Must Purge NOW

glitter ankle boots

By guest writer Daria Miano 

Finding motivation for spring wardrobe shopping is elusive this year. High waist flares and boyfriend jeans? I’ve got a stack of them. Midi skirts? A closet staple. 70s? I’ve got vintage filling half a bedroom closet.

The issue isn’t just spring shopping.  

I am so over my winter uniform of the past 3 years (collared shirt, pullover, denim, ankle boots blanket scarf, coat) that I’ve begun reaching into the darkest corners of my closet for pieces that fell out of favor for no reason other than that newer, shinier things took their place. I want to move forward, but I’m reaching into the past.

This brings me to another sad reality. The darkest corners of my closet are really hard to get to. Actually, the entirety of my closet is really hard to get to. Every rod is packed tight and bowed from the weight of years of fashion binges. Every drawer is overflowing and difficult to even open. Some of what’s hiding there is junk some is not. Worn basics from American Apparel and fast fashions from Zara are mixed in current staples from Madewell and statement pieces from Marc Jacobs and All Saints.  Almost everything has a story, a history.  I could write a biography of my life and illustrate it with the outfits I wore. These outfits reflected my moods, my lifestyles, my diets and my aspirations. I never just “got dressed.”  This is a closet that has been careful curated over the years. It is my story.

Yes, it’s romantic to think of my closet as a museum collection, but it’s come to a point where this archive is restricting my future. The clutter is suffocating.  I cannot plan for the spring season and I cannot shop.  My closet is bursting with the skeletons of seasons past and there is literally no room for a new me.

What if I just wore the flares, midi skirts and vintage collectibles I already have? I could get by and even look current with what I already have! No doubt, some pieces, like my old Doc Martens and a certain vintage motorcycle jacket, are so iconic and representative that they WILL stay with me for a lifetime,  but wearing some of these older pieces often feels like a bad sequel. Even after refreshing the look with 2015 footwear and styling, I’m left unsatisfied and feeling worn around the edges. I’ve evolved and my image needs to reflect that.

One of the pitfalls of loving vintage and unique pieces is that they don’t really go out of style. Its hard to know when to pull the plug on them. I keep coming back to the thought that no matter how cool a particular dress is, 2015 me should not be dressing like 2007 me. I’m not afraid to re-invent my hair. Clothing turnover should be approached with the same level of fearlessness and detachment.

So why am I wearing the same sleep shirts for literally 15 years? Am I afraid to let go of who I was? Or maybe I just hate the thought of “wasting” something by throwing it out. It’s probably a little of both.

Now that I’ve thought about this, I’m committed to attacking the gluttony of my closet with a brutal hand. I want to enjoy the excitement of discovering a minimalist tailored jacket and super fun bright trainers that will be supporting characters in my spring and summer adventures. I want that amazing new suede a-line skirt to hang freely in a spacious closet so that I can actually see it when I slide open the doors on sunny mornings. 

I’ve already begun.  I have two full bags of cast-offs so far and an appointment with a clothing resale shop on Friday.  After that mass dump, it’s time to f**king shop. 


  1. Iza says:

    I would take all of clothes that you’d like to throw out, your style is perfect for me! Sadly, I live in Poland, but if you’ll be willing to send it in a hudge package – I would be like in heaven 😉

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      LOLOL! Well I do purge on my shop which needs a constant update.

  2. Mindy says:

    Love this post!! I’m going through the same!! “It’s romantic to think of my closet as a museum collection” haha love that line! Good luck with the purge! Sounds like you’re making great progress so far! xo, Mindy | Blonde Nouveau

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Hi Mindy This post was written by a guest writer, my friend Daria. It’s noted under the photo. I do agree though with everything that she said hence asking her to write. She shares my brain.

  3. Sinead says:

    So why shop at all? OK, I know that’s your job, but seriously. Change is the only constant. I think that many of us must be of a similar mindset, because yesterday I had a long chat with myself about experiences versus things. I need more of the former and fewer of the latter. I also think that social media doesn’t help, either. If I’m to be honest, I was much happier before I had a Facebook account (I’ve since deleted it) or Instagram. I am slowly realizing what fashion houses and major brands knew long ago: social media often makes us (especially women) feel inadequate and adroitly fans the “buy, buy, buy” flames. We feel left out of the conversation or somehow lacking if we don’t follow the latest trend, buy the newest thing, carry the “It” bag, or “contour” the bejeezus out of our faces until we look like Kim Kardashian as painted by Picasso. Result: a lot of anxiety, overstuffed closets, and more photos of Rockstud shoes than anyone needs to see in ten lifetimes. And for what?

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Well said as always Sinead. I think it’s balance. I think we ‘re all on a journey style wise and as we grow we experiment along the way until we nail it and that style can be a constant ‘look’ that’s just ‘you’ and that can involve you being a trend bot or someone who loves experimenting or it could be someone who’s the exact opposite. I think that even without social media that we all to some extent feel the need every now and then to get something new to ‘freshen’ up the wardrobe. I do agree though that the fashion machine has enabled women collectively to freshen up WAY more often. I come across a lot of friends and people who I interview for The Full Monty who tell me that they’re all striving to get a more pared down wadrobe and weed out the cheap trendy pieces that we all fall for to one degree. Change IS the only constant and I think that is a good thing but it depends on OFTEN is that change. That’s where the stress can set in. OMG I was just talking to a friend about the

    • Lady Bug says:

      “Picasso” OMG, I compared contouring to Picasso just the other day! I’m totally with you Sinead. Great response Karen. It’s all about getting the right balance. I’m currently purging too. “One pair of black boots, which I love, instead of three pairs, which I like” is what I keep on loop in my head.

      • Karen Blanchard says:

        So true Lady Bug on ‘one pair of boots you LOVE’ versus ‘three pairs of boots that you LIKE’ Ugh its so hard but every time I get rid of a bag of things I feel 10 x better and never miss what was chucked.

  4. PinkCheetahVintage says:

    Girl, I’m on that spring clean out tip, too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hello Karen Omg !! It is like you have been reading into my mind ! It is exactly how I feel these days when I look at my wardrobe. I really need to get a rid of many clothes but simply can’t . Each piece of clothes is somehow a piece of memory for me and like you I fear of “wasting” something by throwing some out. It is crazy !! but I need the whole house for me and mes chéries 🙂 It has been 2 years that I am following your blog that I absolutely love and I have to say you are not helping my clothes gluttony! Thanks God, I live in Paris and there are some clothes I can’t find here ! Muchos bisous from France. Nefisa

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Baby steps. I did a mini purge today on some things that I wasn’t wearing and to be honest I don’t miss any of it and feel relieved when they are gone. Sorry for not helping the gluttony though! : 0 Paris has it’s own share of temptations though especially in Le Marais!

  6. Lady Bug says:

    So well written Daria. Karen – give me the heads up when you ‘purge’ those tan suede wedges 😉

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      I’ll give them to you just to watch you walk in them! They are ridonculously high. Right – next time you’re here I want to see em on you.

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