Having taken a few suits out of the wardrobe and put them on the rack the two areas of hanging space still looked quite full. So I decided to research a few different approaches on culling the wardrobe.
The most helpful for me have been at Bridgette Raes and there were a few points that I picked out as I read the various posts.
- avoid duplication, when culling ask if there is something you like better that fills the spot.
An example for me is I bought some new dark brown chelsea boots to wear with my dark brown based trouser outfits. The new ones are really comfortable with a short and fairly wide ankle section and are going to be the ones I always pick. This meant I could let go of some older chelsea boots in a distressed style which have a taller tighter ankle and are less smart as well as less comforable. I could also release some brown mary janes which looked quite frumpy. I will always pick the new boots over these other two items.
- realistically look at your life and consider how many days you have to wear this type of item.
I have a formal office job with lots of meetings. I have therefore lots of opportunities for smart pant suits with a shirt type outfits, also co-ordinated suits and dress and jacket options. I can dress down on Fridays. My weekends and holidays tend to be very casual using lots of Craghoppers hiking/travel clothing. I have a few special occasions, and a few date nights. I don't have much place in my life for busines casual type clothing.
So lets say, in one 4 week month I have 16 fairly smart business wear days, I have 4 dress down Fridays, I might have 2 casual social occasions and 1 more formal one, 8 weekend casual days and weekend casual evenings (I often change when I get in from work).
16 - smart business wear
8 - very casual wear
4 - dress down Fridays
2 - casual social occasions
1 - smart social occasion
So this says to me that about half my wardrobe should be smart work clothing based around suits, jackets etc. Also unless I wear my business casual on a Friday, it doesn't have much place in my life.
So the next thing I am going to do is pull out 16 smart business outfits to keep and see how much of a dent that makes!