I know you’re secretly thinking about how much you dread this task but we all must face it if we want to escape wearing chunky woven belts, popped collared shirts and mom jeans from 1990. Yup! I said it – mom jeans. (Side note, I was not a fan when they had a comeback in recent years). Anyway, I purge about once or twice a year and recently went through one so we can struggle through this together. YES!
Ditch the Closet
First thing’s first – take it all out, all of it! Technically we’re talking about closets here but I started with my dresser drawers. I must admit, I’m 31 and and recently had a moment where I realized it wasn’t a ton but I still had pieces from the early to mid 20’s stage…no need to say more! Hence the – take it all out! You will never really get the full effect of your style unless you can examine it collectively. Seriously, you have to stare at all of it while it’s mess outside your closet and/or dresser. This can either be a very gratifying moment or terrifying, I’ll let you be the judge ;).
DO NOT try on those pants you’ve been hanging onto for a rainy day, nope, don’t do it, nothing reassuring comes from a pair of pants (shirt, skirt, what have you) that you wore once. Upon emptying drawers I discovered several pairs of pants that I had been hanging onto since (cringe if you must) 16 years old. Then there were those good old night out outfits…or something like that.
Section that Closet!
You can start by sectioning your clothes into similar clothing items. I was a little taken aback when I saw the awkward color combinations, half of it didn’t make sense – but did anyone’s 20’s make sense? I think notttttt. From there, decide what you will donate, consign (I use Clothes Mentor) and what you will trash. I tried to donate as much as I possibly could, if not threw away the super old stuff. Let me tell you how freeing this whole process felt at the end. All things new! I actually went back through and did it a second time not too long after my first. There’s something to be said about “letting go” of the old you and moving towards the future! HELLO fashion!
Now…for the hard/exciting/terrifying part, the rebuild! Just face it, you can’t NOT wear clothes, if you don’t you might catch yourself in a little trouble but go on with your bad self? I like to play the “safe” route and had a ton of fun rebuilding my wardrobe. I spend a ton of time researching the latest fashion trends or items I absolutely love so I can keep my look fresh and provide advice to readers. It’s amazing how a pair of pants you would NEVER be caught in can look so good, HELLO confident 30’s! Apparently this is real life and my Express, Francescas, fabtique, White House Black Market (and the list goes on) loving self is not mad about it.
Buy These Staple Items
I started with the basics – found a few pairs of dress pants, jeans, leggings and casual pants that I could mix and match with tops. They key here is to have a few bottoms you can alternate and spend the money on more tops than bottoms! The tops I purchased were a mix of casual, comfy chic, tanks and dressy tops. Then i threw in some dresses and skirts. Pro tip: Buy a pencil skirt – every girl should own one of these! If you’re really feeling wild go on an accessory binge, a great necklace and pair of earrings can really spruce up an outfit and take it to the next level. Pulling the whole look together was a very refreshing experience!
Shopping on a Budget
If you’re like but Alicia! (Insert pathetic looking emoji cry face here) I can’t spend a ton of money on rebuilding my wardrobe, are you crazy? Well – the crazy part may be true but I always have creative work arounds for spending on a budget. Find consignment shops around you – I once bought a $300 Michael Kors dress with the tags still on it for around $32 from Clothes Mentor. Every state has some sort of consignment shop and if you get really good at looking you can find pre-worn or brand new designer clothes with the tags still on them for super cheap!
Another option is to shop at stores like Discount Fashion Warehouse (DFW). If you have one of these around you and love famous mall brands, get there now! They sell brands like Express, Victoria’s Secret, The Limited and so much more! From clothes to accessories to shoes to perfume – the list goes on. These are all brand new clothes with the original tags on them but they were in store returns at the original retailer. Some retailers do not restock the floor with returns, so places like DFW can sell a pair of $90 pants for $16 or less (example). Just be careful at these places, you have to inspect for defects before buying.
I actually made a trip to DFW today and got a huge bag of items for around $100. All pieces had original tags on them so I added them up; $434.25 would have been my total in the actual store! Now, if that’s not a huge savings I don’t know what is.
Im summary: 1) pull everything out of your closet. 2) Decide what to donate, consign or trash. 3) Rebuild your wardrobe!
What about you? Have you done a closet purge? What did you do with your old clothes? How did you rebuild? How did you handle it? If you’re up for a challenge this is a good one! Leave a reply in the comments.