...and into the donation bag.
The other morning, while Grandma had The Bean out for a morning walk, I hurredly tried on every work-related piece of clothing in my closet. Two bags: donations and drycleaning.
Needless to say, my closet is considerably emptier.
We hear all the time about how to sort through clothes, yes/no them. Tim Gunn's got his new show with 4 piles, Stacy and Clinton brutally sort entire racks of old t-shirts into a garbage can, and there are closet consultants and stylists abound, even in this supposedly style-free city.
What it really comes down to?
Be honest with yourself.
Not an easy thing to do, of course, but here are my post-sort conclusions/advice:
1) Set yourself a time limit - one hour. Call it the Clean Sweep (you know, where they give the clutter-a-holics a half hour to sort their house into three piles) method. If you've got to do it quickly, you won't hem and haw. Knowing The Bean would be back and likely hungry any minute lit a fire under my proverbial a##.
2) Use the "if I haven't worn it in..." and pick an honestly reasonable number.
3) Only keep it if you really like it, it really fits (or a good tailor could make it so), and it's not all worn out. Exception to this rule: the first designer piece you bought. 12-13 years ago I spent a ridiculous $700 on a Betsey Johnson crushed velvet coat and black jersey dress. (I was working as an admin for a non-profit at the time. Not having the money would be, well, a huuuuuuuge understatement). I've worn it well, it's still in good shape, still fits, and I just can't/won't give it up. Sometimes that's ok (despite what the gurus say).
4) Only keep "to be tailored" things if you have one. A tailor, that is. If you don't, and don't have a friend who can recommend a good one, then into the donate bag. Why have it hang around for ages if you're not going to have it fixed - ever.
5) After the purge, pat yourself on the back and look lovingly at your emptier closet.
6) Make a list of the things you really, truly need to fill any holes you might have. Note: might have. Just because you dumped a whole bunch of stuff doesn't mean you should fill the closet right back up.
7) Go shopping - judiciously.
I'm at #7. I was pleasantly surprised at how many things fit, and fit well (sometimes it pays to spend a little more money on well-cut clothes, if you can). It's one of the side effects of being a human milk machine. So I'm not even in a panic over not having anything to wear my first day - or even month - back to work. But I do have a few holes I can fill over the next few months. And I will, you can be sure of it.
First on the list? A kick-a## ensemble for H's high school reunion.