The cull diary

I've decided to keep track of what I cull and why, to better remind myself when shopping why I shouldn't buy that less than perfect piece. Who knows, maybe this list will help you too in re-assessing the stuff in your wardrobe?

I'm also going to prepare a back dated post summarising all the previous pieces I have culled (since starting this blog).  There is a lot.  It's a wonder I even have any clothes left to wear... but I do. Still too many.
Item culled
Approx. wears
Reason for eradication
Black suede ankle boots (mid-range brand)
Love the design but too high and improperly balanced for me.
They were bought on sale, so I should re-coup most of their cost on eBay... IF they even sell.  A waste of time purchase.
Beige platform pumps
I enjoyed buying them, but my feet have not enjoyed wearing them!  Each time I have worn them I have half crippled myself.  They are much too high... 13 cm or 5 inches to be exact.
Brown platform pumps
Not worn enough to justify a place in my ideal wardrobe.  I have other brown heels which I prefer to wear over these.
Black velvet blazer
(mid-range brand)
Really gorgeous, very Gucci, but too small now... it has been for years, yet it still hangs in my wardrobe. Why?
It actually came with matching velvet skinny pants (already culled years ago).
I wore the suit to a wedding once and literally every second person commented how amazing the outfit looked on me (*sigh* ... those were the days).
Cream silk linen suit - jacket and skirt
The skirt is the wrong cut in that it’s really too short for corporate/office wear.  I think I've only felt it to be appropriate during extreme heat conditions... that’s really saying something.
This is not a shopping fail, because it's actually quite lovely, just not suitable for my lifestyle.
Black suit - jacket and skirt
Well worn
Too small now, but thoroughly enjoyed wearing it whilst it fit.
Black blazer/jacket
(chain store label)
The cut is not right and not what I was looking for, yet I still bought it.  For two years it has hung there mocking me and my inability to say "no, it's not perfect" when shopping.
Multi-colour silk top
It’s really beautiful but it’s the wrong cut and the heavy beading detail on it annoys me each time I wear it.
Black pencil skirt
(chain store label)
Well worn
It’s a little too fitted now and now I find that the split at the back is cut too high.  Each time I wear it I am convinced that the people behind me can see my bottom, causing me to constantly check whether the airy feeling is due to the skirt tearing. Truth is - people can't see my butt and the skirt is not torn... it's just not the right cut for my bootylicious body shape!
Cream silk shirt
Well worn
Too small now but besides, it's seen better days.

I can actually hang hangers comfortably on the top rail in my wardrobe now.... but I can't keep up with the eBay listing!  Add to this - I've inspired my mum to cull and each time she visits she brings a bag of clothes for me to sell :)

Items I enjoy wearing vs those that drive me mad

I'm trying to sort out in my head the types of clothes I should be buying and those that simply won't get worn - no matter what label, how cheap or how expensive...

Items I enjoy wearing

1. SKINNY JEANS.  I wear these only on weekends and on causal days as I work in a corporate office. I'm especially partial to Nudie High Kais as there is nothing worse than sitting down in the vicinity of another human being and exposing one's plumber's crack.  Unfortunately, my pair is a tad too small now, so a little diet and exercise is required.  On a side note I've noticed that Nudie Jeans Co have recently reduced their RRP for this style in Australia - $199, down from $240... Not quite inline with US RRP but getting there.

2. BOOTS. In all shapes and forms.  I have many that I don't wear anymore because they are too high and make my feet very unhappy.  I have recently sold a few pairs and there are more which need to go and others which will be donated to charity once I bring myself to part with them (yes, I'm suffering from wardrobe culling denial again).  Something tells me that time is now, given this week's outrageous boot splurge (post in the works).

3. BIG HANDBAGS. Especially for work. It's not like I carry around everything but the kitchen sink - but I like having the option.  Importantly though, the bag needs to fit A4 in case I need to take work home with me.

4. DRESSES. What's not to like about putting on a single item of clothing and being most of the way dressed?  70% of the time I am wearing a dress.

