Why I donated 80% of my wardrobe...

So, this is my closet wardrobe clothes rail. Or rather what's left of it. As you know, we moved house in December and that - obviously - meant some decluttering. Our last home had an amazing (considering the size of the actual flat) amount of storage, so most of the clothes I had, I didn't acutally see all the time. Unless I opened the (built-in) wardrobe and picked something out I actually wanted to wear. Anyway, before we moved, I did some decluttering. You know, pieces I knew I hadn't worn in years and wouldn't ever wear again. I thought I'd done well.

Then we arrived in our new home and despite it being bigger than the last one, there's not one bit of "hidden" storage here. Everything is out in the open (until one day when we know exactly where to put wardrobes and what they're supposed to look like, no rush) and that includes all the clothes I was still holding onto. Up until last week, my rail was stuffed with so many items that I struggled to actually pull out a piece without pulling at least another two off their hangers. And then there were another not one, not two, but three storage bags (you know, those big, under-bed bags with a zip around them) stuffed full with things I just couldn't part with. Or so I thought, because here's the thing: every morning I'd look at my clothes and struggled to find something to wear. Yes, I know how that sounds, wrong, spoilt, idiotic etc, but the way I felt was "this isn't quite right, this doesn't fit, I don't feel like wearing that one, this one makes me look fat(-ter than I already am)...". The bottom line is that I was ALWAYS going back to the same items. The ones that make me feel like me, the ones that make me feel comfortable and confident. the ones that I'm happy in. 

So suddenly, last week, something clicked in me and I got really annoyed, fed up, actually p*ssed off at the situation and myself. Why am I holding onto all these clothes that I don't wear? Ever! The items I haven't worn in years? All these clothes that make me feel like I really shouldn't have the right to whinge that I don't have anything to wear because, clearly, I have mountains of them. So, I decided there and then to ruthlessly get rid of ALL the things that I don't wear. The pieces I haven't worn because they don't fit anymore, the pieces that aren't quite right, the ones that I'm holding onto for sentimental reasons but wouldn't wear again, the ones that are basically not my first choice when I'm getting dressed in the morning. Each and every piece went into a large, black bin bag and donated to the charity shop. Yes, maybe I could have sold the odd piece, but that would have meant holding onto them for a little longer until they've sold and having time to rethink it all. No, it all had to go there and then. 

It hadn't been my intention to declutter as such, I just wanted to make my life easier by knowing that I could pull out anything from what I have left and feel good wearing it. After a brief "oh my god, what have I done, I'm poor, look how few clothes I have" (total rubbish, btw, I still have more than enough) I suddenly felt like a weight had been lifted and it turned out that getting dressed in the morning is more fun again than chore. I've added a few new items, but have been extremely choosy about those and returned anything that wasn't absolutely right straight away. I know my style, I know what I like and I won't compromise. Ok, I will compromise because my budget doesn't stretch to The Row, but you know what I mean. My favourite brand is COS and most of the time their clothes make me feel, well, like me. And when they don't I'm taking them back. I'm not holding onto anything anymore that doesn't instantly make me go "yes!!!" when trying it on. The moment I'm thinking "well, this could maybe work if I wear it with that item" I know it's not right. I've learned (the hard way) that COS sales are not my friend. Let's just say that there's a reason why items are in the sales.

I've also learned that there's no point in buying something "because it would look great when I'm going to the Oscars that summer wedding" because a) that event might not come round (the Oscars) and b) I will probably change my mind/the weather isn't right/I feel fat by the time it actually does. I will never be that super elegant woman walking for miles in four-inch heels and a pencil skirt (I can't actually walk in either), so am stopping myeslf from any purchases that feed into that fantasy. It's just not going to happen. I don't really do frilly stuff and I love natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool and will spend a little extra to avoid any version of "poly-something-or-other". I've discovered Etsy and eastern European linen and cotton items which are handmade by small sellers and are just a little different from what our highstreet has to offer - which I like.

I read somewhere ages ago that most women only wear around 20% of the clothes they own and thought that was a fairly shocking yet probably accurate statistic. Well, not for me anymore, I got rid of the 80% and (admittedly depending on time of the year, weather and occasion) am aiming to wear every last thing I own. And if I don't, it's going.