Closet Cleanout: How I Used the Stylebook App to Learn from my Fashion Mistakes

I’m finally cleaning out my closet and I’m proud to say I’ve gotten a lot of wears out of many of my items! I decided to do my cleanup because some of my pieces have actually worn out. That’s right, I’m cleaning out clothes I wore to death - not a mountain of unworn items I bought while impulse shopping! I save my outfit ideas in Stylebook and it has really helped me get more wears out of my clothes! I also record what I wore on the app’s calendar, so now I have a lot of valuable stats on how often I wore (or didn’t wear) certain items in my closet. This has given me insight into which clothes I should replace and which I should leave behind without looking back. Let me show you how I used Stylebook to figure out what to get rid of and how I learned to improve my wardrobe from the stats inside the app.

Check your closet for worn-out items

First, I checked my “Most Worn” statistic inside the Style Stats feature and then combed my closet for items on the list that were pilled, stretched, stained or otherwise worn out. Since these items are worn the most, they’re the most likely to have worn out. These items will eventually leave my closet because of their condition, but in the meantime, I'll try to keep as many as I can, sometimes doing basic mending so they last longer until they can be replaced - after all, I can't replace my whole closet at once!

Next, I use the stats Stylebook has accumulated over time to help me learn which types of items I should focus on in the future. Below, I'll go through several questions for each item to determine if I should keep it or not.

Check Style Stats & notes to determine if each item should be replaced

Questions to ask for Most-Worn Items

  1. How many times have I worn it? If I approached or surpassed 30 wears, that suggests it was a good-quality item!
  2. How many outfits is it used in?
  3. Do these outfits still fit my style and do I want to keep wearing them?
  4. Why did I wear it so much? Color? Comfort? Style?

If I decide the item is a keeper based on the questions above and it will truly be missed, I change the status to “Should Replace” on the notes screen for that item. I can’t tell you how helpful this is when I go shopping. It gives me insight into which items I reach for over and over and also provides an opportunity for growth and improvement.

The best wardrobe-improving opportunities come from pieces that started off as not particularly noteworthy, but somehow turned out to be some of my most worn items. When they wear out, I search for better versions. There is always room for improvement - like a slightly more flattering silhouette or color.

Below, I'll highlight how I used these questions to make decisions about some of the items in my closet.

Most-Worn Example: Stadium Coat

How many times have I worn it? 33
How many outfits is it used in? It’s outerwear, which I record separately from outfits
Do these outfits still fit my style and do I want to keep wearing them? Not applicable
Why did I wear it so much? Color? Comfort? Style? The color is perfect and it’s super comfortable. I also think it’s warm enough in the early fall and for a dressy night out in winter.
Does it fit well? It could be better - the silhouette is slightly boxier than I want.
Why should it be replaced? Small hole under arm; lining is separating from inside of jacket; severe pilling that the pill-shaver can't fix

Why I liked it The tan color went well with tons of my outfits and the coat can be dressed up or down.
Lesson Tan coats are a great wardrobe staple for me, but perhaps I should search for a more tailored fit and better quality.

Look at Least Worn Stats

After taking care of my most worn items, I open the “Least Worn" stats inside the Style Stats feature and look at what I haven’t been wearing for the “All Time” and “Last Year” time ranges. I usually make an exception for special occasion items since they don’t get used much, but otherwise I try to determine if the items listed could be worn more or if they need to go.

Should It Stay Or Go? Questions For Least Worn Items

I ask myself a few questions to determine whether or not I should wear the item more or get rid of it.

  1. Is it comfortable?
  2. Does it fit well?
  3. Does it match my style?
  4. Do I realistically have anywhere to wear it?
  5. Does the color look good on me?
  6. Am I willing to take it to the tailor, and how much would it cost to alter it?
  7. Is the only reason I’m keeping it that it was on sale, expensive or a gift?

If my answer to any of the above questions is no, then I should consider removing it from the closet. There is no point to keeping clothes if they're uncomfortable, in a bad color or don’t fit well.

Least-Worn Example: Faux Suede Tank

Is it comfortable? Yes
Does it fit well? No, the neckline is extremely low and revealing because the straps are too long.
Does it match my style? Yes
Do I realistically have anywhere to wear it? Yes
Does the color look good on me? Yes
Am I willing to take it to the tailor, and how much would it cost to alter it? No - it turns out tailoring the neckline would be extremely expensive because it's faux-leather and it has a lining. It would be more than the cost of the item.
Is the only reason I’m keeping it that it was on sale, expensive or a gift? No

Why I liked it It’s a simple, feminine shape
Lesson Be more careful about fit when selecting tops. Either make sure it fits properly in the first place, or make sure it can be affordably altered.

The "Wear It More" Challenge

When I spot an item that I actually like in Stylebook's “Least Worn” statistics, I try to make a conscious effort to work it into my wardrobe rotation. I think it’s fair to give it another 6 months (weather permitting) to see if I really think it should keep a spot in my closet.

Sometimes, It’s Complicated

Sometimes, there are items that I actually really like, but there is something serious preventing me from wearing it. For example, I absolutely adore the red wool mini skirt on my “Least Worn” page, but sadly it has become a little too small. In this case, I’ll mark the status of the item “Should Replace” and stick it in a “Potential Donations” storage bin that I’ll evaluate in a few months. If the items are still unworn, then I’ll donate them and decide to definitely replace them in the future.

Retiring Items

Donating

Donate gently used items. Charity Shops like Goodwill and Salavation Army are great for more fashion-forward items like heels and handbags, since they resell them in their stores to raise money for charity. Although they’d be appreciated at charity shops too, I like to donate more causal items like pants, jackets, t-shirts, etc. to my local homeless shelter.

Recycling

Did you know clothes that are super worn-out can be recycled? Once you’ve decided an item is leaving your closet for good, there's no need to chuck it in the landfill. Some stores (like H&M) and even some towns have free textile recycling programs.

NOTE: Posts in the Style Guides series include affiliate links to some of the products discussed. Stylebook receives compensation for purchases made through links to affiliates.


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