Culling Your Wardrobe: Important Tips

A lady, open wardrobe with clothes and shoes

I frequently do the wardrobe cull – I’ve downsized my wardrobe more times than I can count. If I have the time from my hectic schedule, I’ll work my way through my wardrobe at least once a month, just to be sure that I’m not hoarding anything that I know I’m unlikely to wear. For most, I’d recommend culling your wardrobe at the start of each season – say every three or six months – whatever works for you, to identify what you are and aren’t wearing, and spot any gaps in your wardrobe that need to be filled.

I generally find the process of decluttering to be quite therapeutic, as you end up with a wardrobe full of carefully selected favourites.

I am right now culling my wardrobe and wanted to give you all a little bit of insight into my process – just keep in mind what works for me might not work for you.

Here’s how to go about it


To start, first and foremost, pull everything out of closet and pile it onto the bed. And I mean everything. It does look a bit overwhelming at first but if you were to make a fresh start for the season; it is important that you know what exactly you have in there.


One by one. Be realistic. If something doesn’t make you feel good and confident after wearing it, or doesn’t fit right, then discard it. What’s the point of having loads of clothes that doesn’t make you feel good, comfortable and confident or don’t enjoy wearing it. I keep the following things in my mind before deciding the pieces.

How frequently do I wear it?

Is it in good condition?

Does it make me feel confident in it?

Is it versatile?

If your answer to any of these questions is no; then no point hanging on to those clothes.

I generally only keep the pieces which I enjoy wearing, am comfortable in, and that are in good condition.


Whatever works for you and you definitely want to keep, put it back into your wardrobe. This is also the perfect time to re-organise your wardrobe space so that you can easily find the pieces.

……and what you should definitely retain


As a general guide these things will not date and are worth hanging onto or you can have a capsule wardrobe, if it works for you.

These are the clothes that will last you season after season and will still be with you for years to come.

– A crisp white shirt

-A great pair of jeans that fit you perfectly

-A striped tee

-A pair of black dress trousers

-Sarees – Silk, Cotton and other traditional varieties

-Leggings to go with different kurtis.

-Dupattas in solid colors, Banarasi silk, Bandhani and Leheriya and other traditional dupattas which can be worn for decades.

-Traditional & classics like salwar kameez in Silk, Brocade according to season.

If there is anything that you weren’t sure about, put it back in your closet and turn the hangers back to front, only turning them the right way if you’ve worn the item. General rule of thumb is that if after six months you haven’t worn it, it’s probably time to let go – although bear in mind that you may want to give more time to seasonal items, or special occasion pieces which you might wear once a year.

Now what is left are the items that you don’t want. They might no longer fit, aren’t worth altering or no longer your style.

Depending on the quality of item it is in; you need to decide whether you want to discard it completely or donate it.


Now that your job of culling your wardrobe is done, you should be able to spot the pieces that you’re missing or have identified anything that is worn out and needs to be replaced. For example, perhaps you’ve decided that your black legging is a little worn out, since you wear it frequently as it goes with most of your kurtis. Or your red kolhapuri chappals are broken and you need them replaced as you wear them frequently with traditional and indo-western outfits. These are the pieces which you should add to your shopping list.

If you’re honest with yourself and are able to let go of what’s going unused I promise that after this you’ll end up with a wardrobe that you’re just dying to wear…and a valid excuse to go shopping for some new additions!

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