PURGE – Part III

First off, congrats!

It may not seem like a lot, but ridding your closet of the unwanted pieces you felt emotional/financial/psychological attachments to is a huge accomplishment. By ridding your closet of excess you make room for the pieces that elevate your look and make outfit-planning simple.

With any (successful) purge, you will be left with three categories of items.

  1. Keep

Your keep pile is a skeleton with which you will build around. Take note of these items during any future purchases. After a purge, you will want to go shopping, but it is essential that you don’t repeat the items that are left hanging in your closet. We all have the tendency to re-buy items that we feel comfortable in, and it would be a waste to fill our wardrobes with more of what we already have.

Once purged, take the time to put these items away with care. Hang them on your nicest velvet hangers, and dry clean anything that needs a little spruce. I like to give my winter coats a nice dry clean at the beginning of the season. Everyone hates that horrible “I’ve been sitting in storage” smell.

Don’t be afraid to do mini purges on your keep items throughout the season. Maybe you won’t wear the black wool turtleneck as much as you did last year – that’s okay! Just be sure to set it aside for a mid-season consignment.

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  1. Maybe

Sometimes, we just don’t know – and that’s okay. At the end of the day, nothing should be in your maybe pile. When it comes down to it, an item should really only go in the maybe pile for two reasons. 

 The first reason is wearability. The inherent question is “Will I wear this?”. Consider the preceding seasons. If you didn’t wear it before, you probably won’t wear it in the future. If it is good quality and well maintained, put it in your Toss pile and designate it consignment. 

The second reason something should be put in the Maybe pile is condition. Our wardrobe’s are made of thread, fabric, and textile. They’re not invincible, and if worn repeatedly they will inevitably start to see a little wear and tear.

We live in a throw-away culture and as such, we’re quick to toss an item because of a little tear, hole, or missing button. If an item is of quality and fits within your wardrobe, there is great value in setting aside a little time and money to repair it.

For the items that require work, set aside a specific amount of money you’re willing to spend to fix it. Consider:

  1. The price you paid for it
  2. How many more seasons you’ll wear it for
  3. How much it would cost to replace it.

Once you’ve given this some thought, locate a Tailor in your area with good reviews. Get an estimate on each item in store and then evaluate if the repair is worth the cost. You’d be surprised how quickly you can re-fall in love with an item once it’s been fixed up. It’s great to see what a little elbow grease can do!

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3. Toss

I think it’s important that we point out that we never actually “Toss” our clothes. There are dozens of organizations that accept pre-worn merchandise, and it is well worth it to make the trip and drop off your unwanted items. 

For a very long time, I would simply donate all my clothes to various charities and not give it a second thought. This is a wonderful way to give back, and if you feel strongly towards this type of philanthropy then go for it!

5 Year ago, I set-up an account with Turnabout. At the time, I was moving and had an excess of clothes that I couldn’t take with me. It would be a shame to get rid of perfectly good items, just because they didn’t fit in my suitcase. So, I chose the consignment route, and I’ve never looked back.

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There are many consignment stores in Vancouver, and a simple Google search would return plenty of results. I chose Turnabout because of the convenience and reliability. It’s important you know that you’re not going to get ripped off, and I’ve known people who have set up accounts at small consignment stores, never to see a cheque for their sold goods. Turnabout has locations all over and is easily accessible. To set up an account, they require you have at least $300 worth of merchandise. Your items need to be in good condition, washed, and only gently worn. However, items that don’t meet their standards are donated to local charities. So, whether they take it all, or none, you know it’s going somewhere good.

Whenever I drop off my clothes, I feel relief. I no longer have to look at the clothes I felt guilty about not wearing. I know they’ll go to a better home and as a result I get some cash in my pocket. I can’t tell you how nice it is to pick up a check every 4 months for doing absolutely nothing. I always put it towards a bigger purchase. This year, I bought a pair of Acne Jensen’s that I had been lusting over for a few years, and it was totally guilt-free! So go ahead, Treat Yo’ Self for all your hard work!

 

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