Language is a powerful tool. Awareness of what we say when we refer to our wardrobe can reveal a lot about our subconscious style beliefs. If you find yourself repeating any of the phrases below, it might be time to make your closet less Tower of Babel, more unified front.
Will I get away with it?
Are you intending on committing grand larceny in the style of Matthew Bourne? It all depends: what are your boundaries. It’s not what others think; it’s what you think. Go back to your To Don’t list. If it doesn’t correspond with any of your boundaries, then ask yourself why this is bothering you so much.
If it can’t be identified as a bona fide garment (see: sleeve shrugs, mules, arm warmers) then its pointlessness has thus been proven and it needs to go. STAT.
I don’t know if I can pull that off….
It’s a crew neck sweater. It’s designed to be pulled off. (See: Will I get away with it?)
I bought this when I was backpacking in Thailand.
That was 15 years ago and this ‘I Survived the Full Moon Party’ t-shirt is holding on by a thread. Let go and hold onto your memories instead.
My sister gave me this.
And guess what? She didn’t want it either. (Clever girl!) Joke’s on you! Get rid.
I spent good money on that.
This is what behavioural economists refer to as ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’*: you spent the money on the outfit regardless of whether you decide to wear it or not, so the money should not be a factor in you keeping it. Toodle Pips.
I might get wear out of it yet.
Let’s reframe this by asking: Why haven’t I worn it yet? Clothing is meant to be worn not hidden in a closet. See if this reason repeats itself across any other garments you ‘might get wear out of yet’ and nip that default buying pattern in the bud.
I didn’t know I had that.
And clearly you didn’t miss it. Visibility is accountability. If you don’t have room to stash your stuff, then something’s gotta give. Make room for room in your life; not more stuff.