5. LEATHER JACKET. I can tell I enjoy wearing mine because it's literally falling apart before my eyes *sad face* (I've owned it for many years).  A new jacket will me on my US shopping list when I visit in the new year. 

Items I dislike wearing 

1. LOW RISE PANTS. I'm going to drive home the point. There is nothing worse than 'muffin top' and plumber's crack!  I get both when I wear low rise pants.

2. TIGHT TOPS/DRESSES.  Although I'm not over weight, I'm not skinny. I have a "cute" little pudgy stomach. It's always been there. I feel self-conscious when I wear tight fitting garments. So much so, I own a pair of Nancy Gantz for those occasions when I wear tight dresses ;)

3. VERY HIGH HEELS ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS. I used to be one of those girls who wore high heels to work EVERYDAY.  I felt like the biggest dag in flats. Neighbours would comment that they knew my comings and goings because my heels would click clack on the footpaths. Sadly, sometime in the last two years my feet decided not to like high heels anymore (as much as I like them and think they look great), I only wear them when I go "out" now.

4. COTTON SHIRTS. Although they look wonderful on - I hate ironing, especially the sleeves!  Surely there is an invention out there to make this job easier!  Having worked in fashion retail during my studies, I found steamers to be quite good. A domesic steamer may be the next appliance on my home shopping list, as I'd love to wear crisp cotton shirts some more.

5. SHORT SLEEVED T-SHIRTS. Although I know this is classed as one of those "classic" items that makes up a basic wardrobe, I've never really found one that fits the bill.  Rather than elude effortless style, I elude the look of I've-made-no-effort. The closest I have come to finding something that suits is the Dion Lee for Cue white tee that I bought a few months back. Not your classic white tee, but a white tee nonetheless - will crack it out come warmer weather.

Items I can't stop buying nonetheless 

The one item on my dislike list that in the past I could not stop buying are high heeled shoes. I may or may not be a bit of a shoe addict... As a result I have quite the collection now! This year in making my ideal wardrobe resolution, I have vowed to myself not to buy anymore.  If the shoe can't be walked in between home and the tram stop - it does not get bought! (There I said it).

Wardrobe Culling Denial

Some of the thoughts I have found myself thinking when attempting wardrobe culling in the past:

1. I'm going to keep it in case it fits again. In fact I'm sure I could do it up if I buy a minimizing bra!

2. I'm going to keep it because I might finally buy something that will actually go with it. It's a daggy prairie skirt that I bought in 2003 - but fashion is cyclical, right?

3. I'm going to keep it because it will be good for wearing around the house... when bleaching the bathroom for example...

4. Although I have never worn this, there is no way I can get rid of this because I paid way too much for it... (even though I am filled with great regret each time I open my wardrobe and see it hanging there).

5. I haven't worn this in years, but I might wear it again... maybe?

Pieces I've worn to death this Winter

Although I clearly do not have a minimalist wardrobe (!), I certainly have been very minimal in my dressing over the past 6 months... and it hasn't really been by choice, more by reason of circumstance.

These are some of the pieces that I have worn a lot over the past 6 months:

By Malene Birger black knit, Country Road beige knit, Country Road black dress, Adam dress, Saba studded bag, Tony Bianco wedge booties, Chloe Heloise (my work bag), Witchery over the knee boots (worn almost daily since I bought them), Country Road jeggings (worn when my black skinny jeans are in the wash) and Country Road biker boots (on their last legs).

Add to this a few pieces that are not pictured including, a black Country Road Scarf, a red Country Road paisley dress, a black Cue knit dress, a pair of Cue black pants, a black Witchery leather biker jacket (needs replacing), black Witchery skinny jeans (need replacing), a black Cue top (that I adore - it will be a sad day when this piece dies) and a black Country Road blazer (needs replacing).

Yes, I wear a lot of black most of the time...

My go-to accessories have been a Cue studded cuff and some nude pink Witchery beads (until the cats destroyed them).

A special mention goes to the Saba studded bag - although a real impulse buy (I bought it to wear to a wedding thinking it would never be worn after that), surprisingly I wear it almost every weekend.

