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Forever Amber: UK influncer

How to Decide Which Clothes to Keep, and Other Fashion Questions Answered

Posted on 9 Comments 4 min read

I’ve had a few fashion-related questions submitted through the ‘Ask Me Anything‘ form in the sidebar lately, so I figured I’d put them all together into one post: and here it is!

 

Raquel asked: 

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Hi Amber! I have an intriguing question… You have your shoes beautifully organized in your walk-in-closet (that I absolutely love btw), but there are no empty spaces..! Where do you put or how do you find space for your new purchases? I’ll patiently wait for your answer 🙂

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You know, I don’t actually buy new shoes all that often these days – or not nearly as often as I used to, anyway! I am still going through a bit of an obsession with Office lately, and a few pairs of their ‘On to Point‘ pumps have found their way onto the shoe shelves, but, other than that, I think I’ve switched my obsession from shoes to handbags – whoops! When I do buy new shoes, though, I actually have a bit of extra storage in this room, in the shape of this low shelf, which runs all the way along the wall opposite the shoe shelves, and underneath the clothing rails:

skirts on rail in walk-in closet

boot and shoe storage in walk-in closet

storage for flat shoesI mostly use these shelves for flats and boots, as you can see, but they’re fairly deep shoes, which hold a full row of shoes behind the ones you can see at the front (and I could squeeze in more if I wanted to), so they hold quite a lot of shoes, if I need them to. When I buy a new pair, I’ll normally want to put them on the shelves, where I can see them, so I’ll switch them with an existing pair I’m not really wearing all that often, which will then either go onto these floor-level shelves, or into the bin/donate pile, if I decide I’m probably not going to wear them again. Speaking of which, Maria asked

how to clear out your closet

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Hello! I wanted to ask you what are your criteria for decluttering old but still in good shape clothes. Lately I’ve been reviewing my closet and have started to cull some things, but it’s very difficult to choose what goes and what will go in my metaphorical attic (the highest shelf of my wardrobe), waiting to be worn again. I’ve found that some items I haven’t worn in years have caught my attention anew, and I’m wearing them again with joy. But now I’m left with a huge question: how to recognise items that I will love again in the future?

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So, I did a post last year on how I clear out my closet, and talked a little bit there about how I decide what to keep and what to ditch, but honestly? It mostly comes down to instinct. I hesitate to call it the ‘spark of joy‘ technique, because I have plenty of clothes (mostly basics like jeans, t-shirts etc), which don’t exactly spark “joy” in me, but which I wear all the time, and wouldn’t want to throw away. I also, however, have some items which have the opposite effect of the “spark of joy” – so I’ll pick them up, and even although I like the look of them, and think they’re objectively useful items to have, I’ll just get this feeling of, “Yeah, I don’t want to wear this, no matter how ‘perfect’ it is on paper.” Those are the items I get rid of.  I’m not a fan of any of the time-based rules people come up with (I.e. ‘If you haven’t worn it in a year, you should throw it out!” etc), and I have to admit that there are quite a few items in my closet which hardly ever get worn, because I just don’t have the opportunity to wear them all. Going by most of the ‘style magazine’ rules, I should get rid of all of those clothes, and only keep the things I wear all the time, but I don’t, because I love them – and it would make me sad to lose them.

I should add here, though, that this technique isn’t failsafe, and there have been plenty of times when I’ve gotten rid of something, only to regret it a week later (ALWAYS a week later. WHY?), so, if I’m not sure about something I’m thinking of tossing, I have a spare linen basket in my bedroom closet which I toss it all into. I go through the basket maybe once or twice a year, and if I haven’t thought about the items I find in it – or gone and fished them back out again – then I take that as a sign that, yeah, I really CAN live without it. (And then, of course, the week after THAT, I’ll realise that, actually, no I can’t – LOLS.)

I feel like this answer was no help at all. Sorry about that.

Finally:

Mary Lee asked: 

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I am wondering what watch you have. It’s so cute!!!

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Thank you! I have quite a few, but the one I think you’re referring to is this one, which is by Kate Spade:

rose-gold watch by Kate Spade

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9 Comments
  • Stephen Williams
    May 8, 2017

    I keep ALL my clothes until they develop holes…

  • Rachael Dickinson
    May 8, 2017

    Some great answers here. I love the one in , one out rule! I am such a hoarder usually!

    Rachael xox
    http://gatsbyandglamour.blogspot.com

  • D. Johnson
    May 8, 2017

    Your watch is very much like the one I almost treated myself to for my college graduation. I cannot look at that coppery-rose gold metal without thinking of Spring 2008. I love the rod just above your boots. I do not know if you stuff yours with anything to keep them upright, or if you would ever hang them, but it seems to me that rod would be convenient for having some type of hanger. Your closet looks so CLEAN! Congrats! I keep my spare shoes in labeled boxes to keep the dust off. I also use bits of flannel to help keep skirts and trousers from getting marks from the pinch-style hangers. I may use this post as inspiration when I FINALLY! go shopping in the fall.

  • Miss Kitty
    May 9, 2017

    I have the dilemma that I need a lot of formal wear for work, so I find myself buying basics like navy skirts or white shirts when I find them, just in case I need them to complete an outfit. The problem is that I end up with half a wardrobe full of clothes I don’t wear, but I can guarantee that as soon as I get rid of that navy skirt, I will find a top that will go perfect with it! And then spend 6 months trying to find another navy skirt. If only all outfits could come complete!

  • Alnis
    May 9, 2017

    So in love with this!
    Nicole
    http://alnisfescherblog.com

  • Sophie
    May 9, 2017

    I think this is actually really useful Amber because I’ve always struggled with this (hoarder alert) but like you I find it hard to go along with the time-based rules I’ve read elsewhere. Think I’m going to try your linen basket technique and see what happens!
    Love the look of your closet and how neatly it’s all arranged, what a dream – and that skirt collection is swoon-worthy!
    Sophie xxx
    http://www.sopharsogood.com

  • Sharon
    May 9, 2017

    Your closet is so beautiful and so are your clothes! I enjoy recognizing the ones I’ve seen in your pictures. But I can’t see any of the plaid skirts you wore in the fall and winter. Please tell me you didn’t dejunk them!!!

  • Raquel
    May 10, 2017

    Thank you for answering my question! I had no idea you had even MORE shoes behind those in the “floor”… and I had the impression you only put flats in there.

  • SAF
    November 9, 2017

    I never throw anything out! Love your blog by the way.
    Vintage Clothing

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How to Decide Which Clothes to Keep, and Other Fashion Questions Answered