Have you ever felt overwhelmed while looking at your wardrobe? Too many clothes, too many choices! This is when a wardrobe audit can be helpful.
Being aware of what you own can help you realise what you really need and identify the style that defines you. By working through your closet, you’ll be able to weed out duplicates and unworn items which can aid in streamlining your wardrobe, and make the process of putting an outfit together an effortless experience!
Before you dive into an audit, conduct a decluttering session. Following your gut is key to this process. This is how I did mine:
- I removed all the clothes from my wardrobe and placed them on my bed.
- Went through each and every item and sorted clothes into three categories: ‘Love‘, ‘Maybe‘ and ‘Toss‘. (Please feel free to categorise it the way that suits you best )
- In the ‘Love‘ pile of clothes are the items that (as Marie Kondo would say) ‘brings me joy’. I feel confident and beautiful wearing them and they define my style. This category didn’t only have new pieces, it also had clothes from five to six years ago. I refer to them as my closet classics! As long as they are in excellent condition, fits you right and makes you feel good, why throw them away?
- Pile ‘Maybe‘ has clothes that I haven’t worn in 6-12 months or items that don’t feel like me anymore.
- ‘Toss‘ is probably a harsh name for the last category because I don’t actually toss them into a bin. This pile includes clothes that are ill-fitting, worn-out, stained or gone out of style. They definitely have no more role in my closet.
What do I do with these piles?
‘Love‘ goes back to the wardrobe and I arrange them in a way that I can see them. Accessibility is important.
‘Maybe‘ is given one more round of analysis. Some pieces may not align with my current personality, but it may fit well in another person’s wardrobe. So I consider this pile for donating or clothes-swap events. It’s always best to start with your family or friends and give the clothes a second- chance.
‘Toss‘ will always ends up being an enormous pile during the initial days of decluttering. The pile gets smaller over time. Depending on the material, I try to upcycle some pieces by cutting them into cloth rags for cleaning purposes. However, sometimes I do end up finding a piece from the pile that can be mended. If so, then I consider to keep, donate or swap them. Or else, I resort to my next option, which is to use the textile recycling bin provided by the municipality. The garbage bin is always (try to avoid it a much as possible) the last option.
…And voila! You have done decluttering your wardrobe!
No, it isn’t an easy process and you definitely have to be committed and spend some time on this activity. Take a break, before you move on to the auditing.
Closet Mass Index
Last year, I took part in the Slow Fashion Season (June-September) where we vowed to not buy any new clothes for three months. It was during that time, that I was first introduced to the concept of Closet Mass Index (CMI). The CMI was developed by the students of Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Your CMI takes a stock of how many clothes you possess and how many are new, secondhand and unworn.
This is what my CMI looks like:
This total excludes undergarments, socks/ stockings, shoes and accessories like bags. I hope to include them in my calculation the next time. It has been less than two years since I moved towards slow fashion. I am aspiring to keep my belongings to a total of maybe around 50 soon!
Calculating my CMI really pushed me to get a more honest and transparent perspective of my wardrobe:
- I realised since moving to a new country, I have added more clothes to my wardrobe (winter items like jumpers and jackets).
- I also noticed that I own a lot of similar looking clothes, which means it’s time to give away some!
- All though most of my clothes have been bought first hand, majority of that number have been with me for years. There hasn’t been a lot of new purchases last year except for a lot of winter clothes and a swim wear.
- Another thing that I am happy about is that I don’t have an item that I haven’t worn.
Few wins and few disappointments, but I am glad to have done it. After all, ‘pobody is nerfect‘! My aim is to take part in more swapping events or buy more ethically produced clothes in case I want to refresh my wardrobe.
This was only a stock of my clothes here in Delft. I have clothes that I have left behind at my parents’ and in-laws’ houses. Looking forward to giving it a sustainable edit the next time I am there! 😉
So what does your CMI look like? Try it and let me know your experience!