Friday, 13 June 2008

How Ruthless is Ruthless?

OK, in advance I warn you: this post is bound to be incredibly self-absorbed, so look away now if you're feeling particularly irritable. Otherwise, I'd love your input!

I have decided that I am going to do a ruthless wardobe cull this weekend - I think I mentioned it in my night-time post. The only problem I am having is: how ruthless is ruthless?

There are the obvious ones: blue stripy dress which is terribly unflattering, a 'what-was-I-thinking' robot vest...

But then there are the numerous other items: purple vest, thin spagetti strap vests, sleeveless top with sequin neckline. All three of the items mentioned are merely examples; they are all pieces which don't fit me perfectly. In fact, the thin spagetti strap vests are simply layers to wear under other slightly see-through or school tops. The top with the sequin neckline for example, is several years old and the fit is awful and slightly mis-shapen, and the neckline too low. But I still keep it because I love the gold sequins and it looks pretty good underneath a shirt where just the neckline shows.

There are others: grey shorts with a weird patch of gold studs (a present) and a basic navy t-shirt are two. These are only ever worn for comfort; on holiday, or a lazy day. This is different from sportswear, which I will obviously keep.

The bottom line is: I still wear all these clothes on a regular basis, so it seems silly to get rid.

The line below the bottom line says that none of these clothes make those special outfits, you know the feeling - the ones which you feel truly great in.

So if I keep these items, I will not be able to achieve the aim I mentioned of being able to choose clothes from my wardrobe blindfolded and be happy to wear them (colour, occasion and weather permitting). But is this aim truly attainable? How ruthless should my ruthless cull be?

And how much money will I need to spend on nice basic t-shirts to replace them?


  1. I'm going to be stern:

    A wardrobe cull is very liberating if you start out by thinking: "I'm doing myself a favor culling my wardrobe." You'll conk out immediately if you think of it as a chore, or as punishment, or as if you're letting go of dear old friends. You may experience some surprising emotions during this exercise. Make sure you're in an open and content mood when you begin. Don't start up when you're PMSing, or cranky with your boyfriend, or feeling self-conscious.

    Here we go: Think of the times you pull things out of the wardrobe, put them on, grimace, and take them off again, returning them to the wardrobe. Anything that has the Grimace Effect should go into a big black bin liner.

    Anything you haven't worn in six months (ignore seasons) should go in there, too.

    Anything that has a narrowly-focused use should go in there, too.

    Anything that makes you feel bad about yourself should go in there, too.

    Anything with price tags still on from three months ago should go in there, too.

    Anything of questionable size, color, or fit should go in there, too.


    Look at what's left. You'll probably find that only the things you wear day in and day out, and maybe one or two special-occasion items are left. That's fine. Don't panic.

    Take the clothes-filled bin liner(s), and remove it/them to another room, or under the bed, or to the shed out back. Someplace out of sight. Leave it/them there. Feel no guilt in doing so.


    Live your life for a month, wearing the clothes left in your wardrobe. This is your *real* and *true* style personality. If you don't *really* and *truly* miss any of the clothes in that bin liner, then you can donate them, or give them away without sadness or guilt.

    The things you donate or give away will help someone else find her true style personality.

    There now, doesn't that feel better?

  2. I forgot to talk about how much you'd need to spend on new t-shirts. You can find that out by looking at what you wear all the time, and what you keep wishing for. Go down the high street and price out the t-shirts you want. I bet you could drop about 100 quid on new t-shirts, but you won't have to if you buy one or two and launder them. Buy them up piecemeal.

    It also may help to keep a notebook with a list of items you're *missing,* items you keep wishing you had. Then, this list will become your shopping list, and will help keep you from impulse-buying.

  3. Wow, fantastic list! Thank you so much enc... I'm going to do this TODAY!