Why I Regularly Purge My Closet

Every few weeks I stand in front of my closet and try to force myself to get rid of some of the clothes I no longer wear or never did wear. I keep trying to convince myself that I’ll be happier with fewer clothes that all spark joy, and at the end of the year, I’ll wind up having to spend money storing clothes I never even wore the past year anyway.

But, for some reason I can’t bring myself to pass on the bright suede jacket I thrifted in Berlin, but is a little too loud for my everyday style, or the patent leather mini skirt I envision myself wearing with Doc Martens and tights, or the Reformation dress I bought on sale but is just slightly too big in the chest for me.

Credit: Angelina Wang

Half of my closet belongs to the cooler version of myself I think I can become if I just push myself out of my comfort zone a little harder, and the other half is the everyday me, with the same sweaters, comfy jeans, and warm coats I reach for without thinking.

Some days, if I get up early enough to try on a couple of options and psych myself up, I’ll wear an article of clothing that’s slightly out of my comfort zone, like pink corduroy pants that are reminiscent of something in a middle schooler’s wardrobe or a white peasant top with bell sleeves so voluminous they’d easily hide multiple bananas from the dining hall.

But most of the time, I wake up with barely enough time to do my makeup and grab my laptop, so I just reach for my tried and true formula: straight-leg jeans, black sneakers, and a sweater. I feel comfortable and confident enough, but I also feel boring and not confident enough.

Credit: YouTube

Of course, I know that no one else is paying as much attention to me as I think they are, and I could very easily just start wearing whatever I want and everyone would go on with their lives as usual. Multiple YouTubers have started filming videos where they dress out of their comfort zone for a week, like Emily Mariko and Marla Catherine. It’s comforting to know that even fashion YouTubers who have substantial followings still struggle with their personal style. Celebrities: they’re just like us.

But watching other people do it and telling myself to “dress better” is much easier said than done, and just another thing I’m adding to my list of things to improve on. At least I’m getting a head start on New Year’s Resolutions: clean out my closet, and dress better.

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