A Deep Dive into your Existing Wardrobe

Author: Clara Tuckey

A Deep Dive into your Existing Wardrobe

When faced with the massive environmental dilemma that is the fashion industry, it’s hard to understand how you can make an impact. The truth is, as a consumer, your individual choices and voice are so important to the evolution of the industry. Whether you like to follow trends, set your own style, or a little bit of both, your example and voice are seen and heard by so many surrounding you. You are a community influencer!

Here are a few things you can do to improve your fashion footprint when it comes to your already existing wardrobe. The key here is slow and steady, you do not need to make huge steps and changes all at once. It’s better to find what works with your lifestyle and how you can maintain small goals. Pretty soon, you’ll notice larger, more natural changes in your mindset and wardrobe.

  • Take Stock of the Favourites
  • Take Stock of the Neglected
  • Take Stock of the Maybes, or the Sometimes Worn
  • Pile it Up!
  • Get Rid of the “No’s”
  • Know your Limits, Find your Rhythm

1. Take Stock of the Favourites

What garments make up the most worn part of your wardrobe? With COVID lurking, it’s likely that sweats and leisurewear come to the forefront. Think about why it is that you enjoy wearing each piece so much—the fabric, the colour, the cut, a sentimental memory—and remember these reasons when investing in new clothing in the future. Maybe these items are not the cutest or most fashionable...that’s okay! What matters is that you feel comfortable, so have confidence in these pieces. Not all styles and trends are for everyone, it’s just not realistic.

Woman holding hanger with in wardrobe

2. Take Stock of the Neglected

This is the time to reach deeeeep into your drawers and pull out those pieces that may not fit, be frivolous and fussy or seemed like a good idea at the time but never made the cut. Oftentimes we hold onto these kinds of garments for too long, in hopes that one day they will magically morph into an outfit worthy of the runway. It's likely that your feelings towards these items will not change, and that in truth, it’s time to move on and make way for better garments that are more suited to your current body and sense of style. Just like your favourites, think about why these items didn’t make the cut, it will help you make better purchases in the future.

Woman holding hanger with in wardrobe

3. Take Stock of the Maybes, or the Sometimes Worn

These are pieces that you may wear on occasion for a special event, were once a favourite, or are a serious look that you like to pull off once in a while. Whatever the reason, know that these items are important —but also, understand that some of them could be donated or sold to make way for more wearable and flexible pieces that will boost your clothing confidence. Take a look at each piece and think about how it fits into your wider wardrobe; what does it match? Do I have something else like this? When was the last time I wore this and where?

Woman holding hanger with in wardrobe

4. Pile it Up!

After taking stock, organize your wardrobe into three piles: yes, no and maybe. The “yes” pile should contain garments you plan on keeping. The “no” pile should include garments you wish to get rid of, whether that is through the donation or consignment/sale stream. Finally, the “maybe” pile should contain the items you are undecided on. This last pile is an important one because parting with clothes can be incredibly difficult so we must leave space for these tricky thoughts and emotions.

Be reasonably brutal when it comes to making these piles. If the garment has unfixable wear (holes, tears or uneven fading), it’s likely time to part ways. Only keep pieces from the “maybe” pile if you see yourself wearing them in the next month or two, or you are absolutely determined to find that perfect matching pair of pants to go with it (in this case, separate or leave this piece some- where noticeable so that you remember and push yourself to complete the look).

Woman folding clothes

5. Get Rid of the “No’s”

Getting rid of your “no” pile is best done right away—it will stop you from second-thoughts and allows you to move onto green- er-wardrobe pastures sooner. If you're short on time and patience, donating everything to a dedicated charity or organization such as the Goodwill is usually the best choice. They know exactly where each piece will be best used within your community and are happy to receive all kinds of donations—from the holiest pair of underwear to the most beautiful handmade sweater.

Resale sites and consignment stores are popping up like crazy and are a great option if you're looking to get a little bit of money back. Please note that success in reselling is dependent on season, condition and age. If it’s the winter and you’re looking to get rid of your summer shorts, it’s best to hold onto them until the appropriate season to get the most bang for your buck. If your garment has small tears and stains, it’s likely that they won’t make the cut and should really just be donated. Vintage is often welcomed, but must be somewhat in style—keep an eye on current vintage trends. At the moment, 90’s and early 2000s pieces are very popular.

Finally, NEVER EVER send your unwanted clothing to the landfill. I repeat, do not throw your clothing in the garbage! Even if you think that twelve-year-old bra or underwear is beyond donation, it’s likely not. Donation organizations are often waste manage- ment experts, so if the garment isn’t in shop-floor condition, they will find another use for it or know how to dispose of it properly. Our landfills take in enough waste already, especially waste that could be diverted and recycled.

Woman holding hanger with in wardrobe

6. Know your Limits, Find your Rhythm

Purging and organizing your wardrobe is very personal and oftentimes emotionally tolling. Know that even getting rid of one or two pieces is a great step if you’re struggling, and keeping items you’re undecided on is completely okay. Start small and organize in waves. Personally, I like to revisit my wardrobe once every few weeks and take out 4 or 5 pieces here and there rather than decide on everything at once. I’ve also heard of methods like marking or pinning the items you wear with a colourful piece of tape or paper for a month to understand your dressing habits and re-evaluate the pieces that are not marked. Whatever method you choose,, make sure that you are patient with yourself and feel confident in your decisions. Your wardrobe should be a fun and cre- ative place to express your best self.

Have any ideas or methods that we didn’t mention? Feel free to comment on our socials—we want to start a conversation! Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on improving your fashion habits and becoming better, more conscious consumer.

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