Own collage, images source: Country Road, Witchery, Saba, Net-a-Porter, Tony Bianco

What I wore to dinner last night

In the past (read: pre saving deposit and buying a home) I almost never immediately wore the things I bought unless I bought the item because I NEEDED it (yes, I bought many things I did not need). Needless to say, what resulted was a wardrobe full of clothes with tags still on. I do not want to fall in to this habit again! I really want to make sure that each item I buy will be well worn (apart from the odd special occasion piece).

Casual (but stylish) knits and a pair of blue skinnies have been missing in my wardrobe... hence after buying both items this week I could not wait to wear them.

Images source: Country Road, Witchery and La Gagarconne

I've admired taupey suede ankle boots a la Isabel Marant's "Dicker" from afar for a while now, but I've never been sure whether I could make them work for me (hence I have not invested in the real thing). So when I came across the Witchery knock-offs for a steal, I could not go past them. So far I am loving them. They are very comfortable and provide a nonchalant look...not sure if I'll buy the real thing.

Additions from Country Road

Country Road spend 'n' save time and I had two vouchers to take advantage of (mine and my partner's).

Images source: Country Road

I bought:
  • silk 'Boxy Shirt' in milk white;
  • '3/4 Sleeve Stripe Knit' in stone and navy;
  • 'Stretch Pant' in toast and black;
  • 'Vintage Wash Jean'; and
  • 'Rachel Mid Heel' in black.
I am very proud of myself that for once I was not sucked in by their very on trend pieces.  I really liked the 3.1 Phillip Lim knock-off 'Mia Lock Handbag' in the ultra bright 'tangine' colour, but I stepped away. I do not need the red bag, but I do need basics.

The blouse, black pants and shoes have already been worn to work (on Friday) and all day I marvelled at how great it is to have basics to simply throw on in the morning. 

Worthless possessions

The things in your life that you do not need (use) are worthless.  Make this your mantra.

These items are WORTHLESS no matter how much money you spent on them... until of course you manage to sell them on eBay!

I ask you - what would you rather... racks of clothing that you do not wear? Or a few dollars to buy something that you NEED in your life?

Granted, eBay is not like is used to be.  I was disheartened to see a Country Road knit sell for a $1... but a $1 here and $20 there and before you know it you have some serious spending money to play with. I was shocked to see that my eBay grand total for the last 60 days came close to $1,500.00!

I've got so much more to sell, and I must say that seeing the total tally has really encouraged me to get on with an otherwise arduous task.

ACNE Pistols here I come!

Binge Shopping & Shopping Bulimia

Do you suffer or have you ever suffered from either of these ailments?

Binge shopping is a type of dysfunctional shopping characterised by recurrent episodes of unrestrained shopping.  During such binges, a person buys excessive amounts of "stuff" that they do not need.  Most people who partake in shopping binges try to hide this behaviour from others.  For example, a person might leave shopping bags in the boot of the car, only to bring them inside when those who they live with are asleep or not around.  Another way of hiding their affliction is to lie about it... "What? This old thing!?"

Binge shoppers often feel ashamed about buying too much or depressed about their shopaholism.  To counteract these feelings of doom and gloom, some adopt compensatory behaviour such as shopping bulimia.  This is when the sufferer comes to the inevitable realisation that they have purchased too much or they do not need said items.  Said items are purged (returned to the store).

At times this behaviour is not immediate.  A morbidly obese wardrobe results, which can only be cured by grueling marathon eBay sessions..........................................

I thought I had gotten over my bs/sb, but in the past month I confess that I have momentarily relapsed.  This behaviour needs to stop! 

I have already "purged" a pair of Stewart Weitzman boots.  I have done the same to a pair of Tony Biano ankle boots that I bought cheap.  Although great bargains, both were just lying about languishing in their shopping bags. Neither was perfect or what I'm really looking for.

