If you’ve given up most (or all) of your New Year’s resolutions already, I can relate—my hopes of starting my weekdays at 7 am and keeping a daily journal evacuated from my realistic goals and said, “try again in 2022.” I think we can all relate to that.
However, out of my ambitious list of ten resolutions, one hasn’t left my mind just yet—I had the goal to better express myself through fashion, in hopes it would make my stay-at-home life a little more exciting, as well as bolster my self-confidence. What came with that was evaluating my entire wardrobe over winter break, and now, if you have a similar desire to be a little more adventurous in your outfits, or perhaps you’d just like to clean through your closet, here are some cost-free tips on how I was able to make a little more sense of the madness going on in my drawers.
1. Put questionable items to the test
A common theme is going to reoccur in all of these tips, and that is to be honest with yourself and evaluate what you really do wear versus what you most positively don’t. A method to help you decide if you really like something, (take, for example, that $5 H&M sweater you bought on Black Friday that doesn’t actually go with anything) wear it somewhere, even for a couple of hours on an errand, just to see if it’s still something you can incorporate into a look later on. All signs point to ‘no’ if you can’t even get yourself out the door in it. Another possible option is to put let’s say, this sweater, out of your closet, in plain sight, and leave it there for seven days. If you can never bring yourself to wear it, it’s time to toss it. These both are silly, simple methods, but they’ve surprisingly worked for me.
2. Identify what isn’t really ‘you’
We all have those objects in our closet, often impulse buys, that we just can’t let go of because we think they’re unique; for me, it’s a metallic pink pencil skirt that I had dreams of going to summer concerts in. The problem with these kinds of clothes is that they don’t actually go with anything else we own, and so we put them off, hoping the day will come when we can proudly wear them, but it unfortunately doesn’t. If you can’t see yourself realistically wearing something, it may be time to pass it on.
Additionally, I’m willing to bet you have things in your closet that just aren’t “you” anymore. It’s hard, but I have to admit that I will never wear my 8th grade volleyball team sweatshirt ever again, because I really just don’t have a place for it in my current style (and that’s a good thing.)
3. Organize by occasion
I used to organize my closet and drawers by color, and thought I’d just wear the shade I happened to be “feeling” that day—which didn’t last very long. Instead, a better tactic I use that has been especially helpful during the school-from-home phase of my life is to organize my things by occasion, or purpose. For example, to make things more easily accessible for whatever mood I’m in, I’ve separated my things into cute and preppy going-out clothes, such as nice blouses, cute dresses, and my best jackets, with an obvious line dividing from all the hoodies I have for the days I really don’t want to turn my Zoom camera on. This, surprisingly, has actually made things easier to find too.
4. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure
Okay, so you’ve narrowed things down, and you have a few things that you’d like to get rid of. This is where the apps of Depop or Poshmark come in handy, especially for college students trying to make a little bit of spending cash. List some of your items on these platforms so someone can stumble upon them and get the joy from them that you once did. And of course, there’s the traditional yet environmentally friendly option of donating to your local Goodwill or Value Village, or you can use this as a chance to connect with old friends and organize a clothing swap (done safely, of course.) Everybody wins!