fashion

Oh. It turns out there's a specific equation to tell you what clothes you... actually need.

I often find that despite having a lot of clothes, I have absolutely nothing to wear. I don’t actually like to shop that much, but over the years I’ve amassed an overflowing wardrobe/floordrobe. And my coats are stashed in another room altogether.

I know I am not alone. The average Aussie has 104 items in their wardrobe that they don’t even wear. Now that’s a lot of garments sentenced to the darkest corner of the closet, never to see the light of day.

Most of my closet clutter was collected in my twenties when I was more experimental and frivolous. And because many of these garments are beauties, I hold onto them – just in case.

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But just in case of what? In case I remove a rib and fit into that dress again? Or I decide I’m the sort of person who will wear Nan’s psychedelic kaftan down to the shops? (Actually, I do harbour a secret hope that I will become that person.)

We keep things we don’t wear for a myriad of reasons – from the practical to the sentimental. I keep the dress I wore on my first date, even though it’s tired and pilled. It’s pretty common to keep clothes that remind us of the good times.

But as Courtney Carver, capsule wardrobe guru, suggests – we can take a snap for the memory and move that garment on to reclaim our wardrobe space. Keep the memory, ditch the clutter.

Wardrobe hacks
My wardrobe before and after decluttering. Image: Supplied
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When I buy something that costs more, that doesn’t guarantee that it will become one of my wardrobe soulmates. In fact, it can be hard to donate or give up a garment when you can still remember how much you invested in it. These items are ripe for resale and keeping a memento that induces the guilt of wasted money in your wardrobe does no one any favours.

Speaking of guilt, there's nothing worse than opening your draw of 17 pairs of jeans, most of which no longer fit.

Squeezing yourself into ill-fitting jeans is a special kind of self-torture. The squirming and worming around to get that fly done up. And then feeling like you’re being sliced in half when you deign to sit down. There’s no greater liberation than letting those go.

Most of my wardrobe clutter comes down to one reason: when I buy a better version of something, say a green jumper, I won’t go back to the inferior original. Sure, the first green jumper is still fine. But it’s not my fave, so it no longer gets a look in.

So often we find ourselves buying the same styles of garments. Always round neck jumpers, or striped t-shirts or A-line dresses. When you buy an upgraded version, the original loses its rightful place in your wardrobe, so it doesn’t need to be there.

Wardrobe hacks
When your wardrobe and life don't match. Image: Supplied

With most of us having over 100 unnecessary garments cluttering our closets, it’s no surprise we have too many clothes and yet nothing to wear.

And there’s another good reason for this: when I analysed my lifestyle against the style of clothes I have, there was a complete disconnect.

Half my wardrobe is made up of clothes that are far fancier than I am. They are special occasion wear; fancy frocks, slick pants and tailored jackets that don’t really get worn most of the time. These clothes are for the aspirational me rather than the actual me.

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I wear 20 per cent of my clothes 80 per cent of the time, and they are casual. Most of my life, I dress in sneakers, tees and jeans.

Given this logic, I have reduced my wardrobe down to 20 per cent of what it was. Everything I’ve chosen actually fits and flatters me.

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I love and wear everything in my edited wardrobe. Surprisingly, I’m more experimental because I can actually see the items I’ve chosen to keep. I spend less time deciding what to wear, because everything I’ve got compliments each other.

I feel like I’ve given myself a massive style upgrade and I haven’t spent a cent.

As we get ready to re-enter social life, and the novelty of schlepping around in our trackies is wearing off, it’s a great time to edit your wardrobe. And even if you can only tackle something small, ordering your undie drawer can give you a semblance of control and peace in this crazy world we're living in.

Kate Luckins is on a mission to unf*ck the planet. She is the antidote to guilt-inducing environmentalism. Kate’s got a PhD in sustainability, but still drives her kids to school when it rains. So if you don’t know how to recycle, she won’t judge. Kate founded Sustainable Lifestyle so we can all feel super ace as we learn how to live more with less. Follow her @sustainablelife.style

If you’d like to sort your wardrobe with ease, Kate is offering a free capsule wardrobe edit kicking off Monday May 18th. Save your place by registering here.

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