One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 was to go through the massive amount of clothes I have acquired over the years and to stay true to what I have now defined as my personal style; which, as I am sure you can imagine, has me gravitating to a certain Duchess! Some of the pieces I had dated back to my college years and, dare I say, a couple from high school! Old Navy and American Eagle themed tees no longer have a place in my closet but I found myself still holding on to them for nostalgic reasons.
Earlier this year I read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it was truly inspiring. In it, the author suggests to start with paring down the clothes you have as these are generally the items that create the least nostalgia reaction (HAH!). This was the year, I told myself, it is time to let go, declutter, and get rid of the items that I either didn’t love and/or would never wear again (I had an embarrassing amount of Tupperware filled with clothes in our attic).
Duchess Kate has always had an amazing sense of style and I only wish I could say that I have more pieces from ten years ago that would still work today. Nevertheless, I’m sure there were still some pieces that, as she has evolved, she knew she’d never wear again but found difficult to cast off. As I rid myself of four huge garbage bags full of clothes (success!), I kept in mind how the Duchess would approach this task.
1. Ask yourself if it truly matches your style today
The graphic tees I had in college were fun. With witty logos and fun characters, they’re a pleasant reminder of a wonderful period in my life but let’s face it: I’m never going to wear a shirt again with a little fox that says “Foxy’s Diner” because it’s just not me anymore. I can’t hold on to this piece for the simple fact that I’ll be pleasantly reminded in another ten years. So off it went with other friends to the pile. The most difficult potential castaways are also clothes with price tags still attached where I wonder what I was thinking. Just let it go as a learning experience and move along. Duchess Kate has held on to some core pieces but I am quite sure she has discarded along the way when it no longer matched her style.
2. Thank the clothes
Alright, I know this sounds crazy and I thought it was a crazy suggestion when I read it in the book. Basically, the premise is this: if you’re having difficulty letting go, thank the clothes for the wonderful memories and move along. Not one to knock it until I try it, I did this once in my mind and I felt better! I have no idea if the Duchess has ever done this but she’d probably tell us to do whatever works for us!
3. Find someone who can love them again
Imagine how you might feel if you were privy to a thrift store that the Duchess often donates clothes to. If you happened to share her size, you might feel as though you hit a goldmine! No doubt the Duchess would be pleased to know someone else could obtain enjoyment from a piece of her collection. One of my best friends recently got down to her pre-baby weight and then some so I knew the perfect candidate for my clothes. Last night she left me a voicemail saying how excited she was as she went through the bags, complimenting many pieces, and emphasizing how she couldn’t wait to wear some of them. Hearing someone get the same enjoyment from them that I once did made me feel so much better!
4. After you’ve gone through your closet, be quite picky on new selections
Now that I have gotten rid of so many clothes, I am extra picky on what I decide to let back in:
• Is it a piece I need?
• Will it complete an essentials list?
• Am I buying it simply because it’s on sale?
If I do not love it as soon as I try it on, I do not allow myself to think how I can make it work, unless it is a minor correction through tailoring (i.e. a hem). We never see the Duchess pulling on or constantly adjusting her clothes in public because her clothes are either tailored to her when needed or it fit properly from the start.
5. Reward yourself
This can be an arduous task! Once completed, reward yourself in some fashion for a job well done. Perhaps there is a particular shirt or accessory you’ve been eyeing? You now have ample space in your closet to be able to purchase it without guilt.