organize your vintage wardrobe

Being a fashion blogger is really fun but we tend to least I do! I buy things randomly as I find them at the thrift stores with no thought on whether or not the color is right or if it will work well with other pieces in my wardrobe. The result of my willy-nilly shopping habits in 5 years of this madness is 2 1/2 closets of clothes that I never wear.

organize your vintage wardrobe

One closet holds coats and dresses while the one in my bedroom holds separates and the remaining 1/2 of a closet is downstairs with vintage repairs and hopeful (I'll be able to fit into that some day) labels on them. I'd wake up in the morning and feel so overwhelmed with the chaos of my wardrobe that I started wearing Pj's tee shirts and some yoga pants just to avoid having to look at that mess every morning. I know- first world problem but still- such a bummer. There's no point in having things if they aren't being loved and used.

So the other day I decided that the time had some to stop hoarding, start enjoying and follow through with a painful purge.

Get Ready:

1.) Pull everything out of the closet and lay it in the bed in stacks- skirts, pants, cardigans, jackets/blazers and blouses

2.) try to find natural light and pull out a full length mirror

3.) put on my most well-fitting undergarments- no shape wear, just the stuff I wear daily (pointy bra and granny panties)

4.) Turn on the radio and get to work

collection of Pendleton 49er jackets

One item at a time, I gave the following assessment:

A.) Do I like this? Is it still "my style"?  If no, toss in the pitch pile

B.) Is it worn? Does it need a simple repair or need to be replaced? If needs replacement, make a note such as "green cardigan - replace". If it needs a repair, toss in repair pile, if its worth saving to you

C.) Does it fit well? Be real. Does it have a button gap? Is it too short/long? If no, toss in pitch pile

D.) Does the cut flatter me? Again, be real. Is that neckline really best suited for my bust size? Does it drape well? Does it ride up or cause a lump or bump? Are those pleats really working out? If its not quite perfect, toss in pitch pile.

E.) Is this really a good color for me? This was the hardest for me because I love colorful things but in general, everyone has a few colors that they should avoid. Hold up a blue shirt by your face and look in the mirror. Note your skin tone. Next, hold up a yellow shirt and note the change in skin appearance. Do this with all different colors to see which hues make you look radiant and which don't flatter. I found that yellow, yellow-green, orange and bright reds made my skin look sickly and more flushed while greens, blues, pinks and neutrals made me look bright and youthful. If its not a good color but you love the item, think about why you love it and look for something in a better suited color with similar features, toss the poor color choice in the pitch pile. We're all different so do this color check on yourself, in natural light to see what's best for you.

Now tackle that pitch pile!
If its in good shape or needs a small repair, you can donate or resell it. If its worn, toss it. If you have something that's really nice but doesn't quite work for you, see if a friend could use it!

Now put everything back in the closet and give it another run through, one piece at a time. Did you really need to keep that thing you haven't worn in over a year? Show no mercy! No hoarding allowed!

Make a Cheat Sheet
When the day was over, I made a list of things that my closet was lacking such as summer skirts, jeans and a new green cardigan, since mine was looking pretty shabby. Make note of things you don't need - mine being green skirts, wool skirts and cream colored cardigans (who needs 6 of these?!)

Also jot down which colors should be avoided. Keep this little cheat sheet in your purse for your next thrift adventure and you'll always bring home things that you will love to wear. Its good for your budget and good for you.

Don't forget accessories
 Go through that massive shoe or handbag collection, even jewelry and see what needs replacements, which shoes hurt your feet or which handbags were only used once and which earrings lost their mate months ago, never to be found. Pass them on or pitch 'em.

I was sad to see some of the things go but in the end, I had a closet full of things that I love and that make me look and feel my best. The other things found a new home with a friend, thrift store shopper or were retired to the big closet in the sky. Now, getting dressed in the morning is fun again because I know that everything fits, everything is in good condition and it makes me feel pretty when I put it on. I can mix and match separates with ease since I filled in the gaps. I've been having fun with outfit posts again. I can plan new sewing projects since I know what I will need next season! Best of all, I know what looks good on me and what doesn't so next time I go shopping, I can pull out my handy cheat sheet with notes from myself that say "Don't buy that, girl!!"