Fashion Clearance! aka Cleaning out the Closet.

We’re not talking retail sales here…we’re talking the dreaded “Wardrobe Cull”.

I am not a natural minimalist and I’m comfortable with that.  For me, when it comes to the contents of my wardrobe, more is always more.  A gal’s gotta have options.  But even I have got to the point now where I’m spending longer staring at the over-stuffed contents of my closet wondering what the hell to wear, than I am actually wearing the damn clothes.

I envy those who are able to just nonchalantly flick through their rails, casually select a few no-longer desired items, list them on eBay & move on.  Here’s how I roll: open closet doors and stare vacantly into the abyss.  Close doors.  Make a pot of tea/pour wine.  Take a deep breath, re-open doors and begin taking out pieces I haven’t worn in years months.  Get excited about emerging space in closet, how wonderfully neat everything looks & how I will now make the most of the clothes I have.

So far, so good.  And then I start photographing pieces for eBay & filling up bags for the charity shop and this is when the niggling doubts start to surface.  “That would look so good with…” “All I need is a [insert item I shall never search/shop for because I will forget] to go with it”.  “Such happy memories of buying/wearing that dress”…and so it goes on.  And so it goes back in the wardrobe.

There is also the incredibly overbearing “shopper’s guilt” associated with ditching items that are unworn/barely worn.  Each year I promise myself that this will be the year that I “Buy Less, Choose Well”.  And I do try.  And yet, I seemingly repeatedly fail.  Take the case of the “Isabel Marant black trousers”…For reasons I am not entirely sure of, I convinced myself last December that my winter wardrobe would only be complete with a pair of tailored black trousers.  I searched all over the high street and found it sadly lacking.  I strolled into my local boutique and there, on the rail, were the Most Perfect Pair of Black Trousers.  They were so exactly what I wanted that it was as if Isabel had sat in her studio one day and been struck by the “Kate needs great black pants” vibes & energy that I was channeling into the universe.  Reader, I bought them.  These were the much coveted pants that were going to solve all my “what to wear” winter woes.  And yet they have sat in my sodding wardrobe unworn ever since.  Why? Because my perfect black trousers don’t fit into my life.  My perfect black trousers do not have the perfect shoes to go with.  My perfect black trousers are high-waisted and frankly make my ass look huge.  And, to boot, I have lost half a stone since I bought them so they are now too big anyway.  And they are not the only victims of my criminal shopping & hoarding attitude.  Yes, I’m looking at you Vivienne Westwood Friday dress and Armani jacket in the perfect shade of Dove Grey…

The truth is, that whilst fashions do come around time & time again, there are very few pieces that you will actually want to wear second time around.  Unless it is a true classic piece made from great quality fabrics, or a true vintage piece, most of us do not want to “rediscover” that Topshop sweater that looked so cute back in 2008 but daren’t let go of because “you never know”.

So this weekend I had a stern word with myself (i.e. I sat on the bedroom floor and wept) and finally got to grips with culling the contents of my closets.  It’s early days, there have already been a few “about to eBay but not quite sure” wobbles but I will fight the good fight and clear those closets so that all that remains are my “forever” and “right now” pieces that are worn on a regular basis…  It’s already paying off as I rediscovered this much-wanted (honest, couldn’t live without it) Isabel Marant for H&M silk tank which had been hidden and unworn for almost 2 years because, you guessed it, I didn’t have anything to “go with”.  Well, thanks to some recent sensible basics purchases we have it covered.  I’d like to say those purchases were part of a cunning plan but, well, that would be a less than truthful.  Let’s consider it a happy accident bestowed upon me by the benevolent fashion gods.

Silk Tank - Isabel Marant for H&M; Skirt & navy tank - H&M Conscious Collection (current season); Sandals - Topshop (SS14); Bracelets - Topshop/H&M

Silk Tank – Isabel Marant for H&M; Skirt & navy tank – H&M Conscious Collection (current season); Sandals – Topshop (SS14); Bracelets – Topshop/H&M

So tell me good women of the world, how do you cull your closets?  Are you a “once a season” gal? Or do you still have some guilty secrets lurking from 2004?

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