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Current Closet Review: the Keep and the Keep Nots

By: Mary Reed Published: 04/02/2020 Categories: Planning, Wardrobe, SewDoIt

I’m someone who loves the beginning of any new project. I find the excitement in picking fabrics and patterns. I love the feeling of finding inspiration and getting all the elements of a new project piled up in front of me. If it involves shopping for anything new, all the better!

However, always focusing on new things can sometimes lead to overload in the closet! It’s easy to think, if I just had another of that item or another color in my closet I’d never have trouble knowing what to wear.

The truth is more along the lines of having too many things in your closet leads to decision fatigue and you might spend a long time digging through it in the morning only to find what feels good to wear. In the end, you might be surprised how much of your clothes you don’t end up wearing.

As a part of creating a sewing plan, I’m starting by looking through my existing clothes, me-made and RTW, and getting rid of things that don’t work for me anymore. While this is good to do anytime, right now is an extra good time for me because I’m 8 months postpartum. I’ve gained weight since before baby number 2 and I’ve reshaped, again. I’m so tempted to wait until my body is “back”, but I know that’s a delusional place that doesn’t really exist. I will probably continue to lose weight and change shape for a little while, but I’m settled enough that I can wear what I make for at least a little bit. And if I do change shape again, guess what? I sew! I’ll alter it! :)

So, here’s my plan for wardrobe review. First, I’m going to sort things into a few different categories, each of which I’ll go through for keep, give away or throw away. The categories are: (note: categories 1–5 exclude special occasion items, which are in their own category at the end)

  1. What do I wear often and love?
    This category is easy. It’s what I reach for on a normal day and feel great wearing.
  2. What do I wear often/occasionally and not love?
    There are a few things that I wear because I need them in my wardrobe, but either they don’t fit the way I want or I don’t feel great when I wear them. I’m going to take especial note of these and write down what it is about them I don’t love. That way, as I’m planning for what to sew, I know what would be a waste of time to make.
  3. What do I never wear and wish I could?
    I’m stealing this from a story that Sarai Mitnick shared on Seamwork’s Instagram. There’s several things in my closet that I love, but don’t really wear that often. I’m noting those, in particular what I would need to do/wear differently to make it more of a regular feature.
  4. What do I never wear?
    This is everything else in the “never wear” category that can just go. Sometimes it’s just time for a parting of ways. If there’s anything about an item that I really didn’t like, I’ll note that. Otherwise, it’s just out, either in the give-away or throw-away piles.
  5. The Sometimes Wear.
    Theoretically, if there’s anything in your closet that didn’t get sorted yet, it would be in this pile. It’s the things that you wear sometimes, but aren’t your go-to, most favorite things. For these, I suggest keeping these, but making note of what would make it more of a staple. From needing altered to not having enough things to match it, make a note and consider those when you are making plans. If, after planning, you find that it’s still not going to be a loved and used item, consider getting rid of it. You might find more use out of less items that are more loved. However, variety is the spice of life as they say, so having some items to go to when you’re feeling tired of the usuals can be refreshing. As long as these items aren’t overwhelming your wardrobe, don’t worry about having some extras.
  6. Special occasion.
    These items are a unique thing because they, by definition, don’t get worn daily. These require honesty about your lifestyle and why you’re keeping it. If it’s got sentimental value, consider another way to treasure it besides taking up space in the wardrobe. Is it enough to have a picture of yourself at the event? Can you let go of the dress itself if you give a special page to it in a memory book or a digital scrapbook? There are many charity programs around the country that accept gently used formal gowns. Consider the joy that dress might give to another that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford it.

Now that the closet’s sorted, deep breathe and enjoy the moment! This is important in getting me-made items that are pulled in to your daily routine! Way to go! Keep your notes handy. On April 7, we’ll be making a list of what our wardrobe could use and this exercise will be really helpful to keep us focused.

Remember, #sewdoit already! :)

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