Time for a wardrobe detox! Easy tips to sort through your clothes

Ternary navy shorts
Ternary navy shorts

If your wardrobe is stuffed with clothes that are too big, too small, unflattering, unstylish or just don’t make you feel good, it might be time you thought about doing a wardrobe detox. Yes, it’s a thing! Shannon from Living for Style visited NSM founder Rachel’s home to help her decide what clothes to ditch, as well as what she needed to buy to complete her wardrobe. Find out how it all worked…

Before I met Shannon, I found the very sight of my wardrobe quite depressing. It was full of clothes, sure, but hardly anything that made me feel good. Despite going through it every year or so for a good chuck, I still didn’t wear at least half of it.

I needed professional help. Someone with no emotional attachments to my wardrobe, who could look at the items objectively and help me work out what needed to go. Enter Shannon Johnson, from Living for Style!

When Shannon arrived at my door, she was dressed stylishly (of course!), and was ready to get stuck in. I was a bit embarrassed about showing her the daggy contents of my wardrobe, but I reassured myself that she had probably seen plenty worse.

Stage 1: Sorting the clothes into three categories!

We started by going through every single item in the wardrobe, and putting it into one of three categories:

  1. Love it, definitely want to keep. Leave in the wardrobe.
  2. Like it, but unsure. Put it on the bed in a ‘not sure’ pile.
  3. It’s gotta go! Chuck in the corner of the room for bagging for charity.

I found the process very systematic and effective. I think I intrinsically knew what needed to be done with each item, but having Shannon there really helped me to be decisive. She’d ask clever questions or make tactful comments (like “I think you can do better”) than enabled us to create three definite piles without too much fuss or heartache.

Stage 2: Trying on items in the ‘not sure’ pile

The next stage was trying on all the items I wasn’t sure about. Shannon patiently sat on my bed as I disappeared into the ensuite to try on each item. This process took a little longer, as there were about 20 outfits to try on. Some items I’d put on and instantly know I wanted to chuck them, whilst others we debated for several minutes before deciding if it was going back in the wardrobe.

Once we’d gone through everything (a process that was much easier than I anticipated!), I had a huge pile of clothes in the corner of my room and a wardrobe than had less than half its normal contents. I felt lighter already!

Stage 3: Working out the gaps in the wardrobe and creating a shopping list!

The final stage to the Wardrobe Detox was actually working out what gaps I had in the wardrobe – what essential pieces were missing, that were needed to create a multitude of other outfit options with my remaining clothes. This was a real ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. I didn’t have lots of basic items – like tops in various lengths and neutral colours, a nice pair of sandals for summer or casual pants which prevented me from being able to create outfits suitable for different occasions.

Shannon created quite an extensive list (watch out, credit card!) for the items that I needed to purchase to help complete my wardrobe… and even better, some handy links to local fashion websites where I could buy the items. Shannon also does personalized shopping trips too, which is a great added service if you want some professional advice when your in the mall! For me, these items were were:


  • White cami
  • Tank top in neutrals
  • Basic good quality ¾ sleeve t-shirt in neutrals
  • Basic short sleeve (cap) t-shirts neutrals
  • Smart/casual short sleeve/ tank tops x 2
  • Going out top with cap/short sleeve x 1
  • Structured knitwear in cardigan/jacket style
  • Knitwear in cotton for spring/summer


  • Smart/casual jacket – possibly anorak style
  • Ponte navy blazer (for casual)
  • Gilet
  • Denim jacket
  • Short coat in wool (tailored style)


  • Black work pant
  • Black jeans
  • Light blue jeans
  • Tailored shorts in navy or black
  • Denim shorts
  • White denim shorts


  • Two summer casual day dresses
  • Cocktail dress


  • Leather tan sandals (comfy style)
  • Dressy comfy sandals
  • Neutral sandal wedge style
  • Tan and black ankle boots
  • Comfy sneaker in white or canvas

It’s been a few months now since my wardrobe consultation with Shannon, and I’m still gradually working my way through her comprehensive shopping list! It’s crazy to think how lacking my wardrobe was in some basic items, that really are so essential so you can actually make up classic outfit combinations and use the clothes I have left in new and exciting combinations.

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  1. Esma

    I wish this article also include information where can we sell great condition almost new high street brands !!! but within our unwanted pile ?? I have great items but simply I dont wanna donate.. so what will be the next solution (couple of options please) ??? Esma

    10 January 2020 at 12:04 pm

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