Wardrobe Cleanse

Our basement has been overrun with plumbers for the past two days, so I haven’t been able to spend much time in my studio. They’re replacing the hot water heater, and it’s a tricky job since our house is quirky right down to the plumbing.

Today I decided to do a wardrobe cleanse while the dogs barked and the plumbers plumbed. You know when you’re getting dressed, and you go to your closet and sort through all the clothes that you don’t like to wear to find the few items you love? My goal is to love everything in my closet, so first I needed to figure out what makes me love some of my clothes but not others.

I chose my favorite pieces of clothing—the pieces I would wear every day if I could. I took everything else out of my closet, so I could see what all my favorites had in common. It turned out they were all either neutral or subdued colors, just like the ones I like to use around my home. Surprise, surprise!

wardrobe cleanse

wardrobe cleanse

Apparently I like muted colored clothing with subtle texture or pattern to add interest—like sequins, lace, or stripes. I like vintage and menswear inspired undertones (as seen in the photos below), but I also like a bit of an Indiana Jones vibe which is harder to put my finger on—distressed leather satchels, leather lace-up boots, and military jackets with lots of buttons.

I’m probably overthinking this. Do you feel like you lean toward a specific style wardrobe-wise, or do you just buy whatever tickles your fancy? I’ve been pinning outfits I’m drawn to, and while I can’t find exactly what I’m aiming for, I’ve gotten pretty close.

wardrobe cleanse

photo from: for the love of pretty

wardrobe cleanse

photo from: Prepaganda

wardrobe cleanse

photos from: In the City with Crystalin and Trendtation

wardrobe cleanse

photo from: Everything Fabulous

wardrobe cleanse

photos from: Fashion and Style and Boden

wardrobe cleanse

photo from: Prepfection


  1. Casey

    I have a very similar style that I am drawn to: subdued tones with subtle texture and pattern (although I like a few bright punchy things thrown in there from time to time–like my favorite bright green scarf that I wear constantly). This post makes me want to attack my closet! And go shopping…I love these looks!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes! I have a pair of yellow pumps that I break out when I’m in the mood. :)

  2. Nicole

    I love all of those clothes/outfits. Do you fancy doing a trans-Atlantic six monthly swap of clothes to keep things fresh? I kid, but really, I love your style.

    I lusted after that Boden set for ages when it first came out and that became the underpinning of how I wanted to dress (which slowly became a more mashed up version to include belted plaid shirts over skinnies and the like). Also have a HUGE thing for stripes (which my son hates, apparently only animals like Zebras are meant to wear stripes…) and they feature pretty heavily in my wardrobe. I love them, Parisienne chic, easy. Nautical sailor vibe, hello.

    Would love to see what you edit down to in the end, I’m on a similar task myself after getting up one too many mornings for the school run and having a melt down about hating everything I lay hands on (because all the “good” stuff is in the ironing pile…).

    My wardrobe is slowly turning grey or skin tone as It is so easy to change it up for the seasons or occasion.

    I think over-thinking it is good as in the long run it saves on thinking about it at all and you get to wear what you love (and be the version of yourself that you love) EVERY DAY!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes please on the trans-Atlantic swap! Based on your description I think I would love to raid your closet! ;)

  3. Kait

    It’s too funny, I just did this with my own closet and had the same result. Neutral, textured, menswear inspired, with girly accents here and there. Love the outfit pins you chose!

  4. Jenmargor

    I did this a year ago – and I am so happy I did! It makes getting dressed sooo much easier and so much more fun!
    I keep my closet neutral and use my accessories to add splashes of color! Scarves and necklaces are oooh so much fun!

  5. xfallenmoon

    what a great idea. i have soooo many pieces of clothing i don’t use. i often tend towards the neutrals too. perhaps i should force myself to wear a particular piece of clothing and make it work for that day. use some of that creativity i’m bottling up!

    love, x
    blog | twitter

  6. Brandy

    I love the feeling I get after organizing my closet and getting rid of tired old clothes I never wear, giving it to charity and hopefully someone who will be able to find purpose in them again. I found organizing my clothes by colour really shows me what I favor and what I have a lot of. I like neutrals for the most part, but pretty pastels in the the fall/winter and bright colours in the spring/summer add some pop and fun to my outfits. I’ve also stopped buying too much trendy stuff and I instead prefer more classic outfits that seem to last longer.
    Your wardrobe looks fun and pretty!

