Spring promises the excitement of warmer weather and outdoor socialising, and also of new clothes and styles. It's tempting to just shove winter's discards into the back of the wardrobe, but now is the ideal time to give your entire style an overhaul so you can start the new season refreshed and ready for the new.
Here are some tips on how to give your wardrobe a painless, effective spring clean:
Time and place
The first step is setting aside time to do it properly, without distractions. Make sure you've got the space to spread out and really look at what your wardrobe holds. If this means you need to do a bit of house spring cleaning before your style spring cleaning, so be it.
When the space is ready, it's time to make sure that you are, too. Don't look at this as a chore to be rushed through so you can get on with your day - settle in and enjoy it. Men's Style suggests putting on some tunes and brewing enough coffee to power you through the project.
Sort your wardrobe into its functional roles before you begin the culling process.
There's little point comparing your office dress shirts with your casual weekend polos. They're different items designed to serve particular fashion purposes. Sort your wardrobe into its functional roles before you begin the culling process. Work your way through each pile one at a time so that you're comparing apples with apples, not jeans with puffer jackets.
This pile-based organisation works when you're making your decisions as well. Mainline Menswear recommends a three-pile system: Winter clothes to pack away for next year, things you're keeping to wear over spring and summer and clothes you really need to say goodbye to.
Keep the clothes that tell people who you are now, not who you used to be.
GQ puts it very clearly: "If you love it, keep it. If it's anything less than that, throw it immediately into the "nope" pile."
Sentiment and nostalgia are powerful feelings, but no matter what that ragged Metallica t-shirt's history means to you, it won't come across to people who see you wearing it out in the world. Keep the items that you look good in, feel good in, and that contribute to your overall style. You're not going to forget your first concert if you stop wearing the t-shirt. That memory is part of you, but it doesn't need to be part of your wardrobe. Wear the clothes that tell people who you are now, not who you used to be.
Pay close attention to how things fit as well. Those pants might be great, but do they look great on you? If not, then they're just taking up space in your wardrobe. Good pieces that don't sit right might be saved with some custom tailoring. But if not, as much as it hurts, it's best releasing them to someone who will fit them better.
Refill and refresh
When you've removed the unwanted from your wardrobe, look at what's left and see if anything's missing. Now that you've taken out the dated leftovers and the not-quite-rights, are you left with everything you need for the spring and summer? If not, then the next step is filling in the gaps with some new, quality pieces (and let's be honest, this is probably the most fun part of the process).
When adding to your newly trimmed wardrobe, keep in mind the idea of a set of simple, evergreen basics that you can then build a look upon with accessories and personal twists. The classic white tee, for example, is just that, but it's how you wear it and what you wear it with that will define it as a part of your personal spring look.