Let’s get real – we have all dreamt of a celebrity-worthy closet. Whether it is a walk-in closet lined with the best of brands, or Carrie Bradshaw’s tunnel-like wardrobe topped with designer shoes, one can never have enough clothes. But tuning out of the chick-flicks that suggest you should never repeat an outfit, one realises that not all clothes are made equal, and not everything looks good on everybody. In order to curate a sense of personal style and make room for clothes you’ll actually wear, you have to, at some point, downsize your wardrobe.
The Process of Downsizing Your Wardrobe
There are days when pulling out every single item from your closet and dumping it on the bed feels like a great start to ‘clear the clutter.’ But pulling out all of your clothes in one go for a ‘reassessment’ can lead to a long, exhausting day that ends with you having only half your bed to sleep on.
Instead, consider dividing your clothes into categories, and dealing with 10-15 items at one time. This approach helps create a sense of control, as you can continue to work on your wardrobe whenever you have time, instead of relegating a whole weekend to dumping things in and out. True, you may not be able to complete the process over a day or even a weekend, but that’s okay. When you downsize your wardrobe, you want it to be a gradual process that you can keep up with while curating your dream wardrobe.
Perhaps the handiest tip to downsize your wardrobe is to immediately remove any piece or pieces that are worn-out or haven’t been worn in almost a year. If there’s a particular item that you always find very difficult to style, it is actually better to remove it or replace it with something you’ll actually wear.
Exceptions to this are special-occasion wear; like a particularly snazzy outfit that is worn once a year but calls for a lot of compliments.
Another particular class of garments that we struggle with in our wardrobes are the ‘will-look-great-when-fixed’ items. A missing button, a frayed hem, a little stain that you can’t unsee – either fix a date on which you will get it repaired or simply toss it without guilt. Same goes for clothing that you plan to fit into one day. If you know that realistically you cannot lose or gain weight to fit a particular piece, give it away to make space in your closet.
When you first start decluttering, you’re likely to come across items that you love (usually found on the top of the pile because you wear them so often). These are the blueprints of your wardrobe. Ideally, you would want to create at least two to three looks with every such item. For example: a combination of a neutral coloured top with jeans, or pairing it with sparkly accessories to add a touch glam. Your favourite sandals could look great with both western and Indian attire if you pick the right style and colour.
The Benefits of Decluttering your Closet You Didn’t Know About
Visualise this – you can see all your clothes, shoes, and accessories at a glance on your closet. Wouldn’t it be easier to mix and match, and pull a look together when there’s no clutter in your closet? A clearly organised closet can take your styling game to the next level, even on busy mornings when you don’t have time for breakfast.
Another thing we seldom consider – clothes laid out nicely in a closet, with their own space tend to last longer and look nicer. A silk scarf hanging on a velvet-lined hanger will feel more elegant than the one that’s tangled up with your jeans in the bottom drawer. In the latter scenario, you may not even remember you have that particular scarf, simply because you can’t see it.
A minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean you don’t have enough to wear, it simply means that you have key pieces that look great on you, and help you express your personal style. Once you understand your body type, and identify the colours, cuts and patterns that work for you, it is time to start building your minimalist wardrobe.
Finally, to really drive home the point of minimalism, let’s pay heed to the words of Parisian designer Coco Chanel – “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.“