  7. Trix

    Love the colours & textures of your wardrobe! I find myself leaning towards leather when it comes to accessories too, because they age well and go with anything.

  8. Jay

    I’m completely obsessed with pinterest, although I haven’t been pinning outfits as much but this gives me an idea to do so! I usually “come up” with outfits via Polyvore – fun site. Working towards a more healthy mindset and lifestyle, and outfits are always quite inspirational.

  9. Milynn

    I love your wardrobe! I lean toward a lot of muted and neutral colors as well, which I didn’t notice until someone mentioned it to me. so I’ve been trying to add some color to my closet. Loving these outfit inspirations!

  10. F Saunders

    I guess I dress like a geode.

    I love bold colour, but I know it can be a bit silly if there’s too much. So I have fairly neutral bottoms (ie pants, shoes) and top layers (cardigans, sweaters, etc) but my tops underneath and accessories are bold and colourful. Tops are usually plain colours. Patterns and sparkles are generally reserved for accessories (scarves, belts, jewelry… hats).

    But if I’m dressing up for a party I just pile the colour on and shine like a friggin peacock.

  11. J Gordon

    While everyone is loving your clothes, which are lovely by the way. I was excited to see your closet!! Yes, your closet, as it is the first one I have seen that is the same size as mine.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I thought I was the only one with a closet that small! On the bright side it keeps me from hanging on to too many items I don’t wear. ;)

  12. Liisi

    Every time I come over to your blog, I am inspired… My closet is full of clothes I only kind of like, it would be wise to clean them out and keep only the ones I love. Especially now that I waork in a trift store where I get a reasonable discount. What did you do with the rest of your clothes. keep them or give them away?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That’s so great to hear! I’m thrilled that you find inspiration here. :) The clothes I don’t wear I’ll get rid of by offering them to friends and then donating the rest to Good Will.

  13. jenn

    I need to do the exact same thing. I just moved into a new place and the closets are tiny. I love that first outfit with the white dress. I moved from KY to right down the road from you (Sanford). There are NO good shopping places here, do you have any good clothing shopping recommendations? gracias :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Oh, I visited Sanford once to see a play at the Temple Theatre! Such a cute town. I actually do most of my shopping online. I usually get inexpensive basic stuff from Old Navy, and I really like J.Crew Factory for pieces that I know will last. I like ASOS a lot too, because they have the video runway models so you can really see how the fabric falls (and they ship free to the USA). If you feel like making a day trip, the Tanger Outlet in Mebane has tons of great stores.

    2. jenn

      thanks Amanda! I didn’t know about the outlets nearby, good info :) I also do most of my shopping online these days too, you’re right about J.Crew factory, the get me all the time with email updates on sales! I haven’t tried ASOS before… seeing the clothes in action would be great. I’m petite (aka SHORT) so it’s nice to see how clothes fit on actual people vs an image of a top. Thanks again!

  14. Sara

    love this post + your wardrobe! I need to do the same to my closet…would love to do a clothing swap with you b/c I love everything in the photos BUT I’m 5’2 so I think our choices would be limited :) Also wondering where you got that rolly basket in the top pic?? Was that a DIY?

  15. Jackie

    Hi, love this blog. Very inspiring. My loft is full of clothes etc and my children’s, some have been up there for 12 years (bad isn’t it). I have grown over the years, couldn’t bear to throw away. Been trying to find someone small enough as they are in good condition. Since my 22yr old son is over 6′ now, just realised his smaller jeans/trousers/suits/t-shirts/shirts may fit my daughters 29yr old boyfriend who is 5’3″. Would it be offending if I ask him about it? I don’t think my daughter would be happy about it as she has seen her brother growing up in them, but he grew so quickly.

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