8th November
written by Randy

In my last post, I began talking about how I’m simplifying my wardrobe and I talked about getting rid of my whites. Today I will talk about phase two of my wardrobe simplification: getting only keeping clothes that fit.

This probably sounds really obvious. It’s the same advice they give on all the tv shows and all the radio interviews and all the decluttering and minimalist blogs: “go through all your clothes and get rid of everything that doesn’t fit.” But what’s interesting is that nobody ever talks about how to do that!

The first step is the obvious one — pull everything out, and one-by-one, try on each item and see if it fits. Don’t keep it if it doesn’t fit; it’s only eating up space. At least if you donate it, someone will wear it. (You’re certainly not going to!)

Making that first pass through everything and getting rid of things that don’t fit will likely make an immediate reduction. You will most likely have a large stack or pile of clothes that used to fit before you gained or lost weight, or that have shrunk over time, etc.

But that’s just the obvious step. You’re not done.

The next step is to wear everything. Everything. In my case, I took everything out of the closet and left it stacked next to my bed. Each day, when getting dressed, I put on something from the stack. If if makes it back through the laundry, it goes back into the closet.

What I found was that a lot of clothes “seem” to fit when you try them on and look in the mirror, but when you wear them for a day, you realize there’s a reason it sits in the back of the closet or on the bottom of the shelf.

I had several shirts and sweaters that seemed to keep creeping up throughout the day, and I would keep pulling them down at the waist. That’s uncomfortable — I don’t want clothes that make me uncomfortable.

I also found that with my long-sleeved shirts, many times the sleeves were cut in such a way that they pulled up high on my wrist when I moved. *GONE*

A couple of sweaters had sleeves so long that they would hang down around my hands and keep getting in the way throughout the day. *GONE*

One sweater looked absolutely great on me when I first tried it on during step one, but when I actually wore it, I found that it bunched up and fit totally wrong when I would sit. *GONE*

When you take something out of the closet and try it on for less than a minute, you’re not really getting the experience that you get when you wear it all day. Those 30 seconds aren’t long enough for you to notice the awkward tailoring, the itchy material, or the fact that the edges keep turning outward leaving you fidgeting with your clothes all day.

I’ve recently worn almost everything I own, and I’ve gotten rid of all those items that made me uncomfortable. I noticed that the things I got rid of tended to be the things that were always on the bottom of the shelf, as if I subconsciously knew that I didn’t enjoy wearing them, but I couldn’t justify letting go of good clothes that fit.

Today, however, I have the confidence of knowing that anything I pull out of the closet is going to fit me nicely, all day long. When I meet new people, I make an impression with my personality, not with my fidgeting. And at the end of the day, I don’t feel unnecessarily stressed out.

It really gives to meaning to that old saying, “the clothes make the man.”

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