Closet Makeover Part 1: Editing Your Wardrobe

how to edit your wardrobe This is part 1 of my ‘wardrobe makeover project‘ in which I’ll show you how to give your closet a good clear out. Stay tuned for more tips on how to create the wardrobe of your dreams in the next few days!


Culling your wardrobe can be a daunting prospect, especially if you tend to get attached to your clothes and are a bit of hoarder like me. Think about it this way though: would you prefer keeping a pile of old stuff you don’t wear or fill your closet with items you love and that make you feel fabulous? Thought so.

I got rid of about a third of my wardrobe today and although the process was traumatizing slightly intense it was also incredibly satisfying.

Here are my tips to help you edit your wardrobe:

Step 1: Get in the zone

♥ Set aside a few hours to go through your wardrobe. This is serious business, you don’t want to rush it.

♥  Put on some Girly music. May I humbly suggest this mixtape which is full of girl power and feel-good tunes?

♥ Pull out 4 boxes (or plastic bags): one for charity, one for items you intend to sell/exchange, one for storage and one for recycling. You could also add a box for alterations but if it’s just going to be another thing lying around your house for months then I’d say skip it.

♥ Have a glass of wine. Optional of course, but it could help take the edge off a bit. A group of friends and champagne could help too – very Carrie Bradshaw indeed.

Step 2: Empty your closet

♥ Take all your clothes out of your closet (yes all of them)

♥ Arrange them into piles on your bed (or floor)

♥ Keep similar items together: shoes with shoes, tops with tops etc. It will make it much easier to see what you own a lot of or not.

Step 3: Cull away

I know this is hard but you really need to be ruthless here. Channel your inner Anna Wintour, take a deep breath and:

Get rid of any item you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. Somebody else could be enjoying this garment, give it up already!

♥ Only allow yourself to keep 5 things of sentimental value. These could be things like your wedding dress or fancy pieces that you only wear out on super special occasions. I’d suggest you put those in a storage box though (or in a separate space) so that they’re not cluttering your every day wardrobe.

Don’t hold on to anything that is worn out or falling apart. A tee shirt with stains and holes in it isn’t ‘grungy’ or ‘alternative’ – it’s gross.

Any items that don’t fit you NOW should go. I found so many goal dresses and jeans in my wardrobe when I was doing my cull, it’s embarrassing. All these are doing is making me feel bad about myself and regretting my 16 year old shape. They need to go! The same rule goes for items that are too big – unless you’re willing to drop them off at a tailor today it’s better to just exchange them for something else you can actually wear.

ps. If you do find that your weight often fluctuates you could always put a few pieces in your storage box for safe keeping. Just a few though – ruthless!

The same goes for any double ups you may have. OK so you like to wear to wear black tee shirts, but unless it’s a uniform situation you probably don’t need to own 5 identical black tee shirts.

Don’t let the price tag sway you. This a hard one for me – it’s difficult enough to get rid of clothes, let alone expensive ones! But if they’re not serving you in any way other that reminding you about that ‘impulse purchase mistake’ you made then what’s the point of keeping them around? You’ll know better next time!

If you’re unsure about an item then try it on. Is the shape/color flattering on you? (you could ask a friend for her honest opinion or even take a selfie with your camera phone – photos can be quite revealing) Does it make you feel fab or drab? If it’s the latter then it has to go! Life’s too short to wear clothes that make you feel meh or bad about yourself.

If you’re still umming and ahhing about it then you could try the 3-month-rule: put it away in a box for three months and if you don’t find yourself missing it during that time then it’s out.

Step 4: Get rid of your unwanted clothes as soon as possible

To ensure that you don’t end up with bags of clothes sitting on your bedroom floor for months (which would kind of defeat this whole exercise), it’s a good idea to dispose of the reject piles as soon as you can. Here are a few ways you can do it:

♥ Look up a clothing exchange program in your area or organize a clothes swap with your friends.

♥ Donate items to charity – they’re always in need of good quality clothing!

♥ Give them to your best friend or a family member. It’s a good way to share the love and that way you’ll still get to see your beloved clothes every once in a while.

♥ Sell your expensive items online or take them to a second hand shop – you might not get as much as you paid for them but at least the money will be going to clothes you’ll actually wear!

♥ Recycle the items that are no longer wearable.

Step 5: Congratulate yourself

You’re done with phase 1 and that much closer to closet heaven. If everything went well, you should now only be left with gorgeous clothes that you really love, yay!

Next, we’ll be moving onto something more fun: re-organising your closet. Let’s put all those movie stars’ closets to shame, shall we?

Have you ever done a wardrobe purge? I’d love to hear about your personal tips and tricks so please share them in the comments section below!

image source: ‘Sex and The City’


  • Great tips!!! I do this for other people for a living, but it’s MUCH harder to be this ruthless on your own closet – I love the glass of wine tip, will definitely be instigating that next wardrobe cull!
    Also, I tend to throw things out by seasons – so at the end of this summer, if I haven’t worn it, chances are I’m probably not going to wear it next summer, so it goes. I cull 3-4 times a year for a good cleanout! (and to make room for new purchases haha!)

    • Throwing things out according to seasons is a really great idea. Oh, but with the heatwave I’ve only worn my pair of short and a singlet in the last week!Oops, does that mean I need to throw out everything else? Mmmm yes, actually I probably do…Haha

  • Yesss!! These are awesome tips, I wish I had the same ideas last weekend when I cleared out my wardrobe…problem is I’m only up to step 4 and have the bags of clothes ready to go just sitting around collecting dust! Must make it a priority to get them to donate them this weekend, or they will probably somehow end up back in my wardrobe! Feels so good to have some space in there now though :)

    • Christie: Congrats on clearing out your wardrobe! I know what you mean, getting rid of unwanted clothes can be as big a job as editing your wardrobe sometimes! That’s why donating them is such a great idea – quick and easy and you also know that they’ll make someone else happy!

  • Such good tips! I also love the culling by season idea and think I am now officially motivated to take on this task, thank you Pearl!

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