I’ve lost around 70 lbs this past year. Until last week I hadn’t removed any clothing from my closet. I don’t like spending a lot of money on clothing and I haven’t hit my full goal. So to me it didn’t make sense to invest in new items. The only new clothing I have bought during the journey is a pair of work pants. Stepping into my closet was no longer enjoyable and I decided to give in and tackle the unpleasant project.
I dedicated an entire Sunday to the endeavor. I knew this was going to be a project, but there were many things I learned along the way.
Get it All Out
Step one for me was throwing everything onto my bed. The reason this really worked for me is that it helped me to realize that I still had a crazy amount of clothing left that looked good on my new body. This made it easier to let frumpy items go.
From there it would be strategically placed in my closet, tossed in a donate pile, thrown into a damaged box, or folded into my favorites bin. I know that many people say to get rid of all of the clothing pieces that are too big for you. I see the therapeutic benefit to that, but to being honest, I didn’t follow that rule. I saved some items that I absolutely love. My weight loss is sustainable, but I do plan on having children one day and in that weight gaining process and aftermath some of these items may come in handy. One tucked away bin won’t bother me.
As I placed the items into my closet I sorted them by use: tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, jackets, casual, fancy, dresses… and so on. Doing this helped me picture my options better.
Try it all On
As I made decisions I put every item of clothing on. I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself some questions:
Does this flatter me?
Does wearing this excite me?
Do I happily reach for this item often?
Is this a versatile essential?
The answers to these questions made it clear where the item belonged.
I broke into tears at a few points in this process. I’m an emotional human being and I choose an emotional time of month for me. I would advise against that decision. I’m usually pretty good at decluttering, but normally I don’t love the clothing I am getting rid of.
Some items in my closet used to bring me so much joy each time I wore them, and when I was wearing them I made amazing memories. The clothes are far too big now, so unfortunately I had to say goodbye to items that made me sad to see go. Also, realizing how loose some items were now hit me hard. It’s probably the first time I really noticed the significant difference in my body. This project made for a happy sad yo-yo of a day.
Salvage What You Can
I lucked out slightly in my proportions. I have a fairly large chest and haven’t lost too much of it, so some of my tops still fit fine, they are just looser in the stomach and hips. I have other tops that are looser, but look good tucked into more fitted high waisted pants. My jeans went from nice and fitted skinny jeans to slightly looser, but still good until I budget a little money for new ones. Others are baggy and had to go.
Also, altering items that you love or are invested in could be an option. I know how to do basic sewing to fix things, but sometimes because of how a garment is made, it could be slightly altered or an accessory can be added to make it work. For one of my dresses with an elastic waist, I turned it inside out, cut a hole to get to the elastic, cut the elastic and tied the elastic together like the drawstrings of pants. Now it hugs my waist really nice and it is a great flowy dress for summer. Creativity is your best friend while rebuilding your wardrobe.
Organize for Functionality
I’m a color person. I like to look at things grouped in their color family, but this time around I changed that in my closet. First I hung up absolutely everything I could so I could see all of my options and leaf through them. Then I organized with how I would layer things. I have so many jackets and sweaters for layering, which I realized during this process. I love them but never thought to wear them based on how I organized before. Now they are front and center and the good layering tops are all in the same place. When I get dressed in the morning I feel so much more inspired even though I haven’t bought anything new.
Finally, in this process I realized how much I have. I will never be a capsule wardrobe person, because I love variety too much, but I do intend to live with less as time goes on. My fiance is really good at this and his wardrobe kind of made this click for me more than anything I had tried to be inspired by in the past. He owns one pair of the pants he wears just about every day. When they wear out he gets one more pair to replace them. He just does wash a little more frequently, and I like that. Jeans are jeans to me so I don’t need 6 pairs. When I fully need a new size or my current ones wear out I only want a pair and a spare of blue jeans I really like. I spill, I need a backup 🙂
The same go for other items of my closet as they wear out and I need to purge them. I want to buy less and be more choosy. My style evolves on a regular basis and after loosing so much from a size change, I can see that I don’t wear out my clothing by the time I lose interest. But I want to. If I splurge on something that I absolutely love at that moment in my life, I want to give it every opportunity to be worn.
A lot is lost in a waistline and a wardrobe because of weight loss, but the opportunity to start new is one major perk.