emotional attachments or treasured memories (the wedding dress, the lace collar you inherited from your grandmother, the sneakers you wore on El Camino) are in a separate category; they can be kept in a separate place, not together with your active, constantly worn wardrobe. You know what clothes I'm talking about: the ones you've been hoping to fit into again for about 9 years, the ones you feel will come back into fashion in the future, the blazer turned shiny at the elbows, the velvet skirt that catches all the lint in universe, the cardigan that looks like a hood (but it's made of cashmere)... Your wardrobe, in order to be considered a tool in your service and not a space that generates stress, will have to stop containing clothes that no longer fit you in size, color and style; parts that are damaged; clothes that no longer represent you or that have not been worn for years. All this takes up unnecessary space in the closet. What is not worn and suitable means that it is not fulfilling the function for which it was created and purchased.

Third, dedicate time to this process. My wardrobe sorting sessions last between 3-4 and a half hours, but that's also because I opt for efficiency: I meet with the client once a season and I want to sort out her entire wardrobe, during which I go through absolutely all the clothes, piece with piece. When sorting on your own, my suggestion is to either set aside two (weekend) afternoons or sort one clothing category per day (one day only jeans and trousers, the next day only dresses and so on , until you go through the entire wardrobe). To make the experience more pleasant, choose your favorite music list to play in the background, prepare a good tea or your favorite coffee and dress as comfortably as possible.

Come on, let's give it a go.

On this occasion, you can dust the inside of the closet, renew the lavender sachets and replace the broken, crooked, too small and wire hangers.

In this step, you look at each piece individually and answer two questions:

Did I wear it last season?

Will I definitely wear it until the end of this winter?

If the answer is "yes, absolutely"...

... and is in good condition (no broken zippers, missing buttons, frayed hems, moth holes, discoloration, perfume or food stains), put it on a good hanger back in the closet. Or fold it, as appropriate.

If the answer is "no"...

... what is the reason why you have not worn it and you are not sure that you will wear it?

Is it not the right size anymore? Don't like it anymore? Don't you feel good wearing it? Don't know what to pair it with? Don't you have occasions to dress it up for? If one of the reasons is found in the first 3 questions, put the garment aside. It does not make sense to be part of the current wardrobe. These parts are now part of the bag called "gift items", at the end of the article I offer you 3 solutions for it.

If you still like it and want to find outfits to incorporate it, put it in another pile, which I call "find my style solution". Ditto for the more elegant or expensive pieces, which you don't wear often, which you would like to give another chance. Ditto for those that you realize could be altered and reintegrated into your wardrobe: a dress that's tight over your bust turned into a skirt, a jacket turned into a vest, a cropped skirt, a bomber jacket that you can replace the too-rough metal zipper ... Put these in a bag that will be taken to a retouching workshop. This is the fix me bag.

Take them piece by piece and, if necessary, try each one.

For the ones you feel "with potential", make an effort and look for a few other pieces to match them right now. Put them next to some of your favorite clothes, accessorize them, match them first with the simplest pieces in your wardrobe (jeans, white shirt, denim shirt, black leggings, navy striped sweater). At this step, ask- you:

Can I use it in a layered outfit? (under a shirt or overalls, over a t-shirt or dress)

Can I find (for this coat) any new color combinations?

Can I pair it with an evening piece or something very casual (with a sequin skirt and heels/ denim shirt and sneakers)?

If I add a belt to the waist or roll up the sleeves, does it look better? I like it more?

What could be changed about it to suit me better?

If you pay attention, at this stage you will notice some patterns in some of the outfits created. For example, you will realize that many could be worn if you... had a certain belt, a certain pair of boots or another piece to complete them with.

You will take all the clothes that passed step 1, then the ones that passed the sorting in step 2 and hang them back in the closet (or fold them), but not anyway. You have two options: either group them by clothing categories ( blouses and shirts together, followed by jackets, then dresses , skirts , trousers, jeans, and knitwear and t-shirts separately), or by color (start with all white pieces together, followed by all the beige and brown ones, gray, black, then those declined from ROGVAIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet/pink).

Use one type and color of hangers for the entire closet. In this way, you visually emphasize the order made, but also create a clean and visually coherent space.

Once all the clothes are put back in the closet and organized, take a break. You can take a picture of the result. You can congratulate yourself for the effort. You can enjoy the result of hours of physical and intellectual work. But we haven't finished the "wardrobe operation"!

Visually assess the wardrobe and notice discrepancies and imbalances. Do you have too many clothes in neutral or black shades and too few in shades that harmonize with your appearance? Do you have too many office shirts and not at all feminine blouses, elegant sweaters or trendy tops? Maybe you only have hoodies, jeans, tights and sweater dresses... and that's it? Or on the contrary, you only have office dresses and nothing relaxed, for your free time?

Make a mental note, make an inner decision, write down in a potential shopping list: "I have enough shirts/dresses/jeans, this season I'm not adding anything to this category"; "I have too much black and beige, in the coming months I'm only buying tops in nice colors".

This stage is also a moment of awareness, but also of planning and prioritization.

If you don't like them, don't fit or represent you anymore, it doesn't mean that their value, quality or intrinsic beauty has decreased!

To begin, select from this large pile those clothes (in good condition and in current cuts) that would delight a good friend or colleague. You can organize a clothes swap night after they have done a similar sorting. If it's an item that hasn't been worn, still has the original price tag, or has never been unpacked, put it up for sale. This will be the "sale/gift/trade" pile.

Then identify those whose condition no longer makes it possible to wear them. Faded, soiled, warped, with moth holes or tears from wear, very flimsy, with torn seams, with loose elastic... I know it's hard to let go of the Guns'n'Roses t-shirt you wore at 15 concerts and accompanied you in the most beautiful years of your life; it's time to say goodbye to him. Ditto from the black dress that is no longer black, from the water-soaked cashmere sweater, from the jeans that fit you perfectly but have torn after so many wears. You will replace them over time. This is the "to be recycled" category.

Finally, the third category that can appear at this stage is clothes that can be donated. These should be basic pieces, clean and in decent condition. Out of respect for the people it could reach, please do not place in this pile clothes that you would be embarrassed to wear in public or damaged clothes, which should be recycled. This includes simple sweaters and cardigans, long-sleeved t-shirts, jeans that are in good condition but are too small (or too big), maybe a quilted jacket or knitted vest that you no longer wear because your style has become more elegant , a knitted hat, scarves, a duplicate hoodie, a pair of training pants that you will never wear again...

You will need to repeat the process every year (or once every 2 years), because this is the only way your wardrobe stays in balance and in alignment with you, your style and your life. But the satisfaction is worth it.

To remember:

Your wardrobe, in order to be considered a tool in your service and not a space generating stress, will have to no longer contain clothes that no longer suit you in size, color and style; parts that are damaged; clothes that no longer represent you or that have not been worn for years. All this takes up unnecessary space in the closet. What is not worn and suitable means that it is not fulfilling the function for which it was created and purchased.

Article written by our dear:
Irina Markovits
Clothing Consultant
Personal Stylist

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