the dress clean-out of 2011


The dress section of my wardrobe is the most problematic one. It is filled with dresses I bought to suit some alternate personality, dresses that look fine but are of middling quality that I can't find good replacements for, dresses of excellent quality and fit that I like, but don't love, and hence don't wear enough of. There are a couple of stars in there and my rational mind says to give away/sell everything else, but I hadn't really been able to muster the energy to deal with it.

Still a purge was in order and I finally dealt with it last weekend. The keepers are six everyday basics; four "special occasion" things for those more formal occasions so that I'm never at loss at what to wear; and two "sentimental" pieces because I have such good memories attached to them even though I don't wear them often anymore.

There are a couple I'm undecided about.

-White cotton shirtdress from Lover.

Very nicely made and I love the way it looks on me, but somehow I never wear it. I bought it last year and I've worn it maybe four times. But well-made classics are a keeper no?

- Vintage nubbly cotton shift

I bought this for about $5 three years ago, and I always wonder why no one makes dresses like this anymore - made of nubbly comfy cotton that's aging nicely, in a clean classic cut. But I've also stopped wearing it in the past year or so.

My sisters' advice was to keep what I'm unsure about, lest I regret it.

I threw out and gave away eight other dresses. Felt good!

Anyone purging stuff? How is it coming along?


MDYS said…
I want to throw 95% of my wardrobe in the bin, and have it cough out a couple hundred thx! And keep those dresses, they're cute. You can fall back to them always
I think I remember you doing a post on that Lover dress before. Maybe you don’t wear it because you’re protective of it? I get that way with white clothes, esp. living in a tropical climate. In the style books they say to keep the maybes/unsures. If you don’t wear them in x amount of time, to get rid of them.

There are pieces I could part with. But there’s nothing “wrong” with them, I just don’t get the opportunity. Then I have those in-between pieces: not in good enough condition to sell/donate but not decrepit enough to toss. I resign them to casual or house wear. Or they stick around until I find their replacements. I make less mistakes these days and try not to be too redundant (exception: black tuxedos), so there's not many definite must-gos.

-ps. I thought you might like Akris’ Resort 2011 collection. It reminded me of you!
Alex said…
I love the Lover dress, but I think I could wear a white dress for fear of getting it dirty
Ammu said…
That Lover dress is so pretty - I hope you decide to keep it!
I am not decluttering in a major way - might get rid of a couple of shawls, but nothing else. I am however going to buy much less - trying to follow the 4-5 piece shopping dictum this season and keep a list.
Anonymous said…
I am constantly removing items from my wardrobe, things I haven't used for months are placed in boxes in the cellar. This because I might miss them, and because I think that one day I can use them when I am working.

Not everything is saved, old t-shirts & things that no longer fit I give away. But mostly I save.

I have things from the 1940s and forward that I don't want to get rid of really.
Vika K said…
I have the same Lover dress and I find I never wear it either! It is a fairly awkward length (on me, at least) - too long to tuck into trousers, too short to wear as an actual dress..

I also vote keep for both pieces, I've thrown out things in the past only to crave them a few months later. It is awful!
K. said…
Whenever you feel reluctant to send the old beauties away, think about the new ones that are on their way for the years to come :)

On another note, I ordered a white sykes silk shirt too and it has just arrived - unfortunately at size xs it is still too long and boxy for a tiny asian physique. :(

Thank you for writing such a great and refreshing blog!
I'm glad you kept the Lover dress, I think it's one of those things that won't go out of style soon. Maybe wear it out a few times to get used to wearing it?

I did a closet clean-out but it was nothing major - just old jeans that don't fit and t-shirts that were yellowing and full of holes. I need to do a 2nd round, I have so many tshirts and don't wear a lot of them - they're all folded together so it's hard to find the one I'm looking for. If I had less it wouldn't be such a problem.
If Jane said…
i am
to purge...
one garbage bag went to a charity ;)
Stylepint said…
I think both are pretty but perhaps hold onto it for a few more months to see if you'll wear them and if not, give them away and make room for new loves.

I just finished moving and unpacking my clothes so I've been purging heavily lately. It was hard at first to part with so much, but since I didn't really wear those items as much, I didn't are about them in the end.

Good luck with your closet! =)
lin said…
MDYS: I managed about 40% on this round of cleaning out - which is high, but not as high as I thought. Quite relieved that I like so many of my things, haha.

Pret a Porter P: I have blogged about the Lover dress, good memory! I don't think it's so much that the dress is white, I think i's the crispness of the material that puts me off on most days when I don't want to worry about looking crumpled.

And yep, there's no hurry to get rid of things that have nothing "wrong" about them - it's partly my mania for tidying :)

And you are absolutely right, I love everything about that Akris collection, especially that dark teak belted dress. Resort collections are always a winner with me because they have a more relaxed feel than main collections.

Alex: I wear a lot of white, so by now I'm used to it; but it's actually not as challenging as you might think.

Ammu: I will, for now. And so great that you don't have much to clear out - a sign of well-edited wardrobe!

kkkultur: I do the same sometimes, provided I can find the space for separate storage. And things from the 1940s sound like they should be saved, even if they don't get worn.

Vika K: I fell in love with the tux pleats and velvet ribbon, and realised later how much better it would be as a shirt - maybe some alteration is in order...

It works fine for me as a dress though - you must be really tall :)

K.: I am STILL waiting for the shirt to reach me; how unfortunate the shirt doesn't fit well! Maybe it can be altered?

I'm rather large by Asian standards, and ordered the shirt in a medium which is my usual for UK sizing. Fingers crossed!

And thanks, I'm glad you enjoy my ramblings!

koko: Good idea, taking it out for more test runs. Maybe it takes time for me to fully appreciate it.

And I like knowing what I have too, instead of being unable to find what I want - one of my major impetuses for doing cleanouts of any kind at all.

If Jane: The first step is the hardest!

Stylepint: Thanks! Yes, it's quite amazing how little we miss things that are gone sometimes.

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