In the early spring, a landscape designer visited my home to discuss a project. As she was leaving, she bent over the flower bed and began breaking off pansy blooms, much to my horror. She explained she was deadheading the pansies, and this would encourage growth and more blooms. I was skeptical, but I deferred to her expertise.
For those who don’t know deadheading, as I didn’t, removing the faded or dead flowers from a plant channels its energy into the new flowers that are blooming. Low and behold, after I fertilized the plants, deadheaded the blooms and watered, I had a gorgeous, enviable bed full of yellow blooms about two weeks later. I did not have an immediate result, but it was worth the wait to see the explosion of color!
Reasons to Let Go
Editing a wardrobe is similar to deadheading. After the landscape designer left, I wondered if my clients felt as I had watching the blooms removed from the pansies. As I work through a client’s wardrobe, I suggest removal of items that no longer serve the client. The reasons vary, but they are always compelling: (1) it no longer fits, (2) it is not a good color or shape for the client, (3) it is worn out, (4) it is out of style or (5) it is no longer relevant to the client’s life or lifestyle.
When a client lets go of unneeded pieces, there is space for new items which reflect their style and lifestyle today. Tend to your wardrobe as you would a garden. Once we plant shrubs, flowers and other landscaping, we pull weeds and prune to keep it looking great. Your wardrobe is no different. It blooms best when you give it room to grow. Then, be patient. Developing the wardrobe of your dreams takes time just as a garden needs time to reach its full potential.
Letting Go is a Process
Letting go is always easier said than done. We hold onto pieces for various reasons, including a fond memory it evokes. For years, I held onto a pair of mules I was wearing the night I met John, who is now my husband. I no longer wore the shoes, but I wanted to remember that night by keeping them. Finally, one day I said to myself, “I got the guy. I don’t need the shoes.” And that was that. I donated the shoes.
The “letting go” moment must happen naturally. Give yourself space and time. Loosen your grip on it and ask yourself why you want to keep it. A few paragraphs above, I wrote I “suggest removal” of pieces from a client’s wardrobe. I don’t come in with trash bags. I make the suggestion, and the client decides if the piece stays or goes.
Keepsakes are Special
Keepsakes are in a different category. They might be things you wore during an important or special time in your life. If room allows, keepsakes go in a separate closet or in a box under the bed. Confession: I have my cheerleading uniform from junior high and the sweater I wore in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, along with a few pieces of my children’s clothing when they were little. It’s fun to look at them on occasion, and it’s nice to have a few pieces from your wardrobe history.
That was Then. This is Now.
Many are editing their wardrobes (and their entire homes) since the pandemic began. It is therapeutic. Removing the extra creates an environment where we can breathe easier. Too much stuff is stifling. We are realizing we need much less than we own.
Our lives are different right now. From a wardrobe standpoint, all we need is a great Zoom shirt and a comfortable pair of pants! Look at your wardrobe and ask yourself if you love everything there. Be brutal about what must go, and be highly selective about what you allow in.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Look at your wardrobe and be honest. Does each piece represent who you are today? Do you feel good wearing it? Does it fit properly? Would you buy it again if you saw it in a resale shop?
Getting More from Your Wardrobe
You are not losing anything when you decrease your options. In fact, fewer options gives you the opportunity to be more creative. In the end, a tidy wardrobe serves you better. A big reason we shop for a new outfit is we can’t see what’s right in front of us for all the things in the way.
I Can Help
Your wardrobe communicates your style story. I can help you create a wardrobe that reflects yours. Since I work virtually, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. I am presently working with a client in the U.K. and one in Virginia. Message me, and let’s speak. There is no better time to create a wardrobe that makes you happy and confident!