a spring cleaning guide : your wardrobe

Perhaps it’s my age or my new-found love of less, but in the past year or so I’ve refined my style and subsequently, my wardrobe. I no longer harbour a deep attachment to my clothes. Instead, I’m practical and sensible about what I buy and what I keep. I value quality over quantity, classic hues over trendy brights, texture over prints (although stripes and delicate florals are evident in many of my skirts and tops).

Granted, it’s taken a good few years of decluttering to reach this stage; my wardrobe has always been bulging and it’s been far too hard to let go of the clothes I once coveted. I spent most of my teens and early twenties reading fashion magazines; publications that glorify the walk-in wardrobe and promote ever-changing fashion trends. It took me a good while to realise that fast fashion isn’t cause for celebration. It is, in fact, unrealistic for most of us. It’s satisfying to come to a considered place in regards to the clothes you wear – to shop wisely and carefully and practise restraint. There is also the fact that as I age (and grow) acceptance of my changing body shape affects the clothes I own and the way I dress. Just like my smalls, there was a moment when I realised that no, my waist is not going to return to a size 6, hence there’s no point holding on to those tiny skirts.

I’m also in the midst of the tricky maternity stage and I’m well aware of the fact that many of my clothes won’t be worn for the next two years (said items have been packed away for a later stage). My body loves to expand into voluptuous curves in pregnancy and there’s no point denying the fact that I take a good year, maybe more, to return to my pre-pregnancy self (or a semblance of).

This past weekend I spent a good few hours in my bedroom – sorting, packing and clearing. I launched into it with vigour and as a result, I have an organised wardrobe that contains only the essentials. Regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not, you might find these tips helpful:

pack away your woollens

It makes sense to declutter your wardrobe on the cusp of a new season. Whilst there are still days when a cardigan is necessary, we have definitely bid farewell to woollen jumpers and thick scarves. The bulk of winter was folded and placed in space bags (with a few muslin bags of lavender to ward off the bugs) and packed away in the wardrobe. I’ll admit, there were even a few items that weren’t worn over this past winter – time to pass them on, I obviously don’t need them.

be realistic about the clothes that you love and wear

My aim is to love and regularly wear every piece of clothing that I own. I don’t think it’s a lofty expectation but it does require a critical eye and a seasonal clear-out. Over the past few days I found many pieces that had stretched or become misshapen, clothes that no longer fit quite right (even when I wasn’t pregnant) and some items that simply didn’t suit my style anymore. I was also realistic about the fact that I own far too many floral skirts and striped tops – I kept my favourites and gave the rest to appreciative family members.

essentials are more important that stand-out pieces

I’ve fallen into a fashion trap in the past; where I covet (and subsequently purchase) stunning stand-out pieces only to discover that I only have the bare minimum of essentials. I’ve set about changing this over the past few months. My year-round essentials include: cool, summer dresses, a pair of denim shorts, two pairs of well-fitted jeans, two cardigans in different weights, a few skirts, black singlets, loose-fitting cotton blouses, long-sleeve cotton tops and one jacket. I still have a way to go in terms of minimising my essentials but I feel that I’ve made a vast improvement on my wardrobe that was.

This is a very basic, spring-cleaning guide to your wardrobe. If you’re seeking a thorough step-by-step guide to editing your wardrobe (one that’s written with eloquence and insight) I highly recommend popping over to read Erin’s wise words.

How is your wardrobe looking of late? Did your reach your thirties and realise that your sense of style had evolved and, dare I say, matured?

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Showing 10 comments
  • SimpleHappy

    I´me also a sucker for quality, classic hues and texture! I´ve always had a capsule wardrobe: few good quality items that can be worn with one another, which I think was a pretty good system. With the years passing by, I naturally developed an uniform: I always wear dresses, with I pair with scarves and sandals in summer, cardigans and flats in spring and autumn, and overcoats and high boots in the winter. I substitute the footwear, but complement in layers the other items. This simple system really works for me!

  • Audrey

    I am about 3/4 of the way through doing all of the above – I have got rid of everything old & stretched from 2 pregnancies, kept a few breastfeeding tops & basically updated my 'style'…I have realised that clothes pre-motherhood are maybe not so appropriate anymore! I spent money on quality denim pieces & shorts, then went the cheapie route for tops & t-shirts. Everything still needs to be breastfeeding friendly, so I have packed away those things that don't suit the bill. Can't wait to shop for new bras post-feeding – what a treat 🙂

    • Jodi

      There is a certain amount of practicality that is necessary in a mother's wardrobe. If I see anything made with silk or an item that requires dry cleaning I immediately move on! I definitely favour cotton and linen – easy to wear and wash. x

  • Lauren & Corey

    I'm in the transition period right now! Ridding my closet of once loved pieces that see the light of day maybe two, three times a year. And I've recently become very aware of how ridiculous the "Outfit of the Day" trend is. I follow a couple blogs who post their outfits daily and there are so few repeat outfits. How does someone have so many clothes? Why has such consumerism become admirable? I'm now aiming for a rotation of a week to two week's worth of outfits. No more "oh, have they already seen me in this?"

    • Jodi

      I'm being completely honest with you when I say that over the past few weeks I have worn the same three dresses on rotation and I couldn't care less if people think: "Gosh, she wore that dress yesterday!" … benefits include a lot less washing! x

  • L. Magas

    Ah, here in Canada we are heading into winter. I need to update my fairly minimal wardrobe to make sure I have ENOUGH to wear! I'm thinking a nice chunky pullover and a pair of soft corduroy pants. Might be a good day to visit the thrift store…

  • Lissa Snapp

    Thanks for this post! I have been following along Erin's great wardrobe posts these past couple weeks and have been meaning to dive in but have not found the time but today after reading this I finally went for it! I have found that since having Owynn last year my style has changed immensely moving more towards a simpler, more sophisticated style. Interesting how many different styles I have had over the past 10 years and how much clothes I have always thought I needed but really it is just overwhelming when getting dressed each morning so downsize time it is! Thanks Jodie!

  • Silver

    Good grief – you should see what happens when you hit your 40s…. ahhhh. I cannot throw away though – so I have about 12 massive boxes of clothes under the house…. one day my son will have a cool female friend who will surely benefit from my collection.

  • erin

    Texture over prints—for me too! Thanks so much for the link back to my space!

  • Kamala

    Well put! I was forced into a wardrobe declutter over 6 months ago when we were packing up our Brisbane home and moving to the American Midwest. Two really big bags went to a local op shop, but there are still boxes of clothes in storage – all the clothes I still couldn't wear after having our son, and all the clothes I probably hadn't worn in years because they just didn't fit – I'll sort through them one day… So, I packed one bag of clothes that fitted me and that was it (we had 4 suitcases between 3, including the cloth nappies). It was so liberating! Now that we're coming into winter, I'm adding jumpers, jackets, and boots to our wardrobe with strict criteria: second hand or investment (we'll bring the investments back with us). That said, I am looking forward to buying a dress or top that isn't suitable for breastfeeding in, but that's at least a few months off.

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