How to Develop Your Style- Step #2: Assess & Purge

IMG_20160521_135350You’ve created a Style Journal and know what styles you like. It’s now time to take the next vital step in finding your personal style.

Step #2- Evaluate and Purge Your Current Wardrobe

You will need:

  • a few hours (do not rush!)
  • a large clean area to lay your clothes (your bed, floor, or sofa.)
  • something to make a list (your notepad or app on your phone)
  • plastic bag or box (for unwanted items)

So many of us have a collection of things that we really don’t like to wear. We have items that we hold onto for nostalgia, but we know that we will never wear them again.  Then there are “someday” items.  Someday I will lose weight and will be able to wear this again. Perhaps we have items that we know we need to replace, but we just haven’t taken the time to do it. The result of all these reasonings amount to a wardrobe that we don’t like.

I too am guilty of this too.  As I began my young adulthood my closet consisted of things that I didn’t love or even like.  For example, I wore a 1980’s printed dress given to me by an older relative, a sweater that swallowed my small frame, and pants that were terribly faded because I loved them to death. I needed to let them go.

“Clothing is a form of self expression. There are hints about who you are in what you wear.”- Marc Jacobs

Now is the time to make room for things that reflect you. Begin by getting rid of those items that don’t meet this criteria. Here is a systematic approach to evaluating and purging your wardrobe.

  1. Remove your clothing from your closet, dresser, etc.
  2. Group them into 3 categories:  KEEP, DISCARD, and UNSURE.

Keep: These are items that are in good condition, fit your body, and well liked.

Discard– These are items that are ill-fitting, discolored, worn, torn, disliked, etc that you no longer need or want.

Unsure– These are items that you are unsure about.  They deserve a second look.

3. Try on your items. Once you have divided your clothing into three groups, it’s time to give special attention to the Unsure group of clothing.  Try on each item in this group, and take a good look in the mirror.  What is it about this item that you like and dislike? Why are you hesitant to part with this item?  It may not look exactly like those pictures in your Style Journal, but can you incorporate it with the style you have in mind? Remember you saved those photos for inspiration, not just to copy.  Ask for the assistance of a friend or family member if you need help.   Then MAKE A DECISION, and place the item into the Keep or Discard group.

4.  Create a shopping list. Once that you’ve consolidated your clothing into two groups, you now have some idea of essential items you immediately need for your wardrobe. Did you notice that all your camisoles have holes in them and need to be replaced?  Did you get rid of your only pair of boots? Did you finally part with a too small dress, and need a new one? Do you have enough proper fitting undergarments (bras, underwear, and slips)?  Was your favorite white t-shirt stained?  These are immediate needs that you should place on your shopping list.

6. Box or bag up the clothing that you decided to discard.  Could you donate these items?  Give them to shelter?  Is it possible to sell them at a resale shop or in a garage sale?  Should they be burned?!  Whatever you choose, do not place them back into your wardrobe.

7. Neatly put away the clothing you’ve decided to keep. Put your “shopping list” in a place that you can easily find.  Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Congratulations! You’ve just completed Step #2 by evaluating and purging your wardrobe.  You should also have basic shopping list.  Can you guess what Step #3 will be?



  1. Stephanie
    June 19, 2016 / 5:32 am

    Good suggestions! I have three closets of all three categories combined. The only issue I have is that my weight fluctuates a lot. Any suggestions? I am always in between 5- 10 lbs range which can push you into the next size up or down?

  2. November 13, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Thannks very nice blog!

  3. November 17, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • November 18, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      I use pipdig for my blog.

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