My Ideal Wardrobe: Finding the time to cull

Since making the decision to do something about my jam packed wardrobe, I must admit that I have been very distracted by it and longing to fix it. Finding the time to do so however is problematic.  If I'm not at work, I'm out somewhere.

Unluckily for me I've had a very average week health wise. I've now developed a horrendous cough, so cancelled all social arrangements.  This of course means free time to cull!

All day today has been spent ironing and photographing.  Sadly though I haven't even opened my wardrobe yet!  I'm only just now getting around to sorting out the items I culled a couple of months ago!

This evening will be spent listing a pile of items on eBay and later on I will peer into that wardrobe of mine to see what is lurking in the shadows - stuff I've forgotten about I'm sure!  Like for example today I uncovered my "to fix/mend box" in the spare room.  Inside was a pair of brand new with tags CUE pants (that I bought at the full price it seems... I guess I really wanted them?).  I'll be damned if I can remember buying these pants... I honestly can't.

Part of my motivation to spend all weekend culling and listing, is my trip to Melbourne next week.  I plan to buy a few things.  I'm mindful though of buying more things I do not need.  To prevent this from happening, tomorrow I plan compile a list of the contents of my wardrobe and the missing pieces.  It's actually never felt this good to be housebound and sick :)

My Ideal Wardrobe: Recognising that I have a problem

In reading the Vogue Forums, I came across the recommendation to read the blog Dead Fleurette.  After reading this blog, I am more inspired than ever to build up this "capsule" wardrobe of mine! (My "ideal" wardrobe.)

This post especially hit home and made me realise that I have lost sight of what I set out to achieve.  I thought to help me cement why I've got problems, I would answer the questions asked by Fleurette in that post for myself. 

1. Do you cluelessly rummage though the closet in order to find something adequate to wear every single morning?
Yes! Actually if I don't rummage through my wardrobe the night before to plan my outfit for the next day, there is a chance that I might not make it to work on time!  Some nights if I happen not to lay the next day's outfit out, I lay awake anxiously thinking whether I'll be able to find something to wear the next day. 

2. Do you only wear the fresh and clean clothes directly from the dryer? 
Sort of.  If I happen not to do the laundry one weekend, it's not like I'll have a shortage of clothes to wear in the coming week... but I do find that week-in and week-out, I'm washing the same things over and over.  This question has made me realise that although I have a lot of clothes and shoes, most don't get worn on a regular basis.  Further it is clear that the clothes that get washed over and over are the items that I must love or at least are the clothes that suit me. 

3. Do you constantly purchase new clothes because you feel like you don't have anything to wear, even though your closet is jam-packed with superfluous items?
I think the first part of this question about constantly purchasing items is true for the old me.  I used to work in fashion retail and each week my whole pay would go back to my employer! Although I don't constantly purchase clothes anymore - in fact it is only in the past two months that I started shopping again.  To answer the question though, yes - my closet is jam-packed with superfluous items and this is why I have decided to do something about it.  I'm hoping that the shopping I do from now on will be for the things I need and for things which fit in with the rest of my wardrobe and my life. 

4. Do you wear the same items over and over again despite the fact that your closet does not lack other clothes?
Yes. I am constantly wearing the same thing over and over.  I must remember when shopping for clothes, the things I enjoy wearing.  Too often I buy things without thinking it through.  Or take risks with colours even though it is clear to all who know me that I like neutrals - black especially, followed by grey.  Why on earth then did I recently buy a khaki green work dress over the grey one?  I have since worn the khaki dress once. Although I like the colour, I have problems styling it.  Why I bought the dress in this colour, is a mystery to me. 

5. Do you find yourself surrounded by clothes and clothing stores all the time?  
Yes - every lunch break when I go for my "walk".

6. Would you like to trade all your bad quality clothes and the numerous shopping trips with the designer bag of your dream?
I wouldn't necessarily trade everything for a designer bag (been there done, done that), but I would trade everything for quality items that work together, that I enjoy wearing, that make me look good and feel good.

As I said in my first post - this blog is about helping me find my style mojo again... in answering these questions I've figured out how I lost it in the first place!